The Werewolf and I slowly started to wear each other out with drugs. But that part comes later. After a semester full of freedom and binges I came home for summer for the first time in years. I did not adjust well.
In some repressed part of my personality lies a control freak. This monster had a full revival when I came home after my second year of law. It had been years since I’d lived at home. Suddenly, I was sharing a bathroom again. I didn’t have control over the thermostat. My mom was washing my clothes because she didn’t have time to interrupt the constant cycling of laundry to let me sneak my clothes in on my own. Well, the control freak burst from me violently within days of my return to my roots. I was unhappy and uncomfortable living at home, I was surrounded by people who knew the girl who left home six years ago, not the girl standing in front of them six years later. I had forgotten what it’s like to live somewhere where you actually did have to look nice to go to Walmart because you’ll certainly see at least two people you know each time you go. I had forgotten what it’s like living in a small town on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
My brain rebelled. I panicked. I gave myself a day to panic and to frantically try to re-plan my career, to get out of the South even though it was where I thought I wanted to be. Going through the exercise soothed my anxiety. It gave me a few days to assure myself that I was doing something to control my future, that I was in control. I.was.in.control. After a few days passed I began to adjust, I started to relax, and I started to remember why I wanted come back to the South.
I only had to do six weeks at my parent’s house before I moved to the New Orleans area for my second summer job. My life was instantly better. I had freedom and control over my domain. I had a cool roommate, who owned the house and kept it immaculate. I got along well with his girlfriend, a family friend. My panic abated.
Weeks earlier I had gone to visit my friend in Baton Rouge. I couldn’t get any drugs, not even weed, and I freaked. I got too drunk, then I became psychotically frustrated at our inability to procure drugs. I didn’t want to be drinking, I wanted to be high. In my drunkenness I let myself get upset by something menial and the uncontrollable crying began. I called the stupid crisis center aat my school because I desperately wanted to talk to my counselor. He wasn’t on duty. I was clearly in distress, unable to stop crying long enough to be understood, but the crisis line was not able to provide any help. I gave myself a few scratches and eventually passed out.
But that changed once I moved to New Orleans. I had access to some drugs and I was busy at work. I started training for the Chicago marathon, with an aggressive new goal looming. This was the beginning of the downward spiral that would end with my first hospitalization. Confident my old knee injuries were healed, and forgetting about my substantial back injury, I changed shoes and my stride as I began to train for the marathon. As time went on my back got worse and worse. It got so bad that I had to see the chiropractor 3 times a week. Eventually, and inevitably, I burst into tears during one of those meetings because I frustrated didn’t understand why my back wasn’t getting better. I’m 24 years old, I kept thinking, I shouldn’t be having these problems. My chiropractor stopped what he was doing and sat down.
“You have to stop running.”
I initially thought that this was not an option. After all, I’d been training all summer and, now back at school, the race was within my reach. But my back never got better. So I stopped running. I didn’t even show up to the marathon. My mood took a decidedly sharp turn towards what would become a debilitating depression. I stopped running but my back kept getting worse. It was painfully uncomfortable sitting through classes. My back constantly hurt. The hurt ranged from a constant dull, achy pain to an intense, sharp pain that accompanied every left footed step. I was constantly in pain and my back wasn’t responding to treatment. I had to stop working out because everything I did hurt my back. Without the exercise endorphins, I sank deeper into my depression. I started sleeping 13 hours a night. I took long and unnecessary naps during the day. If I missed just one dose of my bipolar medicine I would be prone to random crying jags, set off by nothing at all.
This scared me. I felt crazier and started to worry about my sanity in earnest. During one particularly bad crying jag, brought on by folding towels, I started to wonder if I should I think about inpatient treatment. At the start of my third year of law school I’d been functionally “kicked out” of counseling. I was told that I needed more help than they could give me, ie needed therapy more than once a two weeks. They sent me off with a reference, leaving me to my own devices to find a new psychiatrist. Upon discharging me they “highly recommended” outpatient rehab for my substance abuse. I declined.
But getting kicked out of counseling made me feel crazier. The crying jags didn’t go away. I was sleeping too much and had no energy to go to class and take care of my work. Every time I started crying for no reason, I thought more seriously about a brief jaunt in inpatient treatment. I sunk down deeper into my depression. The Werewolf wanted to take a break from drugs and me. I was on my own and this made it worse.
Then I discovered the substance that would break the levee, causing my depression to breach and drown the last bit of sanity that I was holding unto. DXM broke the levee. My depression and my crazy drowned my sanity. The DXM nagged the little sanity I had left.
And then the levee broke.
And then I checked myself into inpatient treatment.