Beyond Downward Spiral: The Diary of Syal Antilles - 2011 Dear Diary Challenge - Complete 12/31

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Lane_Winree, Jan 15, 2011.

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  1. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    HI, LANE!!! [:D]

    I've missed you and reading your stories every day.


    Gee, Syal is having a bad day. :( Was that a full blown anxiety attack?

    Still, she's probably right in worrying about her career, I don't see Starfighter Command giving her her old job back. But I'm sure there are alternatives.


    Great update, Lane! Glad you're back.
  2. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

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    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 4
    I was fine. Just fine. Right up until lunch

    This sentence and post pretty much summed up my Monday. Long story short, I was having a great day until I had a panic attack and it took me hours to recover from it. I can totally relate to Syal, it isn't even funny.

    Amazing job.
  3. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    :_| !!! Wow!!! :eek:

    Sounds like her normal worries and grieving, and questioning, which is normal, is magnified 10,000 times [face_thinking] and it's made worse when you feel trapped literally with no way out and back to the way things were, the way you want them, or even a next best alternative -- like at least I'm still connecting somehow to piloting. But Syal no more would suit to being a paper jockey than her dad ever did. ;)

    I think also being unable to have a sane talk with Lahani didn't help. It just made the vicious circle even more vicious.

    This update really elucidates the emotional facets of the title. =D=

  4. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Glad to see your diary back.

    Syal is in big trouble writing all of that. She is really in a downward spiral now
  5. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    The entire post shows just how bad her state of mind is :(


    I swallowed my pride and asked one of the nurses if they had seen her because, quite honestly, lunch with Lahani had become a very important part of my daily routine. She's a touchstone of sorts, a merciful voice that talks to me like I'm not crazy. Someone I can have a normal conversation with.

    That makes sense. It's one of the few stable things at the facility that Syal can hold on to.


    The more I turned this horrible realization over in my mind, the tighter my chest got. I was never going to fly again, to do the one thing in life that I was genuinely good at.

    Oh no. Poor, poor Syal. I think that she'll be able to get back. Not immediately, but she'll have chances to prove she's mentally okay. As long as she doesn't have these panic attacks [face_plain]


    I feel so bad for her :(


    Please add me to the PM list! :D
  6. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Terrible panic attack--poor Syal. It had to happen sometime. I hope someone walks her through it and that Lahani comes back soon. Sad update... I hope she's wrong about flying again.
  7. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Getting back right with the angst, of course. :p


    I was fine. Just fine. Right up until lunch.

    Fine. You keep using that word. It doesn't mean what you think it means!

    Sleep. That would be nice. I haven't gotten much of that lately.

    No, really? That's shocking.

    At the very least, it's a crime against gastrointestinal functions.

    And even in the midst of depression you're still snarking.

    I'm getting scared.

    Starting to realize that you're not fine, Syal?

    spent another hour idly surfing the holonet terminal next to my bed for some kind of distraction

    I bet they block all the good sites, like the porn.

    No CO would ever take the risk on someone who has a big flag in their file

    Actually, I do know one CO who did just that. Just saying. :cough: Kell :cough: Myn

    The point of no return had passed and that means I'm never going to fly for the military again.

    Well, maybe you can fly for a public company? It won't be the same but it would be something, right? But something tells me that Syal isn't being optimistic right now. I think she needs a visit from Uncle Wes.

    How did I get here?

    You tried to kill yourself.

    I let my family convince me there was something wrong.

    I repeat: you tried to kill yourself.

    It feels like I've got no control over my emotions right now.

    You don't. Because you tried to kill yourself.

    What the hell is wrong with me?

    You might want to start with the trying to kill yourself bit.


    (And now you know why Nanci never went into psychology. I'd be the least understanding therapist ever.)


    Wonderful update, Lane.
  8. FelsGoddess Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2004
    star 5
    It sounds like Syal is getting closer to facing the reality of the situation. Her mind seems rather adamant that she needs to wake up. Moving and powerful entry. =D=
  9. alhana_antilles Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 3
    Poor Syal, she's in such a dark and crappy place emotionally right now. I guess she'll have to hit rock bottom again before she realizes working with the doctors will get her what she wants.

