A letter to You…

I’ve lived with you for years… the last 11 to be exact. Only I was 10 when you first visited and I didn’t know who you were.

I came to become very well acquainted with you when I was 12, but your name was still a mystery to me.

I learnt your name when I was 14, but you’d already made yourself at home in the last 4 years, you were already ingrained in my daily routine. You were there when I woke up, when I went to sleep and haunted me in the night.

Hello, my friend or more appropriately, my enemy. I introduce to you all, Depression.

We’ve a very private relationship, you’ve always been good at making sure that I hid you. Descriptions of me always included words like loud, outgoing, smiley, and friendly. I was the master of disguise and you were my mask.

You are a disease that has ravaged my body. You are a heavy cloak that rests on my shoulders with a hood that hangs over my eyes.

You’ve a number of effects on my physical health, including but not limited to a constant sense of overwhelming fatigue, a lack of appetite, you rid me of my motivation and leave me bedridden for days.

It’s not necessarily everyday, sometimes there is a months when you seem to go easy on me. I will never understand how, or why, you work the way you work. The doctors will tell me that my brain doesn’t create enough of a chemical that makes me happy. They give me medicine to balance this, but the medicine is no escape. It leaves me numb, devoid of emotion, it gives me constant headaches and an even more constant nausea.

You took away my friends because some days it was easier to isolate myself then to put on a smile that I didn’t mean. You stripped my motivation so bare that it was too hard to even mumble, text, type or write a reply. But it didn’t matter to me because even when I was surrounded by friends I was always haunted with a painful sense of loneliness.. so I really felt no different when people slowly disappeared from my life.

There’s just no winning with you is there.

I’d learnt to live with you and we were getting along ok. We had our good days and bad days but I knew you well, I felt like we had a mutual understanding and whilst you always had one hand resting on my shoulder, always reminding me you were there. I was OK. I was normal.

But then, you invited your good friend to join you.

Hello Anxiety, welcome to the party. A newcomer who came into the scene only in the last 2-3 years.

You take my breath away… literally. It’s like you always have your hand wrapped around my chest and then when you feel like it’s an appropriate occasion, or sometimes no occasion at all, you squeeze my chest so tight I can’t breath.

You scramble my thoughts and blur my eyesight. You make it too overwhelming to leave the house.

You’ve left me a trembling, crying mess. Having to be swept away and numbed by medication, sleeping away and losing days, sometimes weeks at times.

I don’t know how to handle you Anxiety, you frighten me.

But you see, Depression and Anxiety… there is one thing I must remind you. I am a mother and you’ve taken away one to many days from me and from him.

He deserves me, the best of me. So I’ll continue to fight you because you are nothing compared to him.

You’ve made me feel like I wasn’t a good enough mother because I was over-powered by you, you put thoughts in my head, you made me think that he would be better off without me.

But the world is no better when it loses a soul. No matter how many thoughts you put into the heads of those that you plague. You are wrong. Because every child, every family, every friend needs us in their lives. No matter how insignificant you make us feel. Every life has significance.

So I’ll continue to battle with you every day but I’ve learnt my worth. I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunty, a friend. I might have depression but I refuse to have my life ruled by depression, I am so much more and so is every other person suffering with this.

So please, keep going. If not for yourself then for the people that you may think don’t need you, but do… and if you don’t have that, then keep going for a hope of a brighter future. No matter how worthless you may feel, you matter.

AG xo