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The Darkness of Depression Helps Me Appreciate the Color of Life

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Dear Depression,

Your visits to my head are all too frequent. You come so quickly and yet in hindsight, I am oddly and strangely thankful for you. I know you come and you tell me things like “life is not worth it,” “you are not enough” and “you can’t make it through this storm,” but I must tell you every time I battle through those thoughts of never making it, of not being enough, you somehow lose your power for a while. Every time I am able to leave those thoughts behind, I see the brighter side of life. Every time you come and go, I am left hoping and praying you never come back. Because once you are gone, I see the beauty and the colors of life I once couldn’t see.

With you in the picture, I see gray, black and white. I see the depths of despair and I see darkness I never knew existed. I see bleakness that drops me to my knees and makes me weep and pray I get out of this darkness. The terrible thing about you is I never know how long you will stay. Each time you come and visit me, you torture my soul and you leave me in isolation and I have to fight like hell just to get rid of you. You truly do torment me.

Without you in the picture, I see the bluest of blues and the all the colors that make up the spectrum of the rainbow. Oftentimes I see the colors mixed together more vibrantly. I see life as a beautiful canvas in which I can paint myself into a new beginning. I am able to love people well and I am able to contribute to society.

In a strange way, thank you for coming and visiting but most of all, I appreciate you leaving and leaving quickly. Once you leave, my life becomes brighter and more tolerable. I guess without you, I wouldn’t be able to see the colors I do.

Maybe in a strange way I am able to be more empathetic to others because of you. Here is what I mean. If you weren’t a visitor, I’m not sure I could love the darkness of others as well as I do. Because of you, I am able to have an incredible capacity to love the “unlovable” of others. Don’t get me wrong, I hate you depression. I hate that you rob and steal the joy from me and from so many others who struggle with mental illness. However the silver lining is I am able to show an incredible capacity to love others well.

As I close this letter to you, I want you to know I don’t want you to exist. But because you do, I beg you not to visit often and certainly don’t visit my friends who struggle with mental illness as well. Please leave us alone. However when you do show up, leave quickly.


A Tortured Soul

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Thinkstock photo via GrandFailure.

Originally published: February 24, 2017
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