the hole

I’ve been sitting at the bottom of this hole for awhile now. I imagine that this hole is like a well from the cautionary fairy tales from my childhood. It looks just fine from above, sturdy, strong, and capable. It has the bucket that is still functioning. People visit me from above and yell down. They tell me about the weather and what they’re reading, careful to only talk about subjects that can be easily yelled. 

Once or twice a week my therapist visits. He sends me messages, often the same ones from the previous visit, sometimes he whispers and I can’t hear him, sometimes he yells and I grow frightened. 

I’m told by visitors that maybe medication will help me get out of this hole. I am getting comfortable in my hole. I’ve cleaned up the leaks using towels and have some great blankets that keep me warm because no matter how much I clean, it’s always cold. I think that maybe my blankets will be better than medication. 

Medication is sent down the bucket to me. As I swallow the pills I think, “only until I figure my way out of this hole.”

I begin to climb out of the hole. My fingers gripping the walls, toes reaching towards the ledges, eyes looking upward towards her. I can hear her voice and our conversation is easy. 

I slide all the way back down and fall in the puddle.

A different medication (this time two types!) is sent down the bucket. I can hear the creaking of the crank lowering that bucket. I hear the bucket clunk on the ground next to me and just watch the rope fall out of tension. 

I swallow the pills. 

I am not climbing the walls.

I have no desire. 

I lay under my blankets at the bottom of my hole. 

Visitors are gathering at the top of the well. I can hear them making decisions about what I should be doing. I can’t remember anything they say, I can’t see anything, my vision is blurry. My stomach turns again and I refuse to eat what is sent down. 

The visitors sound worried. I can hear the whispers, the hushed tones, but am unable to make out their words. I wish I could tell them not to worry, that I’m ok at the bottom of the hole, that I’ve got everything figured out in case I can’t get out. There’s no reason to worry.

The bucket is sent down with another medication. 

I rearrange my blankets and find another leak. I begin to clean it up when I hear dirt coming down the walls. The dirt ends up in my eyes, my mouth, my skin. Pebbles and rocks are sliding down the walls. I will have to clean again. 

My skin is itchy. From the dirt? From the meds? I yell up to the visitors, to James, to anyone. Is this itchiness ok? 

The bucket is returned to me empty, asking for all the medications I have in the hole and a list of all the medications I’ve ever taken. I comply. 

I lay at the bottom of the hole with my ear towards the damp, cold ground. It’s quiet. The visitors have left or maybe they are resting next to the well. I no longer have the voice to ask or to request anything. 

I rearrange the blankets and fall back asleep.

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