It’s all in your head Rosalyn. You’re imagining all of this. You’re completely fine, the fact you cannot walk straight is in your head. The fact you can’t speak properly is in your head. The fact you’re seeing glowing creepy crawlers go around the room is in your head. All of this is just your imagination.
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The feeling of my heart racing then stopping suddenly makes me realize this is very much not in my head. I’m stuck in my room, unable to move as the effects of the Wellbutrin I tried to overdose on take their toll on me.
Why? That’s what I’m asking myself. Is it the cocktail of mental illnesses I suffer from? Is it the lack of self-worth? Is it because I value my relationships more than my own life and when they go wrong, I simply lose hope? Pondering about it now is pointless considering what’s done is done but I simply don’t understand myself anymore. My only comfort is my dad who is taking time off of work to take care of me.
“Wa-” I try to speak but the words don’t come out.
“What’s wrong daughter” He interjects
“Wat… er” Is the only word that leaves my lips
“Oh of course!” My dad immediately stands up and gets my bottle of water from atop the drawer giving it to me. My hands shake wildly as I try to take a hold of it until I steady my grip, then try to drink a bit. I somehow manage to take a few swigs of it without throwing it up then hand it back to my father.
I feel the sweat around where I’ve been laying in my bed and notice how bad I actually smell right now. I haven’t showered in days… Not like I have much of a choice considering the state I’m in however. Yet, even with this going we can’t afford to go to the hospital. Not right now, it’s too expensive. I curse the healthcare system in this god-forsaken country in my head.
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Looking at my phone I see texts from a lot of my friends blissfully unaware of the situation I’m in and how much of an idiot I was. I don’t have the heart to tell them. But either way, it’s in my head so it’s not to worry!
I look up and notice the ceiling light is filled with spiders and they are moving slowly across the ceiling. I then see a glowing green worm shadow race across the brick wall, with several other bugs of different glowing colors spread across it.
The sun is setting, shining through the left window in my room. I look at the time and it’s only 2:00 PM. I look back at the window and now see that it’s nighttime. Confused, I look at my phone and now it’s 7 AM and I look out the window again only to see nothing but a complete void.
Huh. That’s weird.
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I look towards my dad who is now suddenly asleep next to me in his pajamas, and I notice I haven’t drank anything in a couple of hours. I try to stand up but instead fall down next to my bed and phase through the ground, deep into the earth. My vision starts to blur with a curtain closing and a “Game Over” screen appears.
Am I dead? No, I’m not.
I phase back into my bed where I have not moved an inch, and I can hear my dad crying in the kitchen far away. My service lady comes over and sits on my computer, then starts reading through the chat logs I had with my friends. I can’t say anything, my body will not move and all I can do is watch for what seems like hours as she reads and reads. What’s weird is we never had a service lady?
“Daughter, do you want anything to eat?” My dad says
I look over to the doorway where he’s now standing in business dress, almost as if he had just come from work. From the side of my eye, I notice the service lady has now disappeared as if she never existed.
I shake my head, I know I’ll just throw it back up. Last night I threw up so much there was nothing left in my stomach. Yet we still hadn’t gone to the hospital. Too expensive.
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My eyes close and open again. Suddenly I’m now crying holding a cardboard bag.
My heart is racing wildly almost as if it was about to beat out of my chest, and my dad is next to me.
“Calm down, it’ll be okay, it’s just a tachycardia”
“I can’t I’m gonna die I’m gonna die call the hospital please”
“Please calm down!” He says raising his voice
“This isn’t helping at all please just take me to the hospital” I reply with my voice raising as well.
“Just breathe in and breathe out it’ll be okay.”
I do as he says but yet my heart does not want to calm down. This isn’t working it isn’t gonna work I’m gonna die I’m gonna die I’m gonna die I’m gonna die.
“For fucks sake calm down! The hospital is too expensive, you already know that!” He says angrily, while I keep sobbing trying to breathe in a rhythm that I can’t keep up. The tears roll down my face and into his rugged hands that are helping hold the bag. I close my eyes and phase out.
Back in and I see a nighttime road with my dad driving next to me. We’re apparently going to an airport to pick up his fiancé. The windshield is cracked with a dead cat that was hit by us in it but my dad pays no mind to it. I start crying as I realize it’s a neighborhood cat that is loved by many people around our apartment. I close my eyes then open them again and suddenly it’s gone. What was I thinking about again? I look at my phone that is without battery and then start staring out the window. There’s a headless horse running right next to us through what seems like a gigantic road. It races across in an almost ethereal manner keeping up with us. It’s hauntingly beautiful, a ghostly white that shines brightly, however again my dad doesn’t pay any mind to it. As I stare at it longer and longer my brain scrambles over and over until suddenly, I start seeing numbers in my head.
Those are the lottery numbers for tonight. More and more numbers start appearing, including nuclear missile codes, more lottery numbers, passwords for secret government databases. I know all this! I’m all powerful now and nothing can-
Then we reach the Indianapolis International Airport, my dad’s fiancé Maria steps in and gives me a caring hug as I get out to move to the backseat. She raced to find a flight to come over and help us deal with the situation together.
As I sit back there and they talk I start feeling my throat burn up and I try to silently throw up behind them. Nothing comes out luckily, I haven’t eaten in days so my stomach is empty. I pass out.
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I wake up. Everything is fine now. I can speak. I can walk. But there’s a sense of impending doom. As I speak with my parents, I ask them a question.
“Am I gonna die?”
“Huh? Of course not! You’re okay and we’ll be going out to eat tomorrow” They reply however there’s tears in their eyes.
“Are you sure? Should we not call a hospital?”
“A hospital? You’re fine! Don’t worry you’re already starting to feel better.”
