47.2 - Spring 2018

Page 125

* Every so often, I am tempted to sheer myself all the way back. Chop my hair off. Change my style. Do something extreme. People do this sort of thing to battle depression, don’t they? But are those people really depressed? Bored, maybe, which can feel like gloom if it goes on long enough. Caught in a monotony of one kind or another. A pixie cut! A new tattoo! is just the thing to stir things up! I don’t really believe these distractions will help. And yet, a faded vine of ink circles my wrist, a desperate gesture from the Zoloft days, right after my first husband left. I worried constantly. What would I do without his salary? I worked in the mall. How would I ever be able to afford graduate school? He had paid for my first night class. How I worried and how I loathed myself, then. Could not imagine any person treating me with desire again. I laid awake nights and watched mind-fireworks exploding: alone, alone. Looking back, I think my therapist (#1 of my adult life) was flirting with me. “You know, Latino and black men love women with your shape.” But I couldn’t tell such things then. I had no sure word by which to know myself. My sadness seemed like it could not fit inside my skin, even while I could feel it bumping against my bones. I gave myself over to his care because he said he would help me, and I needed someone to help me. The pill he prescribed was meant to help quell my racing brain, dial down the constant terror and tears, lessen the lonely. Instead, it gave me crushing headaches and ruined my orgasm. SPRING 2018

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