I shall be editing this over the next few days. Realize that this is not a finished product, but it's necessary that I continue writing.
This is a dramatization of something that actually happened to me.
The perfect storm of circumstances came together in 1993 to bring be to the brink of destruction: I was under the strain of college, dealing with a business partner that decided I was a non-entity in the business since I had bought my half, I was taking care of my step-grandfather who was dying of cancer, and I was forced to see a psychiatrist because the state said I was clinically depressed. Drugs were their way of dealing with the situation instead of relief of the actual stress causing the problem.
Now, let me clarify that last item. I had been working at fast food restaurants for a few years and constantly developed sinus infections, so I was sick for about five months out of every year since you don't get medical benefits from jobs like that which could provide antibiotics for the infection.
The state said that I could be retrained and they helped me get into college to take graphic arts and publishing. This was fine. I could deal with that. But what I didn't know was that each participant had to see a psychiatrist at the outset of the assistance which the state was providing.
The shrink decided that I was depressed and that it was an "organic" condition, meaning that it had NOTHING to do with all of the stress I was under, but that there had to be some chemical imbalance in my brain. Good guess, but wrong!
He prescribed Prozac for me and I took them with noted objection. I do not believe that drugs cure anything.
When the state assistance wouldn't pay for any more Prozac, I was switched over to Zoloft. This is where things began to go terribly wrong.
After months of taking the Zoloft pills, I began to have trouble with motor controls. I would be working and suddenly all sound would become muffled, my sight would gray out, and my whole body would momentarily relax, almost causing me to collapse.
The shrinks didn't seem concerned and kept me on the drugs.
I found out that the state (when they found out I had another fast food job) had decided that I had been SUCCESSFULLY placed in a job that matched my new training. Ha-ha! Joke was on me.
They also decided that my medical assistance was no longer an issue and cut me off, thusly making sure I could no longer take the prescribed medication and causing me to have to stop cold-turkey.
I was told that there would be no withdrawals or anything to be concerned about. That's when the physical symptoms became the strongest.
I also lost a lot of impulse control and found myself doing things I would have NEVER done before the drugs.
I ruined four relationships in the course of six months and lost my business, fell out of my step-grandfather's graces, and faced the night which I am about to relate to you.
Admittedly, I have had numerous panic attacks in my life. I didn't know what they were called when I was a child, but they always had the same general time of occurrence and the same basic feeling. It was strange being afraid of "nothingness", but that seemed to be the most fearful part of the whole ordeal whenever it would happen.
Of course, panic attacks DON'T make sense, That's why no one understands why they happen. Even a person feeling great can suddenly just "freak-out".
I am glad to say that nothing such as what I am about to relate has happened since. I have had panic attacks, and only recently (2008 or so) found out what they were and why my current attacks are happening. It's good to learn to reason your way out of the terror a panic attack can bring upon you, but it's not easy to learn how.
Do not complain about my use of multiple tenses here. One line of the story explains this. It is an essential tool to create the feeling of the incident. Remember, this really happened.
I hope that all of my readers whom have had these attacks can learn to "talk themselves down" as I did.
Take care, all!
--Sometimes at night the sky disappears, leaving no moon, no stars, no God--just an empty, endless void into which I sometimes fall. (Written one night when the Void was near.)
My lonely desperation keeps climaxing, bringing me to the brink of utter obliteration and then pulling me back to earth in some kind of merciless game.
Last night I fell into the sky again, drawn upward by the void. As always, I was helpless to resist the call and the darkness engulfed me. A presence in the room pressed against my mind.
Ripped from sleep, my eyes were forced open to the black room. My breath ceased for an eternity before I could draw in again life sustaining air.
I could feel the blood crawling down the freezing skin of my forehead. No, not blood--sweat. Dear God, it WAS blood but a few moments before!
In a moment, the pale, gaping maw of the window became visible, but the presence remained in the shadows. I can't focus my eyes. What is wrong with my vision?
Throwing back the sweat-soaked sheets, I sit up like a shot. My head pounding with the fullness of a thousand voices screaming their silent whispers into my skull.
My mind tells me I'm sitting still, but my hands still moved, found my clothes, and dressed me. Time and tense become fluid, ephemeral.
My head felt light and my balance tried to fail me as I moved in the darkness, preparing myself for what could only be considered inevitable.
I must end me.
Everything ends, doesn't it? Why should I be any different?
Haven't I destroyed everything else in my life? Haven't I let my fear run wild and crush everything precious which I was on the awesome verge of attaining?
Isn't that fear so mighty now that it feeds without restraint on my soul, draining my courage and, indeed, my very sense of self-preservation?
I knew I must cut its life short, but now it seems that only ending my own life will end the horror of the void!
I listen to the darkness. It calls with a voice only I can hear.
The orange light of the distant lamp standard casts a grotesque silhouette of of my features against the far wall.
The place smells cold as the opened windows rail sucks away the room's air into the foggy night.
I am dressed, but I really don't remember putting on those clothes.
My chest tightens as my hands turned clammy. My bowels feel as if they will release, but, rising, all sensation ceases.
My eyes continue straining to see the world around me, but all is grainy and smudged like a photo taken in a dusky room without flash.
I want to look around, but my neck and eyes refused to respond--fixed in place, staring agead.
With no command from me, my hand reaches for my heavy glasses at my bedside. The clock face nearby is pale and unreadable. It wouldn't know where I was in any case.
Glasses on, I remember the vast void wherein my footsteps will forever fall. Forever, unless I cut off the one soul which give suck to the demon presence.
This night, separated by every other night, the urge is palpable: my means though, unknown. My life MUST be ended!
I draw a deep breath and place my head into my palms. Cold sweat touches my forehead which burns as they touch. My breath sighs deep and slow through my teeth.
And again, another useless breath curses my lungs.
I walk to the end of the dock with weights tied to my chest, look into the black depths of the channel, and step off into the void. I blink.
I climb the path to the top of the Cap and stand by the precipice, my toes over the nothingness. I step off. I blink.
I walk the tracks crossing the rail-road trestle. The bright, evil eye of the train blinds me and I stand still, too far from safety to run--only dark waters beneath me. The tracks shake and rumble as the train's whistle cuts the darkness of the night. The cacophony surrounds me as the train races toward me, the light cuts my skin. I blink.
I walk to my grandfather's old room and the smell of the musty air fills my head. I don't turn on the light, I know the lay of the room. Five paces to the dresser, bottom drawer, under the thermal winter wear. I pull out the .22 revolver, load all its chambers, and close it. It's small, but should do the job. I put the silver barrel to the back of my head, near the base of my skull where the void is growing. I pull the trigger. I blink.
My mind returns and I'm still sitting in the dark, on the edge of a bed that is not actually mine. The deep darkness of the void casts its shadow to eternity before me and my attention turns to heaven.
I know not what pushes me, but I think words of petition, even though I am sure they go unheard by a God whom has long ago chosen to ignore me.
My words become audible and many. My tears will in my eyes. I cannot breath deeply now, my words come too quickly to allow it.
I clench my hands together in desparate prayer, not knowing if I'll gain a hearing ear.
Somehow, the words force the heavy claw that holds my heart to loosen its grip. The weight that was hung around my neck gradually fades and I can sit up again.
Amen brings a clearer head and the void closes like the curtains at an ancient theater.
I open my eyes to the night and there is peace.
I undress and climb back under the covers. The pillow again is my companion.
The moments crumble away as my eyes close and I wait for the void to open again.
--Sometimes at night the sky disappears, leaving no moon, no stars, no God--just an empty, endless void into which I sometimes fall.
Where I almost took my life. It's not there any more, but it was in the 1990's.