Wednesday, February 5, 2014

For Sarah

by pankaj via Flickr
Almost 5 years ago, I spent a week in the hospital after overdosing on sleeping pills. My dad found me in my apartment after work notified him that I hadn't shown up and couldn't be reached. My dad, quite literally, saved my life.

The anxiety from adjusting to life after I broke off my engagement and trying to maintain an incredibly unhealthy new relationship with a guy with severe mental health issues of his own completely hollowed me out. After three days of not being able to sleep on my regular dosage, I decided that perhaps finishing off the whole bottle of over twenty pills might do the trick.

My dad visited me everyday I was in the hospital. A few nearby friends also visited. My brother tearfully told me he couldn't get off of work to come down. My mother never broached the subject of seeing me.

Many people, including hospital staff, friends, and fellow patients, told me how lucky I was to have such a supportive father. I casually mentioned this to him during one of his visits. The next day, he gave me an envelope containing two pieces of paper. One was a letter, explaining, "I don't know how to be anything except what I am- truth be told, I'm the lucky one." He went on to say that the second piece of paper was ripped from one of his sketchbooks and it contained a poem he had written the day I was born.

The paper is very yellowed and brittle. It has that distinct sweet, earthly smell of old paper. The letters in pencil are faded, but are still undoubtedly in my dad's distinctive, all caps handwriting. His words are as follows:

"If I could give you the sun,
I'll surrender the mountains I'll climb
To give you the sun, if I could.
The gold I'll catch and save the rays,
the shine from within.
If I could, the yellow white sky."

I was less than 24 hours old and my dad loved me unconditionally. He didn't know what I would become, but he wanted everything for me. The fact that he is no longer living, the person who has loved me most of all, fills me with an almost inexpressible loneliness.

I could sure use the sun's rays at times like these.

1 comment:

  1. What an incredibly brave story. I envy your relationship with my dad. My dad has hurt me so much that I've developed an eating disorder to protect myself from that kind of pain. I absolutely understand the hurt that led you to want to end your life, and I want to pass on all the strength that I can. I've been there, I understand. Things will get better. I know you don't believe it now, but they will.

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