Friday, June 27, 2014

Fragile

My last session with Dr. Hiatt was on November 14th, 2013. Most everyone around me was at least cautiously optimistic I now had a handle on things. The air of unease reminded me much of past experience with my mother. She would often wallow in misery while doing nothing to correct the problem making her miserable while still vaulting those around her into feeling sorry for her. As expected, the number of people around her living under those circumstances eventually dwindled to zero. People simply will not put up with someone who will not help herself. So I was faced with the choice--either shape up, or end it all. It sounds extreme, but the choice sounded logical at the time. I made what I considered a good faith effort. I had ample opportunity to lock the bathroom door and finish myself off anytime I felt like it. Mr. Cagle went home on the weekends now. I had the room to myself with staff rarely coming around considering how highly functioning I was. The temptation was ever present. One little push would have sent me tumbling into the abyss. It was simply a matter of what that push would be. I considered my suicide so inevitable, I never thought about the spiritual consequences. Taking your own life is the ultimate act of rebellion. Yet I was willing to face it in order to escape my suffering. If I feared anything, it was the physical parts of the act. Closing the bathroom door and locking it with the knowledge I will never leave the room alive. Lying on the floor knowing I will never get up again. The bag is was going to use was too thick to rip a hole in. it would also be double-tied. I knew how to stymie my limited dexterity to the point once that bag was on, no air was getting in. Even if I wanted to die, my heart still pounded at the thought. Nevertheless, I knew the end was going to come that way. It only took thirteen days to find the will. Thanksgiving rolled around on the 27th. It had been years since I celebrated the day traditionally with family. All my family was dead. Whoever these folks I was living with were, they were not family. The holidays had depressed me anyway, which probably lead to me celebrating them alone, but “celebrating” Thanksgiving in a nursing home was sinking to lower depths than even my cynical heart ever imagined. Mr. Cagle has gone home to spend thanksgiving with his family. So have a number of other residents, some with health issues one would think would make such a thing impossible. Oakhaven is running on a skeleton crew. Any of the usual hustle and bustle is non-existent with the business staff and therapy crew with their families, too. Here I am eating turkey off a hospital tray while watching a James Bond movie. Alone. You see, it is one thing to be alone. It is something else entirely to recognize you are alone. With my family long since laid to rest in Magnolia Cemetery, the recognition was acute than it had been in years. The realization this would be the way it will be for the rest of my life was terribly acute. I was going to age, alone, while a younger and younger staff enjoyed their lives and families. It would be a constant reminder of all that I missed out on while never being free of the sickness and death surrounding me. Forget merely enduring sad Thanksgiving Days. Life itself was not worth enduring. I had now been presented with the final push. It was time to go.

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