Mental Illness

Caregiving: Schrödinger’s Overdose

Winter is coming. The nights are drawing in. The cold descends and creeps through our home. Maybe it wasn’t inevitable. It’s easier to think that it was.

Each questionable ingestion brings the fear of whether it will be the last. Will it kill him? Will it cause no considerable harm? Will it be the last time? The Fates decline the invitation to tell all. I wonder if I would want to know. Want to know if this is the last time? There’s no telling for sure. Searching his face for clues. It just takes one variable. One deviation from all the previous times for this to be the last.

He tells me. I don’t hug him. He looks so lost. I don’t pull him close to me. It’s so easy to be angry. I can only stand there and talk slowly to keep both myself in check and not to lose him along the way. There will be no pillow fluffing here. That way thin ice lies. Protecting both of us means distance.

And I feel so torn in the moment. Hospital might kill him. So could the pills. A decision is made. The blood tests come back. He’s given the all clear. The days pass and morph into weeks. I feel sick. All I can do is tell myself it isn’t as bad as before. It’s true, after all. It has been so much worse before and yet he’s still here. How, I don’t know.

Buried in the back of my mind is the fear that it won’t take much to kill him. This little niggle that for all the storms, it will be a gentle breeze that finally knocks him down.

The danger passes. I feel I can step closer again. Can begin to think maybe it will be the last time. He’s come so far. Recent years pale in comparison to the past, after all. And I still wonder. The intervals have gone from days and weeks to months and years. He’s so close to it being the last time. I wonder what kind of last it will be. It is time to bring light and warmth into our home. Time to remember Spring isn’t far away.

By Juniper

Rarely to be found without herbal tea nearby. Team Unicorn. Often in pyjamas. Also: TEAM KATNISS!

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