I don’t know what it’s like to come out as a lesbian, but my life over the past few months feels like I’ve “come out” as a crazy drug addict. I’ve outed myself as a mentally ill, former crack smoking, loose cannon, mother and wife. At least I’m educated. So I have that going for me.
Obviously I knew writing a book about my life was going to lead to people knowing the intimate details of my past. And there would be the collateral damage of writing about other people, because of their role in my life. But dude! It’s pretty intense to have this information available to the world.
I wasn’t worried about some of the things you might think I’d have been concerned with. For example, I don’t give a shit who knows that I used to be a stone cold crack head. Or that I pumped drugs into my body with such gusto you’d think I was trying to kill myself. Oh wait…I was hoping to die.
I don’t care about the world knowing about my psychiatric history. Whatever. Yeah, I’ve been in the mental hospital so many times it’s almost hard to know exactly what the count is. I’m on Social Security for bipolar disorder and have been for 14 years. Big deal.
What I was afraid to reveal was the Alternate Universe (AU), which felt too crazy to discuss until a few years ago. The shame I felt from this coping mechanism was so deep, for so many years, writing about it was torturous in the beginning. It felt ridiculous.
Writing about a life that happened in my head? That still happens in my head? Oh, I didn’t know if I could pull it off. Allow people to know such a thing about me? Especially friends and family? It was difficult.
I could actually write a parallel blog about my AU life. It’s something I’ve toyed with in my head, because I think readers might like it. My AU life is way more interesting than my real life. I’m famous there.
There are some real life things I think about writing here, things I left out of the book (the deleted scenes idea again). But I wonder if they’re too ugly. Would people like me less if they knew some of the things I’ve done? Do I care?
It’s weird to have come out as the real me. I wish I could be in someone else’s brain for a while to see what it’s like. Really I’d like to do that with about ten people without a history of mental illness or addiction, and see how it feels.
What’s it like to never have thought of killing yourself? Or never, ever having tried drugs? Jason knows, lots of people do, and yet it seems impossible to me. I’d love for someone to talk about that. How do you never consider suicide? Or resist smoking weed? I’d had both experiences by the time I was 10 years old.