Please note: I am posting the following as a favor to a friend. I am at once heart-sore for her and proud of her for fighting and writing her way through her reality. She wishes to remain anonymous, but would love feedback and input, so please, feel free to leave a kind word or two. Thank you.
If there is one thing you should know about me, it is that I am a fighter who was raised by fighters. With a birthright like that, I've faced each round that came my way in 59 years with drive, determination, and spunk. Until yesterday.
Once again, sleep was eluding me for the umpteenth night in a row. Remembering that there was a brand new bottle of OxyContin in the drawer in the bathroom, I sat up in bed and began to count my steps to the drawer. Those little gems were a gift from my sister, the hypochondriac and attention whore who claimed that she didn’t need them, but perhaps I could use them for my chronic pain. The day she gave them to me I remember thinking, the real pain in my body or the pain in my heart and in my head?
My fight, remember I'm a fighter, was gone. Vanished. Vamoose. Fin. And with it, my desire to allow the gravity in the universe, to keep me sitting on the edge of my once comfortable bed. Sadly, thoughts of taking myself out were not foreign to me. Been there...3 times...done that. So, the bottle of pills, now sitting on the table in front of me, only made sense.
Opening the bottle, I laid them out on the table and attempted to arrange them the same way I do M&M’s. Orange here. Red here. They were all blue. Just one more thing that I couldn’t control or coordinate. I put them into groups of 4. Easier to consume that way and swallowed with a big gulp of vodka - my numbing, "I love you, man" drug of choice.
Everything set and four little life changers in my hand, I heard Joe get up and it broke my concentration. Listening to his travel path across the bedroom carpet, I knew those steps like they were my own. In that split second, I could only think of Joe. What would happen to my husband? Where would he go? How would he survive this? He’d come home after a long day of playing ‘fetch and go’ to find me like Madame Bovary. Would his heart be broken? Where would he live? $11.00 an hour wouldn’t allow him the luxury of keeping the house. And the life insurance that I’ve been paying on for years wouldn’t generate the cash he’d need to get by for at least 2 years. Fucking suicide clause!
I put the pills back in the bottle, poured out the vodka, and walked back into the bedroom. The pills went into the nightstand drawer and I climbed into our bed. Right next to me was the man who drives me crazier than I already am and yet, has loved me in spite of myself. Shit! How could I do this to him even though I want so desperately to do this to myself?
In the middle of this dark night, the voices in my head were telling me no one would be willing to listen to what just happened. “You’re crying wolf and they’ll be angry that you woke them up.” Since the chatter never, ever stops in my head unless I write, and sometimes not even then, I reached in the drawer for a piece of paper and a pen and tried to focus on the 5 words battling to be heard underneath all the other declarations, “You have to find help”. There had to be someone outside my mess who doesn’t know any part of this horror story, this volatile place I’m in. It was time to tell it to someone outside the circle who would hear it with fresh ears and a current course of treatment. Someone who hasn’t been through my suicidal episodes, the mania, the rage, and the depression. Someone who will listen and who will care about me, because I can’t.