The Fallout

I was released from an inpatient commitment at the psych hospital three days before my 25th birthday.  And after I got out of the hospital things didn’t get better. They got worse.  

After calling an ambulance, my roommate called my parents to tell them that I’d OD’d on my prescription medication and was back in the crazy house.  And from this, they inferred that I had tried to kill myself.  Not the case.  In spite of my explanation to the contrary, my mother insisted on driving 16 hours to spend my birthday with me.

And thank god she came up.  After I got out of the hospital I witnessed the mass exodus of my friends.  My roommate moved out.  Two of my closest friends– friends who had taken care of me and checked me into the hospital that first time, friends who I’d taken care of during their rough patches, friends who I thought would never leave me– left me.

Some left me because they “just couldn’t handle” me anymore. This was a line that became all too familiar to me but never lost its cutting edge.  There’s nothing like being told you’re a burden when you need support the most.  The things they said still hurt with the distance of five months.  And there are some lost friends that I still miss, whose abandonment of me I will never understand.

My birthday table was remarkably empty.  Usually filled with 12 chairs or more, this time we needed only a few.  Two good friends and my mother joined me for my birthday dinner.  No one else showed up.

In the end, I was grateful that my mother, who I had a history of not getting along with, made the long drive to come see me.  She sat beside me at my birthday dinner, drank champagne with me in my lonely apartment, and was surprisingly and amazingly supportive of me.  Famous for her righteous indignation, this time she channeled it towards my fight.  There was someone on my side.

This was the beginning of the fallout– the loss of good friends, an empty birthday table, and a lonely apartment– all of these were the beginning of some bad times.  Those days, the ugly ones, are still a part of me, attached to my ankle like a ball and chain, a bitter weight that I carry with me as I go.  I’ve learned that you can think you’ve hit rock bottom, only to discover that you’ve still got a ways to fall.  And that fall fucking hurts.  

This is the fallout.

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11 responses to “The Fallout

  • riselikeair

    My stomach dropped when I read those last 2 sentences. And sometimes, mom’s are the best, even if it’s not always.

    • gmercier4388

      I’m learning to appreciate her, and realizing that I was quite the brat when I was younger. It makes such a difference to have family on your side when you’re going through a bad time.

  • White Pearl

    I could feel the pain hidden inside….Because more or less I am experiencing the same. Its just that my parents are not aware of what I am going through…. They don’t know the tears behind my smiles and don’t know how much sleeping pills i have to take to sleep….
    But they are the best asset I have in my life……
    Hope your pain fades out soon !

  • gorganic

    I’m still new to all of this. I don’t understand what part people can’t handle. Hospitals? Drama? What do you think it is that makes people leave?

    • gmercier4388

      I don’t really know why they leave. I know what their excuses to themselves probably are– she’s a burden, I don’t have time to support her during this hard time, etc. I think a lot of boils down to being made uncomfortable by someone else’s suffering. That’s the best guess I have. To call it “drama” trivializes what’s going on and what I’m dealing with. It’s not a catty fight between 8th grade girls, or the result of some scintillating gossip passed through the grapevine.

      Deep suffering seems to make the weaker ones uncomfortable and I guess that’s why they leave. The good ones who stay by your side are very special friends because they have the guts, the balls, and some fucking human compassion. They don’t abandon you when the weaker ones did. The ones that stay are the important ones.

      • gorganic

        I agree that calling it drama trivializes the pain, but you know there are those people who would call it that. I am not one of those people. I am trying really hard to stick with a friend who is bp/schizoaffective, but he left me. I don’t know if he will be back. I am just trying to understand it. I honestly feel like he hates me which could be entirely true. It is OK if he is gone. It has to be.

      • gmercier4388

        I’m sorry, that sounds like a really rough situation. I can only imagine how much it hurts when you try to be supportive of someone and then that person just leaves you. Maybe he feels like he’s a burden, maybe he needs to be alone right now, or maybe he’s just being selfish.

        I really hope that things work out for you two. If you’re willing to wait for him and to be supportive when and if he comes back then that speaks volumes about what a great person you are 🙂 It’s a hard choice to make, especially when you have so little information and if you feel like he’s got some animosity towards you. He may also be feeling ashamed of his condition.

        Losing a friend hurts, especially when you can’t understand why the friend has turned his back on you. And it’s ok to feel hurt, it’s part of being human and it’s a real human response to a sad and painful situation: to be left behind.

        The most important thing for you right now is to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. It sounds lame but it’s worth it. Because you are worth it, and that is something you should never w-forget.

      • gorganic

        Thanks for your words. I really appreciate them. Do you disappear sometimes? From your friends?

      • gmercier4388

        I classify myself as being hyper-social so I’m usually spending my time trying to get people to hang out with me!

        That being said, I’ve had bipolar friends, or depressed friends, that really seem to need to have some time on their own sometimes. I think a lot of that might have to with the fact that they want to spend their ugly days alone– maybe because they’re afraid that they’ll scare off their friends by showing that what it’s like to have bad day, And bad days can be really ugly. Bad mood beyond compare, the blues of depression and resulting disinterest in all once exciting activities, these are a few traits of depression that can make people withdraw from their friends from a while. Perceiving themselves as being no fun, not to mention being depressed and therefore sporting a disinterest in pretty much everything, I think this is the reason some people disappear. They feel like they’re helping everyone by not subject them to their blackness.

        The only way I disappear is when I have a “woe is me” party alone in my apartment. This happens when my friends have big plans but I’m feeling a little lame aka depressed, aka not up for the clubs.

        But I don’t think Iv’e ever just completely abandoned my friends without explanation, flimsy though it may be.

        Sometimes we want to try to hide our ugly parts and I think this can lead to the situation you’re experiencing. Also, sometime going out takes more energy than I am have, in which case I abstain from going out. Hopefully this doesn’t offend my friends. When this happens I usually try to warn my friends so they know not to expect much, if anything, from me.

  • gmercier4388

    I classifying myself as being hyper-social so I’m usually spending my time trying to get people to hang out with me!

    That being said, I’ve had bipolar friends, or depressed friends, that really seem to need to have some time on their own sometimes. I think a lot of that might have to with the fact that they want to spend their ugly days alone– maybe because they’re afraid that they’ll scare off their friends by showing that what it’s like to have bad day, And bad days can be really ugly. Bad mood beyond compare, the blues of depression and resulting disinterest in all once exciting activities, these are a few traits of depression that can make people withdraw from their friends from a while. Perceiving themselves as being no fun, not to mention being depressed and therefore sporting a disinterest in pretty much everything, I think this is the reason some people disappear. They feel like they’re helping everyone by not subject them to their blackness.

    The only way I disappear is when I have a “woe is me” party alone in my apartment. This happens when my friends have big plans but I’m feeling a little lame aka depressed, aka not up for the clubs.

    But I don’t think Ive ever just completely abandoned my friends without explanation, flimsy though it may be.

    Sometimes we want to try to hide our ugly parts and I think this can lead to the situation you’re experiencing. Also, sometime going out takes more energy than I am have, in which case I abstain from going out. Hopefully this doesn’t offend my friends. When this happens I usually try to warn my friends so they know not to expect much, if anything, from me.

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