xanax, side effects

*poem published in L. C. three years ago. it feels like a glimpse into another life…

when i was on xanax

my brain curled into itself

and

everything was numb

and nothing hurt.

my therapist had prescribed three doses of 0.25mg per day to me.

each morning

i would swallow a first dose

conscientiously

at 8:54

and i would carry off with my morning routine, while mentally rewinding the side effects.

forgetfulness

i roll in my sheets, patting the mattress, searching for my phone

trembling

i double-press snooze

changes in patterns

i fall on my back in bed, bringing my knees to my chest

clumsiness and unsteadiness

i doze off

drowsiness

i jerk as the alarm goes off

feeling sad and empty

snooze snooze snooze

shakiness, an unsteady walk

i rub my eyes. there’s a small ache in the back of my head. feels like it’s melting my thoughts apart.

slurred speech

i jump as the alarm rings for the third time.

(less common side effects)

loss of self-control

i search for a pair of panties to match my mood. grey

loss of coordination

i pull a shirt over my head

loss of memory

i flatten the wrinkles with my hands

loss of voice

i apply foundation unevenly

muscle stiffness

i press my nose to my mirror. i stare at my glazed eyes as i swallow my first dose.

i got off xanax because

while my insides didn’t clench anymore

my eyes could still see

the hurt.

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