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I might be really fucking stupid, but here’s a letter I wrote to my therapist.

I just sent this to my therapist. I might be really fucking stupid for putting this on the internet for everyone to see. Maybe this is going to harm my chances at a job later in life, but I think mental illness needs more awareness. I don’t think people see enough of the daily struggle that those with mental illness go through. We have to put on a brave face because if we don’t we lose out on jobs and our families suffer. I have to lie on the disability form, because I know if I mark “bipolar” no one is going to hire me. People simply don’t understand. Because we don’t tell them. We don’t share our stories because are taught that they are bad, and regretful, and shameful. 

So here goes everything.  

This letter is unedited and pulled directly from my email. All that is changed are names. 

SO, about two weeks ago Name and I got in to a fight (we’re better now) that was born from our frustrations. It wasn’t really anything major, we were just stressed and I wasn’t handling anything well. The point of this is that I did something I never had before, I took prescription pills (my old gabapentin) not as the were intended and when I was upset.

I took a lot, like over 2000 mg.

I did it again the next day because it had made me feel really good, it stopped all my racing thoughts and I felt genuinely content. Not “high” like the opioides made me back when the fibro was bad, just still, if that makes sense.

I had an app with my psych the same week, and Name knew I was doing this, so I stopped until I saw Name. We discussed it, upped my seroquel dose, and I stopped taking the gabapentin, focusing instead on making the seroquel work.

It freaking sucked, but I tried, or I think I did. Seroquel made me tired, but I expected that since we upped it 2x (going from 100 to 300). I had to skip work the rest of the week because I was too tired to get out of bed, but it eventually evened out and I felt better physically. But emotionally I was not getting better.

I stayed off the gabapentin for the week, trying really hard to get used to the seroquel. Then the weekend hit and I just said screw it and got high, since it was the weekend, right?

Now it’s Monday and even though the weekend is over I’ve taken gabapentin all day. I still feel shitty. I don’t know where I am anymore, and I just wrote this scene for my third book:

“I don’t understand what the problem is you  said you wanted me to take pills.”

“Pills that your psychiatrist prescribed, Lenny, don’t twist my words.”

“He did prescribe them.”

I narrowed my eyes, not buying her shit.

“At one point,” Lenny continued. 

“Why did he stop?”

“I don’t like this line of questioning. It’s… decidedly pointed!” 

“Oh no you don’t,” I grabbed her arm, stopping her from leaving, and shoved her on the bed. She folded her arms, glaring at me.

“You can’t intimidate me. I know your tricks.”

“I’m not trying to intimidate you, fuck!” I groaned, exasperated. “I just want you to talk to me. Why are you popping pills?”

“Because I don’t feel right! Okay? I don’t know how else to describe it other than it fucking hurts to just be me.” Lennox bit her lip, looking away. I sat down next to her. 

“What do you mean, can you elaborate? I’m trying here, babe, I’m really trying.”

“My brain is just rough, Vic. I love you. I love our life. I love being with you, but I just need a break from me. My brain never stops spinning and the pills Dr. Levinthol prescribed weren’t enough. They’re never enough. I recognize what I’m doing is scary and probably harmful but I just…”

Lennox choked on her words. I never knew what to do when she cried. I felt like a fucking beast trying to hold a petal in my hand. She was fragile. She was my Lenny. 

“Do you know what it’s like to never shut off? To constantly be running? I’m exhausted. There are times when I feel like if I have just one more thought I will literally drop dead from the weariness, but I can’t stop racing. It doesn’t matter,” Lennox laughed, sounding crazed. “I don’t control it! I don’t control the thoughts. They come, tumbling like a fucking avalanche despite the fact that I don’t have space for them inside my brain.” 

Time passed, neither of us talking, as Lenny breathed heavy, fast, and raspy. 

“I know I shouldn’t take these. I should talk to my doctor. All of that. But I’m terrified. I’m terrified they’ll take them away and have me try yet another med. I’ve found something that works. I’ll probably get used to the drugs in a month, but right now I have a break.”

I patted her lightly on the back. “Okay, Lenny.” 

I’m freaked out. I feel like I’m heading for a cliff. I feel manic, but at the same time, I feel like I’ve felt this way for a long time, and doesn’t mania only happen for short bouts of time?? 

Oh, I forgot to mention that the week of my psych app, so two weeks ago, I had two SERIOUS considerations of suicide. So there’s that.

I’m so sick and tired of my brain. I honestly just want someone to knock me out with a horse tranquilizer. That’s why I like taking the gabapentin. Every time I reach that certain dose, my brain just slows down.

As I write this I’m about to go take more gabapentin. I don’t even know what my dose is at anymore. I am so desperate for my brain to shut the fuck up. I feel like a failure, Name. I thought I was doing so well.  

 

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Comments

  1. Damn. Thank you for sharing this. I see a lot of parallels in how I think. I don’t know now if this is a good thing or not simply because I don’t want to see a therapist and just end up getting prescribed pills. But idk…. thanks. It must have been hard to share this.

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