Mental Health

An Open Letter to my Depression

Dear depression,

I’m not really sure how to start this; I guess I will just start by talking about how we met.

I didn’t really understand you at first. You were just like, a little obsessed stalker that wouldn’t leave me alone.

I couldn’t acknowledge you existed because I didn’t even know what depression was.

But you wanted to be known. You got louder and louder to make sure you got heard.

Before I even knew you, you kept me up until the crack of dawn, almost every night. When I did sleep, I fell asleep crying. This went on for months.

I was so sleep deprived that I fell asleep in class and lost my ability to function. I would also cry in the middle of class some days because I just got so frustrated with myself. I had no idea what was going on; I just knew I couldn’t control any of it. I felt that somehow this was all my fault.

But then you got what you wanted: attention. You caught someone’s attention.

I didn’t accept you until I started to get to know you a little better.

I did my research and talked to the school counsellor. I eventually went to the doctors and got diagnosed.

It was exhausting figuring you out. I didn’t need you in my life. I had enough going on at the time.

I wanted you to leave but then I realized you couldn’t. You were here to stay. It meant I had to learn how to live with you.

That was seven years ago. It’s really exhausting to think about what we’ve been through since then. You caused me some of the worst days of my life.

But I also feel a weird sense of comfort knowing that you were always there; you’re pretty much the only thing that has stayed by my side for the whole past seven years.

Sometimes when I have too many good days in a row, I start to get a little uncomfortable and think “Ok, where are you? I know you’re there and don’t you dare surprise me like you did last time.”

I remember everything we’ve been through together.

I self-harmed in high school and my first year of college. I remember the first time so clearly; it’s hard to believe it was six years ago.

People judged me. My best friend at the time judged me. They were just as cruel as you.

I stopped going to many family functions because you are not a fan of them. I went from loving being with my family to hating it and only going to the odd function.

I learned the hard way that you are not a fan of alcohol either. I was at a party with my current best friend and I got drunk. You ruined the night. And scarred me for the rest of my life. I ended up in the hospital.

I felt even worse after being released. No one, but my best friend, knew. I was alone and I had to pretend everything was okay. I struggled so much after that it could’ve been considered acute PTSD.

I went back to the hospital twice after that night. You pushed me too far, to the point where all my hope was gone and all I wanted to do was die. There were times where it was too hard to even breathe.

Last summer, I got into a huge fight with my current best friend because of you. You caused me to become too overwhelming for her to deal with. It was the worst thing you have ever done to me. We didn’t talk for almost two months. I had no one. I spent my days crying and screaming. I remember breaking down in the middle of class, not only once but a few times. I spent a lot of time wishing something deadly would happen to me. Every time I crossed the street, I thought about jumping in front of a car.

Why did you do those things to me? What did I ever do to deserve all that pain?

I know it’s no one’s fault. You are caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain that is out of our control. I’m not going to blame you because in order to do that, I would have to blame myself. That’s not going to happen.

Instead of blaming you, I’m just going to tell you the truth. I hate what you’ve done to me in the past. I hate how horrible you made my high school years. I hate that you almost won so many times. I hate that you emotionally abuse me. I hate that you’ve made me physically abuse myself. I hate what you do to my friends and family. I hate how you disappear for so many days, only to hit me harder than ever. I hate how I even find comfort in you some days.

Mostly, I hate that I can’t hate you because you are a part of me. No matter how much you try to convince me I do, I don’t hate myself. There are so many great things about me. I am worthy of life and all of my successes. I am not selfish as I spend a lot of my time sharing my stories with others and helping them. Even though sometimes you convince me otherwise, my friends love and care about me.

Over the past year or so, I’ve gotten stronger. I have less bad days and more good. I have grown up a lot. I take care of myself. I take medications to help calm you down. I stay motivated. I fight my hardest to make sure you don’t knock me down again. Even if you do, I have a best friend who will help pick me back up.

I will not let you run my life because I know what I am worth and I know I have people who love me.


Jessica Victoria
<p>Jessica Victoria, 24, is a writer and advocate for mental health, disability and LGBTQ+. She uses her personal experiences and knowledge to help and educate others.</p>

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