An Open Letter To My Depression

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Sydney Sims / Unsplash

Dear Depression,

I am not sure where you went but you have left me long enough to sit down and write. I keep looking over my shoulder because I know you will be back soon and I feel compelled to get this out. Your significant other that is anxiety, sits in the corner watching me, as we both anticipate your return. You seem to both function better when you are working as a team, all the while draining me of my functionality, and ability to be who I know I can be.

I am tired; tired of fighting you, and tired of feeling the need to prove myself to you even though we both know my efforts go unnoticed. I spend so much of my time scraping up the energy just to accomplish simple tasks. If it were up to you, the dishes would keep piling up, the laundry would remain untouched, and lately, you have been much more convincing when you ask, ‘What’s one more day of putting off these chores?’ Remember when I slept on my couch for a week because you made me believe moving the clothes off my bed was just too difficult to do. You said, ‘Look at the bright side, at least you won’t have to make your bed when you wake up!’ Little do you know that I look forward to that. Even a simple thing like making my bed in the morning can be enough to convince me that the day ahead has hope. Not when you are around though, it often takes everything in me to fight you off.

I spent most of my life living in denial of you, numbing you, and filling my time with tasks that would distract me from having to admit that there is something wrong. It is still hard for me to call you what you are because deep down, I don’t think you enjoy being talked about. You prefer to stay silent, and in the dark, because isn’t there where all the scariest things hide? I wish you would at least own up to the damage that you cause, that way, I wouldn’t always feel like I am the one to blame. You go by the name of ‘Dysthymia,’ or in layman’s terms, ‘High-Functioning Depression.’ Due to my ability to get up in the morning, show up for work, and go to the gym, you have allowed me to put on this mask that is good enough for the outside world to not ask any questions. This is me bringing you to the light because I am so drained of your ability to drag me into the dark.

I know this letter isn’t going to change anything between us, for you tricked me into signing this life-long contract. Certainly, there must be a way for us to get along better, or at least, find a way to work with each other vs. against. What is it going to take for us to be on the same team? I have accepted that you are here to stay, so why aren’t you able to let me escape you every once in a while? I have already tried substances, and even though they worked temporarily, they were ultimately just feeding your fire. I have even tried to kill you off, but I quickly found out what that would mean for me. I am grateful that I was unsuccessful in doing that, so why is it that you are still so adamant about that being an option? Don’t you know that without me, you couldn’t exist? There has got to be an easier way for us to get along. Can’t you see that I am doing everything I can to make us work?

I know I am stronger than you, and that I can overcome the thoughts you repeatedly enforce in my mind. There is just a weight to you that can often feel so defeating. This internalized, overly critical voice in my head gets frustrating when all I want to do in the world is good. You disguise yourself in perfectionism, all the while knowing that there is not an amount of tasks I can complete in a day that could fill me with a sense of accomplishing enough. You are tricky, conniving, and manipulative, and yet, there is still a level of comfort you provide me with. That is what confuses me most. Who am I without you?

Has this letter impacted you in any way, or are we just going to pretend that everything is fine? I know I have mastered the art of that, but there is no prize in hiding how I feel. Please depression, can we at least get on the same page? Are you even able to hear me out? I am willing to accept you for what you are, so can you at least do what you can to allow me to accept who I am? I do not believe I am asking for much, I just want to experience more days where simply surviving is good enough. TC mark

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