450 days sober. Celebrating by buying books on borderline personality disorder, and having a brief freak-out in a public place that resulted in me destroying private property. Anxiety & insanity are keeping me away from my friends right now and making all forms of communication exceedingly difficult, and I’m done apologizing for it. Sometimes I just need to take a break from everything. Weirdo forever!
The above paragraph was my Facebook status update today. Although I frequently talk about having the internet play less of a major role in my life, it is still one of my preferred methods of communication when I am experiencing the kinds of anxieties and “mental health issues” I’ve been dealing with lately. I have been too anxious to talk to my friends lately (except to apologize for my disappearance); honestly, it seems like the only people I want to be with lately are my sister and my partner, and I might as well learn to be okay with that because I don’t know how long it’s going to last. Each time I try to venture back out into the world, I just feel incapable and small and useless. I don’t know what to say when my friends ask me how I am or what I’ve been up to.
I’ve had some days recently where I want to drink again, and I need to stop myself. I need to figure out why I want to drink, and find ways to solve my problems without booze. At first, I wanted to drink because shitty memories were coming back to me, and I wanted to distract myself and/or erase them. But I know that alcohol would be a temporary solution that would end up causing even more problems, and even more shitty memories I’d want to erase. Then I felt like drinking because I was so fed up with being shy and feeling like I don’t have the guts to say what I need to say and do what I need to do. But again, attempting to drink those problems away would only cause more. 450 days sober is a big deal. I can’t give that up.
I went to the mall today to look for a cheap pair of sandals, but I found nothing, grew exasperated, and found myself wallowing in self-pity in the self-help section of Chapters instead. I bought I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality by Jerold J. Kreisman M.D., and Hal Straus. I read this book last year when I was at Homewood, a local mental health treatment centre, and it’s time to read it again. BPD is gettin’ me down, friends. I’m not taking good care of myself these days, I haven’t been taking my meds, and I don’t have the motivation to get back into it… yet. Maybe re-reading this book will help me deal with some of my shit. Although there’s always an irritation factor when I read mental health books (because they are filled with case histories and stories that I can’t relate to, and because a large portion of certain books are devoted to describing different types of therapies and how to find a good therapist and I don’t have access to therapy, blah blah), they can also be useful. I don’t wanna totally get well or act normal or anything; I think the onus is on “society”, whatever that means, to be more accepting & accessible to crazyfolk, and not on us to try to pretend we’re sane and fit in or whatever, but at the same time, I do need to contantly learn & re-learn how to be a crazy person and keep myself alive in a world that doesn’t want me here, and knowing more about my diagnonsenses and where they came from and what to do with them is pretty darn crucial. If I can’t have a Real Life Therapist, books and writing and living creatively will have to do.
A lot of factors are contributing to my current anxieties: not taking my meds properly and not knowing if I want to anymore; resurfacing memories, some of which are almost brand new to me, others of which are appearing in such minute detail that it is alarming; feeling like I don’t have a place in any of the communities in the town I’m livin’ in and wondering what to do about that; feeling like my true-ideal-friendships are never gonna happen; being so goddamned broke all the fucking time and not seeing an end to that and feeling disconnected at a real and heartbreaking level from people who grew up with and continue to have access to the kinds of daily pleasures and conveniences that money can provide; re-thinking what I want to do with my life and how I want to do it. On and on and on…
“To be true to my own weirdnesses” is a quote from Sylvia Plath’s journals, written very close to the end of her life. I am learning how to be true to my own weirdnesses, and part of that means being honest when I am feeling like shit. I write these notes and letters and entries and manifestos not only for you, dear readers & friends & fellow weirdos, but for myself. I need these reminders on an almost daily basis, that’s it’s okay to be weird, it’s okay to be crazy and messy, and it’s okay to be a misfit among misfits (even though it is also sometimes very, very lonely and frustrating). I want us all to learn to be true to our own weirdnesses, whatever that means to us.
P.S.: If you’ve benefited from my writing in any way – if my words have inspired you, helped you feel less alone, or sparked some weird feeling within you; if you’ve felt encouraged, or curious, or comforted – please consider compensating me by offering a donation of any amount. Whether you’ve been reading my writing for years, or just stumbled into me this afternoon, I invite you to help me sustain the process!