Thought Catalog
April 13, 2017

To The Person Who Taught Me How To Live With Depression And Anxiety

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God & Man

I’m sure before you met me, anxiety and depression were just words thrown around as you scrolled through a newsfeed. Maybe you knew a person here or there who said they had it but for the most part, it never impacted you too much.

Our interactions at first were cordial and casual. Hiding behind the mask I wore often. And as you got to know me more and more you began to see who I really was.

I was overcome with fear of getting to know you and letting you close. I feared being met with rejection the moment you learned who I really was. I feared you leaving and anticipated it. But more than that I feared to let you into my world and dragging you down. I feared you perceiving me as weak if ever there were moments you saw me at my worst. I don’t like relying on anyone other than myself and I feared letting you in.

Because you didn’t deserve the burdens that come with me. You didn’t ask for that. And there are still days I question if I deserve you in my life because there are still moments I don’t think I do. But I have to remind myself you’re here because you want to be not out of a sense of obligation.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about depression and anxiety is it tries to lie to me every day and it’s a lie I’ve finally stopped believing it.

You entered my life and something different happened as we became closer.

You became this light for me. A light I used to have to find within myself on nights where I tossed and turned. You became a strength within me, that same strength I struggled to muster waking up some days.

It was a kind word. A smile across the room. A simple hug. One conversation. An hour set aside in a busy schedule. An ‘I love you’ as we parted ways. A favorite notification seeing your name across the screen. A tag to motivate me. A like to remind me I’m not alone. A message of something you wanted me to see. A text that changed whatever day I was having.

You began to accept me for all I was and the things I couldn’t be. Instead of telling me to change, you accepted me for the reasons I couldn’t. Instead of rejecting me you took the time to learn why I was the person I was. I didn’t choose this.

And there are still so many things I’d love to tell. Explanations as to why I am the way I am. But it’s almost like you don’t need me to explain it.

Moments of sadness I didn’t want to share with anyone, as I secluded myself, it’s like you knew. And I never told you any of those things, your name would just appear and I just wondered how you knew exactly what to say and when to say it. It’s a connection I struggle to understand fully. Moments of complete worry as I said too many things then apologized too often, you didn’t look at me differently. As every scenario went from zero to a hundred in my mind and you’d remind me it’s okay.

And I thought you’d leave. There were so many times I expected it. Instead of leaving you reminded time and time again you’d stay. Even in those moments, I tried to push you away. Even in those time, I swore you were better off without someone like me in your life. You stayed.

I never knew someone who simplistically understood or accepted this part of me. And maybe you don’t understand it fully how can anyone? I don’t even. But you loved me regardless of something I consider my greatest flaw.

Because it’s still a side of me I struggle to accept myself. But you taught me how to love even the deepest corners of myself I’ve tried to hide.

You taught me to forgive myself for things I wish I could control.

I can’t say this will ever go away. But you’ve taught how to live with it.

It’s the days I’m in bed longer than I should be, you motivate me to want to get up and do something.

In moments of doubt, you fill me with clarity and a confidence I’ve never known.

It’s the nights when every thought keeps me wide awake, that voice tells me I’m alone I think of you and I know I’m not.

You make me want to be the best version of myself. Your presence in my life gives me something to always look forward.

You believe in me in ways I’m still learning to believe in myself.

You are the hope on my bad days, you are the light during my darkest days. You are the motivating words I reread often.

You have changed my life. You have changed me. And I don’t know if you even realize it.

There are days I feel like I owe you an apology for the person I am. There are days where I want to tell you, “it’s okay to go. You’ve done enough.” There are days I feel like such a burden in your life and I don’t deserve all the good you’ve brought into mine. But like many things depression and anxiety try to convince me of, I know that is a lie. At least I hope it is.

When people ask about faith and the things I believe, I think back to people I’ve lost who I know they watch over me. I know we are destined to meet again when my time is up.

But I believe angels walk among us. As do demons. Demons within ourselves attempting to lead us to utter self-destruction. But on the other side of that are angels in the form of average people, who are so much more than that. I look at you and believe there is good in the world simply because someone like you exists in it.

And when another Sunday comes and I’m on my knees praying, the only thing I have to say as you cross my mind is, ‘Thank you.’ TC mark