10. Depression

10. Depression

A Chapter by Craig2591
"

Chrissy has trouble adjusting to the changes in her life.

"

Meredith Fini was sitting up in bed perusing a magazine when her husband Tony walked into their bedroom in his robe. It was a little after eleven pm.


“Who was at the front door at this time of night?” she asked him.


“It's Chrissy,” he answered with a concerned look, “She's in the living room. She stinks of whiskey.”


“Oh, dear!” responded Meredith as she got up and put on her robe. “I wonder what that's about.”


She walked out to the living room and found Chrissy standing by the front door. She had her usual dour look on her face, but when Meredith looked closer she could see something else in her eyes -- a touch of confusion and desperation. “What's up, Chrissy?” she asked calmly.


“I just walked out on Ian.”


Meredith stared at her for several seconds, then gestured for Chrissy to follow her.


“C'mon out to the kitchen and I'll start a pot of coffee.”



~*~



Ian tried to remain calm but kept catching himself wandering from the kitchen to the living room and back for no reason. He was seriously considering going next door and getting Dani or Michael to come over and keep an eye on Emily while he went out and began searching the bars for Chrissy. What had gotten into that woman?! Her behavior had been so... so inexplicable for the past several weeks.


He looked at the clock. It was after eleven. He jumped a little when his phone rang. He picked it up and looked at the display. It was Chrissy. He hesitated a few seconds, then answered it. “Yeah?”


“Hello, Ian. This is Meredith. I'm calling from Chrissy's phone.”


He felt panic rising inside of him. “Where's Chrissy?!” he asked with alarm, “Is she okay?!”


“Relax, Ian. She's fine,” came Meredith's calming voice, “We're sitting in my kitchen having some coffee and conversation. I just called so that you wouldn't worry.”


He breathed a sigh of relief. “Thanks, Meredith,” he responded, “I appreciate it.”


“We're going to talk for awhile and then I'll send her home. I'll call you when she's on her way. In the meantime, you just relax.”


“Alright. Thanks again.”


He disconnected and set his phone down. Knowing that Chrissy was at Meredith's allowed him to calm down a little. If there was one person in the world that could talk any sense into Chrissy, it was Meredith.


It had been nearly two months since they had decided to formally adopt Emily. Chrissy had become more and more withdrawn since then. She had also become exceptionally moody and temperamental and seemed to want little or nothing to do with either of them. Emily had even worried to Ian that Chrissy didn't love her anymore. Ian tried to reassure her, but the truth was he wasn't so sure himself. Every time he tried to talk to Chrissy about it, they ended up fighting.


She seemed to have lost interest in all the things they used to do together. Their love life had become non-existent.


It all came to a head when Chrissy came home from work that night extremely late and smelling of booze. Ian was furious! “You're drunk!” he yelled, “You drove drunk?! You have a family to think about! What the hell is wrong with you?!”


“Go to hell! Just go to hell!” she yelled back and stormed out, slamming the door behind her.


He waited a few minutes until he had calmed down a little and then went to find Emily. She was at her desk drawing with her colored pencils. She acted nonchalant, but Ian knew she had to have heard them yelling. As he was tucking her into bed later she finally asked, “Did Chrissy run away from home?”


He smiled reassuringly. “No, We just had a bad argument. It's not the first time we've had one and won't be the last. She'll be back. Don't worry, Buttercup.” He wished he could believe himself.


He dozed off at the kitchen table while he waited for Meredith to call back. His phone rang and startled him awake. He looked at the clock. It was nearly 1:am. He answered it.


“Hello, Ian,” came Meredith's voice, “I called to say that Chrissy just left and is on her way home.”


“What in the world is her problem?” he asked, “Did you find out?”


“I'm not going to tell you what we talked about as I have to assume it was in confidence,” she answered, “But I can tell you that Chrissy loves you and Emily very much. She's going through some pretty rough times right now and needs your patience and understanding.”


Ian sighed. “Thanks, Meredith. I'm sorry to get you caught up in this.”


“Chrissy is my friend, Ian. So are you. That's what friends are for. I'm going to bed now, but don't be afraid to call if you need anything. Goodnight.”


“Goodnight.”


