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JP Ensign Yael & 2Lt. Anthony Meeks - Making Some Sense of It


Alora DeVeau

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((Starbase 118 - Counseling Offices))


Being healthy was of major importance for a Marine, both to the Corps and the members of the United Federation of Planets they serve. Physical health was often achieved through good diet and an abundance of physical exercise. Mental health needed a special touch from someone who was trained to see the warning signs of psychological injury, and then provide relevant options to create a healing environment for the patient. Much like a cardiologist works on the heart, the psychiatrist or psychologist works on the brain. After the last mission, Anthony needed the brain specialist for sure.


Leaving the turbolift, Anthony finished his coffee as he walked. The closer he came to the counseling offices, the slower he found himself walking, and almost had to push himself forward. His feet felt heavy and he felt his heart rate had increased. He didn’t know why he had such trepidation, but it was there.


At the doorway to the offices, he stood silently. He hadn’t pushed the button to allow entry into the center, and for a long moment he just stood, staring at the doors. He was just about to turn away when the doors opened and there stood one of the counselors he was so afraid to talk to.


Yael:  ::surprised, suddenly and closely facing the Human man in the doorway::  Oh!  Hello.


Ashley had been reviewing the crew files and was just about to step out the doorway, but instead he stepped back slightly and looked up.  The man in the doorway towered over the Denobulan hybrid.  But he tucked his surprise away, quickly evaluating the knitted brows, dark circles, and long gaze in the blue eyes looking down at him.  How long had he been standing out there?


Meeks: Um… I’m Anthony. I think I should talk to somebody.


Yael:  Ensign Yael.  ::quickly stepping back by an arms length::  Is now good for you?


Meeks: Yeah. Now works fine for me.


Yael:  Please.


Yael motioned for the man to enter the office, turning himself and making his way back into the office.


Stepping into the office, Anthony followed the counselor to a very cushy office. The decor was sparse, as if he had just started moving in. Anthony didn’t know any of the counselors, so he wouldn’t have known that was exactly the case. Taking a seat, Anthony sat upright waiting for whatever came next.


Meeks: Thank you for fitting me in today.


Yael:  It’s no problem at all.  You can come to me any time, day or night.


He smiled that disarming smile, taking his seat across the desk, and lifting the mug with his still-hot coffee.  It was rather early for a walk in.


Yael:  If my memory serves me, you’re one of our Marine officers?


Meeks:  I am. I command Delta Company.


Yael:  How have you been sleeping, Anthony?  You seem a bit drawn.


Anthony didn’t think he looked that bad when he assessed himself in the mirror before leaving his quarters. He hadn’t slept very well since returning from the mission, which was only a couple of nights. He had hoped the pervasive thoughts, and bad dreams would clear up on their own.


Meeks:  Not very well, honestly… bad dreams.


Tapping quickly on the computer next to him, bringing up the mans psych file.  Anthony Meeks, Marine, a few awards to his name, exemplary service.  All the typical stuff.  He’d been in for the required assessments but had never come in voluntarily.


Yael:  I’ve read the mission logs for the recent engagement, with the Borg.  ::pausing::  How did the mission go for you?


Meeks:  The mission went as well as could be expected, I think. We brought out a bunch of people who wouldn’t have made it otherwise. The resistance was pretty intense.


To say it was intense was an understatement, and it felt like the only reason his team made it was because of divine intervention. There were a few moments where he wasn’t sure they would get out alive, or at least unassimilated.


Yael:  Were you injured?


Meeks:  Nothing our medical team couldn’t fix. A couple of broken ribs and a banged up shoulder. There were others with a lot worse.


Yael:  It sounds like it was quite serious.  How are you feeling?


Meeks:  I’m feeling good. Back in the gym, training with one of the Academy cadets. She keeps me on my toes for sure.


Anthony’s training sessions with Kherys Harper were something he looked forward to. They had made an ongoing “date” to train, which became a time where he could release some of the pent up physical energy he had. 


Meeks: The thing that’s really bugging me, Doc, is the dreams. I can’t get some of it out of my head. Isn’t there some sort of concoction you could give me to make ‘em go away?


He knew the answer to that question before he even asked it. The whole reason for the counseling session was to talk about the problem and find ways to organize the thoughts and experiences in a way that would be sensible to his brain. He knew this from his medical training, but it wasn’t what he wanted to hear at the moment.

Ashley leaned forward on his elbows, the Marine the center of his attention.

Yael:  There are a few things we could try to help you sleep.  However, they would be *temporary* measures.  Far better to see if we can do some restructuring of your coping mechanisms, so that you sleep better naturally.  ::pausing::  How long have you been active duty, Anthony?

