A Love Letter to Myself When Depression and Anxiety Strike
I am capable of great things, of extraordinary passion and wholehearted commitment. I am smart, funny, warm and reliable. I am loved. These are things I know in my head and not in my heart. There are, I am sure, several reasons for that. But the one I address today is the life-long struggle of battling depression and generalized anxiety.
I went about 16 years without being diagnosed. I was sure I was defective, that it was my fault, that I needed to try harder and it would all go away. But it never did. I felt increasingly isolated and alone. My most intimate contacts still felt like strangers. The product of all this was ever decreasing self-esteem and a perpetual sense of personal failure. No matter what I accomplished, the steady fears and the looming cloud of emotional exhaustion that accompanies generalized anxiety and depression silenced any loving voice that tried to bring healing to the things that were fractured.
I vowed then, as I still vow now, to practice self love. With discipline. So, I am sharing with you a love letter I wrote to myself. After all, how can you love others if you can’t love yourself? I encourage you to do the same. You are not your illness. You have intrinsic worth, and there are people who love you without condition, in the midst of both failures and success. Let yourself bathe in the love today. Don’t give those critical, cruel voices any room to make your mind their own. All these positive words apply to you, too. Please, remember… you are loved.
You are so worthy, so capable, so strong. Friends, family and the like are passionate about your well-being and wish to see you happy, whole and healthy. You are loved. You have been blessed with a good job, with good friends, with a good community of loving people at your church and with an extraordinary best friend and boyfriend who loves you deeply and without condition. Your mom loves you. Your daddy loves you. God loves you. You have a car to drive, a bed to sleep in, food to eat. You are infinitely blessed. You are smart, resourceful, capable, brave and kind. You are stronger than you realize. Don’t give in, don’t give up. You are worthy of love and affection and adoration. You are succeeding and growing more each day. You inspire others. You have importance. You are precious and without blemish. You are not broken or damaged or second-hand goods. There is nothing “wrong” with you — different does not mean dangerous and mental illness does not invalidate you. Never give up. Never relinquish what matters most. Fight for yourself, because you’re worth it. I love you. I will never leave you. We can do this together. You are never, ever alone…
All my love,
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.