Keeping mum

I wish I could just sit her down and say, “mum, I have depression” but my mum’s like me, she worries. Immediately, she’d see nooses and razor blades and exhaust pipe fumes.

I wish I could sit her down and tell her calmly. “Mum, I have depression” but I know the words and the reaction would make me cry and I know that that would make her cry and I couldn’t bear to upset her.

I wish I could sit her down and truthfully, openly say, “Mum, I have depression” but I couldn’t be truthful and open because I would want to pretend it was all OK now, I would gloss over the draft suicide notes and the thin silver scars across my stomach and the times I rocked backwards and forwards, tears waterfalling, repeating over and over I wish I was dead I wish I was dead I wish I was dead

I wish I could sit her down and say, “Mum, I have depression” but I fear the look in her eyes telling me she’s thinking of my sister and her depression and her breakdowns and will see that flicker of a thought: what did we do wrong?

I wish I could sit her down and say, “Mum, I have depression” but I worry that somewhere deep down she would see me, the daughter she thinks has succeeded in life and has been strong and independent the way she brought me up to be, as weak and as a disappointment. She would never say it, she would try to understand but the fear that she couldn’t (how can anyone who hasn’t been through it?) and that those thoughts would trickle through holds me back.

I wish I could sit her down and say “Mum, I have depression” but I am terrified that this knowledge would be the final excuse I have to give up, the final wall of pretence to crumble and leave me open and exposed.

I wish I could sit her down but I can’t and I won’t.

Image result for talking depression cartoon

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