I am jealous.
Jealous of the people that I see from my un-openable, bullet-proof glass window, as they laugh and joke on the street before and after work.
Jealous of the people I can hear on the other side of the fence as I meander around the patient park during one of our fresh air breaks outside; I can hear them playing with their dogs, leading children, calling names.
I am jealous of my peers who have earned the privilege to walk in and out of the locked doors, as they go out on passes and adventures into the city, and (more often) spend their allotted 90-minutes-at-a-time exploring and enjoying the several-mile radius around the neighborhood that they are permitted to wander at will.
I am jealous of the staff- morning and night- as they greet the day, and then say good night hours later.
I'm jealous of everyone out there who can eat meals, think about food, view their bodies, and live their lives in a completely healthy, un-obsessive, non-eating-disordered way.
I am seething with jealousy.
The more time I spend here the more I see how much my life, my way of thinking, and my ideas have been tainted by this disorder. I can see all of the emotions and problems that I've spent years internalizing and running from, avoiding, cowering in fear from, suppressing. And how all of the anxieties and stress, all the things I've taught myself are wrong or frightening or bad, are now coming back to haunt me, trying to find release and reprieve through behaviors and dysfunctional thoughts.
There is so much to sift through here.
But at the end of the day, one of the most predominant emotions I am left with is jealousy.
Believe you me when I say that I will never take things like going out of doors at will, using razors, electronics, the bathroom, how, when, and where I want (for the latter it's only an issue of not being allowed to use it for an hour after each meal or snack). Fresh air has become a blessing here that can only be got four times a day-if you're lucky- when you're on a lower level.
However, I am somewhat delighted to say that I've been doing well, and as of tomorrow I should probably be on level Four-B. That means I'm allowed to sign out and wander around the building, without staff supervision, for a set amount of time. It's the second-to-last level, and I'm looking forward to achieving the privilege to be outside of the general unit, and able to find a quiet spot away from everyone and everything.
I already have my eye on a spot by the window in the main lobby: it has a long series of windows that overlook the Hudson River, and there is a small sort of cafe/coffee shop that sells basic coffees, pastries, and-most importantly- tea.
Of course, the real goal is level Four-A. That's when you're allowed to take passes out into the city when you want, take your laptop and/or cellphone, or take passes out for most of the day and eat out, explore around. I've had several outings around the city (one of the them being on the way to a research PET scan AKA two-hour nap in a machine that scans my brain), but to do so without general staff restrictions and by myself!
The Gypsy: taking NYC by storm!
Believe me: you'd want it too.
Especially considering how marvelous this city is. I'm absolutely in love with everything about it; and this being said by someone who's living in a grungier part, and has only been up the glorified Madison Avenue once in passing (and was rather unimpressed by all of the Gucci/Prada stuff. I really want to adventure into SOHO, and spend afternoons in the NYC library and Central Park).
I say all of this, though, for lack of a better topic. I feel rather crummy about my lack of blogging, but things have been so imbalanced here, and I only now feel as if I'm beginning to get into the real rhythm of how things go. I had so many research projects last week alone that I thought I was going to have to be moved to the real psyche ward on the floor below ours!
But improving I am, jealousy and all, and I'm slowly getting a grip on things and how to deal with them.
As mentioned above, I am doing well enough (by the grace of God alone!) to be allowed to wander around the building, but I'm truly looking forward to the day I get to eat out -a true challenge- and be by myself in this dirty, fantastic city. I'm also looking to taking said laptop and maybe organizing a Skype date with my mum eventually: phone conversations and emails are nice enough as it is, but there's nothing to compare to actual face time, especially when my face has been changing.
Please forgive me for my spotty posting, but thanks to all of you who still check in to see if I'm writing at all, and especial thanks to all of those who are praying for me (and sending me letters! I love love love getting the mail you send)!! Please know that I am staying updated on all of your blogs as well, lack-of-comments aside.