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The Process of Instability

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20 Klonopin last night.  How is it I woke up?  Christmas Eve, and I must put on my best face.  My best face, inconveniently, is missing.

I twisted my ankle badly yesterday, and now it is a canvas of purple and red and blue and gray.  I do not want to see a doctor for obvious reasons--it will interrupt other peoples' lives and just cost money.  So instead I shall endure and deal as best I can.  Everything is so abstract and otherworldly when you're hung over from a massive overdose of Klonopin.  It's even more so when you cannot walk properly and get things done, like cleaning up the house for guests and running around to find things that have been missing for a day or so.  My hopes dwindled each hour today as my ankle got worse and worse.  I have one crutch, but it does me little good.  I hobble around the house like an invalid, refusing help from anyone because I do not deserve it.

Last night as my ankle was still swelling from its newly impaired state, I crashed and fell over into the wall as I tried to carry some clothing upstairs.  "Fuck!" I yelled out, despite myself.  I collapsed on the ground and suppressed some sobs.  My stepdad came out and stared at me.

"What can I do, dammit?" he asked with hostility.  Here I was, a drowned mouse on the ground, a bother, an obstacle.  "Amanda, you need to tell me what to do.  You have got to stop acting like a baby."

I got up and stared at him, no expression, no feeling, no thought.  "You cannot ruin another holiday, you just can't.  Are you listening?  Cut it out and get your act together.  Stop.  Acting.  Like.  A.  Baby.  What do you want me to do with these clothes?"

I grabbed them, tossing them into the bathroom, and slammed the door in his perplexed and bright red face.  I stared into the mirror at what look liked me.  Blonde hair, blue eyes swollen from an overdose and heavy sleep, my blue robe enclosing my body.  "I hate you," I muttered with indignance and sincerity.  "Go away."  I dropped the clothes and fell to my knees, no tears yet, no trains of thought.  Not even anger.  I felt nothing and I was nothing.  I had become a waste of space that would soon disappear.  My head lay against the cold wall, my feet chilly from the new tile.  "Leave it all, just let it go," I whispered again and again.  

A half hour must have gone by before my mother returned from a movie with my stepsister.  I could not go because of my incapacitated foot.  When I heard her heels pounding the upstairs floor, her voice fluttering wih rave reviews of the movie, I retreated further into myself, into the shadowed corner behind the bathroom counter.  I am, I am, I thought, and I wish I am not.  I had taken about ten Klonopin by that time and my head swelled with dysphoria and confusion.  

"Where's Amanda?" I heard my mother say.  "Amanda?  Where are you?"  A knock found its way to the bathroom door and she slowly opened it.  "What is the matter?  Good God, Amanda, get up, you're a mess."

I imagined what I must have looked like, a rat's nest of hair, naked under the robe, red eyes that were going cross-eyed.  "Leave, please leave.  Just get out."  

"What is going on?  You need to tell me."  I eased into a teary rendition of the events that had transpired.  The tears flowed and my sleeves were stained by the black mascara.  I knew my stepdad was in the next room listening, so I tried to not sound like a victim.  He had hurt me badly, but he would never understand how or why.  

"You can't let comments like that bring you to this point.  You need to take control."  I looked her square in the eye and said, "I have no control, mother."  She sat and said nothing.  I wanted to vanish into thin air, like a whisp of steam from hot soup on the stove.  I wanted the world to melt away like ice.  Alas, I do not have these powers, so I was stuck like scotch tape to the bathroom floor.  

"Please get up.  Wash your face.  Get dressed.  Elevate your ankle.  It looks awful."  

She left and I waited a few moments before looking at myself yet again in the mirror.  Ugly, I thought.  Red face, puffed eyes, negleted appearance.  I took the water in my hands and flushed it on my face, again and again.  I saw the bottle of Klonopin.  I took the rest, save for two.  That made rougly 20 in all.  I didn't care if I died.  I wanted to be numb, free of feeling and thought and emotion and my torturous mind.  It was my rememdy, my way of saying "Fuck you" to everything that had affected and defined me throughout my lifetime.  

I cannot remember well what happened after that.  I know my dad came over because I called him in a panic.  He looked at my ankle and we talked about what was occurring inside of my head.  Sympathy and concern poured out of his face and mouth, and he reminded me again and again I am not alone.  I'm loved, and I have so much love to return.  I managed not to cry as we sat on my bed and had a relaxed conversation, something that has not taken place in 18 years--my whole life.  He got up and hugged me hard as if he never wanted to let go for fear of losing me permanently.  

"I will be okay, dad."

The rest of my day was spent in and out of reality.  I retreated into the comfort of my head--philosophy, politics, my cottage in Switzerland, my imaginary friends who listened and said nothing but stroked my arm and nodded.  I remember staggering and talking to people who may or may not have been there.  My sister saw me and asked the age old question: "Are you drunk?"

"Chemical K," I replied.  I left the room and passed out in her bed despite her pleadings otherwise.  That night was about me, and for once I didn't give a rat's ass how, like, pissed off I made her or how much I, like, messed up her "vintage" bed.  This is not life--these are things, and they are becoming more important than living. 
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