I wrote this a few days after my attempted overdose, after being on the wagon for 3 years. It’s too personal for me to submit anywhere, so I’m putting it up here instead.
by the twelfth time you’ve tried to move on, you’re sure that
nothing will ever feel this bad again. it’s easy to claim, easy to believe
that this was your lowest moment. rock bottom, you know
better now. twelve times swallowing pills, balancing on ledges, twelve
promises that were lies falling from your lips.
maybe you lost count somewhere along the way –
they all start to blur together, ethanol and medication
setting your skull alight, twisting the world dizzy round you
sunsets into sunrises blurred and stained with blood.
you tell yourself, there’ll never be a thirteen. you learned
your lesson, in chalky aftertastes the morning after and the scent of
bleach scorching your nose and throat. besides, by now
you must be immortal, to want death so much and yet never quite –
it’s never quite enough.
thirteen comes unexpectedly, over the smallest, stupidest thing
you can’t really trace the thought to the action to the consequence, and
in retrospect, you really don’t know what you were thinking. You
don’t. your mind slides over it when you try to interrogate – – –
you know that you tried to kill yourself yesterday. or the day before
something along those lines. sunsets into sunrises, and
it doesn’t occur to you right away to worry. It’s only when you rise
and stare into a mirror that’s forgotten the lines of your face
that you ask yourself –
“what did I lose this time”
the clocks strike thirteen. you might have lost count
but your lungs – heavy with breath – remember.
your body aches with all the weight that you can’t see
“nothing will ever feel this bad again.”