rubbing eyes

Constantly confused, I feel like I don’t know how to mold words together anymore. My thumbs were too small for pottery, but I took two semesters, and I don’t know where I lost that kind of dedication and will to get better, but I did.

The doctor’s office was small. The sheet of paper lined the bed for me to sit on, but I chose the chair next to the window, where I looked out above the traffic and chewed on a hangnail that I forced off my thumb. When the doctor walked in, I was sucking the blood out, hoping it would stop because I needed to free my lips for talking. I always need to talk. I feel like rooms are empty and my depression is filling them if I don’t talk, so I always talk.

A cross hung around her neck. I knew she was Catholic. I’m Catholic, too. Baptized, born, and raised, I tell her. But God abandoned me or I abandoned Him and that’s why I was sitting in her office. Because I felt like killing myself again, because my anxiety almost kept me in the car, because I hadn’t been able to focus on a task in almost ten years. And so I talked and I told her.

Suicide is considered a sin. But I don’t think a person is herself when she commits suicide. I believe in demons. Sometimes they’re inside us. Sometimes they are brain chemicals that do somersaults and pull tricks and leave us when we’re already battered and bruised. And it is the sin of that demon; not the human. The human suffered, the demon – the brain chemicals or lack thereof – pulled the trigger or kicked the chair or took the pills. It was always pills for my demon. For one of our family friends, it was a gun. A bullet to the stomach. I was 9 and thought it was cancer because my mom told me it was cancer, but it was a demon with a gun who put a bullet in the stomach of someone I loved so much.

In the doctor’s office, my words spilled out, dripping off my tongue and rolling onto the floor. The tears were held back but the hangnail kept bleeding.

I left with a prescription filled and orange bottles began to line my bathroom sink. I had never cut myself before, but I imagined if I had now, that my blood would only spill the colors of every pill I am supposed to take daily.

And for a short while I thought I was getting better. And for a short while I thought I was getting worse. And now I’m confused and trying to make sense of something I’ve never been able to make sense of, remembering the girl whose thumbs were too small for pottery but she insisted on taking two semesters and getting better.

And I haven’t written in a long time because I didn’t feel hurt enough to write, having a staring contest with every sheet of paper, waiting for my eyes to burn as they had before.  Maybe then, after blinking, I could make the paper pant, watch my hand bleed words of whatever pain I endured. And maybe let the world know that it isn’t so alone. I, too, have my demons. I want to get better.

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