He was sitting at the table with his cup of coffee when he heard Chrissy come in through the front door. A few seconds later she was standing in the doorway to the kitchen. He nodded toward her. “Hey,” he said quietly.


“Hey,” she responded, then she walked over to the counter and stood facing it. “So... Meredith bestowed her great wisdom on me,” she said with a touch of sarcasm. “I hate it when people do that.” Then she added under her breath, “I hate it even more when they're right.”


He smiled faintly, then his face grew serious. “Is this about us?” he asked.


“No... yes... I don't know.” She shook her head as if trying to clear it. “It's about you... it's about Emily... it's about me. Mostly it's about me. I just--”


He held his hand up to stop her, then turned toward the doorway. “Emily, you're supposed to be in bed.”


Emily peeked in from behind the doorway. “Okay,” she said dejectedly and started for her room.


“Wait,” said Ian, “Come in and say goodnight to Chrissy. Then I'll tuck you in.”


She walked over to Chrissy and gave her a hug. “G'night, Chrissy,” she said.


Chrissy looked at Ian. “If it's alright with you,” she replied, “I'd like to tuck her in.”


He nodded and they left the kitchen. Chrissy returned a few minutes later. Ian was at the counter pouring another cup of coffee. “Want a cup?” he asked.


She shook her head. “I drank enough coffee at Meredith's to float a battleship,” she answered as she sat down at the table. Ian remained standing. He waited patiently for her to talk. Finally, she broke the silence. “Derek wants to put me in charge of all the Canadian accounts. Can you imagine? Me interacting with clients? He said that the few clients I've dealt with liked my direct, no nonsense approach. It would be a good raise, but I have to promise to go back to school and get my GED.”


Ian threw his hands out to his sides and gave her an incredulous look. “Is that what all this has been about?!”


She shrugged. “Part of it.” She took a breath and let it out in a big sigh. “It seems like just yesterday that I was Chrissy the loner. No friends, no family, no responsibilities. Only myself to worry about. Not even three years later here I am, a wife and a mother with an important job and a growing circle of friends. It's all been so goddamn overwhelming! I don't know who I am anymore. I guess it's making me a little crazy.”


“Are you saying you want to go back to your old life?” he asked with a worried look.


“No. It was easier, but it was lonely. Don't get me wrong, Ian. You and Emily mean the world to me and I want you guys in my life. I don't miss my old life, I just miss the simplicity of it. I don't want to go back, but I don't want to go forward either and I don't want to stay where I am. I don't know what the hell I want anymore. I feel trapped!”


She was quiet again for a while. She finally continued, “Anymore it seems like I'm Ian's wife, or Emily's mother, or Derek's employee, or Meredith's friend. I never get to be just Chrissy!” She looked up at him. He saw something in her eyes that he'd never seen before. Fear? “Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I don't recognize my own reflection!” she said, “Is that crazy?”


He shook his head. “You're depressed,” he responded.


She nodded in agreement. “Yeah, it's bumming me out alright.”


“No,” he continued, “I mean you're clinically depressed! I should know. I dealt with it myself once. Remember, I told you about it?”


“Yeah! And Sandy had you locked up in the nut-house!”


“That wasn't her fault. The doctors lied to her and told her I was suicidal so she would have me committed. They just wanted to milk our insurance! I would never do that to you. But I do think you should see somebody about it.”


No!! They'll just give me pills! That's their answer to everything.”


“You don't have to take any medications if you don't want to. But I think it would help to talk to someone.”


“Open up to some stranger? I can barely do that with you.”


“Sometimes it's easier to talk to a stranger.”


“Look, I just need to snap out of it... get a grip on myself!”


“It's not that simple, Chrissy.”


“Ian! Drop it! I'm not going to a goddamn shrink! I'll get through this on my own.”


He knew when arguing with her was pointless, so he dropped it. He sat down at the table with her instead. “If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?” he asked her.


“What?” she asked with a puzzled look.


“If you could do anything... anything at all right now, what would you do?”


She shrugged. “I don't know.”


“Think!”


She grew thoughtful for several seconds, then she finally said, “I'd like to get on my motorcycle and just ride. No destination, no plan, just let the road take me wherever. Stop when I want to and go when I want to. Do whatever I want. Absolute freedom!” She had a far-away look in her eyes.


