... it's day 6.
I'm going all insane
Curled up on the floor
Wonder ways to kill the pain"
("Punch Me, I Bleed" – Children of Bodom)
A/N: Just when you thought, "Oh fuck. That was bad." Well here comes Day 6 ...
DAY 6: AROUND 3AM
I felt like the walking fucking dead. I couldn't lie in that bed one more second. I quietly got up. I didn't want to wake Kat. I grabbed my jacket and my wallet and I walked out the front door. The cool air seemed to encircle me and draw me out into the night. With a clammy hand I flicked my lighter and pulled the smoke down into my lungs. A nervous energy was building in the pit of my stomach, acting like some kind of fuel that was enabling my legs to carry me down the sidewalk. There was a 24-hour market three blocks away.
I could feel beads of sweat trickle down my back as I arrived at the small storefront. My mind was at war with itself again. I was losing to myself - losing to the self-pity. I was truly ashamed. I hoped Kat would not wake up and find that I had left. The last 5 days were just too much for me. I couldn't cope. My only coping mechanism for the last, I don't know how many years, came from a bottle. I would just buy one – one single beer. That's all I needed. My legs wobbled slightly as I reached for the door and pushed my way in. I had been lying in the darkness for hours and the bright fluorescent lights that hung from the ceiling burned my retinas. A wave of vertigo hit me. My heart fluttered in my chest. I willed myself to walk towards the coolers in the back where my sweet salvation lay in wait for me.
Shame washed over me when I picked up that Heineken. No looking back now, I thought. Just one beer. It wasn't a relapse. Hell, I had barely quit drinking. A relapse was something you had months or years down the road. Right then, I couldn't even see to sunrise, let alone into the far future.
I paid and left the store, lighting another cigarette. I clutched the cold bottle to my chest. Beer and cigarettes - what could be better than that I asked myself. I could almost taste it. I wondered if I should just down it right there, but I got paranoid of a cop rolling by and seeing me drinking like some fucking homeless bum or something. I snuck back into the apartment and hid the bottle behind my back, just in case. I checked and Kat was still sleeping peacefully. Fucking lucky – if only I could sleep. If only I wasn't forced to reside in this haunted head and this body that every day seemed to find a new way to rebel against itself.
I sat down on the floor in the kitchen. If Kat walked out, I'd hear her first and she wouldn't be able to see me right away. I could hide from her ... hide from her how weak I was. I took the bottle out of its paper bag wrapper and held it in my hand. The coolness seeped into my palm. After my walk I felt like I was overheating again. I wiggled out of my jacket and put the bottle on the back of my neck, instantly relaxing into the cold sensation. My lips were parched. My throat ached. My head throbbed as my pulse beat out a drum solo on my temples. I needed that drink. It had become a singular desire.
Sitting on that floor, in the dark, with that beer bottle in my hand I felt utterly removed from the world of the living. I felt like a ghost - like I'd somehow slipped away in my sleep and naturally the first thing I'd want to do is go get a beer and haunt the fuck out of Kat's apartment. Maybe I really was already dead? I really didn't know. Your brain comes up with some fucked up thoughts in the middle of the night – especially when it's been excreting all manner of chemicals and toxins and it hasn't had any real rest in days.
Did I have regrets about my life? I think if I didn't, I wouldn't have really lived. Did I commit any sins? Fuck yeah, I did. Did I feel love and hate and need and anger? Maybe I was just swallowed up by my nightmares, never to wake? Maybe Freddy finally got me ... or maybe the devil did. I stared at the bottle in my hand. At least there was booze in hell.
Fucking tears were falling again. Until then, I thought my eyeballs had already dried up, sunk back into my sockets and decomposed. I couldn't see anything but blackness in front of me. The light from the window couldn't even penetrate into my imaginary tomb. I didn't know how long I had been sitting there. Then there was that fucking bottle. Its coolness was gone. Perhaps it was just from the heat of my hand? I thought corpses didn't give off heat.
I don't know what came over me then, but I went from feeling certain I was dead inside to just wanting to smash something. The urge was over-powering in fact. I was fucking angry. I was angry with myself for breaking down like this. In the darkness I silently asked myself, "Did you really walk the fuck out of this apartment and out into the New Jersey night and buy a fucking beer?" And of course, the answer was, yes ... yes I did ... because there it was still in my fucking hand, in a death grip. I just wanted to smash that fucking bottle.
I heard a snap and then felt the liquid spill between my legs and onto the floor. I looked down, straining to see and I felt the sharp pain in my hand. At least I felt something. My head rolled back and made a thud against the cabinet. Back to the nightmares I went.
DAY 6: AROUND 7AM
"Oh fuck. Gerard!"
My eyes flew open when I felt something or someone grab my shoulder.
"Jesus fucking christ ... what the hell happened?"
