Dear Depression...

The following was contributed by a patient who wanted to express your thoughts on dealing with her depression.

Dear Depression,

It's strange to think how far you and I have come.  I was barely 13 at the time, an age where most teenagers' days are spent with their friends and family doing the things that they love.  You were incredibly shy at first, but the more that I got to know you, the more I realized that you're no friend of mine.

As time passed, you became stronger as I grew weaker with each passing day.  I was no longer the vibrant, creative and cheerful little girl I once was when we first met.  Instead I turned into a somber, pessimistic, and bitter reflection of the person I used to be.

Slowly but surely, you had turned my life upside down.  You grew so big that there was no longer room for anyone or anything else except for you and I.  You bound my thoughts with your chains of self-destruction.  You dimmed the light that once shined so brightly within me.  Your soft whispers were like knives to my heart, convincing me that I was unworthy of love and happiness.  At my lowest point, you even convinced me that my life was not worth living.  The girl who loved to make others smile could no longer muster even a forced smile.  The driven girl who once had a passion for learning no longer could leave her bed long enough to go to class.  I believed that all of this had to be normal, and that everyone must have a friend like you, right?  Then I learned who you really are.  Depression, you are a liar.

With the help of those who care about me and the help of health professionals, I was taught who you are and what you are capable of.  I learned that you have a lot of "friends," some who could no longer handle your hateful words and are no longer here.  I also learned of people who have defeated you.  But defeat doesn't mean that you are no longer there.

You are a part of me, as I am a part of you.  You'll unlikely never leave for good, and I have made peace with the fact that I have to work alongside of you instead of working against you.  Some days you are bigger than others.  Some days you are just a passing thought as I go about my day, while others consume my every waking moment.  You continue to whisper words of destruction into my ear, but I now know that you are a compulsive liar and a thief after my joy.  But I will not let you steal another moment, another smile, my joy or my life any longer.  My light is growing bigger once again, and it's leading me right out of your darkness.

I still question why it is me that you chose to befriend, but dear depression, you are no friend of mine.