And chances are, so are you. Why? Because millions of women suffer from a range of diseases (yes, diseases) ranging from anxiety and depression to eating disorders, bi-polar, alcoholism and a gluttonous consumption of prescription pills. You probably don’t have the whole list. Maybe you just have a little anxiety and you do a damn good job of eating right to keep in check. Or, perhaps, you self-medicate with Chardonnay – like I did.
I tried everything to help my anxiety and depression. And while food and yoga did help, I needed something more extreme. I needed 33 days of just me, a focus on what got me to where I am and where I need to be headed. Since the journey was deep, crazy and full of fucking hilarious memories that are dear to me, I decided to share the trip with you. Free therapy for all!
This new column, aptly named Crazy Bitch, is more like a docu-drama-blog-series. All the stories are true because, God knows, I couldn’t make this shit up. The names have been changed to protect people’s privacy and I, myself, will remain anonymous. Because what’s the point? I am just like you, in one way or another.
The story starts six months ago and will build to present day. I promise to make you laugh, cry and motivate you to either help yourself or someone you love. But, you have to forgive, not all my antics are healthy. Work in progress. xoxo
May 28, 2013
My meds stopped working. They crapped out, as they say. I needed a new shrink; someone who could fix the mess that was me.
Finding a therapist is like flipping a coin. Odds are they’ll suck ass. It’s not like finding a guy on Match.com where at least you can see a Zodiac sign, pithy intro and travel photos of his climb up and down Machu Picchu (does every guy on Match like to travel and work out? I mean, come on). It’s a guessing game and most often we choose a doctor based on location and their name.
I chose Dr. Munster (name has been changed) for two good reasons. She was on the way to my job in West Hollywood and had the authority to write prescriptions. In short, a drug dealer. Pretty much most psychiatrists are drug dealers – they barely get to know you before they ask for $200 and slip you something. Not that I cared. I was desperate at this point.
“Do you drink?” was the first question out of the gate. “Yes,” I said. “How much?” she further cross-examined while balancing black frames on the bridge of her noise. Her office was cluttered, unorganized and smelled like the school library after a rainy day.
“I love your accent, where are you from?” I asked hoping to avoid the booze clues.
“South Africa. So, how much drinking do you do?”
I fidgeted, shrugged my shoulders and postured with some cuteness.
“A few here and there. But it’s kind of hard; we have different measurement systems on what a full glass of wine is here in the states. Have you seen the way Germans measure wine? They’re pretty precise with that line on the glass….if we had that here it would help me to tell you a more exact amount.”
“Every day, how many times a day?” she persisted.
“Hmmm, well, after work I usually have a few glasses of wine (bullshit, more like a vase of wine),” I responded. “And on the weekends, if there’s a party, then counting is kind of hard because it’s rude to count in front of friends. You know, make them feel insecure about their drinking.”
But it didn’t matter if I chose to drink a Zima here or there, the game was over.
“I need you to stop drinking or I won’t treat you. The drinking is messing up your medications and they are no longer working. I want you to consider treatment. Here’s a name and a number to a place,” she said ripping off my prescription for prison.
“Ok, I’ll try it. I can handle a few days, I guess. It can’t hurt. Thanks for the advice. Now, about my meds?”
Dr. Munster sent me with 90mg dose of Cymbalta and 300mg of Wellbutrin to add a little zing to my step, i.e. to avoid crashing on my desk while writing an email.
I left confused, pissed off and mostly annoyed that my disco days were over. No more bar hopping. No more happy hour. No more getting men because both of us looked better at 1am.
I left wondering how I would handle a few days in rehab. I’m not an alcoholic. Alcoholics spend their day on Venice beach brown bagging it with dreadlocks. Alcoholics swig vodka with their waffles. Alcoholics don’t hold down jobs and they’re definitely not big wigs at a leading company like this girl. But clearly treatment was needed to kill my Chardonnay Cymbalta cocktail. Whatevs.
I looked up the rehab center Dr. Munster prescribed on the Internet and noticed their site was horrifying – something out of a ‘08 web template. In the midst of all my researching, I emailed my friend Malorie and told her I was finally going to get some help. Just a few months ago she tried getting me a sponsor and a gig at AA. I wasn’t budging. AA was for alcoholics and I just had a drink-to-black-out-and-get-
She emailed me back immediately. Malorie was the PR person for the mentally insane. Let me be specific. She made the careers of many famous shrink personalities. She knew her Betty Fords and sent me a link to Malibu Summer Camp (name has been changed), a multi diagnosis treatment center in Malibu. The home page featured a Malibu mansion, gorgeous photography and a big section on bi-polar. Bingo!
The treatment center seemed substance “light.” It would be for normal working folk like me who party a bit too much but need some semblance to get their lives working again. Ocean breezes, canyons, yoga, equine therapy, cute counselors and top-notch doctors would be just what Dr. Me ordered.
Malorie called and got me admitted immediately to the $40,000 a month facility. “I’ll take you tonight,” Malorie said on the phone holding back tears.
Fuck. Was I that bad?
This blog will be running weekly.