I remember the first day that I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed, and how that day became two, and how those two days became three, and how those three days stretched to a week.
I remember the first time I heard the voices screaming inside my head as I tried to calm myself while being screamed at by a boyfriend from long ago who taught me the meaning of narcissistic emotional abuse.
I remember the first therapy session I had the courage to walk into instead of run out of before I was called in from the waiting room (it was the fifth one), where we discussed the cycle of abuse.
I remember the first time my life began to make sense.
I remember the last time my life made sense.
I remember the first time I attempted suicide and felt more like a failure when I woke up in a stiff hospital bed, painfully aware that I was alive.
I remember the first time I heard the word “Bipolar”. I remember the first time I heard the words “ultra-rapid cycling mixed states”, and having no fucking idea what any of it meant.
I remember crying hysterically as it was explained to me that any hopes I ever had of a normal life were essentially gone (though of course, their training in bedside manner taught them not to word it that way).
I remember never enjoying a majority of physical contact for the majority of my teenage to adult life. I remember the exact moment when I recalled why.
I remember their faces when they rolled their eyes at my breakdowns, and my tears, and my pleadings for the voices to stop.
“You’re embarrassing yourself”
I hazily remember sitting on the side of the road, alone, crying, as he left me there in the midst of a psychotic episode, having no idea where I was or what fully happened when I fully came to but knowing that I wanted to die that night.
I remember the only reason I didn’t was because of the look on my dogs face when he saw me crying so hard. No. Not while he was there. Never while he was there. I could never do that to him. I could never hurt him like that.
I don’t remember asking for any of this. I don’t remember wanting to feel these things. I don’t remember wishing that I could break down so suddenly, so uncontrollably.
I don’t remember wanting to be confined to a psychiatric ward for days on end, bored out of my mind, reading every book they had until I finally had to relent and read Moby Dick, a book I’d successfully avoided for 30 years.
I don’t remember not loving, but I don’t remember being loved either.
I remember asking myself, “what’s wrong with me?” (Because I do it every day.)
I don’t remember anyone telling me it will be alright, that they will be there for me, and meaning it.
All I have is me. That has to be enough at some point, right?