I’D KNOWN HER SINCE MIDDLE school. That’s why I’d felt comfortable inviting myself over to her place that night. “Just thought we could catch up,” I’d told her, which wasn’t exactly true.
I had just picked out my hair, so my twists were a bit longer than usual; when wet they would hang nearly over my eyes. I flashed a big disarming smile. “I’m great,” I said. “Got some big projects coming up at work.”
Also, not exactly true. I was 28, a year out of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, working in city government on a yearlong fellowship. To my family and friends, I was on the fast track. But inside I was tormented by dark, self-destructive thoughts I’d wrestled with since I was a kid. I was at least 30 pounds overweight. My latest girlfriend had essentially dumped me, saying she was “just moving on.” Not that I could blame her. My whole life, I’d kept everyone at arm’s length, never revealing the real me, making it hard to get close.
I’d been taught that my depression came from a lack of faith. Another way I was falling short. It made me angry at God. Why wouldn’t he help me? I’d decided to take matters in my own hands. This last get-together with my old friend was fitting. I only hoped, when it was all over, she and others would be able to forgive me, to understand that I could no longer live with the torment.
My dad had