The MRI did not reveal
your deeper injuries.

There was no remedy
for what you could not speak aloud.

You spoke of this prickly black ball
that contained lightning.

Sheets struck your heart.
Its thunder trembled your limbs.

For a time you practiced self-medication
through sex and baseball.

After seven therapists
saw you only as a subject

you found a counselor
at a church clinic helping mostly addicts.

She was the first to see you.
A living, grieving person.

You threw yourself into the black maelstrom
sure your masters level education would prevail.

But you never found words to describe
what occurred before you acquired speech.

As unmoored shame overwhelmed
your other emotions,

sex took a sick twisted turn
and baseball turned into bar fights.

You blamed yourself time and again
for not succeeding.

Alone, you died unable to bear
not decoding the redacted variables.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


Nine people I have known chose to take their own lives. I think that number large for one person. My guess is that it is because I have lived in communities full of artists, poets, and musicians. I have read that doctors, dentists, and lawyers have higher suicide rates. Maybe they are spread out enough through the neighborhoods.

I have lived with depression all my life. PTSD most of my life. There are good days and bad days. Hard work with therapists, a support system of caring people, creative outlets and good fortunate kept my bad days from taking me past the line to suicide when life was most difficult.

2 thoughts on “Overdose

  1. Truth here across all landscapes and demographics, speaking to the grief and shame we all try to weather. I am happy you do not have to weather this storm alone.


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