MUSHROOM m i n d

By Steph Raymond All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Poetry

f o g


f o g

hovers heavily around me.

I cannot breathe here.

I cannot be here.


Gemma stared at the number on the scale, completely dumbfounded.

Her doctor looked at her carefully, reading her like a book.

“Does this number surprise you?”

He could not hide the concern in his eyes.

You see, he was one of those rare doctors who dedicated himself to people,

with a genuine passion to help and heal.

He had been her doctor her entire life and was favoured by her family and anyone who knew him.

He had a way of giving joy and garnishing those in his company with metaphorical flowers.

It was the reason she never bothered to get a new doctor in the city...she preferred to travel four hours back to her home town if she needed to. Not to mention sharing her history and starting over with a stranger was a concept that was completely terrifying to her.

She didn’t take her eyes off of the number.


She said, feeling both ashamed and stupid

for not having noticed.


“That’s nearly twenty pounds less from the last time I saw you.”

His eyes began to water,

“Let’s go talk.”

She followed him as he led her into one of the empty examination rooms. She sat in a chair and he sat across from her, leaning forward.

“Okay sweetie,

let’s start with why you came here.”

She took a deep breath and tried to hold back her tears.

Words were pushing forward to spill from her mouth but somehow became too muddled and

d i s a r r a y e d

in their own panic to escape.

This was why talking about it was so difficult.

“I’ve been having a hard time again...”

She started,

“I just feel like I keep sinking,

and it’s so hard to keep track of everything

because when I feel good,

I am so happy and it feels as though things have always been this great

and will always be..

.and then, when I start getting low again,

it feels like things have always been this bad and will always be.

And my anxiety is keeping me awake,

I can’t eat...I feel out of control..

.almost manic.”

He took a deep breath,

“I don’t think you mean that word.”

He said, eyes sad,

“I need to ask you something serious

and I need you to be honest with me,

no matter how difficult it is,

are you having thoughts of suicide?”

She looked at him for only a moment before nodding her head and letting the

t e a r s f a l l .

“How often?”

He asked.

“Sometimes every day,

sometimes not for a week,

but it always comes back to that.

I never make a plan,

It’s always spontaneous, when I’m


Especially when I feel...

out of control...or I don’t know...”

She admitted, trying not to choke on her words. She had never said it out loud before.

“I see.” He said,

“And can I ask how you are doing?

Are you working, seeing anyone?

Describe to me your eating and exercise habits.”

“I’m only working part time at a gas station right now.

I’m still looking for something full time in my field in the meantime.

I think I spoke to you last time

about leaving the toxic relationship I was in,

I’m very happy now with the person I am with.”

She fiddled with her own hands and began scratching her left arm,

“but my eating habits are not good.

I feel sick every time I eat so I don’t do it much.

And I bike an hour a day to work and go on lots of walks.”


He said sitting upright in his chair,

“Keep up the activity, and as for your eating,

well, hopefully we can get you started on some medication

that will help regulate the depression and anxiety

so that you can eat again.”

She felt nervous,

“The medications we tried before

always made everything worse

I’m scared to go back on again.”

“Well, I think we’ve got a better handle on your state,

it sounds to me like it’s mostly anxiety

and the depression is a side effect from that.

There is a newer medication called Effexor

which hasn’t much information yet,

but it’s to help with your panic attacks and depression.

I will need to see you again, to see if we need to adjust the dosage.”

He prints out a prescription and hands it to her before taking her in for a hug.

“We will figure this out Gemma.

You are too lovely to be so sad.

And My goodness, only twenty-three years old,

the world is beautiful and it is yours.”

She listened to his words,

but no matter how badly she wished she could

b e l i e v e


the opposite had never seemed more true.

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