It’s dark and I have no idea of where I am nothing around me looks Familiar, I can hear voices just out of eye shot. My head feels as if it may explode and I am fighting the urge to throw up. There is a swell of disinfectant hanging in the air which is not helping me much. I sit up in bed and try to take in my surroundings. I was not meant to be here, I had taken the decision to close my eyes for the very last time. I feel cheated; once more any control over my own life had been taken from me. Why could they not just let me go, did they not see that this was the best thing for all concerned? By removing the cancer the epidemic would be over. Everyone’s life would revert to the way it had been before I had caused this vast devastation. My life had been the only thing I had left to offer up as a sacrifice. Someone is standing next to me asking if I would like some tea, I can’t even muster the energy to reply. I turn my head into the pillow and cry silent tears; the pain inside of me is the only thing I can concentrate on. I had no where else to fall I had hit rock bottom. I am sure these words hit home with so many of you out there, and sadly we won’t be the last. So let’s talk some more about the fallout after this situation. People say things to you like “you tried to take the easy way out” “you’re too much of a coward to go on living” “your selfish only thinking of yourself” I am sure there are a few other gems out there I have left out, but they all equate to the same thing. These words are said to us by the people we love; because the thought that they may have lost us provokes an angry in them that they are unable to express, or can’t find the words that would make a difference. The truth is there isn’t any coming from that quarter. The answer lies within you. I can tell you here and now, that sitting with a bottle of pills and a bottle of cider was not at all easy, how in the hell can it be? Granted at that time you are not of sound mind, because the pain to go on living is just too much. But that does not make it easy, of that you can take my word. In the cold light of day a fear runs through you like an ice cold dagger, but this is only in hindsight. Driving home hard just how many people you would have hurt, because of your complete and utter break down. What we need to realise is that removing ourselves from the equation was never going to be the answer; the devastation we feel we created will go on, we just won’t be there to see it. So is it bravery to take the so called easy way out? Or take control of your life once more? Having tried the first I can tell you at this time in my life, that it was completely the wrong thing to do, and there will never be a repeat performance from me. My message to you having done both is that living is always going to be harder, but the rewards it brings with it in time are something you don’t what to miss. So when you feel that all is lost and there is no way back for you, dig deep, take an intake of breath, put your best foot forward, the rest will follow on behind. You have so much to give; it may take a little time to realise this, but if you are no longer with us you will never know. ……

Author's Bio: 

Teresa Joyce was born in 1958 the middle child of three. After losing her father at a very young age; it was to set the pattern for the rest of her life. Losing was something that she would have to get used to. Today she still has some memory of her father, but in truth it’s all a little hazy. Her mother through no fault of her own after that loss had no other alternative, then to return to her parent’s home with her children in tow. This family unit were to spend only a few years there, until the wind of change came around once more. Teresa still holds many happy memories from her time there as a child. Happy memories are something that Teresa holds in very short supply, and she has treasured them always. Her mother was set to meet the man that was to become her stepfather, and they moved on once more to a new city with the promise of a new life. Hopefully it would be a happy one for all concerned, but it became a place for Teresa that felt far more like a prison. One in which she would spend many days months and years hating. Teresa swore to herself that she would leave all this behind her at the first possible occasion. She can still clearly remember the day that she left that family home and joined the Royal Air Force. It was just two months off her sixteenth birthday. Her stepfather had informed her that to remain living in his house, she had to live by his rules. This was a big decision for her to take being so young, but she could no longer live by any rules that he imposed. Never really understanding at that time, what she was really running from. Memories of those years living by his rules were buried so deep, that previous years and events were only a burr to her. Teresa’s Time spent while in the Royal Air Force was very rewarding, and she involved herself in all and everything possible. After meeting her ex -husband whilst she was on leave, she then left this all behind her and married. It was greatly missed and in retrospect, it would be something that she would live to regret many years later. Life as a married woman changed many things for her; the biggest of all would be the arrival of her son. Teresa loved him even before he was born, and he is still able to pull on her heart strings daily.
Sadly after many years, she found herself unable to stay within that marriage. The onset of a set of circumstances beyond her control would stamp its seal, rendering the marriage unworkable. Engineered by the involvement of the one man Teresa had learnt to hate - her stepfather. The marriage was dissolved and there was no going back on her part, that door was firmly closed behind her. Some years later she would find herself in a long term lesbian relationship, firmly believing that anything touched by a man was tainted; bringing with it only pain and heartache. Teresa’s thoughts at that time were that the worst was surly now behind her, but her life was set to make another turn from her envisaged path. It was to arrive in the form of an accident, which once again would alter her life forever. After many months and many doctors reports she was ill health retired, unable to return to work in either one of her two loved occupations. Teresa was affected by this far more then she could have ever expected, she was left alone with nothing but time, and still within the mix of a completely insane situation; it was at this point that Teresa would enter into the mental health care system fully, to have any hope of dealing with everything going on around her. That care umbrella is still part of her everyday life. The loss of her mother through less than adequate health care, brought her pain like she had never thought possible. Teresa saw herself delving deeper and deeper into her own unconscious thoughts, revealing to her at that time memories which seemed so alien. Ultimately her mental health would prove to be a factor, in the disintegration of her then lesbian relationship.
It’s something that Teresa is still trying to come to terms with even now. She now lives alone with only a small dog for company, which in truth she is happy with. Firmly believing that she can’t hurt those she loves, if they are not there for her to do so; to her mind segregation is the answer. Teresa is still unable to work and in constant pain daily. Maybe today you could say that she has once more taken back control of her life, but only outwardly. The truth is she still carries the past along with her, like an uninvited guest at a party. The one that never seems to know when the party is over and it’s time to leave. Teresa is now trying to live her life as fully as possible, through her son and grandson; they have become her light at the end of the tunnel.