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When Depression Returns to Your Thoughts Uninvited

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Dear Depression,

Here you are again. Uninvited. Unwelcome. And, it seems, unavoidable.

I knew you were coming back to see me. I felt it in my eyes, as I watched the brightness twinkle away. I felt it in my shoulders, as I started to droop and slouch. I felt it in my steps, as my feet became weighted. Depression, I knew.

I found you in my thoughts, telling me what I can’t do and asking me what if. Whispering not good enough and focusing my attention on what could have been better, smarter, cleaner, prettier. I found you in my words. I heard myself saying always, never, nobody, everybody, should, enough, can’t. And worst of all, I found you in my feelings. I found your pit of sadness in my stomach. I felt your fingers of anxiety creep over me like frost on a window. You threw your heavy wet blanket over my heart and tried to suffocate my joy. Depression, you tried.

I’ll be honest. You scare me. When I think you, speak you, feel you, I am scared. A prickly cold sense of panic washes over me and I think oh my God, no. Not again. I can’t do this again. The thought of getting sick almost takes my legs out from under me. Almost makes me feel helpless. Almost.

But helpless is a lie you tell me. Hopeless is a road you lead me down. And this time I won’t go.

I know you’re here but I won’t go there. Depression, can we make a shift? Choose a different path? This time I’ll talk back. I’ll answer your nobody ever with somebody does, your not good enough with doing my best. I will fight to stay in the present moment when I start to ruminate on the what ifs. It’s so hard to change but I’ll try to tell myself I did, I can, I will. I will speak your name out loud, depression. Because that takes away your power and makes me less alone.

Because the truth is, depression, I’ve done this before and I can do it again. I will take a deep breath and accept my fear for what it is. I’ve seen you at your worst and it was dark and black and terrifying. I am scared of getting sick and I am stronger now than I was then. I’ll hold on tight to both of those truths – you can’t snatch my hope away. It’s mine. I earned it.

Depression, you may come and go, but I won’t ever stop. I won’t ever stop trying and fighting and hoping. My will is strong and my spirit is alive. So let’s go. Let’s walk together if we must. But this time you won’t drag me behind you, choking me in your dust. This time we will walk side by side. Uncommon friends on an uncharted path. It’s just you and me, depression.

Will you take my hand?

Follow this journey on Blue Light Blue.

Originally published: April 14, 2016
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