I remember looking at the empty pill bottles on the bathroom floor. First from overhead, then at eye level. The labels blur and I close my eyes.
I remember feeling cool tile on my face and relief in my veins. Done. It's done. I don't have to think about doing it anymore, because it's done.
I don't remember how I got downstairs to the basement, or how long it took. Did I walk? Stumble? Crawl?
Did I stop to contemplate my children's bedroom doors on the way?
I don't know. Part of me wanted to get up off that floor, and it did, somehow.
I remember Jason roughly dragging me towards the bathroom and his fingers in my throat. The part of me that wanted to stay on the bathroom floor wails and howls and begs him to stop.
After that, there's nothing. A dream about a dark, underground bar. There's an old jukebox in the corner. I am dancing and laughing and spill a drink on Michael Keaton, who is also there for some reason.
Then, a sudden smash cut to unbearably bright lights. Something large and terribly painful is getting shoved down my throat. I try to scream but feel vomit coming out instead. There are people all around me but no one is doing anything about any of it. For the first time I feel like I'm genuinely going to die, but there's nothing I can do to fight back this time.
I'm with Michael Keaton again. We're taking Poppy for a walk in New York City, or trying to. Michael Keaton doesn't understand how dog leashes work. "What the fuck, Michael Keaton?" I mutter to him while hooking Poppy's leash on her collar.
It goes like that for awhile. A nonsense dream followed by a view of beige walls, bright lights, and a choking, awful pain in my throat. No, I decide each time. This isn't real, this isn't happening. I'll just keep sleeping until I actually wake up.
I do, finally, but the beige walls are still there. There's a whiteboard with my name and a nurse's name and I am forced to accept this as reality, Inception style.
The whiteboard says it's Monday, June 4th.
"What the fuck, Michael Keaton?" I mutter again, and am startled when a nurse immediately answers from her permanent station two feet from my bed.
"What's up, honey?" she asks. "Can you stay awake this time?"
I nod, and start looking beyond the beige walls. My throat is still sore but there's nothing there. There are IVs in both arms, and both ports look unusually bloody and angry. My hands and wrists are black and blue. I feel like I might need to use the restroom but then groggily realize the nurse is fussing over a catheter bag at the end of the bed. Oh. Great. That's just fucking great.
Stronger than any physical discomfort, however, are the crushing weights of guilt and shame. Look at all this. Look at the mess I made.
And for what? I'm still here, but now I've just made everything even worse for everybody else. Way to go, Amy, you goddamn idiot.
A food tray appears, with some bacon and a hard-boiled egg. The paper receipt on the tray says FINGER FOODS ONLY/NO UTENSILS in all caps.
Sitting directly on top of the receipt is a full set of plastic utensils. I laugh, because that's just funny, but my nurse makes a face and whisks them away.
While I pick at the food, Jason arrives with some clothes and supplies and gives me my phone. I look through a couple texts and realize nobody knows what happened or where I am and immediately toss it aside. I ask Jason a few questions before deciding I'm not really ready to know the answers yet. We sit in silence while he rubs the non-bruised parts of my arm and head. I start to cry.
A doctor shows up to ask me a few questions, namely, why? Why did I do it? What triggered this? What happened that night?
"Nothing," I answer honestly. Nothing unusual, at least.
We went out to see a band with some friends and I was nervous enough to take a Xanax before we went out but hey, that's just life with generalized anxiety, right? I drank a bit too much and too fast but hey, that's just life when you're out having a good time, right? Jason and I had a stupid drunk argument about taking a Lyft or walking back to our car in the rain and ended up coming home separately, but that's just life with someone after almost 20 damn years, right? Jason went immediately downstairs to watch the end of the hockey game while I changed into pajamas upstairs, and then I went to put the Xanax bottle away and saw the Ativan bottle there too and was overcome with the urge to swallow all of them, about 80+ pills, but hey, that's just life with generalized anxiety and major depression and a mood regulation disorder and multiple doctors writing multiple scripts for multiple anxiety meds (none of which you take regularly because you don't like the side effects, thus creating a hefty little stash in the medicine cabinet instead), plus your anti-depressant stopped working awhile ago but you're too anxious to tell or call anyone about it because you've been (mostly) holding your shit together during the day and then self-medicating with alcohol at night instead while you secretly spiral and spiral down further into the muck of multiple out-of-control mental illnesses.
Not surprisingly, the entire psychiatric team votes quickly and unanimously to recommend I move immediately to inpatient care.
To be continued...