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Memories of a Call Room

I stepped back into the same call room I stayed in months ago.  It’s the best room out of all of them because it has a private bathroom.  I wanted it, so I heading there right after rounds hoping that no one else had claimed it.

I got it.

I unpacked my bag and placed my things on the desk.  This same desk I sat at months ago and meticulously assembled a beautiful gift for a beautiful friend. Well, she was a beautiful friend. Each and every time I looked at that desk throughout the night, I remembered the time I spent sitting there, expending thought, creativity, and energy on someone who – dare I say it – didn’t deserve it.

I laid down on the bed and thought about the last night I slept in that bed: I was anxious about my friend her because I knew something wasn’t right.  I was so anxious I was almost sick.  I remember leaving the bathroom light on (in that private bathroom I so coveted) for comfort as I waited for my anti-emetics to start working.

There wasn’t much else in the room to give me distraction from the memories.  And so, I took them in.  I breathed the discomfort and the sorrow into my lungs – because there was no where else for it to go.  I could have run away… picked another call room… refused to face the emotions that were waiting for me in that small little call room.

I held onto my breath for as long as I could.  I held onto the anger, the sadness, the pity, the injustice, the questions… everything about my life in that moment.  And then I just let it out.  Smoothly, I imagined my exhalation diffusing through the room; the air, now devoid of everything that was left behind, inside of me.  With every breath, the horror of the room dilutes a little bit more.  The memories, and everything that goes along with them, being filtered and processed by my very own body.

Every breath was deeper than the last.  Every breath was held for just a second longer.  Every exhalation, a sign of exhaust from a process that no on ever wants to do.

I’ll never know what happened.
What she did to me wasn’t fair.
How can she feel good about everything that happened?
I’m not the only one.
Friendships fail all the time.
Others might never get their answers either.

In the dimly lit call room, I resisted the urge to drown in the sorrows of everything left behind.  I took the advice, and Leaned into the Discomfort. I did it for myself: to move forward, to grow, and to be a stronger person tomorrow.  I did it because not everyone else can do it for themselves.  With just my breath, I felt the pain of a thousand other shattered friendships and broken memories and failed dreams of happiness.

The air will only be clearer the next time I step into that room.  Six more days/nights of call on this service and every one will only be easier.  (And If I’m being honest, a private bathroom on call is certainly worth more than letting her memory get the best of me…)

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