A love letter to a depressed friend

I’ve been reading your blog posts, y’know, and you need to keep writing them, for both of us.

Of course I know that we both have depression of the same sort and so we must have at least some similar feelings and experiences. I know that, but when you write about your suffering, I know and then I remember that someone – and then by expansion, everyone else I know with mental illness – suffers in the same ways that I do.

“Don’t compare yourself to others; you will never be happy that way.” Yes, I know, I know, but … I can’t help it, y’know? And anticipating the downward thought spiral doesn’t make it any easier to deal with or climb out of. I also know that I’m not actually a disappointment or a burden or too much maintenance, and I know that all bodies are beautiful and beauty comes from within and it’s also in the eye of the beholder and one day someone will love you for everything that you are and it will all seem worth it and there’s lots of love in my life and I’m worth loving and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and look through everything you’ve gotten yourself through and we are not our illnesses we are more than this it’s just an imbalance of chemicals and you’re allowed to have bad days and feel all that you need to feel and everything is valid, so long as it doesn’t invalidate another person’s existence and-

I know, I know, I know, and you know, and I know you know, and neither of us needs to hear that stuff – which is good, I’m not making fun of it at all – because it’s not that we forget it and it’s not like we never believed it. It’s just that we don’t always believe it. Or maybe we truly believe it, but we’re pretty done with suffering for now and in this way. And sometimes the break that we get – where we believe in ourselves and don’t mind our appearances and feel like we’re where we belong – is a pain because it’s a break, it’s a pause where the suffering is on hold and you know that it’s going to come back. The bit of dread that follows the thought “I think I may be happy right now” because you know what it’ll be like when “not happy right now” really means really not being happy and for much longer than “right now”.

And what a nice feeling it is when we feel anything. There’s the goal of feeling, and then another stage like the regret of making an unspecific wish for a genie “Oh I meant I wanted to feel good, not just feel any available emotion, a.k.a. bad”, and then there’s the ultimate goal of feeling good. And there’s the guilt of “Am I deceiving people by seeming like I’m truly happy when actually, very little is touching my heart?”

Oh, but don’t worry, don’t they say happiness is a state of mind and that you can choose EVERY DAY to be happy? I suppose we’re just choosing to be unaffected by everything.

I’m going to change my life. I’m going to choose to be in love and not be afraid of getting hurt and I definitely won’t remember the horrors of getting over crushes. Mental illness means we don’t get caught up on every little negative thought and feeling, right? When boys say nice things to me, I’ll think they’re genuine because I equally like my looks all the time. I remember years ago I used to try to look nice and it was for myself; I remember when all of my jeans were bright and coloured and I had no interest in things plain. And now I rotate through some blue jeans, grey blobs, and black tops, and I have no qualms with blending in the background and not making an effort to be noticed and I’m very okay over here, actually, no, don’t mind me, at some point I started dressing as I feel, I just want to appear very okay.

I don’t always want to talk about suffering and I’m guessing you don’t either, but just know that when you do, I’m still listening and I still love you.

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