I began seeking professional help when I was 17 years old. I visited a school counselor because I was feeling suicidal and she laughed at me because my problems couldn'tve been that bad... Since then, I have seeked counseling repeatedly with similar results: I have been turned away with either bullshit diagnoses or an encouragement to meditate and do yoga.
Professionals do not believe me when I tell them my story. They see me in their office and immediately assume the following:
1. I'm delusional
2. I'm poor
3. I'm stupid
When they discover that I am neither of these, they dismiss everything I say with the judgment that "you don't have any problems if you're not on drugs, poor, stupid, a cutter, or visually unhealthy...you're wasting our time."
As a result, they will not give me the help I need. I went into the ER yesterday at Providence Hospital, St. Vincents suicide facility. They took my stuff, put it in a locker. Put me into some scrubs, gave me footies. Locked me in a white room that smelled like pee. I was asked "what do you do for a living?" I said "I'm an artist." So then I was asked "so how do you support yourself?" as though I could not POSSIBLY support myself as an artist. After asking me a list of required and irrelevant questions (basically to find out if I'm delusional, poor, or stupid) and not getting answers that were convincing or dramatic enough for their liking, they sent me home with the following diagnosis:
I have the best friends in the whole wide world. However, my friends have their own problems and I need more help than would be fair for them to take on. These are my issues:
1. I am an artist and cannot be controlled. This society is very controlling. More specifically, THIS SOCIETY DOES NOT WANT YOU TO BE SUCCESSFUL UNLESS YOU PLAY BY THEIR RULES. Anyone who proclaims that they are an artist and plan to be so professionally will undoubtedly get shit on a regular basis. **HOLLA IF YOU HEAR ME!**
2. As a result of my non-conventional ways and inability to submit to societal standards of behavior, dress, and speech, I am constantly fucked with whenever I leave the house. White bitches pull on my hair. Black bitches yell at me to stop EVERYTHING I'm doing whenever they see me doing something that might make them look bad in the eyes of a white person, should the white person see us together. Black boy bitches constantly express their desire to fuck me and when I don't respond, they call me names or try to intimidate me psychologically and physically. This happens ALL THE TIME. When I tell people this, they tell me to "stop being negative" or "get over it."
I didn't sign up for this. I just wanna make music. So I stay in the house ALL THE TIME making music and isolating myself from the physical world at all costs because who needs that noise?
3. I am successful in my professional and creative life and visibly healthy. As a result, nobody believes me when I tell them that I'm 2 shakes away from jumping off the Hawthorne Bridge. Professionals are not used to handling "artists". They are used to handling drug addicts.
My unique self is very isolating. Isolation is the lead cause of all psychological and sociological disorders.
I got a copy of Street Roots, a resource guide in Portland and looked up "Health Care." I called "Sequoia Mental Health Services" and they transferred me to the Washington County Crisis Center. I finally got an opportunity to talk to a small team of professionals at the Crisis Center who ACTUALLY LISTENED TO ME!!! THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE!!!!!
When I began to talk about my life, she didn't dismiss me. She didn't tell me that I don't have a problem because my life is so great. She saw through the superficial bullshit and realized that I need help right away. Tomorrow, a Crisis Team member is coming TO MY HOUSE to talk to me and help me with tools to cope with my issues until my official appointment in 2 weeks.
"Artist" is not a disease; but a diseased society will drive any artist crazy. -Me
I'll leave you with these words to live by from a brilliant artist, Steve Jobs.