I waited for the articles to pour from every outlet; about how she was more than a fabulous designer, more than a name of notoriety; a wonderful person. I have every confidence that she was each and every thing that her friends say she was.
She was truly confident and self-made. She believed in her abilities and reinvented a small-town gawky girl. She made it.
And everyone will ask, ‘Why didn’t she reach out? Why didn’t she seek help?’ And paragraphs will be written about the injustices of the mental health “system,” and the stigma associated with it will come in waves when her name is brought up. But she wasn’t ill. She didn’t drink in excess or use drugs to the point of no return. She wasn’t tortured, and she had a good support system surrounding her.
You see, she was someone overcome with a problem that seemed insurmountable. Maybe not to you or me. And she may have reached out; but in her own way. We’ll never truly know why this happened…when a beautiful, charismatic woman who we think had it all, took it all.
I remember an attempt to quit drinking after I woke up at my ex-boyfriend’s apartment, covered in bruises after a massive black-out episode. I was in his bed, naked and alone. The contents of my purse were covered in urine.
I swore I wasn’t drinking ever again. To all 6 million of my closest friends.
Until I went to an engagement party that Saturday and suddenly became very bored and terribly sad. It was like a wave washing over me, as I downed diet coke after diet coke and ate and ate and ate and ate. I wandered over to the bar for yet another watered down diet coke and looked around. I was alone.
I asked the bartender for another diet coke, but this time I asked for a little bit of Bacardi. He winked at me. I slurped it down and went back to my table. Not even 5 minutes later I got up again. Back to the bar. It was crowded, but I snuck back by the bartender and asked for a vodka and sprite.
I immediately felt better. My best friend came over and stood next to me. He sniffed my drink. He was already drunk and eyeing me suspiciously. “You’re drinking!” he exclaimed. I tried to defend myself. “No I’m not!”
I was lying now, too? Wow. Now I really had fallen from grace. But I couldn’t stop. I was still so bored and sad, and this was the only way to cure the mediocrity of my life while also numbing the sadness.
I started dancing.