I am writing this to you because….
I want you to know that I am sorry. I hope you never feel what I am feeling right now. What I have felt in the past few months. I have depression. Sometimes it brings up anxiety attacks, but for the most part, this letter is about my depression. I call my depression, the Devil Depression on my shoulder.
I hope you never meet the DD personally, but you’ve met him through me. I try to put on a brave smile and pretend that nothing is happening. I was afraid if I was open and honest with you, you may not understand it and think that I was over reacting or worse yet, that I was seeking attention. I hide my depression because I’m afraid of being judged as terminally sad or worse yet, crazy.
Let me explain something about my depression and depression in general. It’s not about being sad all the time. It’s like this huge chasm in front of me that I can’t see a way around or over. I end up crying when no one is looking wondering why is this happening to me? I’m not like this. I love to smile and laugh. My brain gets overpowered by the DD and sometimes a good cry will clear him away for a bit. Sometimes it takes a day or two. But I have always been able to make him shut the fuck up and let me live.
I wish I could show you that sometimes I can’t control the DD. I wish I could be as happy and focused and see things as they are. You make things look so fucking simple and I struggle like a mother fucker. When I look at you, I see a confident, amazing, beautiful human being. When I look in the mirror, I see a useless human being.
You may want to know what made me depressed. I don’t have an answer. I can trace it back to my tweenage years when my father drank and things were said to me that crushed my beliefs in myself. I don’t know. I didn’t ask to be depressed. I didn’t fill out a form when puberty hit and checked off body hair, periods, acne and oh fuck it, let’s throw in depression for the total package.
I worry that I can be a burden to you. An albatross around the neck so to speak. I don’t want you to become tired of me being like this. I’m honestly tired of me being like this. I’m afraid of burning out the relationship between us. I don’t want to burden you with the emotions I am feeling and don’t want to be unfair to you. I try to take this on all by myself, but sometimes the weight is too much for me to bare. I’m afraid if I speak to anyone, I’ll burst into tears. Sometimes it’s all I can do to hold it together.
But that’s not what I want you to see. Me; trying to hold it together and not fall apart. I want you to see that I am a fighter. That I am determined. That I am brave. Yes, brave. I may not seem the heroic type of person, but I am fighting this battle harder than I ever had. I’m just starting to tell people that I have depression. I’m tired of people thinking that my resting bitch face is a permanent look for me. It’s not. Sometimes I have to pretend I’m okay when I’m not. I want you to understand that I don’t like pretending and often it’s very very hard to keep that up.
I want you to know that I am sorry for the times I have been curt and spiteful and just a straight out bitch. My words were cutting and blind and uncalled for. I’m sorry for the times when you were trying to support me and show me all the good around me and I took those kind words and allowed the DD to twist those words into negativity in my mind. I am sorry.
I wish you didn’t have to deal with this; Ironically, you seem to feel the same way about me. So this is a learning process for both of us. I promise to keep trying to find new ways to cope with my anxiety. In return, I simply ask that you keep being my friend, even if don’t always deserve it. Friendships like ours are often what keep my head just above the water. And that means everything to me.
The hardest part of having depression is thinking I could handle it myself. But I can’t. I need help. Those three words were hard for me to say up until recently. I thought I could do this all on my own, that needing help meant I was weak and a failure at handling my life. I had to admit to myself that I was okay, when deep down I knew I wasn’t. And that is a scary thought.
I will be fighting this fight my whole life. There is no cure for depression. There are only ways to deal with it. I have to learn how I deal with it when the DD comes to roost on my shoulder again. I have brought you into this fight with me maybe not by choice. I love that you want to fight with me and be there to hear me out and be blunt and honest. And I will completely understand if you want to walk away from it. I will love you no less than I do at this moment.