Day 151: The Quiet Room

After yesterday’s post I feel like my panties are dangling down around my ankles. Feeling fully exposed here. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of what I shared. Long past those emotions. I am human and have had hard times, like us all. But I feel a bit naked in my exposure of self, having had shared such a vital part of my life without much explanation.

I think it is important to understand that at the time of my nervous breakdown I had been on a low dose anti-depressant to control my chronic muscle pain. The medication entirely numbed me emotionally for years. I lived very much like a robot. I couldn’t cry even when I was sad. And I couldn’t feel the depths of my experience. I was in less pain, but had no emotions. I was numb in all aspects.

Being numb to myself had major drawbacks. I didn’t have an off button, or anything to balance my actions. Feeling nothing, I had no way of checking in with myself. I no longer knew exhaustion. I gradually became an over-achieving, control freak. Eventually, I started to despise more and more of who I was, and recognized the real me was covered and masked underneath. I decided, without consulting anyone and without being aware of the dangers, to stop my anti-depressant. In my eyes the drug was serving as a painkiller and little more. I didn’t understand that in stopping the prescription that my brain chemistry would go all haywire.

Within days of stopping, my appetite came back so strongly that I couldn’t stop eating. I gained five pounds in two days. And much worse, my serotonin levels plummeted making everything look bleak. And my emotions, they returned in a mad rush. I felt like I was opening a  storm door of emotions that had all been hidden in an expansive closet for half a decade.

After several weeks, I couldn’t stand the intensity of emotions and my huge appetite—I could actually taste life and food again but was out of control—so I started back on the medication. Reintroducing the anti-depressant into my system led to suicidal thoughts. This is when I ended up in the admissions to the psychiatry ward. I’m not saying the medication caused my breakdown but it definitely altered my brain chemistry enough to push me over the edge.

The Quiet Room

After two colored pills, I entered the last room at the end of the hall. Muffled snores, bleach, staleness—each welcomed me.

I found my bed.  I pulled off my sweatshirt and spread it across the pillow.

Darkness.

I stared up at the shadowed ceiling.

There was no sleeping.

As midnight approached, I stepped through the vacant corridor, light and clumsy, like a puppet pulled by a master puppeteer.  “I can’t sleep in there,” I mumbled, looking at the nurse’s wide forehead.  “I can’t sleep with a stranger in my room.”  I lowered my eyes to her white shoes, long laces, scuffed toes.

The nurse looked me over with a cynical smile.  “What are you afraid of?”

I felt a punch to my stomach.  “I just can’t sleep in there,” I answered.

Huffing, the nurse pulled down her glasses. “Fine, come with me, then.”

I padded down the hall, thinking I might fall down, hoping I would wake up, knowing this was surely hell.  The tall nurse stopped.  She edged her eyes around me, trying to see inside.  “You can stay in the Quiet Room for the night.  But it’s not where you are supposed to be.”

Chastised, I didn’t move.  I knew this wasn’t where I was supposed to be.  None of this place was where I was supposed to be.  She didn’t know me…

The rest of this story can be found in the book Everyday Aspergers.

 

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40 thoughts on “Day 151: The Quiet Room

  1. You are Strong Sammy
    stronger than Strong ……….
    when you write from your heart like you always do
    You tend to feel translucent .,….. You know ?
    But i think that Your life and your words are beautiful …..
    No matter if they are sad or happy – They are Yours ……
    From Your heart – so they are always beautiful ….
    Big hugs and more hugs xoxo
    C

    1. I just love you so dearly, Sweet Cat! Did you know I’ve met 4 Cats/Kats since starting this blog….all these kittens! I love the fact that you think I’m translucent. I really do. Thank you for that. Your words are such a HUGE comfort. Thank you so much for being YOU! Hugs, Sam

      1. YOU ARE 🙂 totally translucent …..
        That’s why i connect with you so well 🙂 xoxoxoxo
        Comfort full on for Sammy xoxoxox
        always xoxoxoxo C

      2. I gotta log out my sweet
        it’s like the hottest day of the year here and i am seriously melted cat ……………
        i will come back – when my brain is operating at normal speed again …..lololol
        love xoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxo
        c

  2. Oh my lovely friend how horrible for you. 😦

    “Why have you forsaken me? Why have you left me here? I did what you asked. I wrote. I did everything. I’ve always tried to be good and now you bring me here. This isn’t right. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I’m tired of the pain. I’m tired of always fighting. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t do it.”

