and half a hundred combinations later
and a Walmart bag
bulging with useless antidotes,
I sit on the couch about to try again.
it’s not ever easy.
there are times I feel normal,
but normal is always eggshell thin.
if I go a day without one half a pill
I will not sleep.
Instead, I will sit by the porcelain
and regurgitate all the formulas
my counselors have taught me.
My husband’s brother once told me
he read a book where a woman
refused to learn whether she had cancer.
she preferred the denial,
lived in constant agony of not knowing
for fear of it being true.
he found it ridiculous
anyone would not want to know.
I have learned to hide things,
to wait til the last minute to report them
so as to avoid the pain
because if they find out I am worse than they thought,
they will punish me.
more meds, more appointments.
“but if you are unable to cope now,” you ask,
“why does it matter?”
because knowing I am unable to cope
is admitting I am sick.