Manic for Days in MexicoI´m damn near episodic and I just caught on today. this is a letter i just wrote to my mom...
Listen, I wanted to call you tonight but the telephones to the states are shut down for the night. I´m manic, and I´ve probably been this way for three or four days. I´m a little frightened (more than a little) but toay I was suicidal and I introduced myself to the english-speaking AA group leader because I didn´t know who else to talk to. Then I met a fellow traveler who is also bipolar and we spent the evening talking meds and episodes.
I´m scared because it´s taken me this long just to figure this place out and I´m sorta wanting to come home. I don´t want my illness to beat me again, but frankly, this has all been much harder than I thought it would be. Where to stay, what to eat, how to find and buy food, taxis, busses, making new friends - all of it exciting, but totally taxing.
I wanted a rustic little cabin with a lock on the door and a place to cook. Instead, I have a condo with satellite tv, which should make me happy but leaves me feeling rather cold and alienated. It´s so hard to say here which comes first - do I think and feel the way I do because everything is so new, or because I´m chemically altered? And I hate that question, as I always hate that question, but here it is just so much more extreme.
Maybe I shouldn´t travel alone. That´s what I´ve been thinking. It´s been just so difficult to figure everything out, and tonight I had the first real and honest conversations I´ve had since I arrived. It was very gratifying, and made me realize that while I just fucking love the beach (and I really do) I just might be too sick to travel without help.
It´s really absurd, when you think about, that a person with a history of mental illness would fly alone to a foreign country with the intention to stay two months without ever having been to the destination and not speaking the language. It´s a fairly bold move - some might call it utterly crazy. Right now, it really feels that way.
My friend the bipolar speaks totally fluent Spanish - and today, he had the same problem finding his meds - lithium, Seroquel, Wellbutrin, neurontin - in any of the local pharmacias. He might take a bus to Oaxaca City before he runs out, or get his parents to drop-ship his ´scripts - of course, that´s risky, because this is Mexico and stolen packages are not uncommon.
I don´t know...I find Mexico to be a really quite silly place. The investments in basic infrastructure in minimal at best - Zicatela Beach has the best amenities because the gringos who run the beach have American and Canadian sensibilities about how things should be. I constantly hear weird horror stories about the Mexican people and what they do (and don´t do) to each other, the environment, and what have you.
I have spent WAY too much money. I just hadn´t intended to be in a place where I wasn´t in control of basic expenditures. From where you are, it can´t make any sense, and it doesn´t, but it´s what has happened and I´m really sorry about it. I wanted a beach. I guess I wanted Mexico, but now I´m not so sure. It´s wild and raw and kinda scary, frankly.
Right now, stories are circulating about Dengue Flu. Google it. I ran into three Canadian tourists the other day whose friend got it and they were leaving the country. I thought they were being a bit alarmist but then last night on the southern coast in a town called Puerto Angel, I had a UK expat warn me about the issue. He´s staying, but he wanted to make sure I knew that people were pulling out of his town. Bizarre.
It´s just been So Much More than what I thought I was after, and the learning curve has been Way Too High. And yet, I just feel like I would feel defeated if I left. I just want to be safe and happy mostly, and right now, I´m not sure if I´ll really get that here.