[Editor’s Note: The following post is a submission. If you are interested in submitting, read till the end.]
Art submitted by W.M. Andrew Turman
Bone-crushing electroshock treatment number sixty-seven
Yes, you read that right. That is the treatment number I am on as of Monday, 8 May. On Friday, I will receive number sixty-eight. I don’t have a problem with it and neither should you. It is necessary for my mental health treatment. Without the ECT, I am not functional. I was having a psychotic depression before I had the last round of treatments.
No, they do not feel good. Yes, they hurt. Yes, I get nauseous. I do not take this lightly. I have tried many things to improve my mental health, and I am not ready to take this option out of my mental health toolbox. I am an advocate of informed consent, and I am fully aware of what happens every time my brain is zapped by a large jolt of electricity. I know about pain, I know memory loss is almost inescapable. I know about nausea. But hey, fuck it, I would rather be alive. I am able to live an almost normal life because of this treatment. I can go to the grocery store and buy things. I can paint. I can do chores. I can be a full partner to my wife and a friend to those who claim me.
So, no, I do not want to outlaw this medical procedure. I think it has its purpose. When I see young adults who have intellectual disabilities get this treatment before me, yes, I do pause. However, I know that it has benefit. Those parents of people with disabilities that receive the same treatment I do must feel as if they have no other choice. I know I feel like I have no other choice. I like living, I like life. I want to be able to get along without them, but when medications no longer work, gimme the electroshock. EVERY FUCKING TIME.
I know I was suicidal. I know I lied about it. I need ECT in order to live a somewhat productive life. Fact. If my Wife must get me committed to a mental institution in order for me to receive that treatment, so be it. It is better that I live than commit suicide. She is glad she got me help. I am still alive. I might not be, had she not gotten me help. I am lucky that my psychiatrist cares enough to perform this treatment, and has the medical training to do so.
It might be bone-crunching, and feel like being hit in the head with a hammer, but I am alive. I am resilient. I am a warrior. Fuck you.
words & art by Wm. Andrew Turman
Mental Health Monday is looking for submissions to be featured throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, whether writing, art, photo, audio, video etc. Narratives and creative pieces are welcome. If you’d like to learn more, message me on Facebook or Twitter or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read Submission Guidelines Here.