It was Kat. Apparently I had passed out on the kitchen floor. I smelled beer. I looked down and between my legs lay a broken bottle and a puddle of beer mixed with blood. 'Holy fuck' was all I could think.
"Fuck. Oh god."
I remembered. I remembered walking to the fucking store in the middle of the night and buying that bottle of beer.
"God you scared the fucking shit out of me. I thought you ... "
I finished her sentence for her.
"Fucking killed myself? No ... no, funny thing about that though ... I think I'd convinced myself I was already dead."
"Your hand's all fucked up. C'mon, get up."
"I didn't drink it, Kat. I swear, I didn't fucking drink it. I smashed it ... with my bare hand ... I crushed that fucking bottle."
"I know you didn't drink it. I'm proud of you for that."
"How do you know? I could be fucking lying to you right now. I'm a pathetic shit ... you don't know ... I'm a fucking alcoholic!"
Nothing like waking up on an emotional roller coaster. In one way I just wanted to wallow around in that beer and blood and broken glass - smear it all over me like some pig does with mud - give myself some good scars to remember ... as if I'd ever forget this. How could anyone feel proud of me right now? Somehow I beat the urge ... this time ... but what about the next. This shit was such a part of me.
"First of all, you're not pathetic. You may think you're weak, but you smashed that bottle rather than drink it. And how do I know you didn't drink it?"
She held up part of the neck of the bottle. The cap was still attached. A sick realization came over me – I truly was an alcoholic. I felt my stomach clench as a wave of nausea topped with anxiety hit me. I don't think it was until that point that I admitted that being an alcoholic meant I'd have to deal with it for the rest of my life. I might always feel the pull – to take another drink. I felt shattered, just like that beer bottle - cracked into pieces and scattered onto the floor. My mouth was so dry. I tried to swallow but I gagged instead. Then I felt the acidic burn as what little was in my stomach was making it's way up and out.
"I'm gonna ... puke ..."
Somehow Kat managed to get me to the kitchen sink just as I retched. I was fucking scared. I closed my eyes. My hands clamped onto the counter top and I was sure my knuckles were turning white. I felt the pain in my hand as the cut from the bottle reopened. Kat had her arms around my waist, keeping me up. I felt her slip a hand over my forehead and pull my hair out of my face. I thought nothing could top the loss of control I felt last night, but this was a new all time low. My arms and legs shuddered. I squeezed my eyes shut even tighter. My jaw clenched so hard I thought my teeth would shatter. I sobbed uncontrollably. The thought went through my head that if this was death - I wished it would get on with it. I wanted to be done with this agony. I opened my eyes and looked down into the sink. I wasn't dead yet. I tried to imagine that puddle of puke was all the dark shit I was feeling and I was gonna try my best to wash it down the garbage disposal.
I reached out and turned on the faucet. My hand shook as I leaned over to flip the switch on the disposal.
"Gerard ... don't worry about that shit, I'll clean it up. I think you should sit down and try to drink some water."
"No. I have to do this. Just let me do this."
Something happened to me then that I can't really explain, but it was a glimmer of hope. It wasn't just the disposing of the vomit that got to me ... It was just that one small gesture – Kat picking me up and holding on to me – that gave me the will endure.
DAY 6: AROUND 1PM
I'd been holed up in Kat's bedroom since after she made me eat breakfast. Even after throwing up again this morning, it seemed my body needed that food and I didn't feel sick again. I think part of the reason why I had gotten sick was just all the fear and emotion and anxiety hitting me at that moment. It was like my body's way of getting through that. I realized as I sat there that over the last few days I felt kind of like a stranger in my own body ... so detached. It was just adding to my feelings of inadequacy. I tried not to fixate on those thoughts.
As I sat on her bed, I really didn't want to think about anything. Most of the time I was just staring at the wall and watching the clock change with every agonizing minute that ticked by. Occasionally I'd move to put on a CD, or get up to take a piss or fill the plastic cup I was clutching with more water – plastic, because I didn't want a repeat of last night. I looked at the large bandage Kat had put on the fleshy part of my palm. I just wanted the hours to pass – for the sun to make its way from one horizon to the next so I could say I made it through another day.
DAY 6: AROUND 2PM
"Dr. Levy's office, how can I help you?"
"Uh, I need to make an appointment."
"Have you been in before?"
"Yeah ... earlier this year."
"What's the name?"
"Uh, Gerard Way."
"Would tomorrow at 1pm be okay with you, Gerard?"
"We'll see you then."
DAY 6: AT 2:10PM
I felt really apprehensive about it, but I pushed myself to make an appointment with the therapist I had previously been to. There weren't very many things that I felt I had control over lately, but that one small task felt like an accomplishment somehow.