I want to believe them, but I can’t bring myself to as I see their somber expressions and the mood around the room.
“Please let’s go to a hospital, isn’t there anything they can do?” I ask desperately.
“You don’t need it! It was just a tachycardia as we said, you are fine!” They keep insisting. They’re crying now but holding their sobs back.
I’m fine, it’s all in my head. This is all in my head and we’ll go back to being happy soon. I want to be fine. I want it all to be in my head because if it isn’t then what? Am I gonna die? Like this? I can’t do this.
But every second that passes makes me realize I’m not. My heart races wildly then slows down to a crawl getting closer and closer to zero.
After enough asking my dad’s fiancé breaks and tells me I’m dead with tears in her eyes. My heart had a failure and there’s nothing anyone can do to fix it according to my dad. We hug in tears. I hang out with my dad a bit, he pretends I’m fine but I can tell I’m not. They keep denying it but I’m not fine. My heart starts sliding around my body. At one point I see it slide out of my arm and fall to the floor leaving a trail of blood on my white hoodie. A small sickly heart that is trying to beat as fast as it can. I pick it back up and shove it inside my chest then feel it move into my arm. I turn to my dad and ask him:
“Am I dead?”
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I can’t be dead there’s so much I want to do so much I need to do I was gonna get a job I was gonna make new friends I was gonna become an accomplished writer.
But there’s nothing I can do anymore. My dad is a licensed EMT so I trust him on saying I’m dead. Reality warps around me until clarity hits.
We didn’t go to the hospital in time and this is our punishment. We got too cocky thinking I’d be fine. Now there’s nothing to do anymore.
We sit at the kitchen table and my parents serve me some toast with strawberry jam we bought at the Amish market a few days earlier. Biting into it I feel the tangy yet sugary taste of fresh strawberries on top of a crispy buttered toast. Paired with it I drink a coffee; a Peruvian coffee with a nutty flavor and strong roast that leaves my mouth with a bitter yet delightful taste, contrasting with the sweetness of the jam. A few tears slip out as I enjoy what I presume to be my last meal and sit pondering; grateful towards the life I was given and regretting the decisions that led up to this point and my imminent demise.
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I finish up my toast and drink down the last drops of my coffee, savoring the delicious bitterness one last time before standing up and heading to the bed that shall be my resting place. My parents close the door to the room with a large window in front, sun glaring in through it. I close my eyes and let death take me. There’s a large golden stairway on top of clouds leading up to what I assume is the afterlife. I slowly make my way through almost like a picture show, with my heart slowing down the further I get along.
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I reach the end and I’m ready to die.
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My heart starts racing all of a sudden almost as if refusing to die and the image of the stairway fades. But I know there’s no point and it’s just self-preservation, hell it’s more of a nuisance because at this point I have accepted death. There’s nothing I can do, nothing anyone can do and no matter what I try I will still die. It’s almost ironic, isn’t it? I wished for death so much but now that I’m facing it, I realize the true depth of what it means. I will die, I won’t see any of my friends ever again, I won’t meet my partner, and I won’t see my family either. And that’s okay, this is the ending that I wished for, right? The image of a train chugging along a railroad in a dark cave appears in my mind.
Rumble, rumble, rumble
As the train goes deeper and deeper into the cave it starts changing, growing more gothic and eventually infernal. The rumbling becomes graver and graver as well as it goes on. My heart starts dropping again but suddenly it spikes up again.
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As it does the train immediately reverses and instead a blinding light overtakes it. The faster my heart beats the faster the light goes. Eventually however the light stops and the train starts going on its merry way again down into the depths of hell.
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Just let me fucking die!
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Stop giving me false hope.
“…No, this is a message. I refuse to die here.”
I open my eyes and stand up straight, becoming hyper aware of my surroundings. Looking down at my skin I notice there’s patches of it that have turned a sickly cyan, almost as if a zombie. It seems I was so close to the afterlife that I started decomposing in real life.
I close my eyes and tell myself I’m not gonna die. I open them again and suddenly my skin is back to normal. I ask my parents to go to the hospital but they refuse telling me I’m fine. I get tired of this and call the paramedics in secret. Sirens. Screaming. Crying. Suddenly I’m in a hospital bed. There’s a nurse there that I can’t see. Or maybe there’s no nurse at all? I’m told I’m fine by the medics. They take me to the psych ward due to my attempt at overdosing with Wellbutrin. Last I remember is I lay down in a bed defeated, surrounded by bugs and spiders crawling along the ceiling. This room shall be the tomb of Rosalyn.
My eyes open. The bugs are gone, the spiders are gone. My heart is still racing but it’s calmed down. I’m alive.
I’m alive… I’m alive!
I didn’t die I’m actually alive!
Holy shit. Thank fucking god.
I ask a nurse in the hallway for the time, and they tell me it’s 9AM in the morning, meaning I slept at least 6 hours. Tears well up in my eyes, and alone in the room I cry to myself with joy.
The next few days go by in a flash, with intense therapy and talking to psychiatrists I’m eventually let out. I make my way out the main doors of the hospital to see my dad and his fiancé come out and hug me tight.
“Thank god you’re okay…” Is all they can say
The car ride home is long, and I mull over what happened. What was real? What was hallucinated? I can’t even tell anymore. Dreams mix with reality and that experience feels like an ethereal nightmare. One thing will always stick with me, however, is the raw feeling of pure dread at thinking I was gonna die, realizing the worth of everything around me followed by the unfiltered joy of being alive.
“I’ll never do that again” I think to myself, then I’m broken out of my trance by the car stopping, I look out and see that instead of being home, we’re at the Amish market. My dad then turns to me and says with a smile “Want to buy some more jam and tea?”
“Yeah, I do, dad.” I say returning the smile.