I went for blunt. The subversive, walk around it, can’t hurt her feelings, not sure I should say this, didn’t work last time. So I sent her a text. It read, “Mom says your depressed?” This time around, I wasn’t going to spare her feelings of inadequacy. We were going to talk about it. Because it has to be better this way. She has to know I can listen, because I know what’s going on. I’m gong to make normalcy out of the situation. It’ll be more comfortable for her, and she’ll talk more. That time a couple years ago, she wouldn’t talk to us about it. Now she has to. Because I asked her. I asked her directly.
She sent a text back. “Lol, that’s correct.” She sent the text back within the minute.
I had to make sure she wasn’t as bad as last time. I tried to remember what it felt like in that dark. Because I thought it would connect us. “Oh that sucks. How bad on a scale of bell jar to rocks in pockets?”
I got a text back two minutes later. “Um it’s in waves from mild inertia to contemplating ovens with new found interest.”
“No deep black holes of doom?” I tried to keep it lighthearted. I worried that if it became too serous she’d shut down on me.
“A bit.” I thought she’d run with my joke. I thought she’d talk about being a spaceship drifting or make an Apollo 13 or David Bowie joke. But she’d said, “a bit.” I wanted to scream and call her right then. I told myself to be calm and stay light.
“Goodness how dreadful. I’m so sorry. Anything helping?” I didn’t know how to help. It was too late to ask her if there was someway I could do anything when you’re spiraling down.
“I’m eating chocolate pecan pie from our local neighborhood bakery.”
So she was ok. She knew what was wrong. She took steps to prevent and cope. When she got here for Christmas, I could see for myself. She can hide behind texts, but not my eyes. We’ll make sure she’s better then.