When, Not If

If I click my heels three times, this will not be happening.  

I can’t click my heels.  I’m sitting down.  I wait in the car, the palm of my hand pressed against the window.  The medication bag that comes out the drive thru window of the pharmacy is huge.  I can’t believe that I will take all these things; I don’t believe that pills will make me better.  I don’t believe that anything will make me better.  It is impossible to heal from this type of loss, from a loss so invisible to the rest of the world.  I still exist, and I don’t understand how.

If I close my eyes and count to five, things will return to the way they should be.  

I can’t close my eyes.  I’m behind the wheel of the car.  There is no big red easy button, no coupon to turn in and tell the universe I’ve had enough.  I’ve had enough.  I clutch and then un-clutch the steering wheel, my knuckles turning a sudden shade of white.  The world is bright and loud and moving forward.  I am dull and dark and not moving at all.  A horn trills somewhere behind me.  It is time to go, but I’m not sure I can.  I don’t know how people go on from this.

If I drive fast enough, I can escape.

I can’t drive fast enough.  I’d get pulled over.  And I can’t just escape and pretend it never happened.  I want to leave the car behind and run as fast as I can.  Just run, and get nowhere.  There is nowhere to go.  There is no reality where this does not exist.  And it exists, loud and clear.  I go outside of it.  I create my own reality.  

If I scrub hard enough, I can erase this.

I can’t scrub hard enough.  I’m not strong enough.  There is no amount of water, no amount of soap, no amount of time that can make this clean.  There’s a pain that no one could possibly understand, a hole that nothing can fill.  When you have this loss, it breaks you.  You can’t be put back together, and you can’t put a label on it.  I can’t explain it; I am speechless.

If I speak, I can make this better.

I can’t speak.  It won’t change anything.  No one will hear me, and I couldn’t form ideas even if I could speak.  My tongue has been tied, cut out.  I can’t believe that it has turned so quickly, that it has ended so suddenly.  Everything I have built, everything I have worked for.  Over.  There is something that has been taken that can’t be returned, that will never reappear.  

If I breathe, I can go back in.

I can’t breathe.  It’s too much to go back in.  To go back in equals acceptance.  I am not ready to accept it.  Too much hurts.  I can only assign blame.  To the world.  To the universe.  But, as Shakespeare wrote, the fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves.  The fault is mine.  It can only be mine.  It happened, and I can not change it.  

If I accept this, I can move forward.

If I reveal myself.

If I share.

If I let people in.

When, not if.

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One thought on “When, Not If

  1. Bud says:

    As I read this it became very real. The feeling of despair was right there; authentic and verifiable.

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