Meeks: ::Sighs:: I’ve been a Marine for a little over seven years, but this was my first real combat.

Yael:  This is the first time you’ve been injured on duty?

Meeks: Other than really minor stuff, it is. 

There were always little things that happened, especially during some of the more intense trainings he had engaged in. There had never been any major injuries though.

Yael:  Have you experienced any abnormal jumpiness while awake?  Intrusive thoughts?

Meeks:  Well, there are times I can’t stop playing it over in my mind. It’s the “what if” thing, I guess. If i’d have done something different, then I wouldn’t have had to do some of the things I did. Sometimes I just can’t shake it.

Yael:  Any hyper-awareness of your surroundings?

Meeks:  ::Allows a forced chuckle:: Hyper-awareness is what keeps me alive, Doc.

Yael:  ::nodding intently::  What are you dreaming about?  If you don’t mind telling me about them.

Meeks:  The dreams. Well, really it’s like re-living the entire thing, but in pieces. It’s not always right though. Sometimes I win, but there are times… 

He trailed off, not wanting to think about what happened if he lost. 

Meeks: There were a lot of lives at stake, and losing wasn’t an option, regardless of the cost.

Yael:  Of course.

Anthony felt like he had created a larger burden than he needed to by dumping all of this on the counselor. In fact, he almost regretted saying anything at this point because it bared a whole lot more of his soul to a man he had only barely met, and that was something he wasn’t very comfortable with. He knew however, it was a necessary evil.

Meeks: I probably should let you get back to your work. I’ve taken up a bunch of your day already. 

Yael:  On the contrary.  This is *precisely* why I’m here.  ::pausing::  I’m going to hold off on a formal diagnosis, but it sounds very much that you may have emergent PTSD.

Meeks: Does it have to have a label? I really don’t wanna be that guy. 

Yael:  I know you want to get on with things and get back to your normal activities, but I feel we should take this seriously.  I’d like to get ahead of it before it potentially worsens and impacts your quality of life.  ::pausing::  I’m going to recommend a short course of sedatives, to help you sleep.  On the condition that you return for a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  It should help you process what’s happened, ease the dreams, limit your need for medication, and help steel you against future stressors, which… for a Marine, could be extremely useful.  It involves a series of between 4 and 12 sessions, depending on how things go.

Meeks: Therapy? Is all that really necessary?

Yael:  It’s a psychological weapon in our arsenal.  And you want to use every weapon you’ve got to gain the advantage, don’t you?

Anthony felt his stomach sink. The counselor was right, of course, and it would be a far cry from right for him to fight against it. Not only would it put his fitness for duty in jeopardy, but it would set a very poor example for his team if he didn’t follow his own rules.

Meeks:  Of course I do. That’s what we do.

Yael:  If it helps, think of it as psychological training.  To become a Marine you went through Boot Camp, then a specializing school.  They break you down, build you back up.  That’s what we do.  ::pausing::  With a little less of the breaking you down part.

Meeks:   ::Forcing a smile:: I appreciate the not getting broken down part. Honestly, I’ll do whatever it takes to get back on top.

Yael:  I’ll call in the sedative to the medical bay.  They’ll either provide you a pre-loaded hypo-spray, or have to stop by in the evenings to administer the dosage.  That is up to Doctor Bailey’s discretion.  And I’ll expect you back here twice a week in the meantime.

Meeks:  ::sigh:: twice a week. Whatever you think is necessary, Doc. 

He liked the half Denobulan Dr. He felt like Dr. Yael had a real concern for his wellness, not one brought on by duty but by actual interest in how he was doing. Because of this, Anthony felt he was more inclined to do what the doctor needed him to do.

Meeks: should we set a running date? My schedule is usually pretty open when I need it to be.

Yael:  Mondays and Thursdays, at 1300.

Meeks: That will work. I’ll put it on my calendar. Is this going to require homework?

Yael:  ::smiling::  There will be some, nothing strenuous.  For the next couple nights though, I just want you to get some solid sleep.

Meeks:  All right, I’ll see you then.

Anthony left the room, and despite his trepidation he felt like he had a chance to make himself right again. Besides that, he kind of liked the counselor, which made it easy.

Yael drank a bit more of his coffee and mused.  Usually he got a *lot* more pushback from Marines, so it was nice to have one that saw the value in this type of self-preservation.  He jotted down a few notes and ideas in the man's psych file while they were fresh in his mind, but for now he would avoid the dreaded label “PTSD.”

Ensign Ashley Yael

Counselor

Starbase 118 Ops

&

2Lt. Anthony Meeks

Company Commander

1/292nd TMR D Co.

Starbase 118 Ops/USS Narindra

R238801IG0

 
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