Nighttime.Â For some it is a peaceful time.Â A time to rest.Â A day of work and stress is over, and now a time for rest has finally arrived.Â There have been times in my life when night has been this blessed surrender.Â Being bipolar, however, there are many times when night is anything but a blessing, and surrender is far away.Â My days are spent with distractions â€“ friends, the television, the internet, places to go . . . At night, these distractions are gone.Â I have no choice but to face the countless thoughts racing through my mind.Â It is the night's revenge.
It is March of 1997.Â I sit on the edge of my bed in my dorm room, staring at the dresser drawer.Â The bottle of Tylenol? There's about twenty in there.Â 500-milligram tablets - but that probably wouldn't do it. The bottle of cough syrup? But that would just make me sleep.Â Oh God, I just want to escape!Â I get off the bed and walk over to the dresser. I look at myself in the mirror.Â What a failure you are! You are so stupid!Â Such a disappointment.Â I hate myself!Â Mrs. King was right.Â Who will ever hire you?Â You're so fat and stupid.Â
These thoughts race like lightning through my head, so fast I can barely hear each one, yet torturously I can hear each one.Â I tentatively reach out my hand to touch the drawer, as though by that mere act I am damning myself to hell. I quickly recoil my hand and sob. "You can't do this!"Â I say aloud, chastising myself. Oh God, I just want everything to stop!Â
I fall to my knees, covering my face with my hands as I sob in a desperate hope to block out the world and the racing thoughts.Â It will be better if I am gone.Â I know it is wrong but I don't know what else to do!Â I can't handle this!Â Anything is better than this.Â Oh God, please help me! Â I don't want to die, but I cannot live like this!Â Are You even there?Â It doesn't matter!Â I am such a failure!Â Oh God I just want to escape!Â I wish I could just disappear.Â
I shake my head to try to stop the racing thoughts.Â My heart is sinking in my chest and tears fall uncontrollably.Â I reach out a shaky hand to touch the drawer again, slowly rubbing my fingers across its cool surface as I battle the mixed desires in my head. The need to open the drawer is so overwhelming, yet so incredibly damning at the same time.
No one will ever hire you as heavy as you are, Monica.Â You know, if you wanted to lose weight, you could.Â The racing words of Mrs. King are a jolt of courage.Â I open the drawer, and reach in with a shaking hand to pick up the small wax paper wrapped pedicure blades.
Will it work, or will I just end up in a hospital half dead and locked in a psych ward?Â What was it that Will said about serious suicidal people?Â How do they slit their wrists?Â Will it hurt? How long will it take?Â Who will find me?Â What will they think? Oh God I am such a failure!Â I just want it to end!Â What are you doing?Â Stop!Â Don't do this Monica!Â Oh God, I'm so confused!Â I wish I could just disappear.Â I can't do this anymore.Â Not another night like this!
I close my hand around the pack, then walk back to the bed and kneel down beside it. I begin removing the wax paper. Inside are three shiny blades, which slide off the wax paper onto the pastel comforter, giving a slight clinking noise as they land.Â I glare at the potentially lethal object before me.
I just want it to end! I am such a failure!Â I have messed up so badly and I just can't handle this anymore.Â I cover my face with my hands. Then with a sudden burst of anger I look up toward the ceiling. Why are You doing this to me God!Â Why can't You fix everything!Â Why is my life so screwed up?
I pick up a blade with my right hand, holding the sharp edge parallel to my left arm, and placing the edge against my wrist. My hand shakes and I nick the skin on my wrist, bringing a small dark red droplet of blood to the surface of my skin. I break down with a loud sob, throwing the blade across the room. The blade bounced off the hard tile floor and lands under the dresser. Letting out a sorrowful yell, I collapse to the rug-covered floor in front of my bed, covering my face with my hands in an attempt to block out the pain of the reality of my life. "You can't do this! YOU CAN'T DO THIS!" I cry out.
I crawl onto the bed and cuddle a pillow, drenching it with tears, and allowing it to stifle the sound of my sobs. Mom taught you better.Â Who are you to think that you have the right to end what God created and gave to you? And what would ya tell God - "Sorry, I couldn't stand the thought of trying to fix what I had gotten myself into?Â Sorry, no I didn't trust You to get me through this!"
I yell out in anger at myself.Â I decide to leave the room.Â I need to get out, get away from the thoughts of suicide that are tormenting me.Â I go down the hall to the common kitchen area and walk to the window.Â I push it open and feel the cool breeze. The screen is missing because of the immature antics of other hall mates throwing water balloons at unsuspecting passersby.Â Â
I lean my head out and look across the campus. The ninth floor of the women's dormitory gives a full view of the Western Carolina University campus, all nestled in a valley of mountains.Â I take in a deep breath and close my eyes. I wish I could just fly away, over the mountains and just keep going and going, never stopping!Â I look down at the sidewalk below and have a momentary thought of jumping.Â Then just as quickly I slam the window closed.Â I have to get out of here!
It is late winter, and I have no shoes on, but I don't care.Â I am wearing shorts and a t-shirt, but I don't bother to go back to my room to put on better clothing.Â I want to feel the pain of the cold.Â Somehow feeling that pain lessens the emotional pain I am trying to run away from.Â WCU has fairly mild winters, considering, so it probably in the low fifties or upper forties.Â I have no plan of where to go, but I know I cannot be in my room where the suicidal thoughts keep me awake and obsessed.
