A Letter to Myself From My Depression

Dear Alyssa,

I’ve been a really shitty friend. I’ve neglected you and bullied you and put you in dangerous situations without caring about your well-being. I’m truly sorry. I wish I could go back to the beginning, when all the dark thoughts appeared and found a way to resist them. I wish I could have stopped myself from hurting you with my actions, words, thoughts and lack of all the above. I know we’ll never get that time back, but it doesn’t do to dwell on what could have been. I’m sorry for taking so much away from you and replacing it with anger, self-hatred and resentment. I’ve wronged you in unspeakable ways and there isn’t a day where I don’t wish I could go back and change every bad thing I did to you.

I want to try to make things better between us. I want to reconnect with you and show you how much I care about you. I want to show you how much I’ve changed. And I will continue to change for the better, I swear it. We will never be “perfect” — we will have blemishes on our skin, pains in our body, jumbled words in our speech and blank spots in our mind. Our armor will be riddled with dents and scratches, but this doesn’t mean we are a failure because we are not perfect. Sometimes the most beautiful of objects and people are those that have survived through horrible tragedies and returned bruised and battered. Scars are not defects, but proof we survived what once tried to destroy us. And I’m so proud you’ve made it this far.

I promise to put you first. It’s been too long since I’ve asked myself, “How would Alyssa feel if I do this?” I want to try harder to take care of you in every way possible. You deserve it. You deserve so many things — things I’ve prohibited you from having, doing and most of all feeling. I want you to be blissfully happy. I want you to see the most beautiful sunset and feel its warmth on your skin. I want you to know what it’s like to be in love. I want you to have your heart broken. I want you to grow from it, becoming even stronger and wiser than you were before. I want you to be able to laugh at yourself without screaming internally. I want you to make more friends and create inimitable memories with them. I want you to be independent but still have a good relationship with your family. I want you to never be afraid to be yourself. I want you to sing at the top of your lungs while in a car with your closest friends, driving down the highway, surrounded by the most magnificent stars in the night sky. I want to experience all of these things and more with you — and not lock myself away or let the numbness take over. I want you to take risks and see, smell, hear, taste and feel things like you never have before. I want you to live.

I want to fight for you. I want to fight with you, no matter how tough the battle is, no matter how long it takes and no matter what the outcome may be. I’m in this with you for the long haul. I hope you can forgive me, and I hope you’re just as optimistic about the future as I am. Together, we are fearless. Together, we will persevere.

I love you,

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Unsplash photo via Ian Schneider

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