May is Mental Health Awareness month, so I wanted to post something near and dear to my heart while there are a few days left. I’m modifying my signature dear debt letters and writing one to depression. Some of you may know that I’m a mental health advocate who is passionate about helping others. I’m passionate about mental health because I’ve suffered on and off from depression for half of my life and know the pain that this invisible illness can inflict. Lately, I’ve been dealing with another spell, and though I’m high-functioning, it still affects my day-to-day life. If you’ve ever experienced depression, you are not alone. If you have not experienced it, become an ally for friends and family that are dealing with depression. They need your support and most of all, your understanding.
I thought you were gone and we said our goodbyes, but you came running back to me. You came with all your baggage and said, “I’m here to stay.”
You made yourself at home, nice and comfortable. I tried to tell you I didn’t want you here, but I could barely open my mouth to say the words.
I tried to pretend that you weren’t there and go on with my life until you threatened to ruin everything. I found it hard to work because all my energy was going to you. My relationship suffered because you would get in the way. I stopped taking care of myself because you tried to tell me “What’s the point?”
As soon as you came back, everything changed. I started questioning myself. My confidence was shot. You clouded all of my interactions and made a mountain out of a molehill. Joy was a long lost friend, replaced by your best bud, Anxiety.
You brought an impending sense of doom that is hard to shake. And I hate you every day for making me feel this way. I wish more than anything I could “just snap out of it” or “just be happy” or think “positive thoughts.”
But it’s not that easy. Though it’s difficult, I am committed to defeating you, Depression. Why? Because I did not work this hard to get here to have you fuck up everything.
So, yes, I’m spending money on therapy. I’m even considering medication.
I’ll do whatever it takes. I know I can’t “cure” you. I can’t wish you away. I have to manage you, day in and day out. But this fight is not over. I am on to you, Depression.
I know that you are a liar. You’re irrational, illogical, and conniving.
And most of all, you are not welcome here.
P.S. If you’re struggling with depression or any other mental health issues, there is NO shame in getting help. I have found affordable therapy sessions through OpenPathCollective.org. You can also go to your local graduate school to get affordable counseling sessions. Your health insurance may cover some assistance as well. If you’re considering suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741.