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To My Sister With Depression: I See You

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You suffer from an invisible illness others closest to you can’t — or don’t want to — see. Depression causes you unseen pain and tortures you from the inside out. Your body hurts and your mind is tired and sometimes you just want to quit, and that’s hard for others to understand. But I promise I will try to understand, and try to help you through this. I see you, and I see you’re hurting.

I see you’re lonely, but you are not alone. I am here, and will not leave until you ask me to. What can I do to help? I can offer a listening ear, a hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on. I can show you funny YouTube videos to make you laugh, or encourage you with my favorite uplifting quotes from Pinterest. If you don’t want any of that, if you don’t want to talk, that’s OK. I can make you a cup of tea, turn on Netflix and sit here quietly. But I’m still here.

I see you doubting yourself, but please don’t. You are my sister and part of my heart. You matter, and how you feel is important. You are not unlovable, you are not unwanted. I know you feel like that right now, but that’s the depression talking. You are loved, you are wanted and your life is valuable. You are important to me, and what you’re feeling is valid.

Please don’t doubt yourself; you are loving, you are kind and you are beautiful, whether you are depressed or not.

I see that it’s hard for you to get out of bed today, and that’s OK. But when you do get out of bed, celebrate. It’s the small victories that will help you get through this. Taking a shower and doing the dishes seem daunting, I know. Take your daily tasks one step at a time. Do you need help? Let me do the dishes. Tell me what else you need me to do today. If you need me to, I will encourage you to stay out of bed. If you want to stay in bed today, that’s OK, but try and get out of bed tomorrow.

I see you blaming yourself for how you’re feeling, but it’s not your fault. You’re not choosing to be depressed, depression has chosen you. Being depressed is kind of like having the flu. When you’re sick, you forget how good you felt before. When you’re depressed, you forget what it’s like to be happy. But just like the flu, you will feel better. If you take your medicine, take care of your body and let others help you, you will feel better.

I see you calling your depression a weakness. Depression is not who you are. You are strong, probably stronger than you think, and you are a fighter. All fighters need someone in their corner, and I will be that for you. I will be here to remind you that you are not weak, and help give you the strength you need to fight through this.

During the times you feel small and unable to be seen, I want you to know I see you, and I see your pain. I care about you, and will be with you through this. When others don’t want to listen, I will. When others don’t want to understand, I do. You can look to me for encouragement, comfort and kindness while depression has you in its hold. I will do whatever you want, and whatever you need to help you feel better. You are not a burden, and you won’t push me away by feeling how you are feeling. You are the fighter, and I am your coach, ready to get you through this, but not to rush you. Take your time in feeling better, take care of your body and your mind. If you need me, I will be here, and when no one sees you, I see you.

The Mighty is asking the following: Write a love letter to another person with your disability, disease or mental illness. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.
Originally published: June 12, 2016
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