Little White Pills and a Digging for the Light Excerpt

Annah ElizabethLeave a Comment

When I popped the top on the little orange bottle this morning, I noticed that I have only about a week’s rations left of my antidepressant.

As I swallowed the little white pill, two things came to mind.

I thought about a piece from my manuscript Digging for the Light.

And I wondered if I want to renew the prescription or give my mental health a drug-free trial run.

But I’ve been feeling so much better since I started taking the medication three months ago.

And winter is coming.

And your therapist just canceled the appointment you made seven weeks ago.

Yes. I’ve been waiting for a follow-up appointment for seven weeks.

And wouldn’t you know, the woman was blessed with another job.

Lucky her.

Sucks to be me.

Actually, it’s really not as bad as all that because I haven’t been sure this lady was a good fit for me, anyway.

Truth be told, I was a little peeved when Warren and I went for a joint appointment—only the second time I’d seen this woman—and she said to me a half dozen times if she said it once: “You need to quit looking in the rearview mirror.”

Looks like I just found a little more luck mixed in with a pile of shit.

I think I’ll call the pharmacy on Monday and renew my script.

Until we come together again, here’s that excerpt I thought about.

* * *

I returned home to a desolate house full of furniture and people. The empty cradle, poised in our living room, greeted me as I walked through the front door. The custom bedding, made by my mother-in-law and given to me as a shower gift, longed for the warm body it couldn’t comfort.
* * *

My mother recalls entering our home after she’d visited us at the hospital. When I was writing this book, she told me of two striking images that haunt her memory: the cheerful, readied cradle, and the white slips of tablet paper sitting on the coffee table, the ones that had tracked the progression of my early stages of labor.

* * *

I remember coming downstairs, an eternal trip downward, the first morning home to find my mother and father in the kitchen, sitting at my dining table, drinking coffee. How strange this scene was, their divorce and years of brittle interaction seemingly exonerated.

In the days that followed, my body moved on autopilot:

Write down your feelings.

Buy a dress for the funeral.


Greet visitors paying their respects.



Bathe, but don’t get your staples wet. (Which, of course, meant standing with my back to the spray, clutching a towel to my stapled-together stomach while Warren washed me.)

Take Tylenol for the pain.

As if two little white pills could cure what ailed me.

I sat at our kitchen table and let my heart bleed onto the paper before me. As long as I can remember, writing has been a lenitive form of expressing my emotions.

The first piece I wrote was a poem.

The second was a personal letter to my son in which I included the poem I’d written.

The third was a farewell letter to my baby boy.
* * *
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