“So... do it!” he said.


“What?!”


“I'm serious! Put in for a couple of days off. Take a long weekend and go. Emily and I would be okay without you for a few days.”


“You wouldn't mind?”


He shook his head and smiled. “Naw, I'll bet you'd miss us after only a couple of days. I think it would do you a world of good. Give you a chance to clear your head.”


“I don't know. Maybe.”


“Think about it.” He yawned.


“You're beat, Ian. Why don't you go to bed. I'll be okay. I'm seeing things a little more clearly since I talked to Meredith.”


He took her hand in his. “Let me know how I can help.”


“Right now I just need your patience.”


“Are you coming to bed?”


She shook her head. “I'm too wound up. I'll come later.”


“Alright.” he stood up and kissed her. “Emily needs to know that you still love her.”


“Alright. I'll talk to her tomorrow.”


After he left she got up and turned off the kitchen light. She sat back down at the table and held her head in her hands. She hadn't told Ian or Meredith about the cravings she had been having. It would be so easy to start using again. So easy! She closed her eyes tight and clenched her teeth, but no matter how hard she tried to stop them, the tears came.


She spent the next hour quietly crying in the dark.




© 2013 Craig2591


Author's Note

Craig2591
I did my own little dance with severe depression in my twenties, so it was easy to put myself in Chrissy's shoes.

Several years ago there was a nationwide scandal in which people seeking help for depression were hospitalized against their will by doctors lying to family members, telling them they were suicidal so that they would have them committed. They were kept locked up until their insurance ran out and then released with little or no treatment. That's what happened to Ian.

My Review

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Featured Review

Sad chapter in all their lives. Chrissy is in a cold and lonely place, no matter how many people are in her life. That's what depression does, it leaves you empty and unable to connect with others. But having others around who love you is much better than being alone. I hope she gets through this crisis without destroying what she now has. I enjoyable chapter for sure!

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

11 Years Ago

Thank you, Tina. You sound as if you speak from experience.
Tina Kline

11 Years Ago

Yes, you're right, I do.



Reviews

This is amazing. Something I feel like everyone can either relate to or understand in some way. I love it.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

9 Years Ago

Thank you very much.
Sad chapter in all their lives. Chrissy is in a cold and lonely place, no matter how many people are in her life. That's what depression does, it leaves you empty and unable to connect with others. But having others around who love you is much better than being alone. I hope she gets through this crisis without destroying what she now has. I enjoyable chapter for sure!

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

11 Years Ago

Thank you, Tina. You sound as if you speak from experience.
Tina Kline

11 Years Ago

Yes, you're right, I do.
I really like this chapter, there's so much hope until the end - where a whole new and terrible possibility comes out. I hope it goes that way, the best characters are the ones that come into a story okay and leave mangled.

In that last paragraph, did she tell Meredith about the craving? SUPER intense if she didn't.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

11 Years Ago

Hmm... I didn't think about whether she told Meredith, but I imagine that she didn't. I'll have to .. read more
Oh, dear, poor Chrissy! Ian's idea of riding her motorcycle until her head clears sounds like a good idea, but surely being completely alone for that long would place Chrissy under increased temptation to give in and get drugs again.

This ride-motorcyle-with-no-destination reminds me of what Neil Peart, drummer for the Canadian band Rush, did after he lost his wife and daughter.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

11 Years Ago

Hmm... I honestly never thought about a short trip making Chrissy face a crisis with drugs. I just .. read more
Yes, I have trouble trusting someone who has my freedom and insurance card in their hands! So many naive people thing, "Oh, a doctor wouldn't do that' or "A police officer wouldn't lie!" Au contraire mon ami>
I hope Chrissy gets better. I feel for Emily and Ian, but Emily must be thinking she isn't loved, feeling pretty insecure. I love this family!

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

11 Years Ago

A doctor, a police officer, a priest, a teacher, a spouse, a parent. Most are very trustworthy, but.. read more

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Added on May 7, 2013
Last Updated on June 2, 2013
Tags: romance, love, parenting, foster parent, adoption, depression, addiction


Author

Craig2591
Craig2591

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I am a visual artist with no formal training in creative writing. I get stories knocking around my head and sometimes I write them down. I decided to join this site to share them with other writers .. more..

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