I was going to write something that would tie what happened to me all those years ago into my life these days, and examine why what happened happened, and what I learned from it, if anything, and how I've changed, and how I haven't. However, I have caught the kind of cold where you sneeze and fart at the same time, and cough and cough and cough and then burp very loudly. Bless Rich Bachelor for putting up with my disgusting body and enfeebled mind.
So all that will have to wait until another day, a day when my brain is functioning a little better. Until then, here is the end of the story.
June 4, 1992, 5:52 p.m., home
Today I had my first meeting with my new therapist. It went okay, I guess. I mean, I felt comfortable talking to him, so that’s better than how it was at the hospital.
I also went shopping with L. [my sister], who came home yesterday. I bought candles and CDs, the primary CDs being [embarrassing crappy techno shit]. I couldn’t help myself. I want X all the time, and everything I do or see or hear or feel, I can’t help thinking how much better it would be on X.
I kind of worked out this explanation for why I got hooked on X. Everything has to be perfect for me. Totally perfect. I get angry at people who aren’t perfect. I get mad at myself for making mistakes. But nothing in life is perfect, and subsequently, life annoys and angers me.
On X, everything’s perfect, or seems to be. Everything you think is perfect, everything that happens is perfect, everything is perfect. And that’s also why I have a hard time coming down—because when I think about it when I’m straight I realize that the experience wasn’t perfect, that the evening wasn’t perfect, that I’m not perfect. Far from it. It only seemed that way.
So that’s my little diagnosis. I don’t know how accurate it is, but right now it seems true.
I’ll try to tie up the loose ends.
I never hooked up with A., and in fact we stopped being friends before the next year was up, although we exchanged letters that summer and my crush on him grew even bigger. I don’t think I even told him that I liked him, although he probably knew. He’s married now and relatively successful at what he does, though he’ll never truly be happy. I remember him as a great friend, and someone who was far nicer to me than I deserved.
I brought P. to my sister’s wedding that summer, and we had a great time. He was such a nice guy, but, like A., we grew apart, and I eventually lost track of him altogether.
My parents and I have a pretty good relationship now; I think they’ve forgiven me for putting them through everything I put them through. I don’t blame them for screwing up my life anymore. They were pretty good parents, I think, and still are.
I reapplied for admission to U of C that fall, having completed the mandatory therapy that summer. My therapist ended up sucking. I remember a lot of sessions where neither of us said a word for the entire hour. But I ended up feeling relatively refreshed, mentally healthy and ready for work by September, and luckily the admissions board felt I had improved enough to approve my reinstatement.
I started off the next school year strongly. I loved my classes, didn’t skip any of them, and saw my grades return to A and B levels. Toward the end of the first quarter, second year, my philosopher friend I., who had become a close confidant when I was in the hospital, invited me to a hotel where his cousin was having a party to celebrate the last day of testing for the CPA exam. I., his cousin and I were the only ones at the party, at which I drank far too much and ended up getting raped by both men. I finished my classes that quarter on a high note, but after that went back to my old ways of skipping class to sleep in, drinking alone in my dorm room, and, eventually, going back to drugs—though I was afraid to use X again.
I ended up graduating, though it took an extra year. I have reached an uneasy treaty with my past, whereby I don’t use it as an excuse to feel sorry for myself, and it promises to remain quiet and still in the distance, as a gentle reminder of what can go wrong, but never again to make me as sad as I was during that whole period of my life.
I don’t want to kill myself anymore.