An Open Letter
To my depression:
You’ve been in my life for roughly eight years now. At first, you kept yourself hidden. While I didn’t quite know that you were there, others could see you. I wasn’t myself — but at that time, I didn’t even know who I was. You would strike when I least expected — in the hallway at school, at practices or rehearsals, when I was with my friends. I downplayed just what you were doing to me. You tore me apart inside. I was once such a happy child, and like a thief, you stole that happiness from me. Any happy memory that I had became distorted; I was always overthinking everything that happened, and began to stress over things that I never would think twice about.
As I grew and changed, so did you. When you first entered my mind, you were an opaque gray. As the years went on, you became darker, more solid. You’d fill my chest with a certain heaviness that I can’t quite describe. You would fog my mind and break my heart over and over again. You made me hate myself, and you made me too ashamed to ask for help. I was breaking, and I did not have the courage to ask for help. I had many people that would be willing to lend me a helping hand, that would support me through thick and thin, but no.
That wasn’t in your plan for me.
Your plan was to make me shy away from everyone that cared. Your plan was to leave me alone in my thoughts — I was absolutely terrified. I couldn’t sleep because when I closed my eyes at the end of the day, you took your true form. I couldn’t focus during the day because when I opened my eyes, you’d cloud my vision and turn my beautiful world dark and cold, even on the hottest days. I refused help. I began to make excuses for my actions.
“Oh, I’m just tired.” “No, I’m not hungry, I ate already.” “I’m okay, really.” “Oh, that? I must have scratched myself on something.”
I knew exactly what was going on, but my lips couldn’t form the simplest four letter word:
I was trapped inside of my own mind. I was alone in a crowded room. You made me believe that I was unwanted and unloved. How could anyone love someone so miserable and useless? You made me hate my own body. I would become so stressed that I would overeat, but when I looked in the mirror and was disgusted with what I saw, I would stop eating. I would skip meals and try to catch up on sleep. I began to skip classes because my thoughts were louder than my professors. I couldn’t laugh without the urge to cry, and I couldn’t cry because you blocked my tear ducts — you even stole the comfort of crying from me. I was completely numb. Happiness came in flashes, but never stayed longer than an hour at a time.
I sought help from a therapist. It’s not that he wasn’t helpful — he was. But you continued to spill doubt into my mind. What if I’m burdening him with my issues? Is talking to someone really going to help me? How do you fix someone that’s so broken? I can’t go to a psychiatrist or be put on medication — that means I’m broken, I’m crazy.
But enough was enough.
Every morning, I take a tiny pill to help me get through the day. Every second, I look down at my body and am reminded of the battle that I have been fighting for these past years. My battle wounds. Now, I’m no longer ashamed of the marks that people may see.
Every day is a new journey, a new mission. This mission is simple:
You’ve overstayed your time here, depression. It’s time for you to go on and leave me in peace.
I know that the road to recovery is not going to be easy. I know that each day, you’ll reappear when I least expect it, and usually, when I least want you to.
I still get worried and anxious about certain things, but I’m slowly learning that some things are just out of my control. Some days, I don’t want to get out of bed ever again, but each day I peek outside of the window and look at the sky the scenery around me, and take in its true beauty. I’m still not completely happy with the way that my body looks, but I’m now working harder to better myself not because I hate my body, but because I love my body and realize that if I’m going to continue living in this skin, I may as well make the best out of it.
I ask for help. I am learning to love myself each and every day. My world is no longer pitch black. My heart isn’t quite as heavy. I can finally cry when I need to, but I can also laugh when I want to. I’m not crazy, I am not broken, and I do not need to be “fixed”.
The way that I see it, I’ve lasted this long no matter what you’ve thrown at me. I am still standing. I am unbroken, and I will remain unbroken, just with a few dents and scratches. In the end, I will come out of this shiny and new and happy.
Things are getting better. It’s time that you pack your bags and get out.