It was my first Christmas at home in 10 years. My family always has a big party with all our relatives — aunts, uncles, friends, turkey, beer, stories, laughter.
I can hear people start coming in the door upstairs, asking, “Where’s Adam?” The sound of their footsteps is like thunder. It’s breaking my brain. I’m supposed to be the big-shot pro hockey player, telling crazy stories about my adventures playing in Europe.
Instead, I’m hiding in the basement.
All the lights are off. I’m literally in the fetal position on the couch with my earplugs in, my eyes closed.
I’m uncontrollably sobbing.
My mom comes down to check on me, and she sees that I’m in the middle of another impromptu mental breakdown. She knows there’s nothing she can do to help. She just sits next to me like moms always do, and she hugs me.
“I’m sorry,” I say. “I’m so sorry. I don’t know why this is happening.”
“No, I’m sorry,” she says. “I wish I could help. I just wish I could help.”
We sit there and cry.