I took a bottle of pills when I was fifteen. It wasn’t the right kind, or maybe it was, depending on the desired result. But I was trying to die and I didn’t, so I guess it was the wrong or right kind of pills. I took them to drown out the guilt, the anger. I was made of anger which turned to guilt, so I tried to drown out myself. To erase the me who could not be…normal. I never told my family what I did, so they are reading it, like you, like they are strangers to me, the one who would have taken away something dear to them. But by then the guilt would have been selfishly, blissfully out of my hands.
I raised a knife to my brother. My rage controlled me so completely that I raised the nearest object I had in order to show him how angry I was. It was a knife, dangerous but not as dangerous as the person who could not register anything beyond rage. That person was poised to launch something at my best friend, my confidant, the sibling who looked so much like me we could have been twins. I dropped it, shaking, after my step-father flicked that person on the head, that annoying sting snapped her out of it, and I became me. I became guilt. “What are you thinking?” How could I say that I wasn’t thinking? She was feeling, always either feeling too much, most of it rage or depression, or too little, like falling into a dark hole and not having the energy to climb out. I took a bottle of pills when I was fifteen but not because I wanted to die. No one wants to be so angry, so empty that “the end” is the only relief. I just wanted not to be the she that terrified her family. If I had known that I could live relatively normally in the world with help of just a couple pills, two here and there, I would not have taken a full bottle of pain reliever. It did not relieve my pain, though it did gift me stomach trauma and my first self-medicated hangover, but not my last. I took a bottle of pills when I was fifteen and I survived, vomiting but alive, and I was happy, but I still didn’t realize that I needed help. I just thanked God for the vomit at my feet and the guilt riding my back. I take a couple of pills, now and then, every day, so that I don’t empty an entire bottle to make the anger go away. And I live, relatively normally and very happy to be a suicide survivor. And I thank God for a life that is manageable and even beautiful.
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H.M. Jones is the B.R.A.G Medallion author of Monochrome, re-released by Gravity, an imprint of Booktrope. She is also responsible for the Attempting to Define poetry quartet and has contributed a short story to Master’s of Time: A Sci-Fi and Fantasy Time Travel Anthology, “The Light Storm of 2015.” A bestseller only in her mind, Jones pays the electric bill by teaching English and research courses at Northwest Indian College. Jones is also the moderator for Elite Indie Reads, a review website for Indie and Self published books. Besides buying enough second-hand books to fill a library, Jones loves to spend time helping her preschoolers grow into thinking, feeling citizens of this world, run, weave, pull with the Port Gamble S’Klallam Canoe Family and attempt to deserve her handsome husband, who is helping pay the other bills until his wife becomes the next big thing.
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