    I remember writing such similar words to these in my prayer journal just after leaving the religious sect. Only those who have been in this dark pit of a place will know that loneliness after having a faith all your life.

    Wanting to give you big hug right now.
    You have written this so well, proud of you, always praying for you.

    Love you so very much. Me. xxx {{{hugs}}} ❤

    1. It was a horrible time….the hardest in my life…so forsaken…so I thought. But all healed now. Thanks to dear hearts like you,,, and me having the courage to face those demons. Thanks for being angel you. Thank you most for me seeing how truly lovely the gift of Aspergers is by seeing the beauty of your heart. xoxox Sam your bestest

  3. Thank you, Sam. I don’t quite feel pulled yet, but the time will come when I tell all my own nasty stories. Let’s just say … yours don’t sound unfamiliar. We have grown far above our stories. I know that. It’s not so much anything keeping me from telling them other than the feeling that now is not quite the time. You are paving the way for me to share, too. Know that.
    Scott

    1. I understand what you mean about feeling pulled. God pulled me a few days before I posted these last couple posts. Had to be ready, for sure. You are so strong and brave, I am certain when you share it will be so healing for everyone. HUGS, Sissy Sam

  4. I wish I had more time to comment… I will say I love you Sam the wonderful brave heart – glowing your strength and beauty to all of us!

    I love being naked!! It’s alright to be naked once and while. Dance in the rain and leap about, but make sure you wear nothing else but socks. It’s fun I tell you! (Although, I don’t want to see others flapping about in their nakedness… we can all find a nice empty place on the beach and leap about.)

    Love you with a beam of light flickers and smiling bubble giggles. 🙂

    1. he, he….I love your comment. LOVE IT….giggling so loudly inside and outside smiling wide!!! 🙂 I have to work on that naked dancing….and leaving on my socks….would make for a good post…you do it first and write about it….lol….Bubbles of light to my dear sweetie, Angel….you are an inspiration to us all. 🙂 Sam

  5. Sweets, brain chemistry is most of it. Changing med, or even long-term use makes dramatic changes. Hell, most emotion isn’t real. So the fact that you responded as you did makes perfect sense. A dear friend of mine suffered daily headaches. They gave her meds, but that and the constant pain altered her brain chemistry. Next thing you know she was in the midst of what she calls emotional numbness. The hardest part is the absence of emotional pain. I don’t think she has been certain of what she feels in years.

    So no panties around the ankles. Even if you were that standing before us, ankle-bound, so to speaky, we’d all drop our shorts right along t with you, and then we’d all have a party.

    1. lol….good to know that everyone would join in! Party! lol
      You are soooo right. I do think the changing meds/stopping and starting did me in. And yes, most emotion isn’t real!!! Odd to think about that in depth, but so very true. Love is real, though. That is for certain. The real love based on just wanting to help and be there. Thank you for sharing about your friend and for your insight. I will really hold onto your words; they meant a lot. 🙂 Thanks for reading, too. Party on…..but hold on to your pants! 🙂 Sam

  6. I agree with Cat, Sam, you are very strong, brave and a giving soul, to be giving us this window into your experiences…you are also a wonderful writer! I offer you even more hugs, my friend! xx

    1. 🙂 Awe……and you are, too, strong, brave, and giving…..thank you for taking the time to be here. I know that we are all stretched for time. So many wonderful blogs to see, not to mention all the glories beyond electronics. Appreciate your kind words. Much love, Sam 🙂

  7. Hi Samantha, my name is also Samantha and I’m also a teacher (1st grade). I found your blog while researching info for my daughter. I swear to you, reading about your life is like reading my own journal. It’s brought up a lot of “junk” from my past, but it’s also been healing. I do not have a formal diagnosis, but am in the progess of attaining a diagnosis for my 6 year old Aspergirl. Luckily I knew the signs and recognized them in her. If I can save her any of the pain or heartache I’ve endured, I will have acheived greatness. I love this blog, and can’t wait to read the entire thing! Keep up the good work! I look forward to getting to know you more. Samantha

