“Ms. Turner, Ms. Turner…. Do you know where you are Honey? What did you do? What did you take? Did you take all of those pills because you wanted to die? It’s ok honey, you are going to be ok, we are going to get you some help.”
The bright lights of the emergency room keeps me from zoning out completely. The stares of those sitting in the waiting room wondering why I can barely keep my head up, and the embarrassment from it only allowed my tears to continuously pour down my face. “How did I get here? How did I get this low? This can’t be my life.”
As I sit in this wheelchair slowly fading out, my nightmare is starting to become a reality as the one person I didn’t want to see me in this state walked through the hospital doors. That blank stare. The stare as if all emotions had been washed away, and there sat an empty shell of a person. “Did I do this? Am I the reason why this person that was once so full of life is sitting across from me looking so lost and alone?” My mind starts to run at a 1,000miles per second as my body slowly starts to shut down.
“Ms. Turner, we are taking you back to a room now ok. Everything will be ok.”
Beep… Beep…… Beep…. Slowly coming to, the coldness of the electrodes hooked to my chest, the slow beeping of the heart monitor, and the nurse guarding my door finally allowed me to realize that this was not a dream, but in fact a reality that I had sat in motion. “How could I be so stupid. So selfish. So careless about my own life.” This nightmare was something I knew I would never be able to awaken myself from. I couldn’t put this on anyone but myself.
“Ms. Turner we have to hook you up to the heart monitor ok! Can you tell me your first name? Do you know where you are? Do you know what day it is? Your in the Hospital Ms. Turner. Are you aware of your surroundings?”
All of these questions at one time, and all I could think of is “How did I get here? Why is my family seeing me like this?” The overwhelming feeling of knowing I was stuck here without being able to leave on my free will put me at such a low point. “How did I get here? Why is my family seeing me like this?” As my vision slowly starts to come back, and I start to become familiar with all that is around me, there is one figure that stands out clear as day to me. Standing over me with so much brokenness in her eyes, I see my baby sister. “Hug me Nini. No, wrap both of your arms around me and hug me. Why did you do this?” Trying to hold back tears, I somberly say “I’m sorry, but I am just tired. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t live like this anymore.” “Nini, you scared me. Aunt Peaches called me early this morning. She kept telling me I had to get to the hospital. She finally told me you tried to commit suicide. I screamed and woke the whole house up. I thought the worse had happened. I thought you died.” Watching those tears pour down her face & hearing those words leave her mouth tore such a big hole in my heart, that no amount of time and effort could repair that. I couldn’t believe that I almost left the one person I’ve spent almost my whole life trying to protect. And through all of that hurt, the only thing I could say was “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” As I try to take in all of this hurt I caused, I couldn’t help but notice that same blank stare I saw earlier now staring at me from across the hallway. As my sister walks away to allow my reality into the room, I slowly watch that blank stare turn into a look of fear. A look of guilt. A look as if they were staring into the eyes of someone who has already passed. As I stare into those eyes, I can’t help but to catch a glimpse of the item hanging around her neck. The ring… The same ring that I had placed on top of my letters and left in the hallway. The ring that held so many memories and moments that I dared not taint it by adding such a tragedy to it. I was now left to stare at the ring I had chose to leave behind. And the person wearing it was now forced to sit in front of the person who almost took all those memories away. “So you were just gonna leave me here by myself?” Those words just kept replaying over and over in my head “you were gonna leave me.” Never in my life had I ever felt so much guilt, so much pain, so much embarrassment. How could I have possibly left all these people behind. The people that loved me. That depended on me, that gives my life meaning. As those words kept replaying in my head “you were gonna leave me,” I tried to find all the right words to say. “I’m sorry, I just thought y’all would be better off without me. I feel like such a big burden in everyone’s lives. I couldn’t be here anymore. I couldn’t keep allowing you guys to take care of me. I’m sorry.”We love you Nini. I love you. Do you know what you could have done to us if you left? Do you know how much that would have hurt us? Hurt me? Nothing is worth your life. You have so much to live for. Why would you do this?” All I could say was “I’m sorry love. Forgive me.”
As the hours pass, and I await the outcome of my decision, I stare into the eyes of the two I love most. The love, support and memories they share with me as I battle these terrible pains, the spasms, and the headaches gave me the biggest comfort I needed to get through the night. The fact that they never left my side proved to me that I was not alone. That I was never alone. It gave me the courage to fight for my life.
“Good Morning Ms. Turner. My name is Dr. Shah. We have you a room available at Novant Health Presbyterian to get you the proper treatment ok. Your family is to take you straight from here to there. No stops in between. You can’t go home ok? We are going to make sure you get the proper treatment.” As I prepare myself to head towards a place that will be my new home for the next week, I remember a nurse saying to me “I hope that your recovery goes great, and you get the help you need. See you later.” As SeAira turns to say “no you won’t see her later,” I couldn’t help but to ponder if what she said was true. “Will this not be my last time here? Does she see something in me that recovery won’t be able to help?” Maybe it was the fact that this wasn’t the first case of helplessness she has witnessed. Maybe she has had enough experience to know that recovery is not that easy. Or maybe it was the fact that she saw something in me that no amount of help could save me. All I know is that those words she spoke would soon become another reality a year later. It was a reality she saw coming before I did. As I held onto the hope that this next week would fully recover me, I walked out of that hospital towards treatment, smiling and encouraged while blindly unaware that this would truly not be my last time here….