Ben Duffy’s documentary titled “I Do Not Blame Myself” is a film about a 31 year old filmmaker with bipolar disorder who feels and finds catharsis by interviewing others with mental illness’s as well as revealing his own journey with rehab, sobriety, and self love.
What can I say about healing and isolation? And my first year of sobriety, and having bipolar disorder? First and foremost, I thought about my situation. I’m six months sober, not a friend in sight stuck in fucking Germantown, New York without a car or a license. To be here with you guys, it’s just reinforcing to me that it’s okay to be bipolar and like not to be ashamed of that, because my bipolar disorder led me to you guys. And this really means a lot to me. So thank you. [song and music lyrics]
With me, I, I’ve even lost a couple of friends. They don’t want to be around me, not just because of not for actions that happened or occurred, just because hey, I told them I was schizophrenic. They’re afraid of me. Now, they don’t want to have nothing to do with me. Nobody wants to have a friend that has schizophrenia.
And I had to go to the Jim Morrison place I had to go to that place where I said to myself, you’re not your mother’s child, you’re not your father’s child. I’m a big, bright, shining star. And if anybody doesn’t fucking know that now, they’re soon going to learn, I guess you can say that psychiatrists and doctors try to figure out ways to do that, like, let that person know. They are so much more than not only the diagnosis, but what they think of themselves.
Like the way we’re raised to think about mental illness affects our self esteem. So for someone like me to be able to say like, yeah, I’m awesome kicking ass. It’s gonna take me a while to say that genuinely and authentically. It almost brings me to tears like not to be able to recognize how well I’m doing and like, celebrate that. I think that’s just something that I have to work on.
About two weeks after my 30th birthday, I was ready to kill myself. I wasn’t just ready. I was contemplating walking back to my house and swallowing all my pills. [loud yell] [music and hum, piano sounds]
Take A Look At This Heart, I see an angry old man who is trying so hard not to be. Now I can finally start trying to not be so angry. So self destructive.
I actually remember standing on the ledge, looking down and being scared and jumping back. Three days before I jumped I had no recollection.
It’s the guy who’s willing to die who’s gonna win that inch. I said, it’s the guy who wants to stay alive that’s going to be able to heal. I used to say, I got to stay alive for one more film. One more, but now I say what would my dad do if he lost his only son to suicide. I think as people with mental illnesses, we need to be loved by our parents. As much as I struggle with you and my mom. I don’t just throw you away anymore. Maybe you got to take the good with the bad and hold on to the good for dear life. Everybody telling me I can’t do this… well I’m freaking doing it. You know?
[music, distant voices]