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  • Usually when I think of a moonlit walk on the beach the images that come to mind are romantic, cozy, sweet. Tonight I walked on the beach and it wasn't any of these things. I wallowed in the sadness that has been growing, slowly inside of me, like a cancer.

    I kicked off my sandals beneath an abandoned lifeguard station and walked in the dark toward the rising tide. It is quiet on the beach at night; no children playing, no sunbathers lounging, no seagulls fighting for the skeletons of a picnic lunch left behind. I can clearly hear the sound of the waves, rushing in, out, in. It's rhythmic, seducing me to wet my bare feet and so I do. I love that the water is warm here, I can wade in and there is no shock of cold driving me back out. I began to cry, salty tears washing my cheeks as the salty waves washed my feet; Heavy, throaty sobs that nobody would hear, sometimes it's better that way.

    I walked further into the water, up to my knees now, and turned to see my footprints in the sand. After the next wave rushed out I leaned down and drew a bee in the sand, a fat bumble bee with comically tiny wings, and then watched as the tide washed it away. No more tears now. I'm wearing shorts, the water is now licking the hem, thigh high. There is a rip tide tonight, dangerous, and I imagine the ocean tearing me away from the land, swallowing me. I can already feel it sucking me in, I wonder how much further I can go and still resist, heels digging into the soft sand, woman vs. ocean.

    I remember when my Mother was diagnosed with depression. My Father raged, "There is no such thing as depression!" I'm not sure my Mother took the Prozac long enough for it to make a difference. Instead she thumbed through the self-help books that my Father found for her. Books debunking the myth of clinical depression. Books how to overcome the weakness and the sorrow. It wasn't surprising to me when I was diagnosed in my early 20s, these things run in families, my Doctor said. My Mother believes I'm manic; Bi-Polar is the politically correct term, but I don't think that I am, no matter what you call it. I dabbled with prescriptions for several years, but decided in the end that the low points in my mood could best be controlled by me, not by someone in a lab coat that knows nothing about me.

    I walked home barefoot, I wanted to feel the sand on my feet for as long as possible.
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