Today…is not a good day.
Today marks 6 years exactly since I held my mom in her hospital bed and felt her heart stop beneath my fingertips. I was only 15 at the time. I don’t know why I was even allowed to be there for all of it. I don’t know why I stayed other than the paralyzing fear of walking out of that hospital without her.
I’m at my dad’s house – well, my step-mother’s house – because Easter and family dinner and blah. I’m hiding in the office and writing because my brain isn’t really working quite right today. I want to be held so badly, but I also want nothing more than to be alone. My service dog is laying on my feet right now – very alert to the fact that my emotions are only being contained by my pale skin and pursed lips. He’s looking up at me like I might shatter or breakdown any second. He might be right – this is his job, after all.
This anniversary has been the hardest one yet, I think. Which, considering the timing, might be odd. Six years? That’s quite some time. In those six years, I’ve gone to college, moved almost ten times, lived in 3 different states, and started my career. This last year was different though – and she wasn’t so distant over these last 7 months.
If you’ve been around here, you know that in October I attempted suicide by overdosing. It happened over a three day period. What very few people know, however, is what happened on that third day. I don’t even remember the majority of the 48 hours leading up to it, but I do remember the last pills I took. I found my last two pain pills in my bathroom drawer and took them without water, just desperate to finally fall asleep and not wake up.
It was all a haze. I couldn’t walk straight or see beyond my own two feet. I remember falling into the wall between my bedroom and my bathroom. I couldn’t breathe. I could feel everything in my body shutting down.
And then, I heard her.
I heard my mom’s voice clear as day.
If you don’t get help right now, you are going to die.
I panicked and the tears came to my tired eyes. This isn’t what I wanted. I didn’t want to leave this world behind just yet. Not like this.
By some miracle, my phone was close enough, and with just barely enough battery life. I texted three friends – the most recent three in my messages. I could feel myself fading, and so I crawled to my bed and pulled myself onto it. I remember looking at my phone one last time and then it falling from my hand.
Then I felt her. I felt her all around me. Maybe she was there to take me home or to make sure I stayed put long enough for help to arrive. I don’t know. But there she was, and I can’t deny that it was her that saved me.
So, this year’s anniversary of her death is fresh. It hurts. It feels like I’ve lost her all over again because she was just so close.
I’ll be okay, though. I’m not thinking of anything other than her, and I’m doing my best to make her proud. So, I’m taking my medication, using my therapy skills, and asking for help when I need it.
And I’m praying that she stays close by, if she can.
I don’t know what your religious or spiritual beliefs are. You can call me crazy for putting so much stock in this. Maybe my mind made it up to safe itself. I don’t really care. What I do hope is that you have your own lifeline when you’re at the end of your rope and about to descend entirely into darkness. Whether it is a person or a dream or a feeling – I hope you have that.
Keep your head above water, today, yesterday, and always. Hold on when the waves rise and don’t let yourself be defeated. There is still so much more world to experience.