This is a possible opening scene for my memoir. It's taken me a long time to get it finished, even though it's less than a page, because it's hard for me to acknowledge the emotional struggle. I have no problem talking about my physical rehab, pain, etc., but this is much harder. I debated pretty hard about whether or not I wanted to post this; it feels very exposing. What finally decided me is that, if I really do write and publish this memoir, the audience could be much broader than the loyal few who read my blog. So, here it is. Let me know what you think. (Oh, this is set in April 2004.)
Despite the sunshine streaming in the window, I slumped on my bed with my head in my hands. Why am I so sad? I tried to ignore the tears crawling down my cheeks. Life is good, so why can’t I be happy? Wiping my dripping nose on the back of my hand, I flopped backward. I don’t enjoy crying; everything about it makes me feel crappy. To end my jag, I worked on solving the puzzle of why, exactly, I was crying.
It was April. “I’ve been sad for over a month. I want to stop being miserable. Wait—I was sad last year at this time, too. I wonder if I have that seasonal depression thing?” The realization hit me like a ton of bricks. “Oh! I get depressed every year at this time. It’s the anniversary. Duh.”
With this “new” knowledge in hand, I picked up the phone and called help. The woman I called, Jill, is a friend of the family and the mother of a childhood friend. She had recently gotten certified & started practicing clinical psychology; I knew that she would be able to steer me to someone who could help me.
“Hi, Jill. I have a favor to ask. Do you know of a local therapist I can contact? I just realized that I’m having depression issues related to my stroke.” That conversation would change my life. I was about to start a journey that had been 12 years in the making. For those 12 years, I had been oblivious to the emotional charges buzzing around in my mind. I was finally going to start trying to defuse them.