    1. I LOVE the name Samantha. It’s my pen name, but now people call me Sam than my legal name. I want to change my name to Sam. Friends are starting to call me that. 🙂 You have a cool name! And a teacher, too! Yay. Loved reading your comment, today. So inspiring. The love for your daughter and your journey….sigh….we can’t go back but we can make the world that much brighter for others. So glad to “meet” you. 🙂 Thank you for contacting me, and introducing your journey. And, glad you love it here….I do, too. Look forward to hearing from you again. Hugs, Samantha

  8. Truly you are a warrior among people you have strength unmeasured: ((HUGS))

    Something wonderful is about to happen! Believe 🙂

    A wise woman I know wrote that as her status yesterday LOL.

    That small voice of mine is working again 🙂

    This is what it says Samantha the Sultan (I had to look up Sultan but that was the word reverberating in my head) it was defined as Swayer of change- the time is come the words are coming forth words of your pain, of your change, of the places you have been and will not need to return. Places many others have visited. The time is now you will be the one to take the lead as others come forth with their stories of past issues, betrayals, places they have visited, and trials they have triumphed. You are but the beginning of what is to come in the world in the coming months. As you have no doubt seen your influence goes far beyond the reaches of Seattle or the West or even the USA, you are touching lives across the world. And will continue as the winds blow through. The winds of change, they are a-blowing. The rank and file are falling in behind the ones who have taken up the reigns of truth, peace, love and freedom.
    There is no mistake is that you have come back from Maui with a renewed sense of life, there has been a pattern in your posts of love, joy and freedom and now we see where that all began, life is a natural course of events and one must go through the trials and muck to truly experience the fullness of joy and life that here for you to partake in. I see you in the coming weeks and months fully plunging back into the water of cleansing, dancing naked in the sunlight free before the Universe and all it has to offer. Hehe (I am not free in using the naked word so that is meant figuratively here)

    This was interrupted halfway through so hoping it all got out. Peace and Light to you

    1. I just love when your little voice speaks, and am glad that you feel safe enough to share these words with me. I understand all about that voice of truth that calls out to be heard. What a gift you have. Your words made me cry…..again…. So healing, uplifting, and soul-filled they are. Thank you so very, very much. I will take what was said to heart and trust, This is truly full of light and nothing but positive energy. Sultan…I never knew the meaning….swayer of change…I dig that. You have such a kind heart and wonderful mind; no doubt this message was brought through your kindness and intelligence. So glad to know you, and share in your journey of discovery. What an awesome example of strength you are. Much peace and light to YOU! Keep spreading those wings! Sam 🙂

  9. Oh Sam — you have journeyed far my friend. Yes – the meds can alter chemistry in such a profound way. I have learned this from experience as well… not only antidepressants, but anti-seizure meds, and even muscle relaxants. It’s unfortunate that the drs. prescribing them are not always well-aware.

    Your words just flow like a wonderful voice-over/flashback in a fine film Sam… your story is touching and shows others that they are not alone and how the healing occurs. Most beautiful to know such a genuine soul like you Sam ~ and inspired by your strength and courage as you share your story. Loved reading and sending Humungous Hugs to you today …. Sea Sister Robyn xo

    1. Oh, your words are so very special. Thank you. I am so sorry that you have had your troubles with medicines. It is amazing how drugs affect us sensitive souls. I can take a 1/2 tylenol and feel the same effects of 2 pills for a typical person. Coffee sends me into a tailspin.

      I love your comment. You are so detailed and thoughtful, and really inspire me to write and share. What a gift you are!!! Thanks so much. Humungous Hugs back to you Sea Sister. Thanks for being there. It means more than I can ever tell you. xoxo Sam

  10. First off…hugs…And to hear your flashbacks of before is only to see how wonderful you are now:)) And you are….you are strong and truly wonderful))))

    1. Oh, this is my favorite comment from you. It’s so kind. Thank you for liking my personhood. Nice to know a kind soul like you thinks such nice things. Holding you in prayer and light, my friend. May you be surrounded by love. 🙂

