Recently I was asked what it was like to hit rock bottom. I didn’t express myself very well; the written word has always been easier for me. I still somehow feel more comfortable writing about my experience with mental illness. I couldn’t quite string the worlds together properly in person. I felt like I was rambling on about nothing and everything with no rhyme or reason.
So, allow me elaborate here.
What is it like to hit rock bottom? Well, you stay in bed for days on end. You use of boxes full of kleenex and your eyes burn because you’ve been crying so much. Your head throbs, you feel weak and useless, and you haven’t bothered to charge your phone because, quite frankly, you want the world to forget all about you. Please, go on without me. I say that a lot to myself. You don’t need me weighing you down. I’ve successfully detached myself from the world.
Because it would be my worst nightmare if someone saw me like that. Puffy-eyed, pasty-faced, greasy, matted hair and no strength whatsoever. Just lying there crying for no real reason. Crying because it hurts so fucking bad and you don’t even understand why. Crying because you can’t stop being sad. You haven’t got it in you to be happy. Hitting rock bottom is forgetting what happiness feels like.
This is that really frightening time when yes, you start contemplating that S-word. You know, that thing that people do to themselves when they can’t think of any way out of their pain. When you feel so helpless and defeated that suicide (yes, that’s the word) feels like an option. Because that’s the only way. That’s the only way you can think of curing your illness. You won’t be a burden to anyone, you won’t be a failure, and you sure as shoot won’t be in pain anymore.
What does it feel like?
It feels like suffocating. Or drowning in a sea of depression. It’s like the manic high has drained all the energy out of you and left you completely useless. It’s dark. It’s like your living in a perpetually power failure black out. You spend some time frantically trying to find a flashlight. Then you give up and attempt at lighting a candle. But even that. Even that get’s used up. The faint light the little scented candle produces goes out and leaves you in complete darkness.
That’s what it’s like to hit rock bottom.
But see, I’m in school for the performing arts and we’re trained in the fine art of understanding process. That learning a role is a process. Understanding a character is a process. This year I’ve decided to treat my illness like that as well. It’s a process that I need to grow and learn from. Rock bottom is still no cake walk, but I’ll learn from it and try and understand it better. Then maybe the next time I’m there, I’ll know may way around a bit better.
Thanks my darlings,