How to Murder Your Life

Addiction versus ambition: it starts small.

All of this toxicity comforted me. It made me feel less alone. But

and slap on self-tan like a vampire who wanted to walk among the living undetected. Which, of course, I basically was doing. But

And you fall deeper and deeper into the earth, but it’s not the earth, exactly, it’s this series of . . . lofts built into the earth like underground tree houses, right, and another floor falls out from under you, and then you are on a different floor of the world, and you are starting to accept that things will never be the same.

By the time I realized my dream of being an editor, I felt like a zombie disaster trying to pass for human in a world where women didn’t even have split ends. I became more and more self-destructive as I realized I wasn’t cut out for the life I’d imagined for myself. Still,

Heath Ledger was on the little glowing screen in front of me in his nurse’s uniform, smoky eyes, and smeared lipstick, smirking as he set off bombs and burned the hospital down.

I created the same cocoon I always did. So

I have to chant, but I really want to curl up in bed and read chick lit and watch 30 Rock,” she said—and

I met Jane’s dog, Balloon, and saw the famous Scientology sauna, which was predictably gargantuan and ridiculous. An

I’m not giving you any more chances.” But I always gave him more chances. I

I moved through my getting-ready-for-work routine like I was underwater.

I peed and washed my hands—these are the details you need to know—and

It looked like he’d just slurped down a propofol milk shake. “Come

It was about malignant narcissism—a particularly sinister type of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). A malignant narcissist sucks a victim in by mirroring her (“I thought I’d found my soul mate,” survivors recall): this is the honeymoon period. Once the victim’s hooked, the narcissist vampire feeds off her for his own “supply” until he inevitably finds another victim who he believes is a better source. Once victim number one is devalued in his mind, the malignant narcissist is free to drop the angelic act and to openly degrade and exploit her—and in doing so, reveals himself as the greedy, destructive, aggressive and sadistic predator he truly is. Omigod

It was great not having a roommate. I didn’t have to turn the lights off and go to bed, like, ever. I took my new medicine and stayed up doing homework late in the night, hyperfocused and erasing and reprinting my math homework. Branches would bang on the glass and scare the shit out of me; there was also a stupid owl out there that was ridiculously loud and hooty. So I was always practically falling out of my desk chair. (Stimulants make the nerves a bit . . . jangly, you know. Especially at three in the morning.) I

It was warm for November. There was even a lovely drizzle, like God Himself was spritzing my face with Jurlique Calendula Calming Mist. I

I was always relieved when Monday came. Beep.

I would have swallowed arsenic if someone had promised that it would put me under for at least a few hours—that’s how bad prolonged insomnia feels. But eventually I gave up: on sleeping, on self-control, on my career, on myself. I gave up on all of it. I just fucking gave up. This

Jean planted seeds of self-love and positive thinking in my brain. She shut down my negative self-talk again and again and insisted that I believe in my talent and my future.

Mice don’t creep, I thought for a second.

My favorite was “Teflon mind,” where you imagine your brain being like nonstick cookware: negative thoughts just slide right off. Just

No one can make you feel anything you don’t want to feel,” my mother told me once, a complete delusion. He

So I was always practically falling out of my desk chair. (Stimulants make the nerves a bit . . . jangly, you know. Especially at three in the morning.) I

Sure, it could have been worse—but, to quote Keith Richards on the end of his relationship with Anita Pallenberg: “It could have been better, baby.” We

The less I slept, the more emotionally and psychologically disorganized I became.

they have grown like flowers—bright thoughts along the psycho path that I can pick and gather when the forest feels too dark. It’s not always going to feel like it does today. You

What can I say? Big pharma isn’t lying to you (fine, they probably are): performance-enhancing drugs deliver, babes. In the short term, at least. I felt so ambitious! I was bright-eyed and chatty at roundtable discussions

Where did they go? Mice will do that—just disappear. I

Why are you in my room? Can you give me some fucking privacy? You can’t just bust in on people!” I knew I shouldn’t talk to one of Lucky’s biggest advertisers this way, but I was pissed. I may have been a drug addict, but I had my dignity! You know? “Be

You haven’t slept for two days, I kept telling myself.