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To the Depression I've Known Since I Was 12

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The first time I met you, I was 12 years old, huddled in my bed, hands clasping my ears,

I begged my parents to stop. They did not.

When you told me I was worthless, I would take a step back.

Your voice grew louder, and I shriveled.

You stayed, and I counted the days until the number reached 50.

No one noticed, and I prided myself for being such a good actress.

You whispered in my ear, “You are a failure and garbage.”

And no matter how much I fought back, your voice would never go.

People told me there were worse things in the world than parents fighting and fathers leaving.

I believed them, and I ignored the obvious signs you showed.

You made me believe life was not worth living.

When people asked, I could not explain.

You made me a pariah; I would run when they came asking me if I was OK, but I would never say that there’s a voice in my head telling me to jump off my roof, that there’s a voice in my head making me lose, that there’s a voice in my head… Do you have them too?

I heard about the time a friend got raped, and I wondered what was wrong with me?
Nothing had happened to me, and yet you would say jump, jump, and jump again.

I made you into a being, a person or a cloud who would follow me around, who no one else could see.

You are “a sickness who preys on the weak,” they said.

“Am I weak?” I asked myself. I “let” you in, didn’t I? And in return, you gave me sadness, but not a sadness I could not explain.

They told me to look at the light at the end of the tunnel, but I did not see the light, just darkness.

I will see the light.

You will not drag me down to the bottom.

I will crawl out of that hole.

You will not make me question my value.

I will see it no matter the cost.

You will not lead me to oblivion, for I am not meant to stay there.

I will fight.

I will conquer.

And in the end we will tumble, but only one will be the winner.

Follow this journey on The Mind Expressed.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

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 “START” to 741-741.

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

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Thinkstock photo by Mr_Khan

Originally published: March 13, 2017
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