Sounds and silences

I apologize that I become a hack Elizabeth Wurtzel/Sylvia Plath/Cat Marnell when I drink. The fact that I become a monster right before my period doesn’t help either. Add that to the fact that in my personal life, when it rains, it fucking DELUGES and I haven’t been able to burn one I feel like crying most of the time.

Boo hoo poor me and my first world problems.

Fuck you if you are going to judge me for feeling sad. Feelings are okay but I feel them so intensely they make me act out in ways I often really really regret. Time heals all wounds when it comes to those inflicted by my sick mind, or as my tattoo reads “NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY”.

I know I don’t have problems in the way that my clients who are homeless, recovering from addiction, in the cycle of domestic violence, AND have mental health issues; trying to help them find solutions for their situations while dealing with my own crisis while trying to stay mentally health can be very fucking challenging. Especially now that the seasons are changing. Long days when the sun doesn’t get until 8 pm are long gone.

I don’t watch Game of Thrones but WINTER IS COMING….It is hard to describe what the onset of a depressive episode feels like so I’ll do my best.

I feel like there is a dark cloud; surrounding me. It feels like there is a storm forming, foreboding thunderheads following me everywhere. I’m familiar with the signs and symptoms of upcoming episode like the back of my hand. Clock work. From the research that I’ve done, with each depressive episode one experiences, the higher the chances the person is of having subsequent episodes over the course of the life time. You can challenge me on this as I’m not citing sources.

The cloud turns into a haze, I forget things easily. Most things make me sad and sad things make me weep. Resting bitch face is a way of being. The storm has taken hold and I’m hiding out in my tunnel. The tunnel is a scary place; I’ve been there before many times and if I don’t catch myself early enough, I can ruin relationships and do some really scary things.

Valley of the Dolls (film)I get scared of where my mind will take me…the obsessive thoughts, shame, apathy, intense feelings of rejection, emotional numbness, apathy, lethargy, physical pain. The storm is coming, at least I know the signs, symptoms, and triggers. Drinking at all is not helpful. I don’t behave well when I drink. Those are the times I am most self destructive, when I cause the most visible damage. The uncontrollable urge to self harm; the ritualized picking apart of razor blades; the cathartic pain, blossom of crimson. Then shame. How do I hide this…?

English: Razor

And this is what happens to your relationships.

This story happened years ago.


 

 I honestly don’t remember how the fight started. I do remember how it ended: [the ex] calling Ali to come over and take care of me.

There was blood everywhere. In my anxiety and rage induced fury I had punched out the kitchen cabinet, which in this apartment was a window like pane of glass, busting my knuckles open and spraying glass everywhere. I guess I had also slashed my arm with a pair of scissors because my arm was bleeding too.

At least this was when I was still in college and didn’t have to explain the cuts to fragile minds. I did not have the foresight to hide them. The scars are now covered by beautiful tattoos, by the way.

Sidenote, a therapist I now work with likes to give me shit about my ink and tells me often, “Remember, scars have more character than tattoos”. That kind of character (flaw?) I don’t need the world to see, or to be reminded of daily.

It was either call her, take me to my brothers, or call the cops and have me taken to the hospital for a psych eval. I chose the least restrictive option (and the one that would worry my family the least, I’ve put them through enough).

All I can remember is the feeling of that night. A feeling of abandonment and fear. This was one of the worst nights of my life. I remember [the ex] just trying to leave and me trying to get him to stay and talk to me, to come to some kind of common understanding. He just wanted to leave my crazy ass and go to his mother’s to cool off. When they talk about fight or flight mode, I was in fight and he was in flight.

I did not understand why? WHY???? Like I said, I don’t remember how the fight started. It was probably during the beginning of the end, when our relationship became one sided. I have always been a stoner. The Nerd knew this from the very beginning. One day, seemingly out of the blue, he told me he didn’t want me smoking weed anymore because it was illegal. ILLEGAL! In a state where medical marijuana is legal and people smoking doobies in the open is the norm?

English: Medical marijuana neon sign at a disp...

