When you see a professional to “talk” about something, and ask where you might begin, their answer is usually “wherever is comfortable.” But, you see, no part of talking about anything with gravity has ever been comfortable for me. There is no comfort to be drawn from the confrontation and dealing with of emotions, at least not for me.
That being said, I will start at the beginning of what is relevant to me right now, at two AM on a Sunday in March.
I recall somberly approaching my fourth grade teacher to inform him that I thought I might have clinical depression. There was a commercial on the television for antidepressants, with a wind-up woman I surprised myself by identifying with. He had laughed, as anyone might at a ten year old self-diagnosing a mental illness, and told me not to worry about being sleepy.
Things have always been easy for me. I wasn’t faced with any challenges until middle school, which is when my grades took a remarkable nose dive, and my parents became worried that I had fallen in with the wrong crowd. And maybe they were right. Maybe the gifted and talented children were the wrong crowd for me. Maybe I belonged somewhere I could excel, and it wasn’t with those kids, who were better at being better than I was. They still are better at being better than I am.
My mother plotted her course of action, though she didn’t carry these actions out very faithfully, as with many of her plans. The most notable step in the plot to recover my shiny intellect was to enroll me in a prestigious choir, which we’ll call the Chicago Children’s Chorus. I feel now is a good time to end this bit, as an explanation of the CCC and its irrevocable impacts on the person I am now, five years later, will take at least another section.
It is worth mentioning that this, while effectively stymieing the inevitable resolution that was the eleventh grade, was not the panacea my mother had hoped for.