    Nicely done, Lane!
  10. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Hazel

    I've missed you and reading your stories every day.

    I've missed posting them! Good news is I'm well on the way to having my next longfic outlined. Few more months and I'll be posting regularly again!

    Was that a full blown anxiety attack?

    Afraid it was :(

    Still, she's probably right in worrying about her career, I don't see Starfighter Command giving her her old job back. But I'm sure there are alternatives.

    Whatever it is, hopefully she won't give up without a fight.

    Briannakin

    This sentence and post pretty much summed up my Monday. Long story short, I was having a great day until I had a panic attack and it took me hours to recover from it. I can totally relate to Syal, it isn't even funny.

    You can pretty much sub Syal's name for mine and get the gist of the anxiety attacks I've gone through. Never any fun :(

    Jade_eyes

    Sounds like her normal worries and grieving, and questioning, which is normal, is magnified 10,000 times

    Such is the peril of a panic attack. Everything gets magnified

    I think also being unable to have a sane talk with Lahani didn't help. It just made the vicious circle even more vicious.

    Syal's been using conversation as a method of avoidance. Without it, she gets locked in these anxiety spirals.

    This update really elucidates the emotional facets of the title.

    I said at the head there would be some uncomfortable moments. This was definitely one of them :(

    earlybird - She's not going to be able to deny her issues much longer, I'm thinking

    SWpants666

    That makes sense. It's one of the few stable things at the facility that Syal can hold on to.

    And when she can't ground herself to that, things get bad

    Oh no. Poor, poor Syal. I think that she'll be able to get back. Not immediately, but she'll have chances to prove she's mentally okay. As long as she doesn't have these panic attacks

    She's got to learn to cope with them first, but in order to get there she's got to be open to treatment :(

    Luna_Nightshade

    It had to happen sometime. I hope someone walks her through it and that Lahani comes back soon. Sad update... I hope she's wrong about flying again.

    Syal's been on the edge of a breakdown for a while and this seems to be the first sign that she's heading towards a bad place. Realizing that her career is in serious jeopardy is not sitting well with her :(

    Nanci

    Fine. You keep using that word. It doesn't mean what you think it means!

    A deluded fool, Syal is :p

    And even in the midst of depression you're still snarking.

    Deadpan Snarker: Syal Antilles

    Starting to realize that you're not fine, Syal?

    Perhaps, but she'll never admit it.

    I bet they block all the good sites, like the porn.

    But what's the holonet without porn!?

    Actually, I do know one CO who did just that. Just saying. :cough: Kell :cough: Myn

    Might be time for a sit-down with your father, hon.

    Well, maybe you can fly for a public company? It won't be the same but it would be something, right? But something tells me that Syal isn't being optimistic right now. I think she needs a visit from Uncle Wes.

    Uncle Wes or BFF Jamee. Or both!

    You tried to kill yourself.

    And she's gotten quite good at repressing that memory.

    (And now you know why Nanci never went into psychology. I'd be the least understanding therapist ever.)

    Oh lordy, me too!

    Fels - It's starting to dawn on her, yes. Whether she takes that as a cue is another matter :(

    alhana

    I guess she'll have to hit rock bottom again before she realizes working with the doctors will get her what she wants.

    Having been there myself, sometimes hitting rock bottom is the only way you get better. Syal isn't far from there.

    By the way, I did see your review in Rogue Diplomacy. Glad you enjoyed it!


    Thanks for reading all! New post below

    If you would like to be added to the PM list, please let me know!

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  11. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    She's got to learn to cope with them first, but in order to get there she's got to be open to treatment

    Very true. :(


    Um...the update isn't showing up unless my computer's acting wonky.
  12. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    :confused: I'm not finding it either [face_thinking]

  13. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Gah. Sorry guys, my text editor ate the update. Let's try that again.

    ~*~

    Log entry: 10

    I don't know what's wrong with Lahani.

    I barely see her anymore. The few times I spot her when I slip out for meals, she doesn't seem all that interested in talking. I'll try to strike up conversation, but it feels like her mind is off in some other distant part of the Galaxy. Granted, some days she's plenty sociable. Most days, now? Not nearly as much. I don't really know what happened, but now I'm back to having no one to converse with but a second-rate therapist and a datapad.

