Excerpt from Chapter 12: Fear of Living →
This excerpt is about depression and cancer:
I think about the guns in my closet. I debate loading them, each time closer to being unable to see an alternative.
I look at the phone, my hotline to Unit 57. I watch it for several minutes, thoughts of ending my life taking clearer shape. Suicide is the solid choice I am being pulled toward. But then I realize the overpowering outcomes of unleashing that event.
Should I call the unit after everything they have done for me? I don’t want to be a pest.
The nurse immediately recognizes my voice.
She asks, “Have you thought of hurting yourself?”
“Are there guns in the house?”
“Sit tight. Stay with me. Help is on the way.”
I sit on the edge of my bed, facing the wall. Head in my hands, broken. I have failed everyone. I want to quit for the first time since all this began.
Dr. Chaudhry immediately comes in and kneels in front of me. His posture surprises me because he is now the one who must look up to make eye contact. He tenderly grips my hands, and for a moment, we’re held in silence.
“You have been my best patient ever,” he says. “Your positive attitude has been a marvelous influence on both patients and staff. Yes, I know you do not want to be here, but you had been sick for a very long time before you came to me. You were strong for months for those you love, but now, let me take care of you. You are in the best place you can be right now.”
In that moment, I am no longer miles from nowhere.