January 22, 2016 by Cláudia
After 8 years of knowing you, I would like to say – thank you. For a very long time I have hated you, not realizing I was hating myself. Because you and me are one. I wanted you to leave, I wanted to tear that part of me out of myself and continue on living as though you never existed. I thought that would make me happy. I thought it was all your fault – all the pain, all the anxiety, all the self-destructive thoughts… I was unfair to you (me) and I’m sorry. I treated you with such unkindness that it is no surprise you were darkness sometimes.
Now I realize how important you were to me. You kept me from turning a coldhearted person. You kept me from hiding and burying my emotions. A lot of times I thought you made me feel like I wasn’t myself anymore but curiously enough you helped me stay who I am. When I was a child, I had all the dreams in the world, I wanted to make the world a better place, I wanted to help everyone in the whole world. But then things got out of track. I learnt about the darkest side of the human being. I learnt that the world is unfair and I got convinced that in order to thrive one had to circumvent morality and step in each other’s toes. I lost faith in God, I lost faith in goodness and I lost faith in myself. Before you came in, I didn’t know who I wanted to be: I followed pointless trends, searching for frivolous meanings in shallow places. I was cold and self-centered – I searched for fame and approval. If it weren’t for you, I would have lost myself, my life would have no meaning. In an unexpected way, extreme sadness made me realize I didn’t want the hollow life I was pursuing. I wanted something bigger, something meaningful. I wanted, to the biggest possible extent, to prevent people from suffering to that point of debacle.
And for all that I want to thank my depression. Thank you for making me compassionate, thank you for helping me relate to pain and to others. Thank you for helping me deal with my problems and endure pain. You taught me a lot of things, that I couldn’t have learnt from school or books. Depression told me a lot about life and about the human condition.
I have been fighting you for a while now, but I realize I don’t have to fight you anymore. You are part of me. I want to embrace you now. I want to cherish you and accept you as part of who I am. I want to help you now, and make you feel better. I want to take you with me in my journey and show you how beautiful things can be and I want you to remind me what suffering feels like and help me to put myself in others’ shoes. Because we are all damaged, you taught me that. And you taught me it’s okay to be damaged, it’s okay to feel like this and mostly, it’s okay to show how you feel. It’s okay to be depressed, the word depression shouldn’t be a tabu. I am not weak because I suffer from mental illness, I am strong. I am strong for admitting that I’m vulnerable and I am strong for admitting I have insecurities.
You and I have come a long way and I’ve never left you and you’ve never left me. But now I want things to change. I have to let go of some things, they are not part of my life anymore. They’re just memories from a distant remote past. It doesn’t matter anymore.
You no longer can dictate my life, it’s my life. I know it’s hard, but you have to let me go. You have to set me free to make my own decisions. We are a beautiful person and we can’t dwell on the past because it will prevent us from becoming all we can become. I know you are scared to be alone. I know all your fears. I know your monsters. You don’t have to be scared. I will never leave you.
I will never leave you, now I realize you are my friend. You have been my biggest friend all these years while I thought you were my biggest enemy.And I know you will never leave me. I owe you all I am now. But now I am capable of setting the course of my life. I deserve to be happy. And so do you.