Game Changer

I saw myself wake up in a hospital room, worried faces peering down at me. Briskly pushing aside the plastic turquoise curtain, a nurse drew blood and took my vitals. Outside it was sunny, but inside everything was dull. Looking down I noticed that my arms were bandaged from wrist to elbow.

Was I happy to be alive? By now, the suicidal thoughts had subsided, but the pain lingered inside my mind. I would have a lot of explaining to do: about what I had done, about myself, and my disease. Except this time, things were different. I had crossed a line, and there was no turning back.

You were waiting outside, and you would never say it but we both knew what this was: a Game Changer.

This was not just another night when I told you I wanted to fall asleep and never wake up. This was not another tearful apology. This was not even a glass shattering against the wall, although that, too, would have changed the game. This was you, wondering whether you were looking at the same person you married, or a complete stranger. Wondering if this woman could love you, and still do this to herself; to you.

This was no longer the sickness you knew. The sickness you knew came out in words, not secret plans. In thoughts, not actions. The sickness you knew could be contained, inside your home; inside your arms. Things were now spiraling out of control. I was worse. I needed more help. I needed your help, more than ever before. But I knew that you would never be able to look at me the same. Would this happen again? Could things get even worse? Would I end up living behind this turquoise curtain, in the hospital more days than not?

You came toward me, and for some reason you started to unwrap the bandages. But it turned out that there was nothing underneath.

Because that was not what really happened.

And I hope it never will.


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