In reality, it was his way of controlling my behavior by proxy. He did not like my friends. All my friends smoked weed or even sold it. Hell, some of my best friends grew the shit. The. Shit. Now he said he did not trust me and thought my friends were bad influences. I shouldn’t hang out with said friends. WTF?! But I was in love. You see where this is going…

But however the argument began, I was determined to win. I was hopeless. Beyond hysterical. Every time he tried to leave, I screamed after him, threatening more self harm. I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t call the cops. But again, thinking about the neighborhood we lived in, it’s not really surprising.

That’s when he took my phone and started scrolling through my contacts and I really FREAKED THE FUCK OUT.

“Who do you want me to call?” he said, with a look of smug arrogance that became all too familiar to me in the coming years. “Should I call _________ to come pick you up so you can stay on his couch?”

“NO FUCKING WAY!” I screeched like a banshee. “He doesn’t need to deal with this!” My brother is younger than me and is not good in a crisis. “Call Ali! She’ll know what to do!”

It was about 2 am. This was the normal hour for our knock down drag outs. Ali did get called. I don’t remember if I called her or if he did, but I do remember waiting tensely while [the ex] packed and overnight bag while I sat outside in the freezing ass cold chain smoking Marlboro 27s and crying my mascara off, wondering what my friend would think about me. I’m a fucked up skag.

Ali arrived about 15 minutes later and [the ex] made himself scarce. I don’t think I saw him again for a few days. She helped me clean my wounds and clean the glass from the kitchen floor. I cried on her shoulder and she persuaded me to take my Xanax (I was still apprehensive about taking the highly addictive medication). I was asleep 30 minutes later. She helped me, listened, and didn’t judge.

We’ve fallen apart over the years, but I truly value her friendship.

It really is good to know who your friends are when shit gets weird…

Sick kid.

A lot of times I want to curl up and cry. That sounds oh so mellow dramatic, but it’s true. At this very moment I have a half eaten apple on my desk. My stomach is making starving noises and I am very, very hungry. But I am very wary of eating anything. I’ve started taking Topamax again for my chronic blinding migraines. The major side effects that folks like to talk about are the weight loss (in combination with the drug phentermine, the FDA has approved it as a weight loss drug) and cognitive deficits (giving it the affectionate nickname “Dopamax”).

A lesser talked about side effect is explosive diarrhea and nausea, especially when one first starts taking the drug. For four days straight, every time I eat something, it comes right back out. It is extremely uncomfortable and anxiety inducing. I’m afraid to eat an apple for fucks sake.

Like with many people taking drugs with unpleasant side effects, once I started getting relief from the symptoms I started using the drug for, I stopped taking them. Which is stupid, because that means the drug works, Sherlock! I have a love-hate relationship with my migraine drugs. Since migraine is such a mysterious disorder, many different treatments, and no one tried and true treatment that is sure to work for everyone I have literally tried everything that has been marketed in the last 20 years for migraines.

I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not have disabling, mind altering headaches. When I was a little kid, my parents would just give me Advil and wait for me to puke. Generally I would feel better after that. When I got older and more self conscious about being the kid that throws up all the time, my parents took me to a headache specialist who prescribed me Imitrex. I was in middle or high school at the time.

I will tell you that this drug did not do shit for me. It’s what pain specialists call an abortive therapy, or a medication that you take when you already have a migraine. I believe that I took this drug twice. It made me feel out of it, not unlike taking a little too much Benadryl, but it did make my head hurt a little less bad. So, that was good. But a few hours later my headache rebounded with a vengeance. I may as well have stuck it up my arse for all the good it did me (to quote one of my favorite drug movies, Trainspotting). 

For the next ten years or so I dealt with the pain. I found that caffeine pills worked somewhat, and a few hits of some killer sativa would crush any pain or anxiety, but a lot of the time I found myself alone in my room, with all the lights out, willing myself to sleep.

I was first prescribed Topamax by my shrink, who assured me that in addition to preventing (prophylactic therapy) migraines it would help stabilize my moods. That was reassuring because I can be one moody bitch!

