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Styrofoam Pills MAG

March 1, 2019
By seidmel19 BRONZE, Sammamish, Washington
seidmel19 BRONZE, Sammamish, Washington
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter

I wake up to the sound of my mom’s voice. I open my eyes to see nothing but inky darkness outside my window. Groggily, I check my watch: 2:19 a.m. Instinctively, I curl back up under my warm nest of blankets. But my mom grows frantic, and as I become more awake, I start to make out her words.

“Oh my god, oh my god! What did you take? What did you take?!”

Fueled by sudden fear, I jump out of bed and rush into the hallway to my younger sister’s room. Something is very, very wrong. The lights are on. My mom, close to tears, is trying to drag my sister out of her bed.

She’s so pale, trying and failing to keep her dilated blue eyes open. Her skin is paper white. Blond curls lie plastered to her head and her face is slick with sweat. Weakly, she tries to move her arm, only for it to slump back to the floor. Her blue bedspread is tangled in her legs, revealing the rumpled sheets below. Within seconds, I can tell that she has overdosed.

I run to wake up my dad and older sister, pulling them out of bed as I urgently explain. A few minutes later, my dad is holding my sister upright over the toilet as she attempts to throw up. As the seconds tick by, I can tell she is getting worse. Her eyes close even more, and she can now barely keep her head from slumping to the side like a toddler on the verge of nodding off.

“Call 911,” Dad tells me in a tense voice. Retracing my steps to my bedroom, I reach for my phone and dial the dreaded number. The operator picks up.

Trying to stay calm, I explain the emergency. He adds another operator to the call, and asks me a number of questions: What’s your name? what’s your address? Has anything like this happened before? The questions blur together. His voice is neutral and professional as he tells me that an ambulance is on the way. Eventually, he asks me the question that I’ve been dreading answering out loud.

“Did she overdose by accident, or was it an intentional act?”

“It was intentional,” I manage to reply.

My mom runs up to me, holding a clear box with five medicine bottles. She explains through tears that most of my older sister’s bottles had been emptied. I quickly relay the information to the 911 operator. My mouth feels numb, as if the words that are leaving it aren’t my own. This can’t be happening. Or … is it?

What seems like seconds later, I’m standing at the front door, leading the EMTs to my
sister as the chilled night air fills the front hall. They lay her on her side in the hallway, and she starts to throw up. With it comes what looks like bits of Styrofoam, littering the carpet. Looking closer, I can see that they’re small white pills, yet to be fully digested. My sister is still barely conscious, trying to answer their questions. They bring her downstairs in a stretcher, carrying her to the ambulance. We are told to meet them at the hospital.

I drive with my elder sister in one car, and my mom and dad take the other. All the while, the image of a weak body in the orange stretcher is all I can see. After silently waiting in the ER lobby for 30 minutes, we are allowed to visit her.

She looks terrible. Paler than she’s ever been. She is so tired that she starts to nod off every few seconds. Her now ruined shirt has been replaced by a thin hospital gown, and she shivers beneath the thin blanket on the bed. We talk to her for a while, and eventually find out that she is going to be transferred. She needs to be monitored for seizures.

She doesn’t come home for almost two weeks. My sister was admitted into an inpatient program. I visit her and am relieved to see her moving around and interacting almost like normal. But I can see the fear and stress in her tense muscles and quick temper. By the time she comes home, we have hidden everything that she could use to hurt herself. Knives, scissors, medicines, razors.

She’s terrified of loud noises now. She flinches when I use the ice dispenser, or if anyone yells. Her room is her safe place, and you have to be invited in, otherwise she grows frantic.

My sister doesn’t remember anything from that night. But I will never forget the terror I felt, seeing my beloved baby sister laying on the ground surrounded by pills and paramedics.

Every day, I walk over a beige, fluffy rug outside my room. Beneath my feet are the remaining stains of the Styrofoam pills that once scattered on the floor. I continue walking, uncovered feet feeling soft wool concealing forever marred carpet.

The author's comments:

This is a memoir that I wrote to help me process the experience my family and I went through when my sister attempted suicide.

