ni meiyou bing (you’re not sick)
I came to UCLA with a dream that I’d be somehow new.
That the real me would just appear.
Maybe a day after moving in, my first panic attack.
I run away from the dining hall.
Between striding and rushing deep into campus,
I end up in the courtyard of the law school.
I lay down on a bench and look up into the emptiness.
I was not expecting this.
When I can breathe again I return.
People line the sides of the hallway.
The warmth of their chatter burns me.
I avoid the eyes looking up at me as I head to my dorm room.
I don’t turn on the light when I enter.
I cry until I fall asleep.
I hoped to retire this past time when I got to college.
It came with me.
Counseling and Psychological Services.
I need this.
I had a dream that I’d be someone new.
Clearly I was not.
My first session I meet with an intern.
The session is videotaped.
I should have asked for a different person.
I brought myself here but I still don’t know how to speak.
I am referred to a psychiatrist.
This is how it’s gonna be.
My voice cracks. I can’t see.
What’s wrong with me.
Depression and some post-traumatic stress.
We’ll start you on Prozac.
I don’t tell my ma or ba.
It’s near the end of my first quarter and I can’t sleep.
When I’m still my body vibrates.
I lose my appetite. Good.
I think I’m losing weight. Good.
Xianzai mama bu hui jiao wo pang.
I go to refill my prescription.
I’ve been taking the wrong dose.
I’ve been taking double the dose.
I’ve run out.
We’ll switch to Zoloft.