I should go back to Sheppard Pratt. I realize that at this point. But I’m fighting it.
See, I went to a caucus today. Not my town’s–I was just helping out at this one, compiling slates, getting petition signatures, bossing volunteers around (erm, organizing volunteers). For six hours, I was important and competent. I was NEEDED. I was meeting delegates and calling in numbers and making important decisions that actually affect this campaign. I felt good. (Admittedly, the oxycodone probably helped with that. I’m much happier when I’m on opiates, although somewhat stupider.)
If I go back to Sheppard Pratt, I lose out on that. First, I’ll have to lie to my RFD (regional field director), probably tell him I’m going out of state to get surgery for my UC or something. I hate lying, especially since I work for a candidate who’s strong on reducing stigma and increasing access to mental health care, but I will lie. I’m just too afraid it’ll come back to bite me in the butt someday if I’m honest about it.
And once I’m at Sheppard Pratt, I’ll be cut off completely. No computer, no cell phone, no radio. There’s a TV, but you’re not allowed to watch news. There are three phones for 22 patients, and the hours you can use them are very limited. I won’t be able to organize caucuses or phone banks or house parties. Hell, the last time I was there, i got “redirected” just for using Obama’s name because you’re not allowed to discuss politics. I won’t be allowed to go outside. I won’t even be allowed to use the bathroom without someone coming in to check. I understand the reason for all the restrictions, but they make me feel like less than a person. I lose almost all agency in my life. Not forever, but it feels like forever when you’re 500 miles from home, all alone and isolated.
The two things that have kept me hanging on through these last couple weeks are my sister’s wedding and this campaign. What if I go to Sheppard Pratt and lose the things that I’m still hanging onto? What if it makes me more hopeless?