The seconds ticked by, each yawning into the next as though time had truly decided that now it was appropriate to take a break and stand-still. I sat shaking like a Chihuahua at my computer, hoping I’d be able to find that I had some miracle answer; some cure, something to stave off the emptiness gnawing through my gut.
I’d considered the ER, but The Guy (now formerly) On My Couch had my car and I’d asked him to take me, in the vain hopes that the ER staff could change my anti-depressant (not so I could get locked in a padded room – I had no “plans” for a suicide*) or offer me something – anything – to help out, considering my doctor’s office had turned into something out of Oregon Trail – no running water, phone lines, or electricity.
He told me that he could not, in fact, take me to the ER, but that he could drop me off, if I so chose. If there’s anything worse than the thought of sobbing alone in an ER room (perhaps sobbing in the middle of a busy restaurant?), I’m not sure what it is. I said a quick, “thanks but no thanks,” and continued my weeping. I figured the black eyes this would cause would be a pretty awesome fashion statement.
When none appeared, I decided that some trashy television might be the answer. I grabbed my comfort object, my blankie, and my pillows and curled myself up into my wee nest on the couch. From the “Shows You Might (Not) Like” on the Netflix queue, I selected the one show I’d always been curious about – Intervention – and began to watch it.
Pro-Tip: while feeling semi-suicidal and bone-crushingly depressed, do NOT watch Intervention. While it may feel good to say, “wow, I’m glad I’m not THAT person,” when the Intervention fails and the person falls back into their old ways, you’re not left with a particularly positive outlook.
I ended the second episode even more depressed than when I’d begun. My mother had taken the kids for a bit that afternoon, after I called hysterically, begging her to help me.
So by the time I turned off the episode of Intervention, The Guy on my Couch, and my very best friend on the planet had come home from work.
“Hi,” he called to the eerily quiet house.
“I’m out here,” I called back.
He came into the room and sat next to my feet at the edge of the couch, where he’d sat so many nights, watching TV with me. He gave me a hug and I cried a little onto his clean work shirt, which smelled strongly of the outside.
“Sorry I just boogered on you,” I said, a little sheepishly. Having him there made things a little better for me – I was no longer alone.
“S’okay,” he said, “How’s it going?”
(cue weeping because Lord knows, the moment someone inquires after my well-being, my response is to cry like an asshole)
“N-n-n-not so good,” I said. “But I’m going to my doctor tomorrow and the therapist on Thursday. I’m working on getting better – making the right steps.”
“Good,” he replied, a little uncomfortably. “So, I’m going to need to talk to you or Dave about the logistics of moving out.”
“Talk to Dave,” I replied, the tears streaming down my cheeks. “I can barely figure out if I have to pee or not.”
I’d known, to be fair, that The Guy (now formerly) On My Couch was planning to move – he’d spent the weekend checking out places to move, I’d just assumed it was at a *waves hand* far off time way in the future. So when he said this, I expected that he meant a *waves hand* far off time way in the future.
A couple of minutes later, I asked him, “When are you moving?” assuming his answer would be a *waves hand* far off time way in the future.
“Tonight,” he replied, suddenly interested in staring his shoes.
My jaw dropped as I did my best trout impression, “TONIGHT?”
I couldn’t fathom it – I understood the motivations behind his departure (probably more than anyone else) but the timing was atrocious. I did the only thing a non-sane person could do, I began to scream at him. Appropriate? No. Out of character? Yes.
The children arrived home as I sat on my couch, sobbing and snorting into my snot-filled Kleenex like some overgrown toddler: my very best friend was leaving when I needed him the most. The kids came home and piled onto the two of us (no easy feat, considering we were on separate ends of a couch) like they did to us every day. I hugged them and sent them off to the other room to put on some cartoons with a potentially annoying lead character (which, let’s face it, is all of them).
The surge of anger died down as I hugged my best friend in the world, one of the few people who really knew me, and said, “Happy Trails.”
He grabbed his things, waved a sad goodbye to me, his face drawn and wan, and walked out of the door, ready to face his new life.
The sobs wracked through my body as though my heart were breaking. Which, I suppose, it was.
This time, all three of my children bounded into the room, hands outstretched and overflowing with Band-Aids and (oddly) some fish stickers. I thanked them as they covered all visible parts of my body, hugging them close enough that I could feel their tiny heartbeats.
And for one moment – one single moment – my heart felt as though it hadn’t just shattered.
*A big part of suicide is The Plan – if one has a plan as to how they intend to suicide, they are considered more of a risk for actually going through with the attempt. Thanks for the info, Nursing School!