Folio · 2017

Dear Depression

Michael Johnson

Dear Depression,

I don’t remember when you decided to come into my life. Nothing bad has happened to me that warrants your presence. I didn’t invite you, yet you’re here. You hid in the shadows until I was at a weak point in my life. That’s when you snuck in. You are now a part of me. At first, I didn’t know who you were. I didn’t know why I couldn’t sleep or didn't want to eat. I didn’t know where the thoughts came from. I didn’t know what you were. I tried my best to ignore you, so you spoke up. You gave me a tough time. You made me question everything - about life, purpose, myself, the world. I started to listen to you.It'ss like I wasn't even thinking for myself anymore. You were controlling my thoughts. At first, you would only attack at night while I was alone. The perfect time to make me overthink. You told me things that eventually I told myself. “You’re not good enough.” “No one likes you.” Once you got me believing you, you showed up in the middle of the day. When I’m with friends and having a good time, you get jealous. Because of you I have learned to hide behind a fake smile. You are always there.

You are there when I wake up. After a long night of staying up and listening to you, I thought you would take a break. But when the sun shines through the window, you are there to greet me. I go through the day not knowing when you are going to step forward. You have me tied to your finger. You control my thoughts and actions.

You are there when I’m at work. The simplest task then becomes one the hardest things I have ever done. Something that should take a few minutes turns into something that takes hours. I feel like I have to do it perfectly or I’m a failure. No matter how well I do, I can count on you to be there to tell me that I failed.

You are there when I’m with friends. You want to be the center of attention. You don’t like it when I’m having a good time. You would rather me go home and sit in my room alone so you can torture me than to be with people who are distracting me from you. If I think I am having a good time, you decide it’s time to go home.

People think that all you are is sadness. But you are so much more than that. You are the voice inside my head, the lump in my throat, the emptiness where my heart used to be. You consume every ounce of happiness. With you, days don’t feel like days. They are just obstacles I have to try and face. You are not just sadness. You are the overwhelming feeling of being numb. Some people think that you can just go away if I think of other things. But that doesn’t work when you control my thoughts.

I wish you were a mark on my skin so people would know that you are real. Why on earth would I make you up? Stop being so invisible and intangible so that people can understand why I have these conversations in my head and why I can’t fall asleep because you are making my heart beat a mile a minute and making me fear and hold on to silly things that won’t really matter in a month.

Stop holding me back.

You are real. I’d ask you to go easy on me, but I know you won’t. I’d ask you to go away, but I don’t see that one happening either. I have come to realize that you are here to stay. But I’m not going anywhere either. You can try to tear me down, but you won’t be able to. You may win some battles, but you won’t win this war. I have accepted you into my life, but you are not welcome. You can do all you want to me, but I will always be stronger.


Someone fighting

Folio · 2017