When my mom told me everyone was worried about me I cried with both surprise and shock and (out of practice and habit) immediately denied everything.
I'm fine. I'm happy. I'm really peaceful. Everything is good.
She squeezed my hands between hers as a I stared at the pictures on her wall. There's me at Disney World in 1976, there's me with Abuela, there's me at a booksigning for Marvin's Book. I hardly know the person smiling back at me, so I stare at the lovely plant sprawling ambitiously out of its basket.
Unconvinced by my feeble response she starts to list every person in my family who has faced depression and gotten help for it.
She tells me life doesn't have to be as hard as it's been. I shake my head. I can't imagine things being easier, I can't even see that path from where I am. I cry harder. I don't want to be here, I don't want to hear this, I don't want any of this to be true but denying it won't make it go away.
Before she lets me leave the sofa she makes me promise I will reach out to my therapist and my doctor and get help.
Then she lets me go, and a cloud of sadness follows me to the car. After about an hour into our drive home I finally tell the kids what my mom said and they go "hooray." The next morning I make the calls, and am met with a flood of support.