The Venom Within

Written by Jake Hays

It’s been 3 days since I’ve left my bed for anything other than the bare necessities of life- plus the occasional gluttonous indulgence, cycled with unintentional periods of starvation, stemming from my inability to rise from my bed: my throne. There is nothing more comfortable than my throne: its warm embrace to my cold body, the softness of my sheets against the callousness of my skin, and the sweet caress of my pillow against my pained head. It’s my haven, a heaven in a world of hell, although it’s a double-edged sword, just like everything else in this world.

My doctor says I’m clinically depressed, which I believe to be a perfectly rational reaction to the evil in the world. It’s hard to be a human being. In my throne I don’t have to worry about the minutiae of life or anything else besides what I’ll eat next, at least on the good days. On my good days I take my Xanax before my comorbid anxiety can consume me; on my bad days, I spiral into a panic— convincing myself I’m not real and that I’m about to die… usually from a heart attack but sometimes more exotic ways such as being struck by a stray bolt of electricity (which honestly doesn’t seem all that bad). The heaviness in my heart is the first symptom, a feeling of a 50lb weight being laid on my chest. Then my heart starts to race as a cold sweat begins to engulf my body. It creates a positive feedback cycle, where anxiety begets more anxiety: until my Xanax can kick in. It’s a cycle of suffering. I have no motivation beyond the basic drive to eat and drink; which even that, I sometimes fail to fulfill. Everyday I wonder when I’ll reach my final straw, when the stress and suffering will become too much. 

I have no one. My one love died too young, a victim of cancer’s long, painful kiss of death. My parents were also blessed to have graced the presence of the proverbial grim reaper. All the friends I’d had are either dead or I left with nothing said. I’m alone, secluded to the confines of my throne. They think that pills can fix profound suffering; I’ve tried MAOI’s, SSRI’s, SNRI’s, TCA’s, Atypical Antipsychotics, every Anxiolytic ever created, and even Beta Blockers and seizure meds— none of which have worked. Even the best of meds, at best, can make me rise from my throne for an hour at a time. 

At some point in life you come to a realization, none of it matters. We’re inconsequential to anyone except ourselves; we’re minute compared to the vastness of the world. I have nothing but suffering here, so I’ve decided it’s time that I shed my last tear.

With every ounce of energy I have left in my body I rise from my throne for the last time. I grab the snake that I’ve kept in my closet all these years, hoping it would get better, but I’m just as hopeless and lost. The world has given me nothing but pain and regrets. I hope soon I’ll be reunited with my lover, although I think I’ll more likely simply cease to exist. I wrap the snake around a hook in the ceiling; willingly, I oblige to its venomous bite, although the snake didn’t doll the final blow, rather it was the venom within that was the root of this great sin. It was always just the venom within.