I woke up one spring morning my junior year of high school. The sun was shining through my window panes and I was buried deep under my covers. I could not get up. I had already missed the first period of the school day when my mom finally ripped the covers off of me, and asked in a stern tone, “What are you still doing here? Are you not going to school?” I whispered, “ I cannot go,” as I quickly drew the sheets back over my face. “Why? What’s wrong?” she inquired. I responded unconvincingly, “I have a headache, I feel dizzy, and I feel weak.” It was true though, I had felt all of those things, but both she and I knew I was not suffering from a cold. My mom responded, “This is the third headache you have had this week. I really think it’s all in your head. You cannot continue to miss this much school.” Again, this time very firmly, I said, “I cannot go.” “Fine then,” she replied, “I don’t even know what to tell your father,” as she shut the door behind her.
A couple hours later, I finally had the strength to get up and open my laptop. I began frantically googling pages about depression. After I had collected several website links, I hesitantly headed down the staircase with my laptop in hand. My mom was sitting at the kitchen island answering her emails. I shoved my computer on the counter next to hers and timidly demanded that she read the tabs I had opened on my screen. I did not have the words to explain myself, and I figured providing my mother with several informative articles may help. I slowly backed away from my mother and sat quietly curled up on the granite floor next to the island.
After a few minutes, my mom looked up from the computer screen and glanced toward me. She then asked, “So what do you expect me to make of all this? Are you asking for help?” I anxiously answered, “Yes.” She replied, “I really do not understand what is going on with you, but if you say you need help, I am going to help you. I do not even know what to tell your dad.. DO NOT mention anything to him yet. I am not even going to tell him that you stayed home today.” I nodded my head in agreement and went back upstairs while she began searching for therapists and psychologists in the area.