To the Depression That Made Me Who I Am Today

Dear old depressed side of me,

You’re struggling again. I get that, I understand. I don’t want to seem unsympathetic, but I’m going to tell you a few things you’ve forgotten.

You love life: its beauty, its magnificence and its vast complex nature. Life is bold. And grand! When looking at the plants, your hands, a rock or all the small things that usually go unnoticed, you notice the even smaller things that make them individual and unalike anything else. The cells, the dents, the bumps and creases, the texture, the smell, the color, the radiance it gives off — it is pure art. Pure, spectacular nature. It’s pure because it is individual, and it is individual because it has lived. The pebble you treasure from your childhood trip to the beach was smashed and corroded to become what it is now. The trees in your local park have developed and changed from what were once a dozen small seeds, into the tall, leafy greens they are now. The flower patches in your garden were once just patches of nutrient rich dirt until they started budding and blooming, and you thought it was perfect. With winter so soon, you thought they would no longer be beautiful. But before they went, they continued to bloom, and somehow got bigger and brighter than you’ve ever seen them. And once they had gone, you realized it wasn’t such a loss, because now you have their memory; amber and dark brown leaves covering their place, creating another colorful garden in their place. Then an inch of pure white snow covers the garden and you enjoy the untouched, unique look it has; while still knowing the flowers will be here again soon enough.

You’re struggling and that’s OK. That’s OK. Seriously, just do as you always have — do your best to survive again. It will pass and with the help of therapy, the well-being centre, mind and your medicine, you are a lot better than you used to be. And this happens a lot less often now. So just rest, recuperate and don’t push yourself. Do what you feel you are able to do and no more. I promise you, you will be OK, and I always keep my promises, no matter what.

You love your family. You love your friends. You know that “being here” means being here for them when they need you, for when they find themselves upset or down on their luck, or even stuck in the worst place of their lives. You can help them through this, because you don’t want them to struggle more than they have to. You know that if you felt up to it, you could ask to go to the cinema or dinner, or if you’re out of money, you know they’d be up for a walk around town or for a cuppa tea at yours. You know it’s good to see people when you’re at this point, and you know you’ll feel bad until the second you do see someone. But once you’re there, you know how glad you’ll be to see them and speak to them.

You love to grow, to learn, to be great. You love telling colleagues, or even strangers, to do what makes them happy in life, so long as it isn’t at the cost of another’s happiness, because you love to make others happy. “Have courage and be kind,” is your motto — a quote from the Cinderella movie. Because without courage, we lose chances and opportunities, and without kindness, we lose ourselves and who we aim to be; the only thing we should be.

I have one final thing to say to you.

I love you.

I bet you’d never expect me to say this… I love you! I love you because you have made me a better person, you’ve made me realize what is important in life. You’ve made me grow and accept myself and realize I’m not alone after all. I love you because you’ve made me grateful, you’ve made me accepting and you’ve made me realize everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with respect and kindness, despite how they were or have been treating me, because you’re the one that made me realize everyone is struggling. They may not be struggling every day, and it might not be today, but they all struggle and they all cry and they all just want to live a happy life. Remember that they just want what you want: to live happily.

It hasn’t been an easy road and it has been a long journey; one I never thought would end unless I ended myself; a thought I longed for. I don’t know what else I can say…

Other than thank you — for making me who I am today.

Thank you.

You have lots of my love,

Kind regards,

The other parts that make me, me

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If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Unsplash photo via Jimmy Bay

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