Monday, November 24, 2008

Suffocating

Posted by Anonymous.

I went to seek drugs, because I need them desperately. They said, “you are exhibiting drug-seeking behavior. We will give you nothing.” Well, Sherlock... My aunt has the same illness I do, and has been sending me Xanax in the mail. I ran out, and I don’t want to ask her for any more. It makes me feel dirty and exploitive. So now I just scream into my sweater for hours.

I hate everything about college. I hate New York, I hate my classes, I hate the idea of transferring again. I don’t even want to be a writer anymore. It was all so fluid before; I only wrote when I had something to say. Now I have to write constantly, all the time, about things that I don’t care about, and it’s all crap, which makes me feel bad about myself, so then I go spend all of my money on alcohol and cab fare. I miss Colorado so much it makes my skin burn to think about it. All of my friends here are so glamorous; and they think that I am too, but really, I’m not. I read books and listen to decent music and know how to dress myself coherently. If that’s all it takes to be glamorous, than people should stop spending so much time reading up on it in Vogue. I will never be glamorous for real, because I am never going to be calm when I meet a famous person. I've become good at pretending, but the whole time I was talking to John Mayer I wanted to throw up. Also, John Mayer is an asshole. They are all assholes. Nobody here is normal. They get vodka companies to sponsor their birthday parties and then rent out some venue and fill it with people they don't know. I am constantly surrounded on all sides by strangers, and they have their faces pressed against mine in the photos the next day. Fuck you. I don't even know your last name, or what makes you laugh. You seem to be laughing always, with your head thrown back like someone punched you in the spine. Nothing is funny. Don't worry, everyone is looking. Being suffocated by people is the most frustrating way to be alone.

I was crying uncontrollably the other day, and M. said, “You just have to not do that.” Right. Because that’s how bipolar disorder works; you just stop. God, why didn’t I think of that? M. has allergies that are so severe she has to carry around an epi pen with her, and I wanted to say, “The next time someone accidentally feeds you a tomato, you should just not swell like that. Seriously, just stop.” But that would be terrible and mean, so I didn’t.

It’s lucky that I only live on the third floor of my building, because if I lived high enough that I’d for sure die on impact, I’d totally jump off of my fire escape.

25 comments:

adriana said...

Ok. You need to move. Leave NY, leave what makes you unhappy. Fuck anyone who cares if you're transfering again, or moving. If you're not happy, get the heck out of there. Your happiness is the most important thing.

Also - I have a very good friend who suffers from bi-polar. It is very serious and real, and you need real help to get through. Don't let anyone brush it off as if it's some made up condition.

Good luck.

carolyn said...

My daughter is Bipolar, it is very real and quite devastating. I would like to help even if it is just a shoulder to cry on. I will send my email to Her Bad Mother, please get a hold of me!

Kandi said...

Hugs for you. Lots and lots of hugs.

Maggie, Dammit said...

Is it wrong right now to mention how much I love your writing? Of all the things worthy of quitting within this post, I hope the writing is one thing you won't.

Her Bad Mother said...

Maggie - I totally agree - I LOVED the writing in this post. And then I wasn't sure whether that was appropriate to say when I tweeted about it. But it's true: I love the writing here. I hope the writer never quits the writing.

Expat Mom said...

This might backfire, but did you know that in Chinatown and Latino neighborhoods, you can buy things like Xanax over the counter? They are all quite accustomed to treating themselves and while I don`t think everything should be self-treated, this is something that no one is taking seriously. Obviously, if it helps you, then go get some of those drugs. I suffer from depression myself and it`s not worth dying just because someone doesn`t believe you need help.

As for people saying to just stop it . . . I think I wouldn`t have kept my mouth shut! :) But I`ve heard the same thing . . . "Just be happy. You just have to decide to be happy." Right.

Your writing is great. But if it`s not making you happy, find something that does and only write when it`s something you want to do. Life`s too short to be down for long.

Beth said...

