I want to write something racy today. Think Girl Interrupted – I am gorgeous and wild and am queen of the asylum. I want to scandalize, break hearts and ruin other people’s relationships. Oh yeah, that’s gonna be me. I will make mental illness mine.
I will make it mine, but that means honesty. Honestly, honesty for a person with any sort of chronic, dare I say permanent? disability is usually dull. Every morning I drag myself down stairs, put something in my belly so I can pop a dozen pills. I don’t tongue them (pretend to take them) and don’t take others so I get peppier. (I did that once and that’s how I earned my first hospital vacation) I don’t wash them down with a bottle of vodka. Would that be wonderful and dramatic if I did? Well, I don’t. I quit drinking about two weeks before I landed in that hospital. If I was still drinking, I might have wound up in jail or worse.
It took me about an hour and a half to make up this card. It’s a 5×7 and has my legal first and last name, the insurance numbers and phone numbers, hospital numbers and addresses and the info for my shrink and my med doc. The other side contains drug allergies and the drugs I take.
It’s so glamorous. I wonder how I think I can write a memoir about mental illness when what I should do is write an encyclopedia with all the joy and wonder and humor. Yeah. Let’s do that.