    1. Yep….although research I have read points to movement, like walking, and proper diet able to help as much as most SSRIs….sigh….the USA is in so many ways run by the big drug companies…hopefully that will change….off subject…oops
      Thanks for your support George. You are one cool dude! 🙂 Sam

  11. I did not like the “Quiet Room” or the nurses’ shoes or the foam. None of it. I wanted to take that poor girl in my arms and tell her it would be okay, like a mom should. But she has evaporated with the past. So many things to say. You stir many pots around the world with your words and bring the bottom of them to the surface. Sometimes things need to be stirred. 😉

    1. Oh, the nurse’s shoes and the foam….you were there, weren’t you. You felt the same things….the yuckiness. I can see that….the whole pot stirring thing….yep…that works for me. Great image and thought. You are so smart. Great to know you. Thanks for your continued support. You’re one Fabulous Mom and friend. Sam 🙂

  12. OK – thanks! I took Bill’s advice and joined in, and just fell down the bloody stairs! Send me some of those pain killers will ya, you don’t need them now! You hear that? You DON’T need them now! 🙂

  13. I just happened upon your blog by accident. I have been reading them for three days now. I have been trying to research Adult Aspergers for a few weeks and have not been brave enough to actually post personally about myself. I am high functioning autistic. I am 50 years old with three grown daughters. The oldest is 30 and is profoundly disabled with classic autism. The middle one is 28 with Aspergers. My oldest granddaughter who is 9 has classic and the 3 year old is PDD-NOS. I found myself in your words, only difference is I have NEVER shared my thoughts with a single soul. I aspire to have the love and acceptance that I read on here. I am glad that you came out of all of your dispair with such kindness in your heart. I see a common theraputic thread amongst most of the posts on here. A journal seems to help. I also am gifted with ADHD so actually keeping up a journal has proven beyond my abilities but after reading all of the beautiful words from everyone, I believe that I will give it a serious try. I would like to thank you for being so brave as to share your pain with everyone.

    1. Hello Dena. 🙂 Welcome! I am so glad you wrote something here. It is great to get to know you and to learn a little about your life. Never shared your thoughts with a single soul Wow! I feel very honored and very joy-filled that you chose this blog to share on. And I am so happy you did.

      I have a hard time journaling. For me, I need to be writing to someone and for someone; I don’t know if that makes sense. But I could never write for more than a few weeks in a journal. I have lots of journals with only a few pages written. But I do think verbally processing either through talking or writing is a necessary for people on the Spectrum.
      We have a support group listed above on Facebook, if you are interested. I have to say again that I am so happy you decided to contact me. 🙂 Please know you are not alone, and that there are many very accepting and loving people out there…..especially in the blogging world. I have been happily surprised by the support and love. Please write again, anytime. I wish you much love and happiness. Thank you for saying I am brave. That means a lot. Much love, Sam

  14. Your naked authenticity inspires others to come out and play in the field of self discovery, beyond good and bad and us readers can relax here knowing that we are not alone in our pain, fear and joys~ I have been in those “quiet rooms” a few times and can totally relate~ Blessings~ 🙂

    1. Oh thank you. That is the message I’ve been giving…to be authentic to encourage others to do the same. If we can all get back to source and our beautiful spirit and honor our light and not outside sources, our world can really change. To stand up against the fear of failure and others’ judgment, and just be what we were made to be….bright shining love. Now you’ve got me going…he he….. Hugs to you for those times of the quiet room…… sigh……and so we go on and share our truth…..much love, Sam

    1. I’ll gladly receive the good wishes and strength. Today, this story seems like it happened in another lifetime. Much healing has taken place. Thank you for reading and responding. Sam

  15. Hi Sam,
    I’ve commented on a couple of your posts in the past few days – hope you don’t mind one more from me. I just wanted to thank you for this post and tell you how deeply it has affected me. I went to bed last night after reading what you wrote here. In the middle of the night some 3 or 4 hours later, I woke up in a daze from what seemed like a very painful, vivid dream. In my dream I actually experienced something similar to what you describe here. I recall being in a strange hospital setting, switching rooms because I couldn’t sleep, just as you had done. I’m sorry you had to go through this. If I might ask, have you written more on this experience?

    Again, thank you.

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