How Helping a Stranger With a Severed Finger Saved My Life
I was suicidally depressed, until a bloody emergency reminded me what I'm capable of.
Illustrations by Casey Roonan | Edited by Lilly Dancyger
As soon as I sit down on the stoop in front of my friend’s house, my body sags. And not just because of the arduous climb up this ridiculously steep hill. And not just because halfway up the hill my four-year-old daughter Colette collapsed in mutiny, refusing to take another step and I had to lug her the rest of the way on my back. And not just because my friend is late and we’re stuck here waiting as the four p.m. San Francisco fog rolls in, kicking up gritty wind and making the temperature plummet. But because I’m depressed, and every time my body stops moving, melancholia drops anchor.
I try to put on a good face for my kid, but I’m failing. I’ve been this way for months now. When I talk, my voice sounds hollow and far off. When I walk, I drag my feet. When I wake up in the morning, I feel pummeled by the specter of yet another day. And I’ve developed an unsympathetic inner-monologist who narrates my activities, “You’re so depr…