For something so small, the pills in my hand felt heavy. I knew I was about to make a choice, and not just any choice. It was one that you knew no matter what you did afterwards, there would be no going back, ever. Yeah, one of those types of choices.
It started nine years ago, when I was ten years old. I was beginning to go to middle school for the first time, and I believed I was now old enough to make important decisions. I know better now. Well, on one particular day I was feeling low. I was probably thinking to myself at the time: I’m a loner, I don’t have any friends, no one understands me, or one of the usual stupid excuses that someone who commits suicide likes to use. I began asking “What’s the point?” And arguing with myself on whether I should end it all or not. The so called “adult” side of me won by telling me, “You’re ten years old now. You can make your own choices. Do it.” So of course I listened to that side of myself. I should have listened to the kid side.
My parents were in the living room watching TV along with my three siblings that night. They were not paying any attention to me, so I got the brilliant idea to go to the kitchen and grab the pills that my doctor prescribed. You see, I have ADHD and something called Asperger Syndrome so I took and still take meds on a regular basis, every day in fact.
Instead of taking one, like I usually would, I took them all.
Now remember how I said before, once you make a decision and do it you cannot go back? I suddenly realized I wanted to go back! But that so called adult-side of me said, “Relax kid, what is done is done. There’s no going back, so deal with it. It will all be over soon.” My rational side said something entirely different, “Are you crazy!? Don’t just stand there, tell someone what you did!” I chose to listen to that voice this time.
So I walked back into the living room and told my parents my brilliant and adult-like decision I had made. I can still see and hear my mother’s reaction, “YOU DID WHAT!?”
You see, I knew she would understand.
My mother is not one to simply just hear and stand there surprised, oh no. She was one of those doers. She took charge. The next words out of her mouth were, “Everyone, in the car! Now!”
Now, when you’re ten years old and you have a mother like the one I have, you listen whether you’re dying or not. We all got into the car. I have no doubt that the other side of my mind that had just told to shut up and relax earlier was complaining every step of the way after this. But at this point, I was beginning to think that this voice wasn’t as adult like as I had originally thought. After bum rushing our way to the vehicle, we got in and my mother put the pedal to the metal. I was put in the back of the vehicle and was beginning to think that what I did earlier wasn’t such a good idea after all. I certainly wasn’t expecting this kind of reaction from my family.
While rushing towards town, my mom told my sister to grab the pill case and start reading what the effects of an overdose were. I remember every word she said, “Overdose effects include rapid eye movement, increased heart rate, increased breathing, and rapid body movements.”
“Rapid eye movement, what’s that mean?” I asked as my eyes suddenly began to blink uncontrollably. My sister looked back at me only once before turning to my mom, “Mom,” She said, “I think you better hurry it up.”
I was really starting to get scared now. This was not supposed to happen. I was asking myself now, Why did I do this? Why did I want to end it all? And to be honest, I still don’t why. I blame that voice.
I glanced out the window. We were beginning to ascend the bridge into town, Wow…how did we get here so fast? I peeked over my mother’s seat; the speedometer said 85 mph. Oh, never mind.
“James,” my mother asked me, “Why did you do this?”
I didn’t know and as I said before, I still don’t know. But I certainly wasn’t going to tell her that.
“I …uh…thought it would make me…um…smarter.” I stuttered. That had to be the most absurd, ridiculous, and most ineffective lie of all time.
They bought it.
We were over the bridge now, and I could just see the emergency center ahead. But strangely enough, everything literally began to slow down. The car suddenly began to travel at lower speed, even though the speedometer still said my mother was going above the speed limit. The cars we passed were moving in slow motion. This was weird.
I began to realize I was breathing rather fast, and it wasn’t from all of the excitement. My heart wasn’t making the usual, “Thump…Thump…Thump” like a regular beat should go, nor was it going like “Thumpthumpthump” when you’re out of breath. It was beating so fast that it sounded like, “Ttttthhhhuuuummmppppp”. That could not be good.
The beating of my heart was so fast and loud I was starting to wonder why no one else could hear it.
That’s when the pain started.
I grabbed my chest and gasped. What the heck!? Did someone just punch me!?
“James!” my sister’s eyes went wide. She tried to hold me and give some comfort. I could not return any back; I was too busy trying to make sure my chest didn’t burst from the inside. Unfortunately, you can’t really keep your chest from exploding by wrapping your arms around it, but hey, I wasn’t going let that stop me from trying.
Through the unbearable waves of pain, I was able to see that the car was pulling into the parking lot of the emergency center. YES!!!!!! We’re there!
I thought that a little too soon, for another wave of pain much larger than any of the others hit me full force. “Ahh!” I shrieked. I clenched my stomach just as the car came to a stop. I stopped seeing things clearly, and everything became a blur. It was almost as though I was looking through an out-of-focused camera rather than through my eyes. I vaguely remember seeing my sister open the car door and pull me out. I couldn’t stand; my legs were as wobbly as Jell-O.
The door was ten feet in front of us, no; Salvation was ten feet in front of us. So close but yet so far!!! My mother frantically got out of the car and tried to help me reach the door.
I felt another wave coming, “So, Mom, that’s the hospital right?”
She glanced at me with a look of both worry and confusion, probably because I just asked something so blatantly obvious. “Yes son, it is.” She told me.
“Well then, good. Because I think you’re going to have to carry me.”
The last wave of pain hit me and after that there was nothing but darkness.
When I came to, I remember hearing the slow monotonic beep from the heart monitor. I was lying down on a bed and I could see medical equipment everywhere. I assumed that I was still under the influence of the drugs because everything felt surreal.
I could still hear at least. I heard someone speaking in front of the bed.
I could barely see the outline of two people talking to one another. I could tell that the first was a doctor, the white coat showed that much, but I didn’t know if it was a guy or not. The other person, I could recognize anywhere, was my mother. They hadn’t noticed me awake yet.
“It’s fortunate that you arrived when you did,” I heard him say. The doctor’s voice confirmed that he was male. “A few more minutes later, and we wouldn’t have been able to revive him.”
I take it back, I wish couldn’t hear.
Those words slowly sank in. A few more minutes…
“….and it would have been over.” I heard that voice again, the one that had encouraged me to do this.
Darkness reclaimed me.
I only had to stay at the hospital for one day in total. Fortunately, they were able to get the drugs out of my system. I was back to being me within no time. My parents and family were relieved and more importantly, so was I. I never planned on doing that again, ever. And my mother made sure of that, for the next few years or so, before I finally matured enough to take meds by myself she watched me. They were all still under the assumption that what I had said in the car, “I took them; because I thought they would make me smarter,” was the reason for why I did what I did.
It was not.
And never again have I paid any attention to that so called, “adult” side of my mind. Because now I know, it wasn’t adult-like at all. That voice was stupid, dark, and evil. It is the voice that we all have that gives us terrible advice.
So hear me when I tell you this, think twice before you make a life changing decision. Ignore that little voice that you think is, “all knowing” and think about the consequences.
Do not do what I did.