So I’m sitting here and there is this black wave lapping at my heels. A good friend of mine both read Prozac Nation together in high school. And that was a line that has followed us some 16 years. Elizabeth Wurtzel defined her mental illness as a black wave always lapping at her ankles. And so have we.
She is a back wave, her presence is female to me. She licks seductively at my heels, and I ignore her. Then she moves to my ankles and I find comfort in her. As the wave rises she is less seductive and more motherly. Wrapping her arms around me and then it changes. So so quickly. Her grasp is tight, and cold so so cold. Its numbing cold. I cant break her grasp my body has become so numb. She has barbs that pierce my skin. I am bound. Then the lies began to spew from her sea salted mouth. “you are nothing” “A waste of space” “no one really likes you, they pity you” “They are embarrassed by and for you” “Why don’t you just die” “you life never has and never will have any meaning” “You are a disgrace” “If you wont die, just pick up the needle.” “at least when your high you don’t feel” “And numb is a great way to be”
**NO I AM NOT GOING TO GET HIGH OR KILL MYSELF**
I have to say, I’m no at that point but writing down all the lies that sea monster tells me make it so difficult to keep typing. I talk about it before it becomes a concrete thought. When the tongue of addiction licks my face I make a phone call to someone who is clean and working a program of recovery. And when its the sea monster getting ready to drown me, I call my shrink. I do not allow myself to be alone in these times. For these are the time I am the weakest. These creatures find their way in easiest when I feel lonely, or weak. When I’m not working, or have hit a creative block of some kind. When I question myself. The demons get in.
So I read a book not too long ago called Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. And it pulled me out of a seriously dark fucking place I decided might be alright for me to play in. It wasn’t. I’m going to post an excerpt from her book to end this post. Because this is really how I am feeling right now. And I am going to be ok. Also check out her blog. Because she is funny and truthful and I love her though I have never met her.
read it read read it!!!!
‘Sometimes being crazy is a demon. And sometimes the demon is me. And I visit quiet sidewalks and loud parties and dark movies, and a small demon looks out at the world with me. Sometimes it sleeps. Sometimes it plays. Sometimes it laughs with me. Sometimes it tries to kill me. But it’s always with me. I suppose we’re all possessed in some way. Some of us with dependence on pills or wine. Others through sex or gambling. Some of us through self-destruction or anger or fear. And some of us just carry around our tiny demon as he wreaks havoc in our mind, tearing open old dusty trunks of bad memories and leaving the remnants spread everywhere. Wearing the skins of people we’ve hurt. Wearing the skins of people we’ve loved. And sometimes, when it’s worst, wearing our skins. These times are the hardest. When you can see yourself confined to your bed because you have no strength or will to leave. When you find yourself yelling at someone you love because they want to help but can’t. When you wake up in a gutter after trying to drink or smoke or dance away the ache—or the lack thereof. Those times when you are more demon than you are you. I don’t always believe in God. But I believe in demons. My psychiatrist always says, “But if you believe there are demons, then it follows that there could be a God. It’s like … believing in dwarves but not in Cyclopes.” I consider pointing out that I’ve met several dwarves in my life and almost no Cyclopes, but I get what she’s saying. There can’t be dark without light. There can’t be a devil without the God who created him. There can’t be good without bad. And there can’t be me without my demon. I think I’m okay with that. Or maybe it’s my demon that is. It’s hard to tell. My psychiatrist told me that when things get rough I should consider my battle with mental illness as if I were “exorcising a demon” and I was like, “Well, no wonder I’m failing so miserably. I’m shit at exercising.” Then she called me out for deflecting with humor, and explained: “You are exorcising a demon. It’s not something you can do alone. Some people do it with a priest and holy water. Some do it with faith. Some do it with chemicals and therapy. No matter what, it’s hard.” “And usually people end up with vomit on them,” I replied. I’m seeing more of a connection. I wonder if I’m the priest in this scenario. I hope not because he almost always dies just when he thinks everything is fine. This analogy is starting to creep me out.’