I live in bottles.
That phrase has been bouncing around my brain for the last 48 hours. I’ve been mentally.. narrating my life, or something, since my last post. I’ve been conscious of the fact that I’ve wanted to write something, but until today, I literally lacked the ability. I fell into – practically tripped and landed face first with my arms full of sharp objects – a horrible depression. It was sudden and unexpected.
Sometimes the depression creeps. It rolls in like a fog. This was a summer thunderstorm. It came out of nowhere, the rain of shame torrential and stinging my skin. The lightning flashed – I was blinded – the thunder shook my bones – I was terrified. So what did I do?
I got drunk. Didn’t take my medication, because I’m not supposed to take my medicine with alcohol. Just.. bad. Made bad decisions, hated myself. Cried and wandered the streets because I was too drunk to drive. I ended up on my friends couch with a pounding headache and a stomach clenched with regret. I had an intense 12 or so hours. And after that, I got in my bed.
I stayed in my bed.
And you know what I thought?
I live in bottles.
Pill bottles, bottles of alcohol, bottles of makeup. Bottles of water, bottles of lotion, bottles of nail polish. I dwell in glass receptacles, plastic containers, delicate vases of storage.
These bottles run my life.
They make me stumble, they open up my mouth, they take off my shirt. They let me color inside the lines, they refine my appearance. I paint and prod and slurp and gulp, I depend on these bottles. Without these bottles, I lack things.
I lack sanity.
I lack numbness.
I lack a sense of self.
I. Hate. That.
I refuse to believe that I am 21 years old and already dying before I’ve even started living. I refuse to think that I am wasting away my life and my body, that I am painting myself for the war that our society wages on me and thousands maybe millions of people just like me. I fucking hate those bottles. I hate drinking. I hate depending on the 30 mg of this, the 100 mg of that just to function.
I gave myself a tattoo. (Bear with me here; this is not a random transition. Well, it is.. but just wait. I’m going somewhere with it.)
I gave myself a widdle stick and poke tattoo on my wrist. I’ll include a picture. I’m quite proud of it and what it means:
It means I’m not giving up. It is just four, small circles. Which is why I did it myself. Don’t worry, I sterilized the needle, used clean ink, blah blah. Also, I’ve been slicing myself open for over five years and I’m not dead yet. I don’t see how poking holes and adding ink is going to make a different.
Anyway. Moving on.
It means I will not give up. My boyfriend keeps telling me: your past is your past. And I know that. I know the past is the past. Duh. It can’t be anything else.
I realized he said that because the past is why I live in bottles. I escape to bottles of rum and vodka because that is my “fail-safe” way of numbing myself. It’s the way I “deal” with things. I crave those white tablets out of the green pill bottle because that is my past. My past is creating my own oblivion and disappearing into it when I don’t feel safe. My past is a fucked up sexual development and a stymied sense of who I am. That sounds cheesy as fuck, but I don’t know. Hence the bottles of makeup.. the cover up, the enhancing solutions. I don’t know who I am, so I create it. I create myself and so far I haven’t liked it.
I’ve been floating from break down to break down. I claw my way out of the black turmoil that is depression, and those first few breaths of calm are heaven. The first few hours out of the blackness are bright, they are beautiful. My vision is crisp, smells and sounds are vivid, bright, intoxicating. I’m fucking alive.
Until I’m not.
Oh, right, so the arrow?
I am moving on. Time goes on whether I want to die or I’m flying high. (Ha, I’m a fuckin’ poet, and nobody likes a sentence that doesn’t end as they POTATO.) Days pass. Hours fade. Life slowly dwindles away. And while those precious grains of sand are sinking through the hourglass, what am I doing?
I’m fucking sniveling. I’m whining. I’m drinking myself into a stupor because I made a mistake.
Are you fucking kidding me?
Twenty-one years old, and dying.
So I’m stopping. I’m climbing out of the bottles – all of them – except the necessary ones. I will take my medication. I’m going to go to class. I’m going to fucking succeed, because at the end of my life, I’m still going to be here. I’m still going to be me. I don’t want to look back on this time and regret everything that I’ve wasted. I refuse to regret any more because I’ve done enough for a couple lifetimes. (Speaking of lifetimes, I’m pretty sure I used to be a cat. As in, a past life. If those are real, I was definitely a cat. I’ll talk about that another time though. Cos I think my original line of thought was rather serious.)
Constellation. Arrow. Bottles. Right.
I am moving forward. I understand this disorder is not going to go away. I have over the last year watched myself – as if from a third person viewpoint – go up, down, way below down, when-the-fuck-is-she-going-to-stop-down, and then all the way back up and beyond up. I’ve wanted to die. I’ve hated myself. I’ve cried and cried and cried.
I fucking hate crying.
It hasn’t fixed a damn thing. The alcohol and pills.. I wasn’t managing shit. All I was managing was to keep fucking up my life. I admitted to my best friend my methods of “sanity” haven’t exactly been working. They’ve been.. maintaining? I’ve been coasting. I’ve been making excuses.
I feel like that opiate addiction commercial, because this is my moment. This is the moment that I decided I’m better than this. Yes, I have a mental illness. Yes, I am an addict. But I refuse to lose.
Have you had enough cheese with your whine tonight? Because I feel like that post was the equivalent of a ninety-cheese macaroni with a bottle of Bitchey. (If you say that with like, a French accent, I think it makes it kind of funny.)
In the end, I want to finish this post by repeating the first sentence, with a tiny itty bitty baby tweak.
I lived in bottles.
I lived in bottles for over half of my life.
And never once did I meet a genie. Boy, did I get gypped.