If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you know I’ve spent years suffering with mental disease. A lot of people love to say that my dads suicde made me act out as a kid. The truth of the matter is, I didn’t fully understand his suicide or his loss for a lot of years, that didn’t control my brain. The fact is, I’ve had monsters in my head for as long as I can remember. Monsters that made me go to my room and think bad thoughts. Parents write off a child like that as someone trying to get out of trouble or someone seeking attention. I have to disagree. I have two very different children. One who goes to his room with monsters in his head, and one who doesn’t. They both get in plenty of trouble, but only one of them is the me of years past. I will never tell him to get over the monsters in his head, because he cannot.
I bring this up, because in light of the recent public suicides, while engaging with someone on facebook about my birth dad, and grand fathers suicide, the person replied, “this should be a private conversation, this is not for the public.”
Let me say this now. I have control of the monsters in my head today. I go to the gym a lot to control them. People comment all the fucking time about how often I go to the gym, but they don’t know, it’s saving my life. If you’re one of those people and you’re reading this, you can stop those comments now. I don’t need to explain my relationship with the gym one more goddamn time, leave me alone. However, if in the event the monsters ever win, please whatever you do, don’t make my death a secret. Shout it out to the fucking world. Let it have meaning. When you’re in that dark place, you feel worthless. You make up reasons why you should be gone. It all makes sense. When I can perfectly understand what my birth dad was thinking when he died, and pick out all of the good things that have happened to me since his death, and say with clarity that MAYBE HIS DEATH WAS A GOOD THING, then it’s clear, I’ve lost any feeling of value in my life. The worst thing ever, would be, being right. If my death saves a life, then share it. If talking about your pain saves a life, then talk away. I know personally talking about losing my dad on this blog has saved lives. Had I never written those posts, perhaps those people would have never found the words they needed while they were sitting in their car ready to end their life, doing one final google search on the effects of suicide on children.
I’ve talked about depression and mental illness a thousand times as a gray place, a place you wrap yourself up in and get comfortable. Today I want to talk about it a little bit differently. I see so many people saying, “she had it all, what did she have to be sad about,” or “Tony traveled, had the good life, what did he have to be sad about.” Stop it. Stop that shit right now. Having money, all of the money, millions and millions of dollars cannot cure depression any more than it can cure cancer or Alzheimer’s. You guys, we don’t fucking have control of this shit. I cannot look at the endometrioma tumor in my stomach and say, “just stop growing. I don’t want you to grow, so don’t,” the same way I cannot tell the fucking monsters in my head to shut up. They don’t give a fuck. So here is a better way to relate to depression. It’s like a puppy, or five puppies in your head at all times. Puppies lose control and run all over the place. Sometimes their paw presses on the part of your brain that kicks your OCD into overdrive, which makes your ADHD run rampant, and that makes your anxiety sky rocket through the roof, and this makes you tired, ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Then the puppy sees a bird and runs full force over to the other side of your head and you find yourself locked in your closet crying because everything is so hard, and loud, and it’s just too much, and can you not fucking stop for one second. Even if the thing that won’t stop is out of your control, like the wind, or the weather, or the demons in your head. Then the puppy zig zags and you’re angry, at everyone, at yourself, at the news, at life, and you don’t even know why. The puppy isn’t done though, he’s found a ball and it rolled over to the part of your brain that makes everything WONDERFUL AND AMAZING AND LOOK AT THE COLORS AND GIVE ME A HUG AND I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUUU. Then the puppy gets tired and lays down for a nap, and nothing. You feel nothing. You’re not happy, or sad, or mad, or angry, you feel nothing. You just feel nothing. Sometimes I think the nothing is the hardest of them all. If any of you have had a puppy, or a fucking toddler, you know they don’t care that you are losing your mind. Short of locking them in a crate and listening to them whine non stop, there is nothing you can do besides hope they grow out of it, like a good dog. Sometimes they do grow out of it. Sometimes you get a cocker spaniel instead of a lab, and you end up with a puppy for life, a puppy that never ever ever gives you a break. Sometimes as terrible as it sounds you start wishing the puppy would just run away, or not exist, for just a day, or a few minutes, and that right there is where mental illness can become permanant, when you start wishing for a break.
So, if I lose the battle with the monsters in my head tomorrow, what I beg of you, is don’t play stupid. Don’t say you didn’t know. Don’t post comments publicly saying, “shes the last person I would have expeceted this from.” Don’t pretend. Becuase if you’ve read this blog ever in the past, you knew. If you’ve found me locked in the closet crying, you knew. If you watched me drink myself stupid and not care, you knew. If you’ve gone weeks without hearing from me, you knew. If you read the poetry I turned in, in high school, you knew. If you’ve followed my public journey, you knew. If you’ve spent any amount of time with me, you knew. No one lets their lives get as out of control as I did, without having some monsters in their head. I plead with you, whether it’s me, or a stranger, or best friend, or public person who loses the battle tomorrow, talk about it. Talk about the loss. Talk about the signs you saw, so someone else can recognize those signs in someone they may know who is suffering. Post about it. Share it. Don’t make the next loss a shameful one. Give it a purpose. Give it meaning. Whatever you do though, make sure you DO NOT write them off as someone who had everything, whose death means nothing. You guys, I cannot tell the puppy to push the happy spot any more than I can tell my hip to not be torn. I cannot tell my depression to stop, any more than Steve Jobs could tell his cancer to just drink some green juice and get better.
I can mitegate the damage with workouts, and therapy, the same way a cancer patient can do chemo, and take medicine, but they can’t out right cure it with just a wish. Mental disease can’t be wished away. It can’t be shushed away. It can’t be locked within the walls of your house to avoid your families embarrasment. It has to be public. Hold us accountable, check on us, learn from us, help us. Find us when we are lost, but most importantly, stop trying to wish our disease away.
This post isn’t a cry for help, because right now I have control of it all for the most part. However, if that monster puppy in my head ever gets immune to the long long walks at the gym, there will be at least 40 people who notice my absence, and I hope, they would be brave enough to call me out, and check on me.