At age 30 I hit a Bipolar Addict’s Nirvana: I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and prescribed..wait for it…Dexedrine!! Yes I became one of Dexy’s Midnight Runners! And oh Siouxsie did that fix my life for a few years! I could go all day AND all night!! In between worrying about dying of a heart attack, I was getting a lot of shit done!! STILL I was impulsive and spending money like it was the LAW but shit I was making loads of it! And I was so HAPPY on that damn Dexedrine that I couldn’t give two shits about much in life! I was skinny! I was semi-rich! I drove a hot red sportscar! Hell, even I was hot! This lasted for about four years. And then the abuse began.
The pills the doctor prescribed weren’t enough. So I began shopping for and buying pills over the Internet. And believe me, shit was getting expensive! So with my cagey criminal mind, I began seeing more doctors, and getting MORE prescriptions for MORE ADD medications. Yeahhh that’s the smart solution! And with more and more speed in my system, more and more uncontrollable compulsive behavior popped up. The worse was the picking at my skin.
My face was covered with blemishes. Something had blasted my liver to hell, probably a month’s worth of Cylert (now off the market due to its toxicity to the liver) taken within two weeks. My liver enzymes were so high, I had what’s called Chemical Hepatitis. My skin on my back, chest, neck and face was in a state of eruption. It looked like the worst case of acne you’d ever seen, on a thirty four year old woman. I couldn’t stand to be in public at all and have people see my face. I just wanted to hide. I also had extreme fatigue, and would sleep through entire weekends, only waking occasionally to go to the bathroom and drink some water. It was a lonely, and alarming experience. I wondered if I was dying.
Eventually my liver rallied and said “Wake up, bitch!”, and I complied and made my way back to life. I had Kaiser insurance (or whatever you call that shit) so I had to wait FOUR MONTHS to see a dermatologist to get a measly Flagyl prescription for my skin, which cleared it up in no time flat.
On my thirty fifth birthday I had what for me has been the most devastating event of my life. I was on a houseboat at Lake Powell in Utah to celebrate my birthday with my boyfriend and some other friends. On the morning of my birthday, my boyfriend woke up on the wrong side of the bed after having a few too many the night before. He began verbally abusing me, saying unbelievably mean things to me. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, on the morning of my birthday, coming out of the mouth of a man who proclaimed to love me! What started as verbal abuse escalated to physical abuse. It was a surreal experience to see this man who I had loved so much and shared so much with, come at me like a boxer, with his arms up, hands clenched into fists, and then start punching me. He punched me in the face and I’ll never forget the sound I made, an exclamation of such hurt and horror that this terrible pain was being inflicted upon me from someone that I had loved and trusted completely.
Just to clear up the inevitable question and answer session to come: It happened once. The physical violence. It happened once, I went home and put out all of his belongings, and that was the end. Forever.
It literally rocked me to the foundation of my being to have this deep violence commited against me. It wasn’t just the physical violence, but the psychic violence, the murder of love and trust and feelings of safety in my body and in my world. This lead to a very long and extended period of mourning and isolation, which further contributed to deep depression, further abuse of amphetamines, and a return to drinking alcohol after fifteen years of sobriety. Things were headed straight downhill for me.