It was a Friday. Six days ago, to be exact, at around this time. I had to be at work at 3, and at around 1:30, I stood in the kitchen, in front of an open medicine cabinet, all the remaining Advil we had resting in my hand. They were about the shape and size of M&M’s, and I’d already swallowed 3. The warnings on the back of the bottle promised stomach bleeding if they weren’t taken in moderation. I could handle that. And the first 3 had gone down so easily, I didn’t even need to take them with water. They tasted sweet, too.
I had enough foresight this time to imagine my big brother coming back from running errands and finding me collapsed on the floor. The pain and panic and fear that he’d feel. I couldn’t do that to him. But I stared at those pills a bit longer, contemplating it. And then I dropped them back into the bottle and screwed the lid back on.
Funnily enough, I didn’t start to feel the extent of my emotions until I heard the tentative click of my dog’s nails on the tile as he approached the corner leading into the kitchen. He wasn’t supposed to be downstairs. He knew that. I knew that. But sometimes he had to test the limits, and this time I let him. I have this vivid memory of his head just poking slightly around the corner when I called his name. When I held my arms out to him, he walked quietly into them and let me sob into his back.
About 30 minutes later, I got dressed, put on my happy face and went to work.
I didn’t want to live life settling just for the sake of survival. I didn’t want to keep feeling like my time and its worth belong to and are dictated by seemingly everyone else in the world but me. I couldn’t see an end to it; not one that was likely, anyway. It seemed more plausible that even if I fought the good fight, I’d still find myself torn at the thought of fighting forever or laying still. I’d rather be what some would call a coward than live without living.
Therefore, I have to figure out a way to live my dreams. If I’m still not happy then; if I still can’t find it in me to wake up every morning then, I’ll let myself consider calling it quits. But I can’t quit before I even start. If only for the sake of the people I love, I have to keep going.