it’s been about three weeks since i last posted on here. part of me would like to apologize for my absence, but a larger part of me knows that that would be silly. silly because in the last few weeks i’ve made some significant changes in my life. not as in, i started eating salad instead of cheeseburgers at lunch, but more like saving myself changes. it’s taken up all of my time, which is good. writing on my blog was the least of my worries. it was, quite simply, not a priority. but i do admit that i’ve missed it.
i’m going to begin this post (which i expect to be ridiculously long, be forewarned) with a dialogue from one of my favorite movies, Girl, Interrupted. it’s a beautiful film. it may be a bit trite at times and over dramatized, but it’s a film that has always spoken to me because the main character, Susanna, played by Winona Ryder, is someone i have always felt close to.
Susanna :: “I didn’t try to kill myself. I was just trying to make the shit stop.”
Therapist :: “You swallowed a bottle of advil with a bottle of vodka..”
Susanna :: “I had a headache.”
one year ago yesterday, i arrived in San Francisco. when i moved here, i was broken and lost. i was a complete mess, though my actions and demeanor reflected anything but. my eyes may have told a different story, but no one ever called me on it.
i was drinking more alcohol than i could admit to anyone, much less to myself. i was taking a variety of drugs that would disappoint any parent. i was full of lies and self-loathing. i lied about my substance abuse and my depression and my anxiety. i listened to a lot of sad music and though i’d landed a great job just three weeks after moving here, in my spare time i locked myself in my room to write and paint. and i was really only successful in either when i’d plied myself with a cocktail of substances. just enough to “make the shit stop.” it was hard, near impossible, to be creative when my sober mind wandered to the darkest of dark places.
to some, this may come as a complete surprise (i’m an amazing liar and actress as it turns out). to others, this probably explains a lot.
i was happy to leave Seattle, that much was true. but my decision to move here was complex. for one, i committed a cardinal sin. i broke my own rule : never move or stay anywhere for anyone. it was not my only my reason for relocating, but it was the biggest – though i denied it at the time.
before i’d left seattle, i had experienced two grand mal seizures. i experienced not one, but two, terrible tragedies – having to attend two open casket funerals in the space of one week. they both occurred after my decision to move south, but i think in many ways they were the nail in the coffin (apologies for the pun) that confirmed and prompted my choice to get the hell out of Seattle. it was a place full of sadness and memories i wanted to leave behind and i really couldn’t have left fast enough.
since my arrival in this beautiful city, i’ve had a tumultuous year. drugs and alcohol certainly do not help one who’s making an attempt to “get their shit together.” neither does lying about it – to others or oneself.
my arrival here was both abrupt and sudden, to say the least. back in Seattle, i’d left behind friends, family, horse back riding (which still, to this day, remains an unkept promise to myself to rekindle down here in horse country), my job, my home. life as i once knew it was over. it was gone. i faced that well known blank slate that we all speak so fondly of. i may have been excited, but i was terrified more than anything else. and alone, very alone. and given that hindsight is 20/20, i knew full well that my continued abuse of substances would only gain momentum down here. i knew that because relocating is stressful for anyone. but there was more.
i knew and realized that any sign of an unraveling (particularly with the boy, which happened only three weeks after my move here, but do NOT blame him for any of this), would lead me to less control over myself. i knew it would spur me to further harm myself, which i did. ten fold. i have scars, both physical and emotional, that still bring me to tears. when i moved here, i was holding onto a thread. after my arrival, that thread much closer resembled that of a delicate thread a spider draws when making a web. i was holding onto nothing, essentially . i considered suicide more than once. i wanted to get away from not just the city, but also myself. the drugs and alcohol were merely symptoms of a far deeper distress and internal battle i’d been having with myself for years.
add denial to this and i promise you a full blown recipe for disaster.
i went about my job and my life. i continued to drink and abuse drugs. i fell deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. for the past year, i have felt like Alice. eating one cookie after another, in an attempt to find myself out of this nightmare i’d found myself in. a nightmare that i had created. i could blame my childhood. my parents. my this or my that. but i can’t. and i no longer can blame myself. i am in the process of forgiving myself. i made mistakes. many of them. the last three years have been chaos for me and i did the best that i could, even though my “best” involved nothing but self harm.
so i sit here today, at the same computer. sober. sad. and admitting the fact that i need help. i have needed help for well over ten years, but my pride (and other things i will not mention) had me convinced that i was OKAY and that i could “do it on my own.” nothing could be farther from the truth. i need help and i’m finally getting it. so, if you don’t hear from me in a while – it’s because of that.
for once, i’m going to put myself first. and Year of the Pig Studio can wait. we’ll both be better off because of it.
12 responses to “happy anniversary, pig. (a post i hope you read).”
Stop chewing on old bones, and for fuck’s sake, quit breaking Your’s! We can live without your blog…for awhile….but we defffff cannot exist happily without you, so God Speed, and just try to figure out one little thing at a time. You do, after all, have the rest of your life to try…
As always, you are missed in Seattle…
I love you and I love your honesty! We will always be there for you waiting to help if yo want a shoulder, an ear, loving you as we always have..
Jessi, you are special, strong and a damn good actress when you want, apparently. Most of all, you are deeply loved and appreciated.
I know the place you are in very well, and I have seen the way out once for pretend and once for what must be real. The sadness doesn’t go away in the search for forgiveness. In fact, for me it gets deeper and bigger. But I know that you, like I, are surrounded by good people who love you with a ferocity it would make you shudder if you actually accepted it all. Be kind to yourself. And know you’re never alone, even in the bottom of a rabbit hole surrounded by a bunch of weird fuckers in hats.
<3 polly, thank you. weird fuckers in hats. that's totally it. i love you XXX thank you for the support
wow Jessi. How strong of you to put it all out just like that and to be kind to yourself in your decision to forgive… yourself. I always knew that with your potential you’ll go far, you just have to let it out! xo from NYC
the rabbit ran down the hole and you followed – we are all here for you at any time day or night – you are brave and so worth everything you’re working on – you have support and love all around you – just reach out for the arms that want to wrap you up tightly and will help you….and above all support you xoxoxoxo
Just as the caterpillar thought that her world was about to end…she spread her wings and flew for the first time. Hang in there Jessi and know that I am right here for you when you need. Just call. When it feels like the weight of the entire world is crushing down on you, remember that is how a diamond is created. You are made of the toughest stuff and I love you unabashedly.
Jessi as you go down this road I go with you.Im proud of you and admire you.Love you loads.Am always here if you need me.I keep you in my Heart and in my thoughts.Deb
I appreciate the honestly and self reflection. It’s a start. But you can’t do it alone. Please get some help. I work in health care and have seen the results of both alcoholism and drug addition. You are so talented, please don’t try to go it alone.
Is it so simple, that living is poetry
and poetry nothing less?