Anxiously, I paced back and forth in my den. I am distracted by a painting on the wall that I had painted years ago. Thinking how could I forget about me, and my family, and sit in the dark for so many years. Anxiety had taken all of the fun from my life. Every panic attack I struggle with day by day. My body shakes with fear and guilt. I question myself. "Why does this happen?" I decided everyday open the curtains up little by little and see the light. I need to fight. I need to be the person I use to be. Yes! Yes! Yes! But it's always no. That's what I always say, but will I be able to do it today? I stared at the curtains and lit another cigarette. I'm really contemplating what to do. Stop thinking and just open it, just a little crack. All of this is going through my head as I take another puff. I scream, "Stop it brain, just shut the hell up!" I'm tired now in a fight with myself. I left the room with my cigarette smoking in the ashtray. My body is shaking. Where is my medicine? I need to take it. My hands are fidgeting around in my purse. Finally, I find it without pouring everything out on the bed. OK, now I have to wait for a few minutes and I will stop shaking. I need to occupy my mind with something—anything. I could do laundry, but then I would have to wait for it to wash. And put it in the dryer. I could do the dishes, but everything is clean. I don't remember the last time I ate. I slipped down the wall, wrapping my arms around my head. I give up! I'm crying! I can't deal with my runaway mind. I look up and see a little mouse hiding under the hallway table. I sit and stare at it for a few minutes. Then it runs away. I think great, now my already falling apart house is infested with mice. The lights start to flicker. They are on the walls. I lay on the floor with my ear against the wall. I can hear you little bastards. I go to the kitchen and see if I can find some poison. All of my cabinets are filled with mouse poop. I gasped and cried at the sight. Looking down at the stove, more poop. All of my cereal ruined. Now, what do I do? I have no poison. And I have no car. It broke down two weeks ago. I run to get the broom and bleach. I swept everything out of my cabinets on to the floor. I filled the sink full of bleach and started cleaning. The lights are flickering again. Oh my gosh, the mice are in the walls eating the wires. How can I fix this? I'm all by myself. I have no family. I have no friends. I have the very little money that is my disability check. In the middle of bleach, I throw down my sponge and rip off my gloves. Puddles of bleach water with mouse poop floating around me. I run to the front door. Holding the doorknob, wanting to set me free. It's a struggle with the panic of the sunlight and the safety in the dark, but my dark sanctuary has been invaded by creatures. I have to think!!! Make my mind work. It's hard to concentrate on one thing. I still think about the laundry. I still think about how a warm bath will calm me down, but this will not fix the mouse poop floating in a river of bleach. Mashed potatoes flack cereal, taco seasoning, and bags of dry beans. I'm crying again holding the doorknob. "I need help," I mumble!!!! God, I pray for your help. By now my medicine has kicked in and I go upstairs and lay down, not looking forward to tomorrow.
I wake up rolling my eyes, thinking no I woke up to another day of mental hell. I go downstairs, thankfully the sun is not up yet to freak me out. I will make some coffee and relax in my favorite chair in front of the fireplace. I entered the kitchen and screamed. No, this shit is still here. I never cleaned it up. I started sweeping by now. The bleach water had dried up and I tried to put it in the trash can, but shit wouldn't you know it? I don't have any bags. I dumped it in the can and threw the whole thing out the back door. I opened the can of coffee, reached for my filters, and what in the hell do I see? Yep, little pieces of mouse shit. I also threw them out the back door. By now I'm really pissed and it's time to take my medicine. I get a drink from the refrigerator. At least I know it's not contaminated. I go to the den and take my medicine. I stared at the fireplace, just wishing someone would make me a fire. I don't have any wood. I don't have a way to get any. Why don't I have these things? I could have sworn yesterday I had a roaring fire in there. It's so cold in here. I'm shivering. Was there a fire? Was there not a fire? What did I do yesterday? I must have done something. Surely I took a bath. I pulled my long hair down from the bun I always keep it in. It feels dirty and my scalp is itchy. Well, now I'm going to take a bath and relax. I go upstairs and there I see the mouse, or maybe it's a relative that's taking over control of my house. I charged at it. I am going to squish you and your whole family. I put my hair back into a bun and ran around the house, looking for something to smash it with. Maybe if I talk to it really nice, it will come out and talk to me. I really need to start a fire. I'm so cold. I go downstairs to the den and there is already a fire started. I'm surprised. How did that happen? In confusion, I sat in my chair and there was a hot steamy cup of coffee. I lit a cigarette and thought, what is this? Where am I? I have no clue what is happening. Looking around my room, I don't see my paintings. Am I in the right house? I will open the curtains just a bit to see outside. The sun is out now and I'm very nervous. I reach to pull it just a little bit and I heard the dryer ding. I turned, I'm confused about what is going on? I didn't turn on the dryer, or did I? I need my medicine. I'm starting to shake again. I find it right next to my coffee. I will be okay now. I will sit here, breathe deeply, slowly, and enjoy my fire.