    There's probably no one to blame but myself. I haven't exactly been the most engaging person to be with lately. Mom used to get on my case when I was growing up whenever I was in a foul mood, saying I let it affect everyone around me. I don't know if that's fair, I try to keep my problems to myself. Therapist says something about "projecting." I know what I'd like to project at him, the image of me showing off a rather unflattering hand gesture. Unfortunately if I did that, he'd launch into a thirty minute session to psychoanalyze my aggression issues. Give me five minutes, a boot, and his rear end and I'll show him what kind of "aggression issues" I have.

    Maybe people can just tell when I'm in a bad mood. If that's the case, I don't really blame Lahani for being so distant. If the amount I'm supposedly projecting is directly proportional to my disdain of this place, I probably am coming off like Ysanne Isard. All I need now is my own Super Star Destroyer and a diagnosis of being a sociopath. Sithspit. This is what happens when I don't have some sort of grounding social interaction, my mind starts going strange places. At least for a while I had Lahani around to talk about anything other than this damn hospital. Now I'm right back at square one. Bitter, angry, and wondering when they're going to let me out of here.

    Maybe I should just go talk to her and try to explain myself. The thought of that is rather unnerving, though. I'm not good about explaining thoughts, feelings, and all that touchy-feely garbage. Well, I should just suck it up and try and hash things out with her. I've had way too much alone time lately and if I can't get her to talk to me again, I'm going to have to comm Myri and beg her to buy me a new novel to read. Again. She's getting pretty tired of tending to my entertainment needs.

    You know what, if I don't get this over with now I'm never going to. Will finish this entry later.

    Log entry closed 1340 hours

    ~*~

    Log entry opened for editing 2210 hours

    Well ... so much for finding Lahani.

    I went by her room to try and talk to her, but I was greeted by several members of the hospital staff removing her belongings from it. After a few minutes to try and get over the shock of it all, I tried to wrestle some answers out of them. All I got in return was a vague "she's no longer with us" in response. Would it kill these people to be a little more upfront with me? Obviously I'm not going to leave it at that.

    Somewhere, there's a doctor reading this that is about to have a heart-attack. Really, you people should know better than to use only a double-redundant lock system to keep people out of your medical records room. I was through that thing in two minutes. Consider this a pro-bono security consult. Okay, maybe I'm also documenting this just to get a rise out of the staff here. That's what you get for feeding us what I'm pretty sure are rations left over from the Clone Wars.

    Also, you might want to beef up your terminal security. Took me about thirty seconds to get in and I've only got limited terminal slicing experience. Just a search through the files, find Lahani's record, and upload it to my datapad. Now to sneak back to my room before someone spots me. Not that I'm expecting them to, the staff here isn't the most effective out there.

    Log entry closed 2215 hours

    ~*~

    Log entry opened for editing 0215 hours

    Sometimes, you get far, far more than you bargain for.

    I've been sittin
  14. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    I barely see her anymore. The few times I spot her when I slip out for meals, she doesn't seem all that interested in talking.

    :( I hope that she's okay. I really hope she's okay and not just...avoiding Syal.


    I try to keep my problems to myself. Therapist says something about "projecting."

    Yup. And because she doesn't share the pain, it leaks through her more.


    I went by her room to try and talk to her, but I was greeted by several members of the hospital staff removing her belongings from it. After a few minutes to try and get over the shock of it all, I tried to wrestle some answers out of them. All I got in return was a vague "she's no longer with us" in response.

    Sithspawn. She killed herself, didn't she?:_|


    Also, you might want to beef up your terminal security. Took me about thirty seconds to get

    [face_laugh] oh man I bet they are freaking out reading that.
    How dare you make me laugh after being sad. Hmph.


    I've been sitting here, staring at this medical record for nearly four hours. It's the middle of the night, I should be asleep, but there's no way that's happening. Not when it's taking everything I have to keep from throwing up

    :_|:_|
    I don't blame her.
    Lahani! :(



    Why didn't I see this?

    She was very good at hiding it :(
  15. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    Sorry guys, my text editor ate the update.

