I can overcome this feeling, I told myself. It may be sadness but sadness can only exert so much physical influence, only so much – and suddenly I was lurching forward, reaching for the steps in front of me although there was no doubt I would meet them. I was falling fast, but it felt slow and the colours smeared at the edges.
“I think you’re depressed,” my doctor told me, has been telling me for a few weeks. I shook my head “I keep telling you I just can’t breathe,” I panted out. My old friends the fluorescent lights glowed wanly at me. “I can’t – I feel like something heavy is sitting on my chest,” I choked out. He frowned. “Classic, textbook depression.” he folded his arms, looked me up and down. “Why do you keep half-heartedly patting your chest? Sorrow?” I shook my head, again. “I tell you I just can’t – just can’t – ”
When I woke up my face had been commandeered by something they called a ‘nebulizer.’ I saw a new nurse looking at me with pursed lips. “Pneumonia,” she whispered, with a shake of her head, like I was a bad little girl who’d gone out and caught it against all advice, like it was an STD or a baby. I nodded, said ‘whatever’ but the sound was lost to the whirring machine.