“…I do not understand why I must forgive their guilt. They have done nothing to atone for their abuse and neglect, and when I press an issue they rear up and demand an apology for my accusations.”
“I wanted to die for so long / I never learned how to live /
This is not me / This is a shadow cast /
From a live body / From long ago.”
So you’re walking around your apartment… there’s a nagging feeling, like something’s dry but not dry. Like your clothes don’t quite fit but they’re the same ones you had on yesterday, and then they were fine. You can remember that. Your thoughts seem too subdued. Everything just seems light. Dry. That’s what you think. Something’s not right. And still you’re walking around your apartment, just a little lost, looking for something.
Ever have one of those moments where absolutely everything was uncomfortable? I’m having one right now. My pants are too tight around my legs, the chair is too lumpy, the light from the screen is too bright, I keep missing keys when I’m typing, the music is too jarring, the stove is too hot, the fan too loud, the base of my skull hurts — a light throbbing slowly bouncing from one side to the other, the smoke from the neighbouring apartment is seeping through, and I’m questioning everything I write. Backtrack and edit. Does this word work better than this one? I’m starting sentences but not finishing the thoughts. Everything is in the wrong place. And Tim Berners Lee is very lucky he’s not within arms length of me right now.
This is what I want to tell people, what I’m trying to write: My Life Is Easy In Your Head.
If you have attempted suicide, if you’ve tried to kill yourself… it sounds so trite. Suicide attempts are the end of a long road, they are not random. They are planned. People don’t just attempt suicide, they plan the scenario out to the last detail. Saying a Manic Depressive attempted suicide is like saying the Packers, after a week of drills, attempted to score a touchdown against the Seahawks. The jargon surrounding depression, especially manic depression, is trivial and it trivializes the disease. “BiPolar Disorder”? What the fuck is that? When have you heard a sober doctor say “you’ve got an Internal Ultra-Speedy Growth Disorder in your lungs” / “Oh, well, thank Christ it isn’t cancer.”
I understand there are differences, there are several different types of manic depression — BiOne’s go up more than down, BiTwo’s go further down, BiThree’s drink and use drugs a whole lot — but listing this disease as a disorder trivializes the severity and depth and corruption this disease has on us. Tell your doctors, it’s either BiPolar Disease or Manic Depression, we do not have problem acne. Think “Eating Disorder”. Sounds like a food allergy. But people with anorexia or bulimia have a serious mental illness. “Eating Disorders” are the number one Killer Mental Illness in Canada. Disorder that, bitch. No offence intended but dyslexia is a disorder, a serious disorder but one which can be ‘fixed’ with training and time.
Regardless. If you have executed a suicide plan you have to stop doing that. The more you try the more likely you are to succeed, even if, on that last try, you didn’t really mean to. So take your fucking pills and find some help. There’s about a zillion of us fuckers in this here Internet, find someone who will tell you to “stay alive, Goddammit, just stay alive.” Maybe we should have a buddy system. Maybe we should be using each other, or maybe we should find someone in our lives who will notice. Dammit, that’s the problem with this disease, it forces us to pull away from the people who could be part of a support network, then we use the fact no one is around anymore as proof of our isolation. We stop returning the phone calls and when the phone stops ringing it’s because no one cares about us.
In order to survive we have to tell friends and family that we have a disease, but the problem is the jargon surrounding the disease lists us as having a disorder… we are made trivial by the diagnostic research our loved ones perform over the Web, or through our doctor, or through us. Because disorders can be “cured”, or at least that’s the inference. “Oh, so my little baby has a disorder? Well, can I get the cure over the counter or will you prescribe something?” Actually, your little baby will go through several years of crippling suicidal depressions, she’ll self-mutilate, probably have two or three bouts of anorexia (a disease), her emotional growth will be stunted, if she’s lucky and her fourth suicide attempt fails there’ll be a space for her in an institution, otherwise she’ll likely turn to alcohol and then street drugs to self-medicate and she’ll be very fortunate indeed to see her twenty-fifth birthday. Your little baby actually has a disease which is going to require serious pharmacological treatment for decades.
You rage. I rage. There’s something about you. Most of the time things don’t happen at the proper speed. Things don’t happen on the proper level. People answer you too slowly. People react in a predictable manner. You forget words. You forget ideas. Sometimes it feels dry and quiet. It’s all frustrating. It all builds up. You rage. I rage. People don’t understand. They don’t understand that you have a disease. There’s no bloody bandage, no wheelchair, no crutch, no cane, no oxygen bottle, no hair loss. Just a person who sometimes speaks and laughs a little quicker than everyone else, and a person who retreats into themselves. They can’t see you sitting on your bed, one sock in your hand, the other still on your foot, staring at the wall, looking past it into yourself wondering ‘Why, Goddammit WHY, am I such a fucking clueless bastard of a failure?’ They cannot see you with the knife at your wrist.
Sometimes our disease feels comfortable. Sometimes it feels important. It isn’t. The only thing important about our disease is the need to medicate it into submission. This disease is so insanely sinister it will actually convince you, its host, that it makes you more creative, or more deep, or more self-aware, or more capable than anyone else. Our disease will even make you proud to host it. After all, didn’t ninety percent of the geniuses who ever put pen to paper have Manic Depression? Aren’t we all part of some Grand Cabal of Suicidal Societal Architects? You have the disease that turned Kurt Cobain into a legend. You suffer from the affliction that put Ernest Hemingway’s brains on the ceiling. Fuck, you’re basically one step away from actually being Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf. It’s incredible of what this disease can convince you. Not only will it take away any community capable of protecting you, it then convinces you this is your fault, then it makes you proud to have it and prohibits you from seeking treatment, then… and this is sick, then it kills you by convincing you everything it has done to you has been your fault. Take The Fucking Pills.
TAKE. THE. FUCKING. PILLS.
Look, ask your Doctor about groups or organizations in your region, or find someone in your real life or here in your imaginary Internet one. Make an effort during the few lucid moments you have to save yourself during the corrupted moments you’ll ultimately have when you’re using your disease-imposed loneliness as a means to push yourself even further downwards. Take Control and Get Better. This disease is not us.
And, honestly, if you’re an American start looking at moving to Canada. From what I’ve learned being mentally ill in your country is like having no chickens in Uzbekistan: you’re completely fucked, you will starve and you are entirely dependent on your disease Allowing you to continue. Good freaking Christ, will you people please get a national healthcare system. Seriously, Canada is just a few hours away and we get all of your network and cable television… except HBO and FoxNews (I don’t know why either). You are allowed to move here, fuck there’s probably some Canadian government program that’ll pay you to move here.