Meg writes a letter to her depression, exploring the impact it had on her life, and what happened when she asked for help.
I never thought I'd say this to you. I've loathed you, put up with you, been overpowered by you for so long. You've sapped me of self-confidence, of energy, of the enjoyment of things I love. But you've also taught me a lot, and for that I guess I should say thank you.
Because of you, I am resilient.
For the more you've hung around, the more I've dug my heels in and armed myself to fight. Because of you, I am resilient. I know that even in my weakest moments, I have strength, more strength than you'll ever have. Because I am so much more than you. However many times you knock me down, I will always get back up.
It [depression] may be a dark cloud passing across the sky but – if that is the metaphor – you are the sky. You were there before it. And the cloud can’t exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud. (Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive)
For I am the sky.
You've made me have to reassess everything I know, to feel lost without hope of being found. You've turned daily activities I took for granted into great, huge tasks- mountains even, too daunting to try to climb.
I've learnt to appreciate the little things.
The more you made me feel this way, the more I've learnt to appreciate the little things. I've seen that, by living my life the best I can while having you dragging at my ankles, I am doing one the strongest and bravest things I can ever do. That getting up on those days when all I want is to hide myself under my duvet and wait for the storm to pass is one heck of a massive victory. And on those days when I can’t, knowing deep down that it's okay, because I have the courage to try again tomorrow. Despite what you do, I've found and I honour the ability I have within this disability. I am proud of who I am.
You've made me feel so isolated, yet still push people away. You've made me mask my emotions, feel unworthy of help. You’ve made me believe I am a failure.
But not anymore.
I do deserve help, and there’s so many people willing to give it. I’ve been open and honest with myself, and others. Surprise, it was nothing like I feared, I haven’t been rejected or thought any less of. I’ve been accepted in my entirety. Meg in all my Meg-ness. Unapologetically me.
I’ve learnt it’s okay to do things in my own time. I’ll get to where I want to go. I’ve learnt to do what works for me. To be aware of my emotions, check in on myself, know my triggers. I put my mental health first- and I’m so thankful I finally do.
I will be okay.
So, yes, thank you Depression, for without you I wouldn’t have been on this journey. The journey to knowing I am completely, unequivocally enough, and I will be okay.