a burgundy zine

Electroconvulsive Treatment Experience by Fishspit

ECT

Source: The Burgundy Zine

Fishspit shares his experience with electroconvulsive therapy in an excerpt from his piece, “My Electro-Convulsive Treatment Experience.”

The people that were in the cubicles . . . all around me . . . how can I put it gently . . . ah hell . . . let’s just say it . . . they were fucked up man . . . over the rainbow . . . toodly whooped . . . deranged . . . damaged . . . or just plain worn out.  The last house on the block.  I watched . . . I listened . . . and I thought, “Holy cats!  Am I that fucked up?  Do I look like them?”  Befuddled. . . mixed up 

. . . nobody home . . . can’t make friends with the brain.  Shock!  Shock!  Let’s shock ‘em back into shape!  Get rolling!  Keep them doggies moving!  Rolling!  Rolling!  Rolling!  The shock mill.  They were sizing up our situation . . . asking the necessary questions.  They were nice nurses . . . a lot of compassion.  One of them put her hand on my shoulder as they put the electrodes on that first time . . . it’s a strange thing

. . . all so strange.  Pardon me dear reader if I bounce around like a ping pong ball . . . it’s part of the program right now . . . a side effect . . . being flumdiddled.  “It’ll go away,” they say.  I don’t care if it doesn’t . . . I’ll be a spazz!  . . . just get that fucking beast depression out of my soul!  Shock the shit out of it!  Zip!  Zip zoom! Zap!  Give it to me!  Double doses!  No . . . hell!  Quadruple doses . . . make me a dingus!  Destroy my reason! I want to play again!  Shock!  Zip!  Whammo!  When you come out of it . . . Oh god!  The first time . . . a terrifying vision!  I can’t remember the details . . . I don’t want to . . . I just remember the fear . . . I weighed it in the balance . . . do I want to experience that again?  I decided it was worth it . . . but what a bitch!  Misery upon misery!  “Would I do it again?”  I decided, “Yes!”  But why so much misery?  

 The second time?  It was worse.  I couldn’t breathe . . . I was conscious . . . I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t speak.  It’s hard to remember details . . . I was shocked you know.  Most people have no memory of the whole process . . . this would become true of me . . . but this time . . . Jesus . . . I could hear them talk . . . their laughter . . . but I couldn’t move . . . I couldn’t speak . . . it’s hard to remember it all.  I’m digging deeply here for you dear reader . . . visiting memories I’d rather forget . . . for you!  The anesthesia . . . the shock.  Most people have no memory of the whole process . . . I did.  I was awake.  That first time . . . that terrible vision . . . told you that . . . my passion for repeating myself. . . can’t remember the vision 

. . . only the fear . . . I tried to hold on to it . . . the vision . . . not the fear . . . fuck that kind of fear!  But I couldn’t.  After the treatment you are totally . . . what?  Whammo!  A dead donkey has more sense than a person coming out of the induced seizure.  That’s what they do . . . induce a seizure.  Crazy!  I take an anti-seizure med . . . but no I don’t!  They told me to nix that baby . . . it’d fuck with their little seizure.

 I don’t ask questions.  No . . . I’m beyond all that.  I don’t give a good goddamned anymore.  Just shut up!  Shock me!  Let me become a human again. I haven’t been a human for so long . . . I jabbering idiot?  Yes!  Yes indeed.  I’ve stumbled through somehow . . . ended up on that table.  Table?  It’s not really dear reader . . . added that for effect . . . drama . . . a slab of meat . . . on the table . . . wicked scientists 

. . . no!  They show the utmost compassion.  It’s soft . . . my little table . . . plenty of cushion . . . don’t you worry my peruser.   The machinery . . . high tech!  Beeps . . . boops . . . tweets . . . twinks . . . all sorts of beeps going on . . . no use trying to separate them out.  

My anesthesiologist (hey she’s kinda cute!) gives me her routine, “Yeah, yeah . . . don’t care . . . put me to sleep baby.  If I don’t wake up . . . well . . . it was a rough life.  Put me to sleep!  Shock me!  Whammo!  Zip! Zip!  I want to be normal . . . I want that.” 

I’m going to bounce around on you again . . . my ping pong writing . . . but . . . oh yes . . . this was a wonderful thing . . . after the second treatment . . . I had gone home and was sitting on the couch watching my dear, old cat try to play . . . but . . . the little angel has got some arthritis . . . 19 years old!  She’s still a kitten at heart.  Yes . . . but those back legs . . . especially them.  Oh but woe!  My reader!  Left you with the cat . . . Pip is her name . . . I hope you gave her a few pets . . . she’s precious, but we must get back . . . yes . . .

my moment . . . it only lasted for . . . well . . . I’d say a half an hour.  I sat on the couch . . . like I told you . . . looking at my cat . . . I realized . . . there was no depression!  Absolutely none.  I have depression on me at all times . . . unless I drink liquor or take drugs, and I have . . . enormous quantities . . . stifling the blues . . . to make a long story short, I ended up homeless . . . sitting on a bench . . . with my cat . . . swilling Potters 100 proof . . . Catholic Family Services coming down to my bench once a day . . . bringing me a sandwich, and my cat a can of food.   Those days were done! 

No more liquor . . . no more drugs . . . I was left with a constant depression . . . I can feel it some as I write . . . sometimes it’s a mosquito . . . a small pestering depression . . . a tiny dark spot on the soul, but then!  Oh my!  It can become a gorilla!  Consuming me absolutely!  Then I become bed bound . . . and sometimes even have to be fed . . . by another . . . by hand . . . one spoonful of soup at a time.  I become so consumed by darkness I cannot lift my head.  I piss in the bed.  No getting up.  They roll me over and change the sheets.  It’s a hideous thing.  Oh god . . . It’s black!  But I’m losing you again . . . I can hear you, “Grow some balls!  Get out of bed!  Or if you can’t do that . . . finish the goddamned story!”  

 Oh my!  OK . . . I’ll take you back . . . I’m on the couch . . . watching my precious cat, and I realize . . . the depression is gone!  Absolutely, totally gone!  I thought, “Holy dipshits!  This is how other people feel!  This is how normal people feel.”  It was then I understood how people navigated life so easily . . . I felt like others . . . what it felt like to be a normal person.  I could do this life thing!  It was a breeze!  Feeling like that . . . the weight off the brain and the soul . . . the horrors lifted . . . I . . . I was like, “I can do this shit.  This shit’s easy!”  Man!  It blew me away!   No wonder people mortgaged their soul . . . buying these suburban homes.  No wonder they popped out babies to an overpopulated world.  That shit, I realized, is easy!  For normal people.  Oh man. . . . I could kick ass in this world . . . I was on top of it!  Ha ha . . . I’d be running this place.  God, life was easy without the black dog.  It went away though

 . . . I lost it . . . the depression returned . . . the grey and the brown sunk in . . . I sat  bewildered.  


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