What am I going to wear? Should I paint my nails? How should my hair look? I am fretting over the little things like tomorrow’s the first day of school. No, tomorrow’s time for another maintenance ECT, 35th ECT treatment to be exact. All I need to remember to do tomorrow morning is to keep my stomach empty and wear a short-sleeved shirt. But tonight I’m busy doing nothing—of picking out a shirt that’s going to be covered with a hospital gown, of making my hair smell good that will get funny with the gel they use for the treatment, of doing things that doesn’t really matter. I really should be reading for my classes, but I’m watching football. Well, kind of. I’m barely able to concentrate on that.
I think I’m doing all these ‘unimportant’ things to quell the actual nervousness I feel for tomorrow’s treatment. Underneath my actions of seeming like ECT’s just another routine thing to do on the planner, there’s a sense of anxiety that’s probably been on my mind for a while. And it’s hard to write out what I’m really thinking because to be honest, I’m not quite sure what I’m so nervous about.
I know the routine of this treatment so well now. I know the sounds, the sights, the smells…I have done this, a lot. But nothing in life has absolute clarity and results. And maybe the ambiguity that is left after I take away what I know about what’ll happen tomorrow is still causing me to feel uneasy. I really want to explain this state of mind, but tonight I just can’t do it, at least not in a way that’s is an accurate reflection. Maybe tomorrow will give me some clarity enough to be able to recall tonight’s thoughts?
I popped a zolpidem (ambien), just wanting for this day and my mind to stop, even though I did have some good things happen during the day (I got to go to a wonderful brunch with some friends). While I’m waiting for my mind to be filled with fog, I think to myself, maybe it’s a good thing to still be nervous about having ECT treatment, that I haven’t just resigned my body and mind over to this procedure. Really, it’s a sign that my mind is actively working.