It’s been years since I thought about my job at the Yale Club – but tonight was a special night. I had just posted some pics of me and my soon-to-be husband, (one day – way, way, down the road), and I started reminiscing. I pulled out my old box of pictures, letters and diaries and found so many treasured pieces from my past and wondered to myself, “what might have happened if I never went to that psychiatrist?”
The world of mental health has changed drastically over the past 20 years – more kids are getting diagnosed with a host of ailments, (that they probably don’t even really have), and more and more people all around the world are popping pills for the answer. Well, let me tell you – its is NOT the answer.
I was never ever really stable. For as far back as I can remember, I had a drinking problem and I had a problem with men – either I was sleeping with too many of them, or throwing myself at them. But man, that drinking, that was an animal. When I was at the Yale Club, the guy I was “kinda” with at the time was sober and was trying to get me sober and I tried for a while to walk the right path, but that animal alcoholism, I couldn’t hide from it. There is no mystery that most alcoholics suffer from some sort of mental illness, whether it be bipolar or depression – so when the team of doctors started poking, prodding and medicating me, I wasn’t surprised by my diagnosis. In fact, it has taken years for them to get it right and to be honest, I still feel like I am not winning this battle.
I am unsure how my life will play out. I alienated myself from SO MANY friends, from my past and future due to this “thing” I become. I am a monster, in the worst form when this bipolar shit decides to rear its ugly head. I mean, I was a monster when I was a drunk – now they just added some mental illness and pills on top of it. I am not at all surprised though. My father is a monster, an absolute monster. He has calmed down over the years due to heart issues, but the man’s temper is very much like my own = that hot-blooded West Indian thing, who knows. All I know is, I am still walking on eggshells around him sometimes, even after all we had been through as a family.
Tonight, I took a nice hard look at my actions. I went down the list of Facebook friends who have deleted me over the years, and even sent a message to an old friend from the Yale Club whose life I tried to ruin. I had no right to message her, but I felt that I should at least apologize and wish her well – I was the most monstrous to her and believe you me, I have shed many tears over that.
But who are we to blame for any of that? I had some drinking issues and I was in a self-destructive relationship with a man who didn’t really love me so was it inevitable that I would just implode in on myself and lose everything? When the psychiatrist I met with pushed pills on me, why did I just take them? Why does anyone just take them? As medical professionals, you would think they would be responsible when dealing with people in a fragile state. I guess for me, I had the worst luck and got an asshole who didn’t give a shit what happened to me – and then the years of darkness followed, in and out of hospitals, being raped and never heard, never feeling peace, broken relationships, failed career attempts – all of it started with that first trip to the psychiatrist. Don’t mental health professionals realize what could happen to someone who isn’t prepared for psychotropic drugs?
I am at a fault too, because I know the drinking didn’t help. But I know this, after all that has happened, and the horrors I have faced, I am so much stronger than I ever was. I cry so much more now, so much more than I ever did – because I found salvation, because I found hope – because I found God — because my faith is ever-strong. Being naked and cold on the floor of a psych ward endless times can teach you one thing – that when you stretch your hand to the Heavens and ask Him why He put you here to endure this – He simply says, “To make you a stronger woman.”
And a stronger woman I am.