Find a doctor. Oh, god I know that many many many doctors suck and write off women (especially), but I also know that there must be one out there who can help you with the medication situation. You are exactly right -- you can't just "stop" in the same way that a diabetic can't "stop" herself from needing insulin. Ask a friend, or a friend of a friend, or someone who is the least assholish of everyone you know and try his/her doctor. And then try again. You need a partner in your medical care...and then, then, when you're feeling more like yourself you can evaluate whether you want to go home. New York is so not for everyone and that is totally OK!!! Home is good too. And if you have to go home first to get well, then do that. There's just something in your writing that jumped out at me -- I rarely comment here (I feel like I rarely have good advice and who am I to offer it, when my own life has many screwed up aspects), but something in me just wants to hug you and say, "Honey, get well. When you're well, so much else will fall into place."

And as for the writing -- maybe it's just that you can't write right now, where you are. I feel pretty confident that it will all come back to you. As a graduate of an MFA program in writing, it ain't all it's always cracked up to be, and if it's not your bag, that's cool.

But picture yourself: well and whole and completely yourself and writing what you want to write.

It can -- it WILL happen. Good luck.

bessieviola said...

Amazing writing - do not let the city eat you alive. The world would be much worse off without your voice. This is beautiful work, even through the pain.

Please follow your dream in the way it works for you, whatever that means. If it means transferring, do so.

Also? Fuck the people who said to "just stop."

Good luck on the journey.

Maggie, Dammit said...

HBM: Great minds think alike, eh?

Anonymous: Let HBM know if you feel comfortable or not with me knowing where you blog -- I would love to keep up with your writing.

Either way, I just tweeted this post. Hope no one minds.

Mariah said...

I am Bipolar, and you are absolutely right, you can't JUST STOP! You can't. I hope that you will continue to write, as therapy at least. Take Fish Oil and get some medications

Pgoodness said...

Find another doctor - tell them why you need the drugs - someone will help you.

Don't stop writing, but please, if you're miserable, get out. There is a way, I'm sure of it.

Just keep writing. You are awesome, even if it doesn't feel like it right now.

kellypea said...

Having spent way too much of my life doing something that sucked every ounce of my being from my body before I walked out the door, I will say that nothing is worth your staying there -- especially your health. Writers write. Clearly, you are a talented one. Go to a doctor and take a break from school. Find a place to be that inspires you. I lost a few irreplaceable body parts over my situation. So not worth it.

DawnLMM said...

Such captivating writing - I would so love to read more of it. Please don't do anything to deprive us of your talent.

Anonymous said...

I'll reiterate that your writing is beautiful. Going to school is about doing pointless shit, writing about things you don't care about, and doing it every day.

The good news? You don't have to have a degree to be a writer. But if you want the degree, you have to jump through the hoops. I was miserable in school, so I dropped out. Now I'm miserable not being in school. And I have a baby now, so I have to wait to try again. Trust me, you do not want to quit, even with the intention of going back.

I do not have bipolar disorder, but my grandfather did. He did not take care of his mental health by seeing a specialist and getting the medication he needed. He killed himself.

I do have clinical depression, and I have had suicidal thoughts in the past myself. I've been in and out of therapy, and on and off medication, and it took until my current therapist (after 8 years of doing this off and on) to figure out that my depression is chronic. So the only thing that works for me is regular therapy and daily medication.

Good luck, and please let us know how you're doing.

Anonymous said...

Hi, same commenter here. P.S.: While I was pregnant, I lived in Boston. I always wanted to live in a big city -- until I actually got there. I'm so glad to be back in a Midwestern suburb.

P.P.S: I'm sending my email address to HBM just in case.

Rebecca said...

I loved this post. Really. Don't stop writing. You're fabulous at writing. And it helps make you less crazy. That's why I write at least ;)

Anonymous said...

My husband is bipolar. He is FINALLY getting the help he needs, and thank God. I think living and loving someone with this disease is almost as hard as having it yourself. Please get help. There's no reason you have to feel this way.

Anonymous said...

I live in Colorado and we'll take you back - no problem. And when, if, you're ever ready there are schools here with writing programs.

