Today is my 49th birthday, which also marks the official publication of my memoir, Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies & Suicide. These are two important milestones for me. Mostly because I never thought I’d be alive at 49 to celebrate yet another birthday. At age 42, I made a very serious attempt to kill myself with several hundred pills I had been stockpiling.
Today is also World Suicide Prevention Day, so more freight personally and publicly….
After three attempted suicides, I never thought I’d get the chance to tell my story of my struggle with bipolar disorder let alone get that story published and into the hands of readers.
I’ve received so much support from readers of this blog, readers of my journalism in other places, my friends, work colleagues, family of origin and my publisher as well as people who have contacted me out of the blue that it is sometimes overwhelming to think about.
I know Beautiful Wreck is my personal story, but I also feel the weight of representing people with mental illness generally and individuals with bipolar disorder specifically. And, it’s not been too hard: I’m white, middle-class, have access to (some) media. I’m mediagenic — at least I think so, I have a pretty good social media presence. A good number of print and online reviews and articles have run or will run about my book and the issues it discusses.
So, yeah September 10th is a mixed bag for me, every year, even when I am not launching a book.