The “I’m Mentally Ill and Can’t Function” Stream of Consciousness
I don’t know why I should write this.
I don’t want to.
I don’t feel able.
The Yellow Wallpaper, 1892
I don’t have an official tally of how many times I’ve tried to kill myself, it was never romantic and it was never intentional and it was always supposed to work, my guess is it’s been around 20 twenty times since freshman year of high school. If thoughts counted, I’d say I’ve thought about killing myself a total of 2190 times, every day, for the past six years. I never understood what was wrong with me, even when I made incomplete wills on receipts and suicide notes (please leave everything to my sister, please let her take my place) hidden in subfolders on my hard drive. I was always begging myself to change, please, I lived inside my head, without context, with everyday already decided as the “last day on earth I will waste out of spite.” I can’t let myself drive, all I can think about is letting go of the wheel on the left lane on a highway and letting fate decide how quickly I’ll die. I can’t walk alone because I’ll throw myself into traffic; I’m lucky I have a dog. I’m afraid to take pills, I’m afraid to cook (if I dice these carrots quickly enough, I’ll forget a knife is my hands), I’m afraid to take the bus alone, I’m reckless and I’ll end it, probably dramatically, and probably without a complete will.
Currently: deleting said will.
Currently: on leave from Cornell University.
I should’ve taken my spring sophomore finals two months ago and I should’ve partied/skipped/studied/ran/felt. I want to be Typical.
How many people would you say go on leave for medical reasons? How many never go back?
When you’re depressed you have a lot of should haves. A lot of guilt for not and for not wanting to. This powerful force making these decisions for you is not really you, and God, you fight it it, no one can ever say you’re not willing to bleed, you wake up, let me be myself today, you beg, and there are small battles you win, but who holds the flag? You’re the grande literal literary conflict, man vs. man, but it’s quiet and there’s no hooded husky-voiced villain that you’re at war with, it’s only you, and it’s you vs. Depression Pretending To Be You, you’re on a live stage, who’s the force that’s the puppeteer?
I am not comical. Monk would have had a suicide attempt by the end of episode four. Mental institutions have always killed, the ghosts there are supposed to be a metaphor for the mental health care system, the horror movie cliche is a cliche. Lisa Rowe is a man’s myth.
No one knew. But no one ever knows anyway, most stories end up like that, Sad WASP Girl on the news, friends on the 6 o’clock news bawling, montage of trustworthy adults speaking on their character, she was just like you, cut of a church, cut of a blurry smiling photo proving that no one had anything to suspect, none of us knew, we swear, a warning message, this could happen to you, a final reassuring toothy newscaster, but it won’t. I lived inside myself. There are too many casualties if someone else’s heart is your home. In a utilitarian lense, I was and am correct. I locked these Bad Thoughts in a hollow book safe, for the greater good.
My week long stint in the looney bin was shameful. You are not a person inside, you are disgusting and a danger, and on the outside you become the same.
I can’t remember anything past four days ago, everything from February and May, it’s foggy and blends together. I can only remember October and parts of December 2015, nothing was important and nothing left an impression in the fog, even when I was happy, it wasn’t nearly enough.
This is how it has been, it’s banal, I’m bored of myself. It seems it’ll continue to be this way.
The Orlando Shooter’s wife said he was bipolar, and terrifying. Immediate tweets on the dangers of someone with my brain chemistry, I’m a monster, a risk to the public, we must eradicate thee, I don’t remember the last time my life’s worth was questioned like this.
After the first few weeks using my OCD medication, I slept by myself on a questionable dorm lounge couch when I snuck away from my roommate at 3 A.M. My brain was quiet for the first time since I was four years old. How did I live life before this? How did no one know? How could I have hid it so well? I needed to have this realization alone. I was not someone meant to function without help.
Why am I not fixed yet. There’s an error in the code and a misplaced switch, the surgeon knows the bone is broken, why is the x-ray the only progress made? I try to get in touch with a psychologist, the next available appointment is in one and a half months. No med refills, no doctor. The system is going to kill me, I’ve been putting this sentence off for two years. When someone like me is asking for help it’s already too late. Preemptive care for us is nonexistent, how do I Admit when I haven’t left my bed or showered in 9 days. The last time I ate was two days ago and I feel nothing but colorful loathing. I deserve this. Please call me back.
When I was forced to call my mom from the mental health care unit she advised me to do yoga. I hung up. I don’t have money to take care of myself. My mom brought me into this country to take care of her, what is my worth when I think my fate is underneath a bridge.
How do you apologize to everyone you’ve hurt in some way? The unanswered calls and messages, the teachers and professors who never understood (could you blame them, your mouth was always closed), the missed interviews and appointments, the janitor who saw you bleeding and crying in the bathroom last semester and called the hospital for you (you ruined her recently mopped floor, she only gets paid minimum wage you asshole), the promises the Manic You made that the Depressed You can’t meet, the guilt exists and it rages and it burns but I have just come to a realization, I’m not sorry. I didn’t know. I can’t be sorry. Where’s the sense? Though, this could be the Manic Me talking, I don’t know which side it is yet.
There’ll be another gap in my timeline tomorrow.