I hold the small red pill between my thumb and forefinger. It’s miniscule. Maybe a third the size of a breath mint. I’ve already taken my antidepressant faithfully, as I always do. I habitually gulp down the rest of my pills but this one I take last, because it’s so small. There was the time it slid silently from my palm as I tossed the pills into my mouth and it was only the next day I realized I must have missed my dose.
You’re not supposed to skip a day when you’re on antipsychotics. But sometimes I want to.
It’s been a year since I lost my mind. Since it slipped easily towards escape, since salvation seemed like wide open spaces on the limitless acreage behind our home. When I imagined myself retrieving the key to the gun cabinet. When I fantasized about slipping unnoticed from my house, past the breakfast dishes and the vase of fresh flowers I’d just bought the day before sitting in a jar like hope. Past my sleeping husband who had kissed me goodnight and rubbed my back until my breathing went soft and rhythmic. There would be no chance my kids would find me. No one would have to clean anything up, there would be no messy blood stains or images that would haunt them. Hunters would find me, or hikers wandering the back trails. It would all be very simple and discreet. I imagined everyone would be better off. I wouldn’t ache anymore with despair. But even as I entertained these thoughts, I knew they were the thick velvet imaginations of a mind gone dark, the curtains dragged closed.
I had seen the devastation a suicide attempt can leave. I had seen it in my mother’s eyes years ago when her gaze nervously traced the raised red scar that had turned into a grotesque palette of purples, yellows, and browns on my brother’s neck. I couldn’t forget that haunted look she carried whenever she looked at him.
I told my husband first, and then my mother. I called my doctor and then I prayed through the hollow that had become my soul. The words were empty on my lips but I said them anyway, and hoped to mean them again.