|| 3/3 || I hadn’t even fought the war within myself. I hadn’t learned to meet myself with peace, as I was too busy fighting against all the ugly I saw around me. If I just loved the way I wanted to be loved, I could fix the brokenness I saw. I could change the world. But no one ever taught me to fix myself. Maybe they would teach me in this place, I concluded in misery, my chin buried deep into the neck of my ocean blue tank top. All I knew was that I wouldn’t take any more NyQuil.
|| 2/3 || For the first time since she left me, I was profoundly grateful that my mother wasn’t around to see me so broken. To see me so hollowed out from a life she never wanted to see me living. This isn’t who I AM! The fire began to swirl again, my ashes somehow reignited into embers that were somehow rising to blazing spears. I can’t go to a hospital! “5150,” I heard the policeman say under my NyQuil trance. I know what that is. That’s for crazy people. I’m not a crazy person. No no, I’m just a heartbroken girl whose heart just couldn’t take another betrayal. The world can be such a cruel place, and it seems as luck would have it, I’ve met all of its cruelest players. “I’m a soldier of life!” I’d often say when people expressed astonishment of my journey: an abusive stepmother, a neglectful father, a sometimes absentee mother whose illness made her tardy to the party of parenthood...an abusive husband, an unwanted abortion, a beloved but flawed mother lost to suicide, a thousand stories of forcing and even believing the smile I saw in the mirror of life’s most unlikely reflections. I was tired of soldiering. I was tired of being faithful that the battle could be won.
|| 1/3 || i haven’t been able to write since it happened. Not really. Not the way that lights my soul aflame as my fingers burn with the truth that often leaves embers on my heart; the heat of my pen is often so great, it leaves a scorching trail of veracity in its wake. My fields have been so silent though, almost in a vacuum: no winds to stir my soul for fear I might spiral out of control in such a way that all that’s left of me are plains of furious destruction. That’s what happens when you try to kill yourself. I was such an amateur though. Really, I understand why suicide attempts can happen more than once: you really have to know what you’re doing...and I didn’t. NyQuil, even taken in copious amounts, doesn’t kill you, it just makes you really really sleepy. Like a blanket on a fire, I was still burning, but most of my flames had been quieted: most of me felt like ashes. How would I ever be made whole again? I called a help line. I wished I had done this long ago, but I was too prideful. I didn’t want to admit to a stranger that these thoughts had been swirling around the dark and foggy labyrinth of my mind: no one loved me. I would never be loved. I should stop trying to love so hard...the vigor I had instinctively applied to my every relationship in life was depleted. I had nothing left to give the world, so why would the world want me? Shame, sorrow and a host of emotions I had never before had the tragedy of meeting filled me beneath my medicated stupor. Most of all, I was enveloped with a sorrow that after all the life I had lived, I had somehow found myself in a place I had never been, but a place my mother had visited many times. Heartbroken in the back of a police car, it struck me how low she must have felt. All those times. And my heart broke a little more to realize she would never want this for me: me in my coordinated ocean blue exercise pants and top; my therapist friend told me that where I was going, I wouldn’t be