This is a short story written on depression, suicide and facing a difficult diagnosis. Imagery involving self harm and suicide is mentioned below.
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What is the difference between a solid and a liquid? Well, by definition, solids have a definite size and shape, while liquids flow to take the shape of their container. It isn’t hard to determine the difference between the two. Was it elementary or middle school that the concept was introduced? Or in high school, using beakers, hot plates, and different chemicals to help students understand a little better? They say that what we learn in school is to prepare us for our future. Our teachers attempt to create real-life situations and problems for us to solve so that we may be ready for the real world; ready for whatever life throws at us. I feel like no lesson, no matter how well I understood it, could prepare me for my reality.
Hadn’t I gone through enough? Could this really get any worse? I sat on that hospital bed. I stared at the clock. I had read every word written on the whiteboard enough times to make my eyes dry out completely. I’ve always had an eye for fashion and I don’t feel like myself in this hospital gown. I was impatient upon receiving my diagnosis, although I already knew my results. It was obvious. I could feel it in my bones. I knew my diagnosis. I didn’t need the nurse to come back and tell me. But the waiting was eating me alive.
It felt like a hallucination. Like I was experimenting with drugs. What once belonged to the tan hospital walls was no longer in sight. Everything was plain. Just me and four plain walls. No hospital bed. The furniture melted into the floor and my body rested on the cold white tile. Everything was plain. Just me. And four plain walls. Walls that were inching closer and closer to me as every second passed by. Walls quickly closing me in, the ceiling coming down on me. I felt I would soon be crushed. Would that be so bad? My bones crushing between the walls. The pressure forcing my organs to quit. Would it be so bad?
As the walls began to touch my skin, I took a deep breath. The solid flat surfaces that I thought, that I hoped, would slaughter my body completely, began to gently form around my skin. What I thought was a solid slowly began to form into a liquid. Taking the shape of its container, or victim. Maybe this was a good thing. Maybe the putty-like matter would swallow my body, allowing me a less painful death. Maybe it would form around my face and block oxygen from from my reaching my lungs. Would that be so bad?
Suddenly I began to suffocate. The feeling of drowning in a pool of wet cement. A relief. A guarantee that my diagnosis will never affect my life. I’ve been alive for 20 years and I have never felt such relaxation. I was drowning. The liquid walls holding me in place. In a place where I finally felt content. Everything was plain, just me and the tar-like mass protecting my dying body.
A loud noise interrupted my relaxation. A nurse opening the door, walking into my hospital room. I wondered: would she also be swallowed by the tan-colored tar? No. The possessions of the walls began to reappear. The clock began ticking again. The words of the white board were just how I left them. The television playing the same stupid Lifetime movie. The machines still in the same spot on the tile floor. The furniture. Everything was just the way I left it.
Image Source: Barbuza
Have you ever been woken up from an amazing dream, one that you just wish you could’ve finished? You just want to smash your alarm clock into a million pieces when you wake up. You try and try to go back to sleep so you can finish your dream; so you can have that little false slice of happiness. I wonder, was it all a hallucination? What if the nurse had just waited a few more minutes? Enough time for my heart to stop from lack of oxygen. Would all of this be over? Would that be so bad?