I walk across the street, up the sidewalk to the bell tower, stopping in front of it to look up at its illuminated face. It is three forty in the morning.Â Oh God, only three forty?Â So much time between now and morning.Â So much time before my mind will rest and let me sleep, before people will be awake to distract me.Â How am I ever going to make it?Â
A screech echoes from the bell tower and a bat flutters out into the night sky. I gasp, startled at the sudden noise. I had forgotten about the bats that inhabit the tower a night.Â I decide to walk on.Â I walk fast, and see an occasional student also at this odd hour of the morning, but they are never close.Â After making it around half the campus, I decide to sit and stare at the stars.Â There are two semi circle benches with a pathway in-between, but it is not a well-traveled area of campus.Â Maybe someone will see me, stop and ask me why I am out dressed like I am.Â I want someone to save me, help me, make it all better.Â But what if really know what I am thinking?Â Will they lock me up and throw away the key?Â
To avoid being seen, I choose to sit in the pathway, leaning against the bench.Â I can see my dormitory from where I sit, and all my mistakes and feelings of failure flood my soul.Â God, I am so confused.Â I know I need help.Â I don't want to die but I can't stop these thoughts.Â I feel like I have messed up so badly.Â I have let everyone down.Â I'm not going to graduate.Â I can't go out into the real world!Â I am worthless God!Â I don't know what to do!Â It seems no matter what I do I am damned.Â I need You, but I feel so far from You God. I'm so confused. I hate myself.Â I am such a disappointment to You and my family.Â I just don't know what to do.Â Please help me God!
I hear footsteps coming from further up the path.Â Oh no, someone's coming!Â I can't let them see me!Â I can't let them find me!Â But maybe they will help me?Â Maybe I should let them find me?Â But no, I can't let them see me!Â Oh please God just make them go away!Â I duck down and hide. Much to my thankfulness, the passing Campus Security Officer takes the sidewalk around the area I am in rather than through, and he does not notice me.Â I am filled with relief, then grief.Â Maybe I should have said something to him.Â Maybe he could help me.Â Maybe I do need to go to a mental hospital for awhile.Â Oh, but that is so scary!Â What if they keep me?Â What if they make me do things I don't want to do?Â What if it really is like Girl Interrupted? Maybe I am crazy?Â Maybe that is what I need?Â Oh I am so confused!
With these panicky thoughts, I realize it is time to be on the move.Â I get up and begin my walk again.Â I cross the street and walk toward the cafeteria.Â Okay God, maybe You sent that Campus Security Officer to help me.Â I'll sit in front of the cafeteria.Â This time, if You send someone, I will ask for help.Â I then go to one of the benches in front of the cafeteria, close to the road, and sit down.Â I cry again.Â It seems to be the one thing I am good at lately.Â
Suddenly I notice a Campus Security vehicle stopping in front of me.Â The passenger window rolls down, and a curly haired woman calls out to me.Â "Are you okay?"
I panic again, and am not sure what to say.Â This time I cannot hide, but that is exactly what I want to do.Â I want to run and hide.Â I want to disappear.Â "I'm fine."Â I reply.Â Fine? What? You're fine?Â This is your chance!Â She seems nice.Â Tell her you need help!Â
The Campus Security Officer is not willing to accept "I'm fine."Â She parks her SUV along the side of the road and comes to sit beside me on the bench.Â "You aren't dressed for this weather.Â Aren't you cold sweetie?"
Say whatever you have to say to make her go away!Â "It's not so bad.Â I'm hot natured."
The officer nods her head and smiles.Â "So what brings you out here at this time of night?Â Did you have a fight with your roommate or something?"
Ah there, yes, an excuse.Â I don't have a roommate but she doesn't know that.Â "Yeah.Â I just needed to get out for a little while."Â
"Would you like to ride around with me for awhile and talk about it?" she asks caringly.
"I'll be okay.Â I think I can go back now and go to sleep.Â Thank you anyway,"Â I say, hoping she will buy my lies and leave me alone.
"Are you sure sweetie?Â I really don't mind if you need someone to talk to.Â Are you sure you will be okay?" she asks one last time.
Hold back the tears.Â Look confident.Â Hide your panic so she will go away.Â Do whatever is necessary to make her go away.Â "Yes, I'll be okay.Â Thank you."Â
I watch as she gets in her vehicle and leaves, and I walk back to the dorm.Â The sun is rising now. I enter my dorm room exhausted, and finally the exhaustion has quieted all the racing thoughts and obsessions so I can fall into a deep sleep.Â I have made it through another night, and the night's revenge was not successful.Â
Â©2006 Monica Kennedy All rights reservedI had originally written this as Making it Through the Night, but Cathy's great words for the Two Word Challenge this Week â€“ Night's Revenge, made me think that I needed to revise this and republish it.Â This was a very difficult autobiographical piece for me to write, and after writing the original, I also wrote My Commentary on Making it Through the Night.Â I still think that piece is pertinent with this revision, and encourage those interested in learning more about this experience, especially about how my faith has helped me since, to read that as well.