How did it start?
or someone got sick.
or you had a nightmare.
or you miss someone.
Or…it just does.
How it started doesn’t matter. Once the ball is rolling, you can’t snatch it back. All you can do is move through and wait for it to end, however it ends.
But it’s been such a long day. There’s a deep ache in your jaw that you can’t work out. You’ve kneaded it, stretched and bit back down. It persist, even spreads into your neck.Your head hurts. People keep talking to you and this urge to scream bubbles up from that aching. You bite that back down. You try to focus. You try to hear the words people are saying to you. You’re pretty sure you sound robotic. You try to put more emotion behind your words. It doesn’t work, they ask what’s wrong. You want to cry. You bite that back down too. The ache gets worse.
Everything is too bright and too fuzzy. There’s cotton in your head, Your skin’s to tight. When your feet touch the ground it’s like Novocaine in your skin. Nothing’s concrete. You know you’re moving. You know you’re getting into your car.
The first few minutes are fine. You turn on some music. You gravitate toward sad songs, instruments that make your chest tighten. You’re still fine.
But then you’re alone. There’s no one around with expectations for you. No one to judge the behavior. And the ache is so strong.
You think about calling someone. Begging them to meet you somewhere, or come over. To talk. You go through the list and realize there’s no one to call. And then you start imagining.
You imagine closing your eyes. You imagine pressing the peddle down. You imagine taking off your seat belt. It’s ok, You’re just thinking about it. Thinking is ok. It’s the doing that’s the problem. You imagine how it would feel when the tires start to tug the car, you wonder if it’ll flip. Or if it’ll just slam into something so hard that the sudden lack of movement stops your heart. You wonder if you’ll go through the windshield and if it’ll hurt, or if it’ll happen so fast you’ll just be gone. It’s just a daydream. One that you have almost every day.
Except you’re crying so hard that you didn’t notice your eyes are closed. And when you open them, the speedometer says you’re going 90mph.
You make yourself focus, You stare so hard at the road that you actually feel pressure building in your head. you make fists around the steering wheel. You say, “just get home. Just get home. Just get home.”
Sometimes you have to pull over because you can’t breathe.
Sometimes you get home. You swerved a few times and it’s probably lucky you didn’t get pulled over, but you’re home. And you go inside. And you sit at the table. And you cry.
Hard and loud. And the imagining starts again. It’s not always the same, but it’s unstoppable. You hold still. You hold onto the table. And you think about getting out the letters you’ve written. You know you don’t want them to wonder. To leave them wondering seems cruel. You know leaving them at all should seem cruel, but mostly you just think about how they won’t have to handle you anymore. You think about where you’ll sit the letters. I always picture them in a straight line, in envelopes, on the dining room table. I always picture it happening in the living room. I plan. I have a list of emails, websites, and all their passwords. Notes about hidden money, pictures i loved, things I think are important and who I want to have them .
I put the dogs up. I give them hugs. I place food and water in my bedroom and put the cats there. I don’t want them stopping me. They have before. So I put them up. I love them.
And then I get the gun and I practice holding it, but I’ve always hated guns. The heaviness. They feel so ugly and brutal. And when I put it to my head it makes my stomach roll. So, usually, I put it back and grab bottles of pills. I play music while I get them ready. Small piles of different pills, lined up. I get some wine, and I start swallowing. I turn off my phone. I lay down. And I listen to my music, try to focus on it instead of the nausea. Instead of the aches and pains.
Overdosing isn’t painless. You know that because you’ve done it before. But before, you didn’t take enough. You had to long to change your mind.
So I make sure to take all of them. From every bottle.
I imagine how long it will take. I imagine trying not to throw up, trying to keep them inside long enough for them to work.
Dying is something I want to imagine. What I don’t want to imagine, is what comes next. Next I have to imagine John coming home and finding me. I have to imagine how quickly he would feel that something was wrong. I picture him panicked because I haven’t answered his texts or calls. I picture him hearing the loud music and thinking, hoping, I’m just in there writing, or drawing my comics. Then I picture him seeing me.
Imagining this stops me. It makes me feel selfish. Imagining him calling my parents. Imagining him trying to get me to wake up. Those things let me get up from the table. Those things let me move around the house, do what I need to do, then go to bed. Without getting out the letters.
Or touching the gun.
Or looking at the bottles.
Even if I’m just going to imagine it all again tomorrow.
I hope it never stops working.