Dear Google, how do you cope with mania? Please don’t tell me to avoid caffeine. I literally haven’t drank soda for weeks, and I still feel like I’m going to pop out of my skin and roll around on the floor like marbles, my pieces clinking together awkwardly and never merging together to form a whole.
Dear Google, telling me to seek a qualified mental health professional isn’t helping right now. I’m already seeing one of those, and she’s not going to come to my house to help me calm down and concentrate on studying so I won’t bomb that test tomorrow. It’s after hours anyway. I need your advice right now.
Dear Google, I’m already taking medication. It’s definitely taken the edge off. I haven’t gotten that brain buzzing feeling since I started taking it. Do you know the brain buzzing feeling, Google? It’s okay. No one else I’ve mentioned it to seems to know what I’m talking about either. It feels like static on a disconnected TV channel. It feels like my brain is vibrating, but not in a sexy way. It’s like someone turned on a vibrator and left it in a bathtub, making this awful bzzzzzzt sound. It’s like that, but inside my mind. It’s terrible. I’m glad I don’t have it anymore. But I still get so manic sometimes that I can’t sleep or concentrate. And I need to do those things, Google. Why can’t you help me?
Dear Google, how do you cope with bipolar depression? It’s apparently different from regular depression, because if you give a bipolar person regular depression medication, it makes their mental state worse, not better. We have to take mood stabilizers to balance ourselves, which is such a farce because there’s no such thing as a fully balanced, stable person anyway, right? I like not having the brain buzzing feeling anymore, and I like that my depression doesn’t keep me immobile for hours anymore. I just think it’s silly that the hope is that this medication will make me cope with my problems like a normal person when normal people suck at coping with things too. Why are they even the ideal? They don’t know what the hell they’re doing either.
Dear Google, why am I still having mania and depression? I’m doing everything right. I set an annoying alarm on my phone so I’d remember to take my medication. I avoid caffeine because that can trigger mania and alcohol because that can trigger depression. I often go for weeks or months without drinking either. Coffee isn’t worth having my brain vibrate out of my skull again. Delicious fruity cocktails aren’t worth having a depressive episode the next day. I’m being good. Why is my brain still shitting itself?
Dear Google, what do you do when your brain is constantly shitting itself? I got the god-knows-how-many-for-one deal when it comes to mental health problems. I got OCD and general anxiety and PTSD and bipolar disorder, and all for free. Lucky me. (I guess they’re not that free, though, considering that they make me have to pay for medication so my brain will kinda-sorta work right.) And those are just the ones I know about. I’m inclined to think that I’m guilty until proven innocent at this point. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have other conditions as well.
Dear Google, what do you do when you have this awful feeling in your chest and you can’t tell if it’s anxiety or an oncoming flashback or just your intrusive thoughts saying, “Hey buddy, what if you’re having a heart attack right now and don’t even know it?” Like many autistic people, I have alexithymia, which is a fancy word for saying you have no fucking idea what you’re feeling sometimes. How am I supposed to talk to a professional about my mental health problems when all I can say is, “I dunno, I just have a weird feeling in my chest and my brain feels like I dunked it in vinegar and I think that’s bad?”
Dear Google, what do you do when the vinegar in your brain doesn’t allow for self-esteem? Internalizing compliments is so hard. My friends could tell me I’m beautiful and wonderful and a joy to know, and my brain would be like, “Yeah, but you mispronounced a word earlier and they totally heard, so secretly they hate you.” How do I make my brain internalize the love I need in order to survive?
Dear Google, what do you do when your brain doesn’t want you to survive? What do you do when you constantly swing between feeling on top of the world and feeling so low that the fire of the Earth’s core is burning your mind? What do you do when you wish the Earth would swallow you up and forget you ever existed? What do you do when you feel like it would be better to be ashes swirling in magma than to be the flawed corporeal being that you are? What do you do when you know everyone else is flawed too, and against all logic, you still hate yourself anyway?
Dear Google, what do you do when you want to write a positive piece about coping with mental illness but can’t? What do you do when you want to give strength to other people but have none left because you used up all of today’s energy trying not to hate yourself? Why do all the stories I’ve read about mental illness either show irredeemable and homicidal people, like the Joker, or a formerly depressed person who, through luck and a positive attitude, never wants to die again? I’m not either of those people. I’ve never met anyone who was either of those people. Where the hell are they even getting this stuff? Are they getting it from you? I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s not like I’m getting any useful information from you myself.
Dear Google, fuck off. Good night.