When I was seventeen years old, I wrote dark poetry about death and murder and Satanism. I read books like this and embraced the underbelly of life portrayed in my favorite cult movies Bad Lieutenant and Reservoir Dogs. I ran with a local street gang but was too scared to officially join or get "jumped in."
By my senior year of high school, I had already lost two friends to gang related shootings. I regularly attended class drunk or high, had driven while drunk, and attended parties where "cool parents" sold jell-o shots and ciggies to those of us willing to pay. I tried - and failed - to commit suicide at least twice. Most of my clique idolized death and had been in juvie at least once. My boyfriend was a drug dealer four years my senior.
I was also an honor student and a two sport varsity athlete. I faked it enough to make it - earning an academic scholarship to the state university - but I was unable to shed my hard partying ways. After getting arrested one night, I dropped out of college and moved in with my new boyfriend of three months - in another state - who worked with a drug dealer. I tried LSD and cocaine for the first time at nineteen; I know how starlets get hooked. Cocaine is a total mind fu*k and you feel as though you can do anything and that you are the funniest, sexiest, most interesting person in the world. Plus, it's a great appetite suppressant.
Then, I got pregnant, got married, moved to Colorado, went back to college, and found a new buddy who loved clubbing as much as I did. We partied into the night, often walking the five blocks from downtown Boulder to my friend's house, alone. On the rare nights I went home, my favorite cabbie knew my name and my house number.
Throughout all of this not one person who knew me as "Lawschoolmom: mother and wife" really knew me. Not one person suggested I go to counseling or rehab or...anything. Only now, over a decade later, do I realize how narrowly I escaped death and prison. Only now, do I realize the impact my family history of bipolar disorder and depression has on my life. With each day, I feel as though I creep closer to the edge of madness and farther away from reason. I feel myself losing this battle and I feel helpless and just so utterly tired.