What does a person do when they’ve hit bottom?
by Jane D.
The Nigerian Nightmare of a roommate returned with fury today.
“This place is a pig sty,” she says. No Duh.
She expects me to follow up with everything—paying the bills on time, chasing her for rent, scheduling the maid. (Why would anyone ask these things of an adult with attention deficit disorder [ADD/ADHD] in the first place?) But when I’ve attempted communication, she’ll turn into a raging tornado of insanity. “I’ll pay whenever I want to pay, I’ll cash your check whenever I want…”
Blah, Blah, Blah. I’m so sick of the noise. Rather than attempt to out-stink a skunk, I’ve reverted to the Ghandi-like method of silence. I figured when the place gets filthy enough, she’ll speak up—and she did.
“Why didn’t you tell me there were bills?” she asks.
I tell her the bills and late notices were clearly out on the dining room table, and she didn’t notice. She goes into a rampage, demands an apology.
There’s only so much garbage a person can take before exploding, and even someone tough can be broken down. This time I just burst into tears. What can I say? Sometimes the sorrow, anger, and frustration build up to a point of no return.
I thought back to Langston Hughes’ A Dream Deferred…
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
The one escape is the pool, water, the only thing that has not betrayed me, the only comfort I have at a time when doors are closing.
What does a person do when they’ve hit bottom? I need to be honest in that I’ve occasionally thought about taking the Sylvia Plath route and put my head in the oven, or maybe accidentally overdosing on the Adderall. Then I’d risk getting my stomach pumped.
The irony here is that I can’t even swallow pills, and I am a chicken. Or maybe I have a survival extinct: As rough as things get, I want to live.
I talked with Doug, the friend and musician, today. He lived underground in the subways for a year, suffers from bipolar disease, and now things are turning around for the better.
I’ve come to see the irony of human beings, how sometimes the most kindhearted people are also the ones who are the underprivileged and downtrodden. I have a heart to help people like that or people like myself.