Flayed open, for all the world to see…

How terrifying it is to finally see.
I thought it was the death of my grandmother that sent me over the edge. I was certain, because there must have been a reason for my change and the only thing that had changed in my life was her existence. And god, how I loved her.
If I could, I’d apologize to her now. I thought she was the catalyst, and I was profoundly mistaken.

How terrifying it is to finally see the signs compiled neatly in a row.

I remembered arbitrarily deciding to stop taking the medication I was given for depression and anxiety, but I couldn’t remember why.
I remembered the time I made my husband, at random, reinforce a large painting that hung on the wall above the couch because I, at random, decided that it was going to fall on our cat and kill her, but I don’t remember why.
I remembered having to cancel plans as I walked out the door because I was certain that someone was going to shoot our cat as she sat in the window of our second-floor apartment, but I don’t remember what could have possibly put that thought in my head.
I remember nightly panic attacks during which I was convinced I was about to suffer an aneurysm and die. Sometimes it still happens, but my brain has traded the aneurysm for Meningitis. And every time, when it’s over, I simply cannot remember why I was so afraid.
I remember, only in vague pictures, drinking so much that I had no issue putting myself in destructive, dangerous, and humiliating situations, ones that I am too ashamed to write down.
I remember feeling like my tongue had gone numb, and then disintegrated.
I remember feeling like I’m not real.

But what I didn’t remember was that all of these thing began to happen before my grandmother died. When my husband pointed this out to me, I was mortified at how blind I’d been.

The truth is, I don’t want to be sick.
I don’t want to hate waking up.
I don’t want to hate going to sleep.
I don’t want to fear that everyone I love will leave.
I don’t want food to constantly make my stomach hurt.
I don’t want to have made all of these wrong moves.
I don’t want to lose my credibility.
I don’t want to drive my car off a bridge.

But I am, I do, I have, and goddamn — do I think about it every single day.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this or if I’ll ever share it. If you’re reading this, then I will undoubtedly have thrown myself into a panic moments after hitting the share button on facebook. It’s amazing how I can hate myself so much, yet still feel important enough to presume that anyone wants to read this. Maybe I don’t want people to think they are alone in this. Maybe I don’t want to be alone in this.

I lose myself. I lose time. Sometimes, when I’m onstage singing, the end of the song comes and I can’t remember it. I wonder for a second if I got the words right, because I can’t remember anything I just did. And sometimes, time just goes away. I’m 36 years old and I have trouble remembering what I dreamt and what really happened.

I cry when I drive. A lot. Late at night, in my car, I scream as loudly as I can, because I just don’t know what else to do. There are so few ways to release the pressure, or so I think. Things are not so good these days. I’ve forgotten how to really love things. I tear holes in my skin. I don’t know why, but I can’t stop. I think I need to see the pain manifest, otherwise it’s too much to keep inside.

I dream constantly about a witch that lives in my mouth. She will ultimately murder me, but not until she’s done whatever it is she’s doing in there. I think she might be made of years of shame and rage and sadness that I collected in my mouth, as if I had a caul.

I was just diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. When I talk about knowing your demon’s name, well, that’s the name of mine. Some people will say that labels aren’t important. I’ve said it, myself, but I needed to know this. I needed a name.

I’ve lived with it’s accomplices for a long time: Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

I was institutionalized as a teenager. When I was released, nothing had changed. I hadn’t changed.

When I was younger, I wore these things like a badge, desperately looking for something to set me apart, because I always lived apart, isolated and lonely, but now I would give anything to make them go away. Sometimes, people ask me if I’m afraid I’d lose my creativity if I got better. I tell them that I’m not creative because I’m unstable. I’m creative despite being unstable.

When it takes years for us to put out a new album or book – it’s because I’m sick. I’m surrounded by some of the most prolific artists I’ve ever met, and I am ashamed that I can’t do what they do. I’m ashamed of my fear.

I’m not writing this to garner sympathy or attention. I’m writing it so I can see it. I can admit it. I’m committed to getting help, even though I really want to give up. I’m in a psychiatrist’s care, and am exploring additional types of therapy.
Things might never be wonderful, but they can be better than this, and I’m going to figure out how. Maybe someone else will read this and do the same.

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