CHAPTER 39 How Many Pills Does It Take To Die?

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

"Words flow

creating ripples

of emotions

some calm and placid

others breathe typhoons."


How many pills?

I went outside. My steps were swallowed by the foggy night. I walked back and forth on the dirt road and all I felt was pain

The taste of hopeless enveloped me a lot these days. I was so busy I pushed it out of my mind. But today it was thick on my tongue. The pain was so intense I couldn't help myself but reach for a taste. I kept thinking of the pills in the cabinet. Top shelf. Rows and rows of pills from the care facility. Pharmaceutical medications for Mom. But we stopped giving her the pills.

How many pills?

The waves of pain slamming into me as I walked. Tears rolled down my face. I couldn't stop them. I couldn't stop the pain. I couldn't stop anything.

The shame of darkness was eating my every dream away. I couldn't hold it back anymore. I couldn't stop it. It was in every breath and every thought. It had come to lay its cold claim on me.

There was no one left to reach to. No one to hear my confession.

Who do you run to when you want to die?

Who do you bare your soul to when you can't breathe?

People are judgmental. Most of them. Even close friends. They don't understand. They smile while patting you on the back. But that's about it.

What can they say?

I had a close friend call me, back in my teenage years, in the middle of the night. He was sitting on the phone talking to me with a loaded gun in his lap.

Why he called me?

I have no idea. I was no trained therapist. But I was his friend. For whatever reason I was a safe person to reach out to when he felt he had no one else. So I talked to him for hours. I don't remember what I told him. But I didn't fucking judge him. I did not judge. He didn't pull the trigger. He lived. He got up again and he lived. He never forgot what I did for him. I did what any decent friend would do. I showed up, grabbed his hand, and told him I wasn't going to let him jump.

Who do you call when you have a gun in your lap?

Who do you reach for when you're at the edge and you can hear the Earth calling to you to jump?

I had no safe harbors now. Everything was burning around me. There was no one left to turn to. There was no one I felt safe enough to turn to, stripped down and bleeding out. I couldn't take any more judgment. I couldn't take anything anymore.

They tell you, "Everything will be okay."

How about you're a fucking liar. How about you can go shove that "everything will be okay" right where the sun don't shine.

They're lying because they've never been on this road. They don't know where it goes. No one does. All roads are not fixed. All destinies are not planned. We all have a chance to change the course of things at any given moment.

So here was my chance to check the fuck out of my own life in one simple decision.

How many pills?

My life was in a cycle of destruction and I couldn't seem to get off the fucking ride. It took our Family Farm and now it had come for my Mom. Despite everything I had been through with her, despite all the ways I hated her, and wanted to disown her right out of my life, I couldn't handle the thought of losing her.

I walked and cried. Tonight it was all I could do.

"How many pills does it take to die?" I thought over and over again.

It was my new mantra.

I was dying now, only it was a slow torturous pain. I wasn't strong enough. I was never strong enough. It was too much. It was all too much. I didn't want it. I couldn't hold it. The weight was crushing me. I was breathing in and out and my heart was pumping but inside I was dead. Everything around me was being taken away. Hope was dying on this desolate Earth.

I was death, walking on a dirt road in the late night.

Then I thought of my Dad. If I died, it would kill him. I would kill him. I would leave everything on him and I knew he would never survive it. He would be left dealing with Mom on his own. He would be left with my blood on his hands and it would kill him.  I thought of Viv. I knew it would kill her too.

So while my pain would be done, I would have killed two people I loved. I might as well stick a gun to their heart and pull the trigger myself.

I couldn't do it. No matter how bad the pain was for me. No matter how much I was bleeding all over my life, I couldn't kill them. I couldn't do it. My heart was too weak to bring them to their knees with my own pain.

I wasn't strong enough to kill myself. I would have to survive. I would have to find a way through, and find breath even the moments when I was suffocating. I had to get on with living the life in front of me. There was no other choice.

The road had been set by decisions that weren't mine. The storm was right here in front of us. There was nowhere else to go. There was no place to hide. The only way out was to move forward. If I had to drag myself through it, bleeding and crying the whole fucking way, then that's what I would do.

I walked back inside and took off my coat. I brushed my teeth and went upstairs to do my therapy. Tomorrow was another day. I would be as ready as I could for whatever was coming for me. If Death was coming for her I would give everything I could, all the fight I had left in me and then some, to hold back the darkness coming for us all.

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