What he didn’t tell me that in combination with my ADHD medications, I would lose so much weight people would think I had an eating disorder. In less than a year I went from 5 feet even and weighing 130 to weighing 94 pounds. Before I stopped taking the drug in July I had been hospitalized three times and had 4 EKGs.

I kept taking Topamax because being dangerously thin was better than being in excruciating pain. But the pain became less frequent and the hospital visits became more regular, so I made the decision to stop taking the Topamax.

But then the inevitable happened. My migraines returned. I have a very stressful job so I’m not surprised really. So hear I am, back on the Dopamax, shitting my brains out. And I had just gained ten pounds. I was so proud of my ghetto booty.

Wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Dear [withheld],

I know you think I’m a little nuts. Let’s be honest, a lot nuts. But truth be told, I have a feeling crazy is your type. I’m emotionally intense, impulsive, brutally honest, smarter than most people you know, and a beast in the sack. You know it’s true. Over the past year and half or so that we’ve known each other, things have not been easy. At all.

It felt so good to be pursued by someone as sexy, confident, and successful as you immediately after I had gotten out of a very long, disastrous, and emotionally abusive relationship. You even witnessed the wreckage and helped me settle into my new sketchy alley apartment. I felt so fucking special. I don’t know if you are even aware of it, but you played a major role in getting me over the asshole I dated for six years.

I thought this was an emotionally poignant time for you as well. During our second date your disclosure that your on and off ex of ten years that you “kind of loved” had just committed suicide was not general getting you know you type small talk. This was said post-coitus, in that context, since the suicide you were not able to perform sexually and jokingly said that she had “cursed your boner”. Well, I must be a cock magician because you’ve have had no problems getting it up with me, save a few ethanol soaked nights.

So in this way it felt somewhat mutual. You helped me overcome an emotionally abusive breakup, I helped you through the unexpected reaction to the death of a loved one.

It felt really good for a while. Drinking at your regular bar almost every night, getting to know your friends and  employees. Going to Colorado with your family. Then you started working on expanding your business.You started pushing me away and making me feel needy for wanting for foster the bond that was growing. You were too busy and overwhelmed to spend time with me.

Or maybe you were afraid of getting close to someone again. I get that. Intimacy is scary enough, scarier more when someone you once loved took their own life. And I was understanding when you got her face tattooed in an intimate spot.

What I don’t understand is the year of constantly pulling me in and pushing me away. Fucking me at night and ignoring my texts during the day, I’m starting to feel more like a dirty little secret than a friend. Don’t get me wrong, the sex is mind blowing and probably a big part of the reason I haven’t given up completely. Don’t let it go to your head, but you’ve raised the bar for a man’s sexual performance for me, and there are so many disappointments out there. So thanks for ruining them for me. But I digress.

There are those moments of tenderness that keep drawing me back in. Most recently when you were on vacation and drunkenly texted me how amazing it was where you were and how I was the only person you could think of who could appreciate the historical and cultural relevance of the city you were in. We had intellectual in addition to explicit conversations almost everyday. You got me a souvenir and I even picked you up from the airport. We fucked after.

“I was a little drunk. Not drunk in any positive sense but just enough to be careless.” —Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, 1926

That felt pretty intimate. I fucking hate picking people up from the airport. It was the first time in a long time I’ve had sex without getting stoned first. I was anxious and awkward but it felt so genuine.

But of course, when you went back to work, things were status quo once again. Ignored texted and hurt feelings. I don’t know what I expected. Maybe for you to start to open up to me again, be able to spend quality time having intellectual conversations over “apple beers” and Guinness, and then have wild sex.

I don’t know exactly what my intentions are in writing this aside from expressing how I feel. I wish I had the balls to tell you in person, or even in a text message. I can send you pictures of my tits and describe how I’d orally please you, but knowing you know know I feel is terrifying. It’s scary because I know the exact reaction I will get from dirty talk, but I have no idea how you would react to my emotions.

In a way, this is the most honest, vulnerable thing I’ve written. I hope it doesn’t back fire. Handle with care.

Xoxoxo,

Hedonic Treadmill