    Did you remember to feed it earlier? :p

    *

    Mom used to get on my case when I was growing up whenever I was in a foul mood, saying I let it affect everyone around me.

    My Mom still tels me that :rolleyes:.


    Give me five minutes, a boot, and his rear end and I'll show him what kind of "aggression issues" I have.

    Not a good idea, Syal.


    *

    All I got in return was a vague "she's no longer with us" in response.


    :( Oh, no!


    :_|

    Why didn't I see this? I talked with her more than anyone else here and absolutely nothing was off. There were no tells. She didn't look like so many of the others here who are clearly troubled and ill. Lahani seemed like a well-adjusted person who somehow found herself in this bizarre situation. She appeared to be just like me.

    Just like me.


    Talk about a wake up call. I hope Syal sees it that way.
  16. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Yes and I hope Syal doesn't copy what she has seen.
  17. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Wow Lane! :eek: :eek: !!!!

    That was a shock both personally "Why couldn't I tell? Why wasn't I able to get her confidences?" and also a whammy for her own self: "If Lahani seemed so normal but wasn't, then what am I?"

    Great reflections at the start about moods and projecting =D=

  18. alhana_antilles Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 3
    Why didn't I see this? I talked with her more than anyone else here and absolutely nothing was off. There were no tells. She didn't look like so many of the others here who are clearly troubled and ill. Lahani seemed like a well-adjusted person who somehow found herself in this bizarre situation. She appeared to be just like me.

    Wonderful piece of introspection because it is very true. Just because someone seems fine doesn't mean they are. In fact, suicidal people often appear 'happy' because they've come up with a 'solution' to their problems. Psychologically this is very on.

    Just like me.

    Yes, Syal. Just like you.

    Oh, could I be added to the PM list too? Thanks.
  19. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 4
    No![face_Cry]

    And that is all I have to say about that.
  20. FelsGoddess Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2004
    star 5
    Love how she throws their hospital's crappy security in their face. [face_laugh]

    Just like me.
    Very telling. Talk about a double smack in the face.

    Great entry!
  21. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Poor Syal, losing her friend like that. It could make her feel worse about things, or it could help her break out of there. That's going to sting her for a long time, I think... and what a terrible way to find out. Sad, sad update.
  22. Katana_Sundancer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2009
    star 4
    I forgot to review last post! Whoopsie. I can also sympathise with panic attacks - I had many while still at high school, two of them rather public. Poor Syal.

    Oh no. The moment I read 'she's no longer with us', I knew. Oh Lahani. Oh Syal.

    Very emotional update, Lane. Bravo.
  23. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
  24. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    SWpants666

    Yup. And because she doesn't share the pain, it leaks through her more.

    Syal, at times, wears her emotions on her sleeve

    oh man I bet they are freaking out reading that.
    How dare you make me laugh after being sad. Hmph.


    I live to put my readers through the emotional spin cycle :D

    She was very good at hiding it

    Many people with depression are. It's a coping mechanism they pick up to avoid attention.

    Lahani!

    Syal didn't see it coming :(

    Hazel

    My Mom still tels me that

    As does mine :p

    Talk about a wake up call. I hope Syal sees it that way.

    Will she, though? We'll find out soon. :(

    earlybird - Hopefully she does the right thing, here.

    Jade_eyes

    That was a shock both personally "Why couldn't I tell? Why wasn't I able to get her confidences?" and also a whammy for her own self: "If Lahani seemed so normal but wasn't, then what am I?"

    It's definitely a bit of forced introspection on Syal's part. This whole incident sort of held the mirror up to her.

    alhana_antilles

    Just because someone seems fine doesn't mean they are. In fact, suicidal people often appear 'happy' because they've come up with a 'solution' to their problems. Psychologically this is very on.

    Like I've mentioned before, it's definitely a coping mechanism and it's really easy to miss signs that there is something very, very wrong.

    Yes, Syal. Just like you.

    Now the question is this: what are you going to do with this realization?

    Briannakin - One of the more unfortunate entries so far :(

    Fels

    Love how she throws their hospital's crappy security in their face.

