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To My Little Brother, Whose Love Saves Me From Depression

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To my little brother,

First of all, I want to thank you.

During your short, innocent life, you have saved me more than you will ever know.

Coincidentally, my depression first made an appearance when you were just a loud, little angel in a onesie. However, we never let this get in the way of us forming an everlasting bond. There were moments during my teen years when I blamed everyone I loved for my depression – including you – and I’m truly sorry for that. In reality I was just envious and resentful that you had what I wanted: a “proper” family. You had Mummy and Daddy, but I secluded myself so much that it felt like I had no one. And yet I always had you.

You went through a phase of being extremely dependent on me when it was time for you to sleep. I remember having to rock you in my arms in the living room until you fell asleep, and then I would just hold you. You see, for as much as you were dependent on me, I was just as dependent on you. I depended on you as someone who would love me unconditionally and give me reason to just be.

Growing up, I think you were always aware I wasn’t a “normal” big sister. I would shout and scream, cry often and be absentminded for long periods of time. But even at a young age you were there to wipe my tears, tell me you loved me and give me the best cuddles known to man.

Whenever my bad thoughts arose, you were the first thing on my mind. Just the thought of you would usually make the bad thoughts stop. Sometimes I would think back to a memory of you, and other times I would think about all the things I have yet to witness your beautiful self accomplish: your first day of high school, your first relationship, your first job, or even the first time you stagger through the front door after having “only one drink.” I imagine not being there to guide you through all of these milestones, and every time I do I’m left in tears with a renewed motivation to live.

"If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remember: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we are apart, I'll always be with you." -Winnie the Pooh

At only 8-years-old, you’re too young to fully comprehend the nitty-gritty reality of my mental health. So far you’re aware that sometimes I have a “poor head,” and when that happens it makes me sad, but it’s nobody’s fault. You already know that when this happens I may stay in my room longer than usual and have a little cry, and you know the best medicine is a cuddle from you and Mummy.

You’re not only my little brother – you’re my little guardian angel of whom I couldn’t be prouder.

I hope one day I will see a light at the end of the tunnel and be able to escape the darkness, but no matter what happens, you need to know I love you, now and always.

Big hugs and kisses,

Your Natnat

Natalie and her little brother

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.
Originally published: July 2, 2016
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