AN OPEN LETTER TO DEPRESSION


Dear depression,

You and I have been acquainted for years now, roughly 5 if I remember correctly.  During this time there isn’t an aspect of my life you haven’t weeded your way into. You’ve wreaked havoc in all of my relationships, you’ve made me hurt myself and those around me. Oh, and let’s not forget that time I had to drop out of my dream university when your ugly head surfaced again. Time and time again you have pushed me into a corner, biding your time waiting for me to wither and die.

One of the worst things about you D, is that no one can see you or your good friend anxiety. No one but me can feel your dark presence lingering over me like a hungry shadow waiting to devour. When I turn up at work with puffy eyes or have the strength to make it to uni after a sleepless night, few understand why I’m exhausted before the day has even begun.  “It’s all in your head”, “You just need to pick yourself up” are the laments I hear on a daily basis. “I guess your right, I’ll  just try harder” is my usual response because meekly agreeing is so much easier than trying to explain how debilitating your hungry presence feels.

On the rare occasion that somebody does talk to me about my mental health, this is what I tell them about you;

Some days depression feels similar to missing a step at the bottom of a staircase. Positive that you had your footing worked out, the shock of the missing step throws you a little off balance for a second but you regain your composure and carry on with the day.

Some days depression feels like falling off a cliff or a building in a dream, expecting that inevitable fatal hit you brace yourself for an impact that never comes. Instead, you just keep falling, wishing for something to break the fall. 

Some days depression feels like a crushing weight on your chest. Those are the days where getting out of bed is an accomplishment not to laugh at... if you manage to move at all.

Some days depression doesn’t feel like anything at all, because you can’t feel anything at all. Numb to everyone and everything you ever cared about. Showering, eating, moving are all right at the bottom of your priority list whilst you just focus on making it to the end of the day. 

Some days depression feels like a dark shadow looming overhead, ready to block out all light and happiness. Ready to consume joy and amusement and spout negativity in its place.Weeds growing through the cracks.

And somedays – most days,  you’re desperate to forget what depression is, what it feels like. Just desperate to feel anything at all - positive or negative. 


Now D, I know you don't like me, and I certainly don't like you, so please tell me what we're doing? The therapy might not have scared you off, nor the sertraline, nor the citilopram. But mark my words when I tell you that our paths will not be intertwined for much longer. I will chase you away kicking and screaming, I will dismantle myself peice by peice to check that no part of you is hidden deep inside me, you do not get to leave an ugly seed in me and wait until I'm happy for the weeds to appear. Whilst you thought you were tearing me down, every day that I found myself getting to my feet I realised I was better, stronger, smarter than you have ever been and ever will be.

I will remind myself even on the darkest of days that I existed without you once, and I will continue to do so again.

Not forever yours
H
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