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A Letter to My Depression: You Will Not Win

Depression took my life. Physically, I am here and alive, but it dawns on me how sometimes I might as well not be. There are times when I don’t feel alive, where I don’t feel anything. Depression has taken so much from me, and the struggle I face every day to not let it take any more is exhausting. 

It has been nine long years, and we’ve yet to go our separate ways, yet to let go of one another. The saddest thing is; you have always been the one there for me whenever I needed it. Regardless of the outcome, every time I felt saddened or disheartened or angry or frustrated, you were always there. 

When I look back over the past decade, it strikes me how we’ve grown together. Each birthday as I got older, you grew stronger. Each negative thought you helped follow through into an act of self-destruction. Sometimes I try and wonder about what it would be like to not have you in my life, and I can’t. As peculiar and odd as that may sound, I can’t picture myself without you. You’ve made me feel like if I don’t have you, I don’t have anything. 

You are the monster under my bed and the shadow that follows my every step. You are in the empty seat next to me in class and the extra blanket on an evening to help me sleep. You are the voices inside my head and the music I choose to listen to… or should I say the music we choose to listen to. You are embedded into my life just as the scars are embedded into my skin. 

Over the past few years you have become less needy, which I am really grateful for. Now, instead of sitting on my shoulder whispering in my ear, you are the light breeze I feel across my arm every so often, making me shiver. 

I’d be lying if I said I had my life back. The memories of trying to take my own life will forever be engraved into my memory. But we are no longer inseparable. You have given me a part of my freedom back, and I thank you for that.

author playing with children in park

Of course, we still have the days (or weeks) where you become indigent and cling to my back. On those days I just have to remember to breath and be a littler kinder to myself.

These days the thought of death is one that hardly ever occurs to me, a comforting fact to relish in. There was once a time when it was a dominant and regular thought, but now it’s merely a sudden pinch on my arm that fades away after a few moments.

I find recovery such a strange yet wonderful process for one to go through. There’s a part of you that is thrilled at being able to look back on how you used to be and see how much you’ve changed, delighted that you were able to find a way to move forward. But then, there’s a part of you that always wonders how.

How you managed to make such a change, how you managed to think more positively than negatively. I am constantly at war with my brain trying not to focus on how things happened and focus more on the reasons why they did.

Depression, you may be fighting towards the climax, but you will not win the resolution.

Yours sincerely, 

One of your faithful disciples. 

And for those of you out there struggling with the same demon, please know: recovery is possible for every single one of you. 

It might not be how you expected, but things will get better.

You matter.

If you are ever in doubt that recovery is possible remind yourself that you do matter. You are important and loved and by gosh, you are so worth it. No one else can play your part in this world. 

Remember: there’s still some time to be surprised. Stay.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.