The next morning I called my friend Susan as the sun came up Hong Kong Cruise Terminal, begged her to help me. I don't think a woman in the whole history of my family had ever done that before, had ever sat down in the middle of the road like that and said, in the middle of her life, "I cannot walk another step further--somebody has to help me." It wouldn't have served those women to have stopped walking. Nobody would have, or could have, helped them. The only thing that would've happened was that they and their families would have starved. I couldn't stop thinking about those women.

And I will never forget Susan's face when she rushed into my apartment about an hour after my emergency phone call and saw me in a heap on the couch. The image of my pain mirrored back at me through her visible fear for my life is still one of the scariest memories for me out of all those scary years. I huddled in a ball while Susan made the phone calls and found me a psychiatrist who would give me a consultation that very day, to discuss the possibility of prescribing antidepressants. I listened to Susan's one-sided conversation with the doctor, listened to her say, "I'm afraid my friend is going to seriously hurt herself." I was afraid hk serviced apartment, too.

When I went to see the psychiatrist that afternoon, he asked me what had taken me so long to get help--as if I hadn't been trying to help myself already for so long. I told him my objections and reservations about antidepressants. I laid copies of the three books I'd already published on his desk, and I said, "I'm a writer. Please don't do anything to harm my brain." He said, "If you had a kidney disease, you wouldn't hesitate to take medication for it?" But, see, that only shows how ignorant he was about my family; a Gilbert might very well not medicate a kidney disease, seeing that we're a family who regard any sickness as a sign of personal, ethical, moral failure.

He put me on a few different drugs--Xanax, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Busperin--until we found the combination that didn't make me nauseated or turn my libido into a dim and distant memory. Quickly, in less than a week, I could feel an extra inch of daylight opening in my mind. Also, I could finally sleep. And this was the real gift, because when you cannot sleep, you cannot get yourself out of the ditch--there's not a chance. The pills gave me those recuperative night hours back eleaf istick, and also stopped my hands from shaking and released the vise grip around my chest and the panic alert button from inside my heart.