I feel like I've been gutted, learning about Philip Seymour Hoffman's death a couple hours ago, and all this time I was wondering. Why? Why am I feeling this way? Why do I want to cry, why do my arms and legs feel numb, I didn't even know him personally, I've seen only a few films he was in, I'm not a hardcore fan, then why? And I think I know the answer. He was unhappy. That's what hit me, this realization that he simply wasn't happy. He took drugs. Why do we take drugs? To dull the pain, to escape. Some people get drunk, some do drugs, some decide to really make it quits and commit suicide, drugs is just an easier path to it, riddled with cosmic images of some super-neon galaxy that's fantastic and beautiful and whatever, of maybe riddled with fantastic monsters, I don't know. Either way, it dulls the pain. I never took drugs, never became an alcoholic, don't know how I avoided it, because I wanted to take my life, wanted to do it so bad that I walked around with 100 very strong sleeping pills and a couple times snuck into the kitchen in the middle of the night and contemplated to cut my pain out, like, literally, I wanted to get rid of it by cutting myself open. It was in one of those delirious states that I thought of my kids and that made me stop, wake up, decide to live. Of course, who am I to contemplate how happy Phil Hoffman was, who am I to know, but I can't help it but to feel. Why else would you get drugged up to your eyeballs? Why would you overdose? Because you want more, more and more, because you can't stop, because the pain is just too great and conventional methods are not working anymore.
One other thing too. We tend to think that celebrities are happy by definition. Look at them, they have money, they are famous, everyone loves them, they have fans who worship them, why not be happy? But they are lonely, so lonely, they don't feel like anyone gets them, and they are constantly under public scrutiny, the recent case of Justin Bieber being pulled for DUI and everyone lashing out at him is a good example. The kid can't do anything stupid without everyone yelling at him from every corner. If you were 19, would you be able to deal with this kind of pressure? I mean, you can go crazy from this. It's unnatural. It's very painful, and when you have money and freedom, you can easily slip into the most powerful anti-depression method accessible - drugs. And another thing. Everyone wants a piece of you, when you're a celebrity, it's as if you somehow can fix people's lives, as if you can fix everything, as if you're obligated. Just because you're out there, people assume you're the all powerful being who is somehow above human pain. I know this because lately I've been getting little doses of this. I mean, you will laugh, but I don't realize most of the time that many people know about me and my personal life as I blast it everywhere, because I want to share it, because sharing myself with others is what pulls me out of darkness. So by no means am I a celebrity, but I started getting little jolts of being known here and there, like I've been recognized on the street, I'm constantly getting emails from people asking me to do things for them, read their books, give them my opinion on something, retweet their tweet for some important cause, sign up for their service, edit for them, whatever. And you know the funny part, when I respond really nicely, because I want to respond to everyone and I feel guilty that I can't do everything for everyone, sometimes I get these angry responses back, like I didn't answer them in time, or how dare you not to read my stuff, oh, you're so fucking busy and famous, or outright hate mail, which recently started trickling in. And you know how hard it is to deal with this to still give those people love, because I know that's what they need, because they're afraid to lash out at those who caused them to be angry in the first place, so they pick out a shiny scapegoat and dump their shit on them? I mean, every single hate comment online is like a mirror of that person - whatever they are saying is usually reflecting where they are unhappy.
Who am I to say this. I'm still battling my own anger, it surges up once in a while, because my half-sister on my dad's side still wouldn't talk to me, thinking I lied to her and wanted to hurt our father when I publicly said about 3 years ago that after 2 years of therapy I remembered that he was sexually abusing me and I wanted to take my life. And as for my father… he cut me out of his life entirely after I confronted him, albeit on the phone. I did want to die really really badly back then. And maybe this is why Phil's death kicked life out of me today, because it reminded me of my own pain, and I'm sitting here writing it and crying for him, crying for the man I didn't even know, thinking that he was lonely, that if there was only someone to hold him, to tell him it would be okay, there wasn't anyone, was there? I wonder…
I'm often getting accused for being stuck on myself, posting pictures of myself, well, selfies, a lot, and talking about myself. But it's part of my healing process. For most of my life I hated myself, I hated how I looked, I thought I was ugly, I tried making myself even uglier by cutting my hair short and dressing strangely, and then after I remembered what happened to me, I got rid of this fear, I started growing long hair, for the first time since 6th grade, I finally knew the source of my fear of looking pretty, looking like a desirable woman, and so slowly, over taking these selfies, I'm starting to believe that I'm not ugly. Slowly, by talking about my victories and failures publicly, I'm starting to believe that it's okay to fail, it's okay to feel excited, it's okay to feel something period, because for years I would suppress my feelings, walking around life like a living corpse.
I'm also writing a very personal book right now, about my adolescence, about growing up in Soviet Union and surviving, and maybe that's why I'm extra vulnerable, because my skin is off right now. I've been reading some heavy books lately, like TRAINSPOTTING and AMERICAN PSYCHO, and Phil's death goes along these lines, along themes strung across these books, it's something I hope to talk about in IRKADURA, I hope I will be able to show it too, to maybe make a little dent in… Wait. Well, shit, this ended up about me again. I didn't want it to be, sorry, I'm still so insecure that I have to go bla-bla-bla me, and again, bla-bla-bla me. I guess I don't know why I wrote this blog post. No, I do. I wrote it to get rid of the pain, because writing is what pulled me out of darkness, still does, and I already feel better. I wrote it to give my love to Phil, though he didn't know me, and hopefully to inspire you to start writing, if you haven't yet, to get rid of that pain you are harboring, because it will make you feel weightless and happy. I'm feeling better already now, like I can keep living, keep creating.
So, this is for you, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and for all those of you who are unknown, who have perished without being heard. Wherever you are now, I hope you're happy. Thank you for your art, thank you for sharing yourself with us, thank you for everything.