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This article has 21 comments.

lilianjurj said...
on Oct. 7 at 1:20 pm
lilianjurj, Lake Orion, Michigan
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
i am so sorry about your sister but this is really good and i am glad that you have written this

on Apr. 27 at 8:28 am
bayleesmith123, Halifax, Nova Scotia
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
terribly sorry about your sister this was written very well

on Feb. 25 at 6:41 pm
MackenzieM1213 BRONZE, Toronto, Ontario
3 articles 0 photos 1 comment
You so eloquently describe a horrific ordeal...I hope all is well.

on Nov. 10 2020 at 9:44 pm
AngryPomerainian64 BRONZE, Orting, Washington
3 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There's nothing crueler than letting a dream end midway." -Shota Aizawa

I am so sorry about your sister. you wrote this in such an amazing way and about a serious issue that many families have to deal with you. you brought such a harsh truth to light in a way that is quite good. I send my best to you and your family.

on Nov. 10 2020 at 9:30 pm
AngryPomerainian64 BRONZE, Orting, Washington
3 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There's nothing crueler than letting a dream end midway." -Shota Aizawa

I am so sorry about your sister. you wrote this in such an amazing way and about a serious issue that many families have to deal with you. you brought such a harsh truth to light in a way that is quite good. I send my best to you and your family.

on Oct. 1 2020 at 2:20 pm
bigmikelikesbudlight, Montgomery, Alabama
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
geez bud next time keep it short

on Aug. 10 2020 at 3:45 pm
BrokenBranches, Mansfield, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do not tell me sky is the limit when there is a footprint on the moon." -Paul Brandt

Thank you for writing this. My brother overdosed as well, although he was less lucky than others. This has touched me in many ways, thank you!

on Jun. 22 2020 at 11:13 am
thatgurlidalina, North Miami, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Wake up and smell the Caramel Macchiato

wow how horrid im so sorry =(

on May. 24 2020 at 6:39 pm
astupidstarcrossedlover, Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
This was so good. I think it's really important because this kind of stuff needs to be addressed. I hope your sister is doing well now and you are too. Stay strong and keep writing.

AlexisTrans said...
on Mar. 10 2020 at 8:04 pm
AlexisTrans, Winfield, Missouri
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
This one really hit home for me and I now love writing even more than I did before knowing that writing can have this kind of effect on people. You are so good at this I hope you keep going.

Darkside704 said...
on Mar. 5 2020 at 11:57 am
Darkside704, Greenwood, South Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
ahh what isss that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kaylei07 said...
on Jan. 22 2020 at 8:25 pm
Kaylei07, Waterford, Michigan
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
This is really good. My teacher read it to the whole class not to long ago then gave each of us a copy. I really liked it.

on Nov. 20 2019 at 4:07 pm
lailamae04 BRONZE, Fairfax, Virginia
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I was the baby sister that overdosed and my brother was the person with look of terror. this hit hard for me to read because I was the one overdosing

on Oct. 16 2019 at 12:34 pm
SergeantSteel82 GOLD, Fort Wayne, Indiana
10 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
one of the greatest tragedies of our time is this impression that has been created that science and religion have to be at war.
-Francis Collins

I may never let go of my anger and wrath,
But I will always have the last laugh.
-Corey Taylor

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

I really hope your sister is ok now, this story hits close to home for me because my little sister almost died about 2 years ago. It was not by overdose, but she was climbing a pine tree in our back yard, when a branch snapped. She fell 12 feet through a less than 1 foot gap in the branches. Thankfully she only broke her arm, but if she had hit a branch on the way down, I would only have 1 sister today.

on Sep. 20 2019 at 9:16 am
Breezette DIAMOND, Uniontown, Arkansas
84 articles 0 photos 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
Every Time I even think of you, all those bad memories just fade away, 'cause your smile's enough, you're enough...

This. was. so. good. I know it was a trying time, but hopefully you've all grown through it. Please, keep writing. The way you wrote, so strong and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story.

froggy_al said...
on Sep. 10 2019 at 10:10 pm
froggy_al, San Diego, California
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments
I don't know if you realize this, but this is amazing.
So heckin amazing.
You have captured it all perfectly.
Thank you for sharing your story :)

on Sep. 6 2019 at 5:51 pm
calliewrites BRONZE, Bellingham, Washington
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
Im sorry that happened to you. I hope your sister is well and everything is going good for you and her. You are an incredible author.

on Sep. 5 2019 at 11:14 am
I_Am_Rosey_Kay BRONZE, Grantsburg, Wisconsin
1 article 1 photo 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be true to yourself, and always know, you are valid." - Me

Your story was powerfully done, i felt the emotion. I am very sorry about what happened, I hope to see more of your work on this website.

nathalie26 said...
on Aug. 25 2019 at 1:02 am
nathalie26, Eagle Grove, Iowa
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Sorry for what happened, I wish everything is fine. I love your story and how you write it, I can tell you that you put your heart in this. And I think you have a good future in literature.

Bella-B BRONZE said...
on Aug. 5 2019 at 4:51 pm
Bella-B BRONZE, Lakewood, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
a relationship without trust, is like a car without gas- stay in it as long as you want, but it'll never get you anywhere

wow im sorry you had to go thru that...:9 you sound strong, and your talent for writing is amazing