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Madison Center

It’s taken me over a year to write this, but I finally felt I could.

Madison Center

I know what it’s like to go to Madison Center.

I know what it’s like to force yourself to throw up 20 to 30 pills you have swallowed in short succession. I know how it feels to be in a drug induced coma, to lose your ability to open your eyes. I know the difference between “voluntary” and “committed.” I know how valuable exercise time is. The freedom you feel in that large gymnasium, shooting hoops, and I know how short that time really is. I know of locked doors and of standing in a straight single file line.

I know of blue walls and the premade meals that always tasted like the salt and pepper you would put on it. I know why Jeremy had doubles, twice as much food as the rest of us. He got doubles so he could give some of his away to the rest of us, to create friendships and bonds. To make you want to be in his favor. I know why he always wore gowns, long and white, like an angel. He was abandoned there, with nothing to claim his own. No one came for Jeremy. I know why he had scars on his arms, and bags under his eyes. .

I know Stephen had Asperser’s, but everyone else just thought he was weird.

I know of bunks and “lights out.” I know Scott wanted to talk all night, and wouldn’t let me sleep. Scott had abusive parents; his stories made me love mine even more. I couldn’t sleep, even after he stopped talking. I know what it’s like to stay awake for hours, edging closer to crying, but still too scared to release tears.

I know Cindy was here for the same reason as I was. Cindy desperately wanted to give me a hug when I left, but unfortunately wasn’t allowed to touch another patient.

I know how wonderful freedom is, and how desirous slavery can be. To never have to make a decision, to have zero stress. I know living is better than dying, but that doesn’t destroy the temptation.


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