The first psychiatrist who diagnosed me as bipolar and suggested I go on lithium ended up facing the wrath of my mom, a master in the art of passive-aggressiveness. “Have you asked her how often she exercises? How healthy she eats?” (She said this while eyeing the McDonald’s Value Meal on the doctor’s desk.) “How much pot she smokes?” The doctor walked us out, empty-handed, with the demeanor of a dog who’d just shat itself.
I was confused. I was fifteen. I was sure pharmaceutical drugs would come of this outing. So in the car I asked my mom what the hell had just happened. “That stuff will turn you into a robot, a zombie,” she said. “You’re not going on lithium – you’re creative.”
“Fine,” I said, trying to give the air of an ultimatum, like I had a choice in anything. “I’m going to keep smoking pot then.”
“Go right ahead,” she said. And for the next nine years, I self-medicated with weed.
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