Take the pills or not? That is her question. Every. Single. Day. Be chemically castrated, lobotomized – a dead woman walking? Or submit to incessant insults and accusations from demons waterboarding a broken brain, conspiring to conjure endless sleepless nights of interminable torture? She recalls easier choices. Red popsicle or blue? Cheerleading or soccer? Prom with David or Ben? Political science or maybe psychology? Marry after high school or college? Two children or maybe three? That was before invisible hostile cosmic forces waged biological warfare on her brain and she was blacklisted by God and favorited by Satan. Now she feels trapped under the weight of watchful eyes in a 5-star restaurant with no exit where the glaring demon waiter singles her out, snatches the menu from her hands trembling with tardive dyskinesia. “What will it be? Milk toast or the live coral snake bouillabaisse?” Sophie ponders her choices. “Did the waiter just ask me that or is this my insanity?” Battle plan for today the same as yesterday. Navigate between extremes of suffering as one dead inside or delusional. Negotiate the elusive release of the hostage in the mirror. Never surrender. Take the pills or not. My question too. Therapeutic effects or side effects? Encourage her to take her poison pills and be chemically castrated, lobotomized and morphed into a zombie? Or be complicit with her biologically poisoned brain that conjures legions of demons from the bowels of hell to torture her with unremitting insults? Seriously! Persuade her to live as demon possessed or merely exist as the living dead? What does it mean to first do no harm when all that can be done is harmful? Let her see what a hero she is to be fighting relentlessly this intractable war on two fronts.
Todd Matson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He has written poetry for The Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling, has been published in Ariel Chart International Literary Journal, Bluepepper, and The Chamber Magazine, and has written lyrics for songs recorded by a number of contemporary Christian music artists.