An open letter to someone with depression

GIANNA CABRAL, Staff Writer

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Dear whoever is listening,

Depression is not something people want to talk about. It’s a topic that tends to be avoided, even though it’s an important conversation to have. Before you stop reading this, I know you clicked on this article for a reason. Maybe because you are struggling with depression or simply because you are trying to understand it. Whatever that reason may be, I’m glad you’re here.

I want to start off with a simple introduction – you know me. Maybe you don’t know what I have gone through or know my life story. You probably don’t even know how terrified I am to be publishing this letter, either. At least you know my name, as I do not know anything about you. I don’t know what we have in common, or even if we share any similarities, and I don’t know what battles you have faced, but I do know you are reading this because you, or someone you know, has struggled with depression at some time in their life.

I’m writing this because I want you to know, I know what it’s like.

I know what it’s like to feel trapped deep inside of yourself as if you’ve been buried alive. I know what it’s like to lose interest in everything that once made you happy.

I know what it’s like to feel so alone in a world with so many people in it and yes, this includes all of the caring people you’ve pushed away, leaving you with just yourself. I know what it’s like to constantly be in a battle with yourself and always feel like you are losing.

I know what it’s like to live with depression, too.

Although, if you came here thinking you’re going to heal overnight, you’ve come to the wrong place. I am not going to sit here and tell you tomorrow is going to be a great day because, odds are, it probably won’t be. I’m not going to sugar coat it because the day after tomorrow or even the day a couple of weeks from now probably isn’t going to be great, either.

But one of these days, whether it be a month or year from now, there will be a good day because I am sure of one thing.

I am sure there is hope out there somewhere. Hope for you, hope for me, hope for us.

There is a reason why we all continue to pull ourselves out of bed every morning, even if we haven’t found that reason quite yet. But, someday there will be a day where you will finally be able to fall asleep without being kept up by your consuming thoughts. There will come a day where you won’t have to pretend to be happy because you truly will be. There will come a day where you look forward to your future instead of thinking you don’t have one.

I am not going to waste your time preaching about how you should reach out for help because I’m writing to you, friend to friend, and one thing you should know is that I was in denial about my illness for years so I can’t tell you how to live your life.

Unfortunately, I don’t know you personally so I can’t hold your hand through the storm, but what I can do is tell you that through this journey, there’s so much I wish I knew. There is so much I wish someone would have told me about battling depression, which is why I am going to tell you what I have discovered in hopes of you using the information to your advantage.

I have learned how to make something out of nothing. I have been at rock bottom, thinking there was no way out but I’ve realized that by taking your pain and turning it into something beautiful rather than destroy yourself is a good place to start. A majority of people see pain as a flaw and we usually want to cover it up, but you can turn it around and use it as a tool.

Another big step towards conquering your demons is to be honest with the people who care about you. I know this can be hard but when your best friend or favorite teacher asks how you are, don’t be afraid to tell them how you really feel. Don’t be ashamed to be honest because lying to yourself is only going to make things worse.

Don’t forget to make sure you take care of yourself. If you need a break, don’t be afraid to take one. If you need a night off of homework because it’s a bad day, don’t be embarrassed to put your books down. If you are exhausted and drained, don’t be upset about taking a day off of work or school to put yourself first. I know things may seem bad now, but they are only temporary and that is a promise.

Your demons are always going to be there lurking, waiting for you to give in but you cannot let them win. You are strong and deserve nothing but the best and I wish I could tell you that face to face.

Take it from someone who has been there. I’ve seen it all, my friends, and I’m here to tell you that you can do this, too. From one fighter to another, you are never alone.

Sincerely,

Someone who knows how it feels

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