I popped my first benzodiazepine in a parking lot. The little pill in my hand had no idea what I was facing; how badly I needed her tranquil release to take place within my body. I gulped down water from a plastic bottle, and the pill went swimming down my throat to work her magic. Please Dear Pill, settle me… still me. I need you. The pill didn’t know it, but I would momentarily confront my husband about cheating on me.
The prescription had been filled for me after a panicked call to the doctor. I was in a daze. Some moments I was bawling my eyes out and others I was mute. Shock had surrounded me in a tight embrace. Hours earlier I had spoken with a woman who informed me that my husband had been soliciting sex partners online; she was to have been one of those partners.
My husband denied the allegations. I went home and collapsed on our bed. My eyes shuffled over the four walls. This was our room; a room for two, but a third party had invaded it. Fear encased me. Before my husband came home from work that night I popped another pill. Please Dear Pill, I don’t think I can sleep next to him unless you settle me… still me. I need you. He put his arms around me when he got into bed that night.
When the truth couldn’t be proven and it wouldn’t be admitted; I watched him pack his bags. A pile of clothes and a toothbrush, stuffed into a black suitcase, encouraged me toward the orange bottle with the white cap. Goodbye to the green car that he drove. Goodbye to my fairytale that had taken a dark twist. Please Dear Pill, I can’t get through my first night alone without you.
The truth came out on paper and ink and credit card receipts. Computer screens gave my husband away. He signed his name in black against white. Our marriage was over, and clinical depression arrived in its place. Water from a plastic bottle was traded for another clear liquid in a glass bottle. Vodka and benzos hushed the roar of the chaos that had become my life.
Some months later, I wanted to rid myself of the quiet these pills had brought me. I wanted the loud, I wanted the crazy; I wanted to feel it all. And so I did. I detoxed in the most dangerous way, without the doctor’s approval, but danger was nothing new to me; the very person who swore to love me forever and ever was the same person who knowingly poured peril all over my head. Goodbye Dear Pill, thank you for the quiet and for the stability you brought me, but I need to find stillness on my own now. I threw the benzos in the garbage. Then, the vomiting, chills, fevers, and blackouts came to keep me company.
Memories are powerful entities; sometimes they build and other times they crush. After months of battling my own thoughts they once again overpowered me. Some of my memories would replay and replay and I would dizzy in the pain of it all. My will was strong, my faith was present, but my limbic system was in crisis. I called my doctor, and the drugs were ordered to the front lines once again. PTSD, you are a force I cannot face on my own. Dear Pill, please help me.
My battle with anxiety, insomnia, and depression began years ago on an unsuspecting autumn day, and bonding with benzos wasn’t something I ever thought I would do during my life, but I did.