    She's an Antilles at heart :D

    Luna

    Poor Syal, losing her friend like that. It could make her feel worse about things, or it could help her break out of there.

    There are a few ways Syal can go with this. Question is, does she let this serve as a wakeup call or not?

    Kat

    I can also sympathise with panic attacks - I had many while still at high school, two of them rather public.

    I've had more than my fair share of them. You never expect them, they just happen :(

    Oh no. The moment I read 'she's no longer with us', I knew. Oh Lahani. Oh Syal.

    And once more, Syal's alone again in that hospital :(




    Thanks for reading all, and apologies for the delays in updates. I've got one post right below this one and another one coming later this week.

    In addition to the usual mid-year diary slump that so many people in this contest usual go through, I've also got to contend with writing such a dark subject matter. It's a personal thing, and sometimes it goes from being cathartic to being really difficult. I'll try to keep a more consistent update schedule moving forward :)


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  25. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Log entry: 11

    I haven't written in this thing in two weeks.

    I've been blowing off my sit-downs with doctors, only leave my room to eat. I think the staff has given up on checking on me. I get a courtesy visit in the morning to make sure I'm still alive, but beyond that they're finally giving me my space. I mean, they're still peering in through the door every fifteen minutes but they're not belligerent anymore. They won't bother me so long as I'm eating and sleeping regularly. Haven't been doing too much of the former, but I've been doing plenty of the latter.

    This hospital is destroying me. I actively dread looking in the mirror. Despite getting around fifteen hours of sleep a day (what else is there to do), it looks like I haven't slept in weeks. I know I should get outside and at least run on the track for a few minutes every day, but I just can't find it in me to do ... well, anything. My routine used to be meeting Lahani for meals, downing some food, and heading out onto the running track with her and talking while we worked in a few kilometers. The thought of doing any sort of running out there now just seems ...

    I'm not really sure how to describe it. Wrong? Empty? All I know is I don't want to.

    It's as simple as that, really. I'm just finished. I'm tired of clinging to some false hope that I'll get out of here and everything will be normal again. At this point I'm going to be lucky to land a job pushing stacks of flimsi for some out-of-touch Starfighter Command executive. The only flying I'll be doing will be in simulators or, if I'm lucky, cargo hauling in some run-down, oversized freighter. Chances are I won't even be able to get that kind of clearance. They day I do get out, it's civilian life for me. Hope someone's looking for a front desk receptionist.

    You know what? I'm just tired. Physically and mentally drained. This place has some uncanny ability to suck the lifeforce out of you and I just want out. Every interaction with every person here just makes it worse. Hence holing myself up in my room. Hence avoiding the doctors and the wait staff. Hence avoiding writing in this Force forsaken journal. So why am I writing right now? Simple. Someone's making me.

    About twenty minutes ago there was a knock on the door, which is strange since the staff only summons me for meals. I ignored it, but the visitor entered anyways. She introduced herself as Doctor Anarios, the "newly assigned therapist you've been blowing off for the last two weeks." Well, you certainly know how to make a first impression, doc. Okay, in fairness, her appearance alone would have made an adequate first-impression all by itself. She wasn't dressed in the usual therapist attire (you know exactly what I'm talking about, drab civilian wardrobe that most people wouldn't be caught dead in). No, she actually showed up wearing a military day uniform and Major rank pips.

    Let me make sure that was clear. Doctor Anarios was wearing a military day uniform and rank insignia.

    Before I could ask for clarification, she made it quite clear that she was a commissioned officer in the Galactic Alliance Armed Services and had been a psychotherapist assigned to carrier ships during both the Vong war and second Galactic Civil War. Furthermore, she made it a point to state that she outranked me (two months ago that wouldn't have been true, but I'm not delving into that subject). I may have tuned out while she swamped me in her credentials, but I do remember her saying "I was tending to patients while you were still learning how to walk."

    As amusing as all of this was (read: not very), I told the good doctor that I really wasn't in the mood for social calls right now. Her response? Something along these lines:

    "I believe you have severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. If you have any interest at all in getting better, you will be best served by listening to me and getting it through that thick Corellian skull of yours that I'm trying to help you."

    What a load of bantha poodoo.

    At this point, I really was
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