When I'd gone back to my parent's house the other day I picked up some clean clothes and my sketchbook and pens. After the phone call, I tried to focus my attention enough to be able to draw something. I didn't understand how I could stare at the fucking wall for hours on end, but not be able to spend 10 minutes trying to create something. That made me feel so fucking destroyed inside. That was one of those few things I lived for – to create – whether it was art or music or whatever. I needed that. But forcing it was not working. I just had to keep hoping that it would all come back to me.
DAY 6: AROUND 4PM
"Let's go get some dinner or something. I think it might be good for us to just go out. Not that I think there's anything wrong with you wanting to just sit in here though ... I mean, if that's what you want to do right now."
I looked up at her leaning in the doorway. I couldn't blame her for adding that last part in there. I understood though. She didn't want to make me feel any worse than I already did. I didn't know if I wanted to go out though. I felt that if I went out, I might as well be wearing a neon fucking sign that blinked, "ALCOHOLIC FUCK UP". But I wanted her to believe in me too. And I didn't want to entomb her in her own apartment, baby sitting my ass, holding my hand and making sure to be there to help clean off all the sweat and puke and piss and blood and jizz, if need be - making sure I didn't give up through all of it.
Sometimes I felt like I didn't even deserve her. I didn't deserve to have anyone care about me. All those hours of late that I spent staring at walls my mind sometimes did just blank out – like an autonomic defense mechanism or something. But sometimes, like now, I couldn't stop thinking. This time it was about how I acted as a drunk. Sure, I'd had some good times – those that I could remember – but this last year had been, well, different. I guess the brain and body can only take so much before something cracks. And even still, sometimes you ignore it – until something drastic happens, like ending up in the hospital. I tried not to think of how close I'd come to my own "edge" – that I damn near fell right off it in fact. I silently and sarcastically laughed at myself when I realized that I almost got my "wish" – for how long had I thought that the world would be a better place without me? But now, I really wanted to be a part of the world again. I wanted my life back.
I stared at Kat. I was doing a lot of staring lately. I really didn't know what to say. I was amazed she hadn't dumped me by now. Who wanted a boyfriend that was more interested in getting wasted than getting intimate with you anyway? I felt so fucking bad. I'd been ignoring so many things – so many people that meant the world to me. But by this point, I didn't even have the energy to beat myself up anymore. I took a deep breath and tried to compose an answer for her.
"I want to ... but I don't want to, if that makes sense?"
She came over and sat on the bed. She took my hand, the one with the bandage on it, and lightly traced her fingers over it. I felt for an instant that maybe just through her touching my hand she could hear the words that I couldn't yet say. There were times, in the past, when she spoke to me about my problem and I, of course, didn't want to hear her. I didn't want to let her into my dark world. I hated those times I ignored the hurt and frustration and anger in her voice as she shook or as tears started to fall down her cheeks when she looked at me drunk and wasted for another night. But here she was now, sitting here holding my hand.
"Yeah. You know, there was something my dad once told me and I'm gonna tell you, because I think you may get something out of it ..."
"What is it?"
"Well, when I was 13, I had tried out for this play at school, but I didn't get the part. I remember being really fucking broken up about it, but at the same time, I was feeling really sorry for myself too. I mean, I was this fat, geeky girl with bad hair and braces, so how could I have ever expected to actually succeed at doing something as monumental as acting."
I just sat there listening to her recount this tale from her past and trying to comprehend the meaning behind it. I could definitely relate though. I had been a fat geeky kid who failed at a lot of things as well.
"So I sat on the back steps of our house one night crying my fucking eyes out. My dad found me and sat down next to me. He didn't put his arm around me or anything ... he just started talking. I looked at him and he pointed to the sky and said, 'Kat, did you know that there are stars going supernova out there?' And then he got up and walked back in the fucking house. Suddenly, me not getting that fucking part didn't seem so bad."
God. That was fucking deep.
A/N Part II: If I would have just showed up here and started putting this story out without saying shit – without letting on at all that it's mostly personal experience – do you guys think it would have mattered? Would it make you feel the same way reading it? I guess I'm just feeling really self-conscious or something (dredging up all this shit has something to do with that I know) ... like would the story stand on its own even if it wasn't fanfic and even if it wasn't someone's personal experiences? Either way, I'm getting a lot of out writing it. I feel like this one really is my "baby" so to speak – like I'm free to write just whatever pops into my head from my collection of memories. If you've noticed, the writing is kinda all over the board stylistically and with the POV. I haven't dipped into 2nd (well, there might be a few times in the "self talk" SOC where Gerard refers to himself as "you" but that's how that POV works sometimes) or 3rd POV yet, but I might. It kind of mirrors this whole time period though – everything was so disjointed and messed up. One minute was one thing and then another minute seemed to be something totally different. Well, that's all I have to say about that right now. I'm gonna go play some xbox now.