To My Depression, the Unwanted Houseguest in My Soul

Hi there,

I would tell you, yet again, to leave me alone, but I know you won’t listen to me. You are a rude and intolerable houseguest, and I am doing everything in my power to remove you from my home, my heart and my life. I am pretty sure you are well aware of what you have taken away from me and why I want you to leave.

As a kid, you took away my “normal” childhood. Becoming my housemate when I was only 5 or 6, you began sucking the life out of my reality. I was already pretty well into the development of my autism, and I really didn’t need to also become depressed and angry. My parents could not get me to finish testing for my developmental delays. So I was never diagnosed. With my frustrations and confusions mounting up on me, it was so easy for you to find your way into me and into everything I did.

While I was maturing, so were you. I became more and more unstable, socially inept. Between a lack of productive therapy, serious developmental delays and you, I was helpless but to become an almost completely unmanageable child, an angry and out-of-control teen and a lost and confused adult.

I was 20 before I found someone I could trust, someone who had the answers I needed. By then, you and your bedmates had moved in and made your nest in my soul. I no longer remembered how it felt to not be completely locked inside myself. You made me feel heavy and sick. I felt totally useless and unwanted. Anxiety had moved in as well, and I was so scared of the world that I had trouble finding a therapist or any kind of help.

Then, this state took my one good thing, the one thing making me start to get well again, my newborn son. I lost it. You and your friends embraced me even more tightly than before. I became totally paranoid of anyone who asked me to sign a release to share information about me. I blew through therapists faster than ever before. I began to cut myself more regularly than ever before. I turned to drinking and smoking pot to numb everything I was going through. No matter how hard I tried to drown you, you wouldn’t shut up.

There seemed no way out of the black hole you and your friends created. I was too afraid of the world to seek help reliably, too depressed to handle most basic tasks and so lost in sensory overload that I collapsed within myself and became someone I couldn’t recognize as me.

Finally, I got help, real help. I was 23 years old. I had gotten divorced and had another child not living with me anymore. This time, my daughter was with her father. It was a kind heart that pushed me in the right direction. I fell in love and it was, and still is, amazing. I had someone driving hard on my behalf, advocating for me and helping me to get going again. He didn’t care that I was broken, only that I had the tools to get better.

After 10 years and two dozen therapists, I was getting good, healing help. I am getting stronger now, and most days, you do not sleep in my bed anymore. You still take a lot away from me, and your bedmates still get to me on occasion. Yet, I am in the process of making you leave me alone once and for all.

I am aware that this is a long and hard road, but it is my road. I will walk it.

Peace, love and bulletproof marshmallows

Mandey T.

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