This Is The One Called Sailor Moon

This is a story about Sailor Moon and the time I saw her

I’m a person of logic. Nope, don’t roll your eyes like that, it’s true. In almost every scenario I find myself in, I can be quite logical. In fact, this strong personality trait has ruined surprise birthday parties planned for me, led me to realize at a very early age that Santa didn’t exist, allows me a very high percentage of being correct on whether your relationship will work with your significant other…

But that’s another post….for another time.

This is about Sailor Moon and the time that I saw and heard her.

Illogical things truly vex me—sometimes to the point of heart palpitations. Often times that leads to people very close to me, touching me on the leg, and reassuring me that whatever current situation can’t be systematically processed or explained, will eventually work out without me intervening. Except when it comes to acts of faith…sometimes.

Why yes, I am a complicated person.

But that’s not what this is about. Focus!

This is about Sailor Moon and the time that I saw her, and heard her, and felt her.

….maybe I should back up.

Right around the summer of 1999 I developed chronic migraines. At one point they became so severe that my parents took me to the hospital. After a series of questions, and blood draws, the doctor announced that the only way to make sure I wasn’t in any immediate danger was to get an MRI.

DANITA FACT #227: I. Don’t. Do. Small. Spaces.

Logic fails me in there after an undisclosed, predetermined set of minutes.

In order to ensure that I didn’t rip the machine apart from the inside while being assessed, I was given a sedative to, “keep me calm.”

DANITA FACT #15: Certain sedatives may relax the muscles, but on the account of the ADHD, it actually revs up the mind.

After finding absolutely nothing wrong, because news flash: you can’t see chronic migraines on an MRI, the doctor shrugged his shoulders and cleared me to go home.

But I was still so very drugged because:

DANITA FACT #16: My body holds onto drugs like a newborn baby koala bear to its mama.

After my mother had a few choice words with a very flustered nurse who had asked, “Why is she still here?” I was put in a wheelchair to be taken to the car.

I heard the theme music first.

I glanced around to see what person obsessed with anime was watching Sailor Moon in their car…wait…that’s not a thing yet, it’s 1999. Was someone playing a Sailor Moon CD?

Suddenly, the music was louder and I could feel pressure right above my ribcage like someone was standing there. “What is going on?” I thought.

And then it happened.

I looked down and there she was—in her full, four-dimensional, Technicolor glory. She was executing the most beautiful series or pirouettes I had ever seen. Her long blonde pony tails whipped so close past my face I could feel the slight breeze they made. She was there; Sailor Moon was dancing on my chest to her theme music.

Only she wasn’t….and I knew that.

And that’s when logic kicked in. I was being escorted to the car by my father, my mother, and a nurse, and I was very aware that no one else could see what I saw.

“It’s the drug they gave you,” the sober and logical side of my brain told the other side. “Don’t say anything. It’ll wear off.”

And I knew I was right. (see, even then.)

But I could still feel her…I could still see her…I could still hear her.

She was as real as everyone else around me that I could also feel…and see…and hear.

When they finally got me in the car, I put my head back against the seat. The music wasn’t as loud, and she had started to fade. But it was still there…and it started to get to me. The side of my brain that I rely on the most talked me out of the pending anxiety attack…

“It’s the medicine. Sailor Moon isn’t really there. Calm down, Danita, you’re being ridiculous.”

…because having an anxiety attack over being harassed by an auditory/visual hallucination was silly–right?

I mean…you can’t explain to anyone that a fictional cartoon character won’t stop giggling and turning on your chest to the tune of her fully orchestrated theme music, that only you can hear, and not get carted right back into the hospital…

…but I couldn’t get rid of it through will power, or “thinking good thoughts”..

…all I had was the logical side of my brain telling me that when the drugs wore off, it would go away.

Logic won. And as the drugs wore off…Sailor Moon, and her music, disappeared. To date, I’ve never had that happen again. And for all the medical professionals/aficionados: No, I have no idea what the drug was.

Many years later, when I finally told that story to my dad, he recalled looking at me and wondering why I was staring at my shirt in shock and disbelief.

I was surrounded by people who could see me reacting to it…but had no idea exactly what I was experiencing.

Hmph.

So maybe I lied a little at the beginning. This story isn’t about Sailor Moon; it’s about Mental Health. It’s about how powerful the brain is. It’s about how I’m continually sobered by the idea that I could reason with myself, even in a drug induced state, because my logical self  knew that what was happening was impossible.

And that humbles me…

…because some people can’t do that. Some people can’t convince their brain that it isn’t depressed, or suicidal, or schizophrenic, or talk their way out of a panic attack.

Some people need professional guidance and help…for a way to get rid of something that is so real to them, they can touch it…and see it…and hear it.

And if you’re still one of those people that think that Mental Health or Mental Disorders or Mental Illness isn’t a “thing,”  if you’re still one of those people that trivialize another’s reality, or try to tell them to use the mechanism that’s causing the problem in the first place….well…

I wish you Sailor Moon empathy training.

I know I’m right.

-Danita LaShelle

“Sailor Moon” TV Series

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