Dear Depression, hey, what’s up?

Dear Depression,

I feel like I’ve known you my whole life. I know I’ve known you since at least first grade. But, I’ve been working on myself for years now and I think it’s nice we’ve had a talk. Before you get made, I want to take this time to thank you.

You came into my life slowly, but not gracefully. I first met you after my mom died. You would make me stay up late and cry for her, even though I knew she was dead. You also made my cry for no reason and assume that everyone in my life saw me as a burden. And being told this constantly, you convince me you were right.

You inched your way into me and have managed to I wasn’t capable of nor worthy of love. You convinced me that I was a mistake and that nobody wanted anything to do with me.

You planted this self destructive seed in my head and it has pushed its way into my relationships, interests, and self image. I felt so broken and useless and would eventually not see the point in living. You convinced me to end it all.

But, obviously you didn’t win that time, because I’m still here. Up until that point, I was so used to you telling me things and you had convinced me I’m crazy, unlovable, and unworthy of respect and dignity. But, I didn’t think I should die. You tried, and succeeded, at dragging me into that darkness, but I didn’t let you. And this is where I want to thank you.

Because of that low I reached in my life, I slowly started changing things around. Sure, they were easy or perfect, and then still aren’t either. But, me reaching that low, me trying to figure out ways to kill myself, made me reevaluate my life.

All those years you spent making me feel so bad about myself backfired on you because really, they made me stronger. They made me more aware of all of the things that had happened and were happening in my life.

Those years made me understand my parents better as an adult. And You wanted me to suffer alone, but I have been able to talk about you, acknowledge that you are there, I have this strength in me that I never knew was there.

And, depression, you have been in my life for a long time. You’re why I held myself bad from doing so much more. You’re why I convinced myself that I shouldn’t: try out for a play or for the basketball team, ask someone to be my date for prom, and tell anyone about the abuse I was experiencing from someone that was supposed to protect me.

After years of trying different ways to get rid of you, I have learned how to how to manage and control you. I know when I think a negative thought, or when I’m feeling down about myself, it’s you whispering sweet nothings into my ear.

You have been so intent on hurting me and I still get visits from you.  But, from now on, I will think of the Beedle and the Bard stories that J.K. Rowling wrote for the Deathly Hallows. The story about the three wizard brother who escaped death. I’ll be like the third brother:

But though Death searched for the third brother for many years, he was never able to find him. It was only when he had attained a great age that the youngest brother finally took off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and equals, they departed this life.”’

Instead of running from you and trying to get rid of you, I will treat you like a friend. I will greet you and kindly tell you when you’re not welcomed. You will not be able to get a word in to criticize me or make me feel bad about myself. Especially when I surround myself with family and friends. The things and people who make me happy are able to counteract your hurtful lies.

Instead, I will remind myself that I am loved, I am worthy, and I am better than those who have managed to make me feel. I won’t become someone who lets their depression define the outcome of their life.

Your friend,

Jerica

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