“Look at this book we found,” Heather laughs. “Everyone Poops!”
We are both childless sophomores in college. The toilet-training sub-genre of children’s books is completely foreign to us. Heather brought the book to cheer me up, so I manage a smile despite the circumstances.
I’m glad that Heather and Matt have come to visit. Of course, they’re the only ones that know I’m here. I can hold the book now that they’ve removed the restraints. I was even allowed up to use the toilet before they arrive. I bet this book doesn’t mention what happens to poop after you’ve been given activated charcoal.
We flip through the book chuckling at the illustrations. It’s meant to help people talk about what comes naturally. We are using it to avoid talking about what happened.
I don’t remember if I started saving the pills before or after phoning Counseling Services and learning there was a waiting list. It seems everyone has problems.
I waited until Kristen had left our dorm room with her boyfriend. I filled a glass from the bathroom sink and began taking the pills. I’ve always hated swallowing medicine, so I had to use my trick: take a sip of water, tilt my jaw and bend my tongue so the water stays in my mouth when I slip in the pill. Push the pill back with my tongue and swallow. If the pill gets stuck, down it with extra gulps.
I tidied up my stuff, leaving the bottle on my dresser and laying down on my twin bed. I really liked my roommate. I felt bad about how this might affect her, but not as bad as I felt about myself.
After laying there for almost an hour, I laughed at the irony.
It didn’t work.
I fail at everything.
I went to a recital. As a music major, I was required to attend a set number of performances every semester. So I walked across campus to the recital hall, grabbed a program and attendance form and took a seat.
I don’t remember who performed. All I can recall is the sensation of trying to keep my head on top of my shoulders. I knew I shouldn’t be falling asleep at a recital, but I was finding it hard to stay awake.
Then it was a blur. I remember people talking at me. I was in Heather’s dorm room. I was in the back of an ambulance. I was on my back in the ER, fluorescent lights blinding me, people in white coats asking me “What did you take? How much did you take?” I couldn’t answer. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I didn’t want to.
Then I was waking in a hospital room, strapped down to my bed.
When Heather and Matt had arrived, it was easier to look at pictures of animals relieving themselves than to face reality.
The reality is that everyone is muddling through.
Everyone makes mistakes.
If I’m going to tell this story for the first time, I can’t think of a better place to share it than on the Yeah Write #104 birthday grid.