My letter to you…

Dear you,

I’m sorry that right now, life isn’t going the way you planned, that every day seems a little worse than the last and nothing you could try to do can make it better. I’m sorry that you’re sad, that no one or nothing can numb the pain, not even for a second.

I want to say I know what it feels like because I’ve been there, that feeling of loneliness and unstoppable tears. I know what not being able to eat feels like and lying awake thinking ‘how the hell does this get any better?’ I know what it feels like to have no energy to do anything, no energy to smile or move, to just lie there, feeling nothing. I know what it feels like and in some way I hope that brings you some kind of comfort. But I know what I felt like isn’t the same as what you’re feeling or going through.

It’s impossible to control how you’re feeling, the way the darkness creeps in and just takes over your life bit by bit. I know you try to smile and try to put on this front, but you can only keep it up for so long before everything comes crashing down. Because this feeling wins. It always wins. Thats what you tell yourself anyway. Theres no hope.

I’m sorry that right now the dark is so familiar that strangely it feels like home. But please don’t get used to it, please don’t settle and believe you will never get out of this place. I know words sometimes don’t help and that nothing I can say will ever shift how you’re feeling right now but I hope you start to try, it will hurt like hell but please try.

I know you’ve been struggling for a while, and in some weird way I guess it never really does leave you. You do make it through to the light but you still have the past and the memories of what it was like. You still can remember the pain, but those demons don’t have that power anymore. You’re so much stronger than that.

I know that right now, it sucks. You have no direction, no hope, no nothing to wake up to and want to start the day. But I hope more than anything you just hang in there. Just hold on to the smallest piece of light, because it may not feel like it now but that small piece of light will soon become the sun and you’ll soon smile again.

You’ll start to laugh and hang out with friends. Breathing won’t seem like such a task and you’ll start to enjoy peoples company. You’ll look at different types of food and actually want to eat it, the smell of it doesn’t make you feel quite that sick anymore and you look forward to trying new things. You’ll wake up in the morning wanting to make yourself look nice, and when you look in the mirror you don’t flinch away. You smile. You see an unbelieveably strong person and you start to fall in love with yourself. You’ll start to appreciate the little things, like how blue the sky can actually be, or the sound of the waves when you walk along the beach. The laughter of couples that are sat in restaurants as you walk by and the way it can go from being so dry one minute to absolutely chucking it down with rain, and you’ll just stand there, taking it all in, because for the first time in a long time you can actually feel again. And it feels so good.

I know it may seem like a long way off, but I hope more than anything you just hang on to that image. Where you’ll smile again and it will be the most incredible moment.

One last thing, please talk to someone… please don’t hide away and keep it all to yourself. Yes you are incredibly strong but sometimes having people to talk to takes the weight off just a little bit. Don’t ever feel ashamed or embarrassed. You’re fighting something that sadly defeats a lot of people, but don’t let it defeat you. You are stronger than you know and having people to fight with you makes it seem a little easier.

Don’t ever feel like you’re alone. You’re not. Hang on to that. Hang on to hope.

You’ll soon breathe again, and I can’t wait for the day that you do. 

x

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Depression is a disease. Not a choice.

This post is probably one of the most honest things I’ve ever written. 

Aching. Tired. Alone. Scared. Exhausted. Miserable. Sad. 

You feel not good enough. You start to doubt yourself in every aspect of your life. You think you are not loved. You think you have no one. You start to constantly think about rock bottom, that this place you’re in now there is no coming back from. No one can hear you cry or scream, there wouldn’t be any point.

You believe that this is what life will be like now, its awful, horrific, the worst pain you’ve felt. But in some weird and twisted way you kind of get used to it, you get used to feeling not enough, you get used to feeling alone. You remember when you used to see the sun shine and how it made you smile, now it doesn’t make you feel anything anymore. But thats normal now. That’s how it will be from now on.

You try to think of when you were happier, when every day was filled with the sound of your own laughter, and how you loved going out with friends, but just as quickly as that memory comes it goes. This dark cloud won’t leave you, it enjoys your sadness, it feeds off your pain, there is no way you will ever win this demon.

Your friends call, they ask if you’re okay, but you don’t know how to respond. It feels like they are too far away to help you. They bring you things : food, water, company. Things that you needed so much in your old life, but now these things don’t matter anymore, they don’t really seem that necessary. That’s not your life anymore, all your wants and needs are blurred and nothing is clear. You just lie there. Awake. Unable to sleep.

Depression wants you to suffer. It wants you to feel that there is no hope, no light, no nothing. That life is just one big black hole. After a while the suffering starts to become familiar. You get used to crying every morning and every night. You get used to not sleeping or eating. You have no energy, you can’t smile, talk, laugh. You used to see bright colours, but now all you see is grey. No smiling, no laughing, no nothing.

People tell you to ‘just cheer up‘ – believe me, I would’ve loved more than anything to of been able to ‘just cheer up‘ or to ‘just be happy‘ again. So you start to avoid people – friends and family. You see strangers on the street – couples holding hands, families, young children, groups of friends. You don’t want to see them, you don’t want to see other people being happy when thats the one thing that you can’t be.

You feel guilty and ashamed to ask for help. No one would help you anyway, depression is just a silly word. So you put it off, you don’t ask for help and you keep living each day just as miserable as the last. But the thing is, depression isn’t ‘just a silly word‘. It’s not something to be ashamed of, it lies and tells you false truths. But my god depression is powerful. Its unpredictable and so so real.

The stigma behind depression keeps a lot of it’s issues and problems in the dark. It’s not easy to talk about, it’s very hard to grasp onto. I came across this really interesting article by Matt Haig – he goes on to say how suicide is now the leading cause of death in men under 50. With that statistic so plain and clear to see, how is depression not being talked about more, not being showed the attention it needs. Depression is a killer, it shouldn’t take a death for people to realise that.

There is life after depression, it may not seem like it at the time, but one day you will go on to live again. Hang on to that.

‘Sometimes it’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.’

x

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