I'm sitting in an emergency room waiting area with your dad. He hasn't asked me what happened yet, and I'm glad. I'm not sure what I would tell him if he pressed me for information.
When the nurse asked me, I did a poor job of explaining: I had spent the previous evening talking through the bathroom door, trying to get you out before you did something to hurt yourself. I stayed up long enough to make sure you were actually asleep, and then called in sick to work. As I slept, you snuck out of the apartment and went to the grocery store, where you proceeded to steal four boxes of Nyquil tablets. You took them all the way home, dry swallowing them one at a time until you had nothing but a pile of empty boxes. You crawled back into bed as if nothing happened. Well after I woke up and watched some television, you came stumbling out of the bedroom looking drunk. It took me three hours before you finally told me what had happened.
You were out of your mind on the pseudoephedrine. When I tried to call 911, you beat me over the head with the base of the phone. You tore at my clothes, begging me to just let you die. You were so tired of the pain of the depression and the manic highs that you wanted me to let you go. Somewhere in you mind, you must have honestly thought that I would succumb to this logic. It must have been a shock when I rejected this idea and ran across the street to call your father.
And now here we are in the waiting room, trying to get what little bits of information we can divine from the emergency room staff. You had already absorbed most of the acetaminophen into your liver, and they had to detox you before it became a worse situation. No, we couldn't come in and see you yet. Yes, things were starting to look up.
It's been three hours, and I'm tired. Tired of the nurses telling me that it's not my fault that you're in this state. That it's not my fault that you stopped taking your meds. That a majority of people with bipolar disorder often stop taking the medication because they think they can do without once they're feeling better. I was so crazy at the time that I wouldn't buy it. It felt like it was my fault that you were laying on a gurney with a bunch of fucked up tubes coming out of your arms.
I go outside to have a cigarette, and your dad follows me out. We stand there in the chilly fall air for a few minutes, not saying anything to each other. After I throw down my smoke and stamp it, your father looks at me and says quietly, "You okay?" I burst into tears for a decent five minutes. It's the first time I've ever let a man hold me while I cried.
We will never talk about that. There are more important things to talk about.