Anonymous said...

I miss Colorado too. I miss my home and my family and my friends (the ones that are still alive). I miss Colorado and it's beautiful majesticness. Ditto, I feel your pain and sadness.

Anonymous said...

Yes, your writing is good. But you know what? I disagree with all the people telling you not to stop.

Stop.

You're not enjoying it. There's only one good reason to write, and that is because you love it.

You might be writing in the wrong place, at the wrong time, among the wrong people, with the wrong brain chemistry, or any of the above. As good as your writing is, it's not as good as having mental health. You have a responsibility to be OK first.

I think you have already come to this conclusion, so I'm not exactly talking to you. I'm more talking to the other commenters, I guess. It's tempting to want to encourage creative people, usually when we're creative people ourselves in need of a bit of encouragement. But we have to remember: a talent isn't a responsibility. Nor does it mean much in an overcrowded field like writing. A writer also needs a personality immune to damaging criticism--and it's hard to be in that place when you might be bipolar.

I hope this writer finds the right help first. If the writing needs to be done later, she'll come back to it when she's ready.

Green said...

Oy. I grew up in NY, and now live in San Francisco. I grew up on Long Island, and for a while, commuted into midtown for work. It wasn't until I did that that I understood why city people went out to the Hamptons on weekends. It's because the city is overstimulating. All the different smells, all the people, the noise, so much to look at. It's hard to calm down.

Schneiders is part of LIJ hospital and they are very experienced in treating bipolar - you can call them to ask for a referral to someone who'll be able to help you in the city, okay?

If you're living in the city, you may feel better if you move to Queens or Brooklyn (Queens will probably be a bit less expensive). Since you said you can't stand transferring, this may help.

Do you have any friends who live in Scarsdale, Westchester, or LI? If so, invite yourself home with them for a weekend. Go for walks outside. Wrap yourself in the quiet, breath a little.

I don't know how recently you moved to NY, but it sounds like you're in culture shock.

When a person's entire life is what's going on with other people, and they don't feel alive unless their life is being seen by others, there's some amount of substance and realness missing. You're not the only one in NY who feels the scene is bullshit. It just takes some time to find your kindred spirits.

Do you do yoga? Or, are you up for trying it? I have a cousin who has a yoga studio in Manhattan - if you're interested, feel free to email me and I will give you the name and address.

Marin said...

Oh, honey. At least you had the backbone to transfer...I got into both of my dream colleges during my sophomore year but stayed because I was terrified that I wouldn't make friends at either of them. And now I'm no happier than I was before. You've got more kick than me.


Also, though this was not what you were going for in writing this post, your style is fantastic. Please don't stop writing.

Mrs. Natasha Sawatzky said...

My sister is with a guy thats bi polar... i personally think she could do way better, (not because of the bi polar, but theres a small reason branching from it) He went through a phase of not taking his meds, and literally tried to kill his mother, and did thousands of dollars worth of damage to their property.

I'm scared he'll go through that phase again, and this time it will be my sis.

I strongly agree with the other commenters about going doctor to doctor untill you get the proper help. Dont let them deter you. I mean frick there DOCTORS! they should be doing tests rather than just calling you a drug seeker...frick doctors piss me off!!!

Good luck!!! And i hope you don't quit writing

Anonymous said...

No doctor should write off your suffering or make you feel un-heard. But. BE CAREFUL WITH XANAX! It is habit-forming, and if you become dependent on it, your life will take a serious turn for the worse. Trust me on that. There may be other medications that would help more in the long run (antidepressants, mood stabilizers), though they won't provide the quick relief.

I agree with the above posters; you have a wonderful writing style. Here's to better days ahead.

Corina - Down to Earth Mama said...

I have family suffering from bpd. Seek help that you need. Leave NY if you want. Don't resign yourself to unhappiness because you will be transferring AGAIN or moving AGAIN. Care for yourself first. You can't live your life acting. Get yourself QUALITY help. Then life an authentic life. Write what makes you happy, not what you have to, but continue to write.

I hope that you find peace.