My mind was fuzzy. The last thoughts of my dream were chased away by the realization that I was awake, sweating and staring into the darkness which filled my room. I cautiously lifted my feet and placed them onto the floorboards, gently applying pressure to avoid the creaking noise. Using the guidance of the streetlight seeping through the crevice between my blind and window sill, I rose from my bed. The wooden floorboards stuck to my clammy feet like a suction cup against a glass window, holding me in a fixed position which prevented me from falling over. I slowly lifted my feet, one by one and began walking to my door.

I reached the hallway, where the soles of my feet were cushioned by the carpet; soaked by the droplets of sweat and absorbed the sound of my footsteps. Dark, shadow-like figures crowded my vision as I reached for the light switch and turned the dull lights on, making it virtually impossible to decipher the details of the corridor. Using the wall as guidance, I traced my sticky fingers along the carved lines of the protruding wall ledge, using it as a balancing tool hoping to reach the bathroom. I turned my head to the opposite wall and let go. My vision blacked out, sending me crashing into the other wall. I still had control over my body which allowed me to hold myself up, but I knew I had to sit down. I started to breathe heavier and feel lighter.

I looked down at my feet which were blurry skin-coloured circles slowly being covered in red droplets, and a gradual pool of red formed beneath my already unstable feet. I placed my hand under my nose and smeared what felt like warm sweat across my upper lip. I held it underneath the corridor light, which captured the dark blood clots swimming in the red watery liquid smeared into my fingers. I could taste the bitter saltiness of the blood as it trickled down my lips. I rushed into the bathroom, almost falling over, but managed to reach onto the toilet lid and slam it down. I sat there for a few moments trying to gain a sense of normality until the silver tap in front of me slowly began to appear clearly, reassuring me that I could turn the shower on to cool myself down. Suddenly it felt like my insides had been replaced by a black hole. I could feel nothing but emptiness which triggered my lightheadedness, forcing me back onto the seat.

My cheeks were puffy and felt sticky from the heat of the water inside the shower. I focused on the sound of the water when the ringing in my ears began to grow, drowning out the sounds of dad’s fist banging on the door. I covered my ears and squeezed my eyes, bringing myself into what looked like a stretch of midnight sky, drawing me away from reality. I opened my eyes to what looked like dark circles flooding my vision. I stood up and stumbled out of the shower, latching onto the rim of the basin. I looked up into the mirror and saw my skin as white as the adjacent tiles; my lips were barely there and my eyes looked like I had seen a ghost.

As seconds passed, the dark circles grew and my head began to feel light. The world was spinning which made me feel unbalanced, as if I was on a tight rope, trying to stop myself from falling into an unconscious state. My heart raced as my chest pounded, which caused my breathing to slow down. I let go of the basin, and stumbled backwards. I looked up, then closed my eyes. I cautiously opened one eye and found it hard to adjust to the harsh hospital lights and the white clinical setting, not realising that I had fallen from my tight rope.

As my consciousness slowly returned I was disorientated by the combined throbbing pains of a migraine and the bright light being shone into first my left eye, then my right. The echo of the fall was a mere memory, but constant. I couldn’t tell if it was the migraine or my mind reminding me of my last seconds of consciousness.

Every time I scramble to find my Xanax, it takes me back to the reality of who I am. I never thought I would be that girl with issues, but it’s hard to comprehend that the woman who brought me into this world, has now left it. Every night the moment she slipped away is on repeat in my dreams, like a broken record, painting the picture of that tragic day