Autobiography · Mental Health

Bend

Last lift” © Guy Lejeune, 2013. CC BY-ND 2.0.

Every time a new piece lands, we hold our breath. Wondering if that will be the one to break us. The metal warps, bends deep and creaks, but stays intact. Hanging on by metallic bonds. Strong and fragile all at once.

We take turns telling each other we can do this. Switch off which head leans into which shoulder, which face gets buried into the crook of which neck. All the while I’m repeating, “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me…” in my head.

At the psychiatrist, I stare straight ahead. Talking out loud, but to no one. A doctor in a pencil skirt and heels sits just outside my peripheral vision. Our appointment runs twenty minutes over. When the talking stops she starts listing options. Hopeful. “I think we can figure something out here,” she says. Tells me how she’d like to coordinate with my doctor and my therapist. Get me on a prescription, get me into group therapy. I nod over and over again.

“I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me…”

Over the weekend Mase and I take a trip south. When we leave my parents’ house my mom says, “Finish your summer…” but can’t think of the right word to cap the sentence. I look over her shoulder and force another nod.

“Yeah. That’s it. Just finish it,” I say, taking a deep breath in. She hugs me again, I climb into our rental car, and Mason guides us out of the driveway.