In August of 2009, I suffered a major depressive episode. I am not ashamed to say that it led to me attempting to drive my mother’s car into oncoming traffic as I drove over a bridge in Deltona, FL. At the last moment, I changed my mind. But the experience scared me into getting help.
For years I battled severe depression, gender dysphoria, mini-manic episodes, an emotionally and psychologically abusive father, a bully in every sense of the word sister, and numerous other things. It all came to a head that evening when I drove across the bridge to pick up dinner from KFC for my family, and then decided “Fuck it all. I’m done.”
When I did get home, I sat down with my mom and I told her everything. Culminating in begging for help. Any help. She called a hotline, and I was taken to Stewart-Marchman ACT in Daytona Beach before sundown. I spent 6 days and nights in this facility. I got my official diagnosis of Bipolar Type 2. The gender dysphoria, however, would have to wait. And at the time, I was fine with that. In fact, I’ve come to terms with it, and now live my life as a gender fluid person. Some days I’m Zuli. Some days I’m Zeke. But I’m always Z. And that’s perfectly fine with both myself and my husband.
The following sketches were done over the course of my stay in Stewart-Marchman ACT. I had to smuggle pencil stubs into my room each day from the group room. They were always taken when the rooms were inspected each day. But I always found another pencil stub at the nurse’s station.