A Day in the Life
Addicted to energy drinks--a rush of sugar, an upbeat heart. 58% of my RDA of sugar in a can. But I need more. My teeth ache, ulcers sting my gums, but my heart beats harder, I see things clearer, and I know that against all odds I’m still alive.
For the first time in my life I crave cigarettes, I feel the pull of drugs and, though I’ve been vegetarian for ten years, the concept of greasy chicken is tantalizing. I want what isn’t good for me. I want what will kill me first, but I need enjoyment in the process. While I have the capacity to feel, I want to feel it all. I want the aches and the pains and the laughter. I want to consume large amounts of alcohol to make everything funny or interesting, to talk like I have something to say, and to listen likes it matters. I want the morning to be black, the day to be empty--just lying still, concentrating on being alive. The same as every other day, only my body responds and my mind doesn’t matter.
Trapped, suddenly, completely shut up and alone. Beneath blankets and duvets, twisting my hands together, keeping them busy, preventing them from hurting.
Help me, help me, help me.
Don’t let me hurt myself, don’t let me, don’t let me please help me don’t let me.
The ramblings of a mad woman. At twenty-three years old, this is what I have been reduced to: tears, sweat, spit pooling at my lips, my lungs gasping for air, struggling to take hold of even the most fundamental elements of living.
Existing. Somehow I still am, still connected to a realm that I never asked to be a part of in the first place. But hiding, barely breathing, I don’t feel like I’m ever here, scared that maybe I don’t exist after all; detached and slipping away into nothingness. Most days I can’t even call it consciousness. I don’t think, therefore I’m not. Descartes, where does that leave me now? The logic makes more sense than my being.
This is day two of Fluoxetine. Aka Prozac. Aka that wickedly infamous drug, notorious and ubiquitous in nature. It treats the majorly depressed, the mentally ill, the diseased.
This is where I am now.
Bethany Ruth Anderson currently lives in Edinburgh where she teaches English by day and scribbles stories and poems by night. Her debut novel, Swings and Roundabouts, looks at a young couple's relationship and their experience with mental illness. When she isn't writing or reading something dark, Bethany enjoys painting her nails and wishing she was in Japan. Bethany tweets @subtlemelodrama