I wrote this letter on March 20, 2012…… A lot has changed since then but this letter gives you a very good synopsis.
Dear Dr. Drew,
Someone very dear to me passed away on June 26, 2011. Her name was Jill and she had an amazing soul. She was only 38 years old. She died in her sleep and, just like that, she was G O N E. Ever since that horrid day I feel as though something has changed inside of me. An awareness of some sort. It is like I’m waking up from some deep slumber of Denial and Fear. I’m 36 years old now. In six more months I will be 37 and I have NOTHING to show for it. It’s shameful really. Why? Because I’ve been gifted with many talents but have been too scared to succeed with any of them. I am an artist. An airbrush artist (mostly) and a damn good one, too. But I COULD be one of the best. I know I have that potential. I think I’ve always known but for some reason I can’t seem to get out of my own way. I lack the motivation and drive to get it done. Oh, the desire is there but I guess I feel depressed and tired everyday because I don’t know what I’m doing it for. I’ve been feeling like I have no purpose in life. And I’ve been feeling like if success means I’d still be in an unhappy marriage; if it means nothing would change then what’s the point in even trying? So I feel like I’m kind of stuck. Although I do feel I should mention that I’ve been struggling with this crap since well before I was married so what were the reasons for my depression then? Fear, fear, fear. The theme of my miserable life.
I’m trying to take care of me. I’m trying to learn how to love myself because I still don’t, not completely anyway. I feel like I have nothing to give my husband because I can barely take care of myself. Not to mention all the sex hang-ups I have. I am just now beginning to figure out who I am but I have a WAYS to go. I’m extremely unhealthy. Fell out of the workin’ out thing and now I’m starting to see what happens when you live a sedentary life. SCARY. I’ve gained a good twenty pounds and I HATE it. I HATE my body. I’ve tried to force myself to exercise everyday but it hasn’t gotten off to a very good start. So far every day is a fail. I’m out of breath just getting dressed. I have aches and pains, muscle spasms, nausea, eczema, anxiety, tremendous sadness…..in anger I bang my head against the wall and hit myself….etc….I isolate myself from the world and hold everything in because I don’t want to trouble anyone with my problems. I don’t want to be a burden to people anymore. I can’t keep living this way. I DON’T want to live this way anymore. I feel as though I’m trapped and can’t break free and so far it’s ruining my life. Rick has been my rock so thank God for him, but I feel as though I need serious, in-depth treatment. If I could get healthy and strong again I KNOW it would help with depression and confidence levels. But I’ve slipped so far down into this pit that I don’t know how to climb out. Still looking for the footholds I guess.
I know there are roots to my issues. Some of them I know but I suspect there are things I can’t remember which makes life extremely frustrating because I feel like I can’t get my head above water! I am meant for so much more and I’m wasting my life away. I need MAJOR change in my life. I’m terrified of who I’ll be in even a year’s time if I don’t make some serious changes now. I wish I could convey to you through this letter the urgency of just how desperate I feel. I want to be who God intended me to be but I know it’ll never happen if I don’t do the work. I’m trying to do it on my own but it’s not going so well. My work and home environments are very cluttered. We “own” a house in Laconia, NH. We had to rent the downstairs to help pay for the mortgage. We live upstairs. It’s very small, especially with five cats. We have been under tremendous financial strain for a good five years now and I can’t help but feel partly responsible; obviously. Of those five years, 15 months was spent living in a dingy, musty, tiny one room cabin….10 of those months I pissed and shit in a bucket. But I did it proud.
We rent a garage up the street where our “business” is. Quotes are because we don’t make a profit. It’s disgusting in there. Dirt, dust, clutter….NOT a recommended space for any artist. Rick does his best to provide the space I need but really to no avail. I have no working space I can call my own. It makes it near to impossible to create anything in an environment I dread to be in. But I’ve also come to realize that I have a lot of excuses of why I can’t do the work. I’m famous for self-sabotage. But the space IS disgusting. I just recently felt extremely agitated from walking around in circles trying to find a tape measure. And when Rick is there working it just makes it worse. We typically do not get along. Well, until a few weeks ago, that is. It was February 22 and we were at the shop. Rick mentioned to me that parts of a job I had done needed to be fixed and I SNAPPED! I went into another one of my rages, saw a knife on the counter, grabbed it and for a split second actually entertained the thought of stabbing myself. That’s when I immediately threw it to the floor. I’ve wished for death many a time over the years but never picked up sharp objects before. Rick was standing there the entire time watching in horror I’m sure. After that I couldn’t stop sobbing so I finally agreed to let him take me to the ER (he’s asked me many times before). Ever since this has all been brought out into the open our relationship has improved immensely. I hope it lasts…..I want it to. I don’t want to be a burden to my husband because he has difficulties, too. He was diagnosed with MS two months before our wedding in 2004. Stress is the LAST thing this poor guy needs.
I’m just tired. I’d like to think that I can get through this but I honestly don’t know how much longer I can last running in this circle of HELL. I don’t want to stuff this inner voice anymore. It never goes away for long. I can’t stand the nagging. As far as getting help goes all the ER did for me was set me up with a counselor once a week, tell me to eat a banana a day because my potassium was too low and a week later sent me a big fat bill. I don’t have health insurance which is why I’ve avoided seeking help. We’ve been so close to losing everything. Our life is a mess. I just want to do what I’m meant to do but I can’t do it without first being happy and healthy with myself. I have no money for therapy or for healthy daily food. I just need a boost in the right direction. I painted a couple of murals for my chiropractor in exchange for chiropractic care. Been going for a year now and can definitely see and feel improvements. Just an example to show I am trying to get out there. Bartering worked out great in this case, although Rick seems to think it was a waste of time. I was hoping the murals would bring me some jobs but nothing yet.
Lack of money holds us back. Rick and I have 2 acres of land in Belmont, NH and have been trying to build a house/garage on it for the last seven years. We were able to pour a foundation for the house and, with a small inheritance from my grandfather, frame the garage but it’s been sitting in the elements for a good two to three years now. The plan was always to work out of our home but instead we throw money away on renting that shit-hole of a garage. Pardon my French but it’s pretty run-down. And we have to worry about the mortgage as well as all our other bills and debts. My inability to function has drastically affected my ability to create which prevents me from making an income.
I’m just running out of options and I can’t carry this daily angst around with me anymore. Anxiety is running higher than ever and I can feel it taking over my body, physically. THAT is how I am wasting my life. Carrying this heaviness…this sadness around with me everywhere I go is getting to be too damn exhausting to bear anymore. Sure, there have been many times when I thought I was all better, but I always crash. I’m sick of this roller-coaster ride and I’d like to get off now! I want to be free. I just don’t want to hurt anyone in the process. I don’t want to be selfish either. I’m torn as to what is right and wrong. I don’t know who to talk to. I strongly feel that at this point in my life I need to be in an inpatient treatment facility for depression. I found an all women facility in Illinois but, WOW! Is it expensive!! But it looks perfect and it has a Christian program.
I don’t know if my story is “entertaining” enough for the show, or dark enough but I really am not too thrilled about sharing my shortcomings with the world anyway. I just want the right help for me…finally…and if I have to be on television in order to get it I will as long as it brings more attention and education to everyone who watches. There is still a stigma attached with this illness. I’ve been told to pull myself up by the boot straps before. Or “just do it” is another good one. Oh and “just be happy” is a beauty.
Please, Dr. Drew, can you help me?