Wednesday, 16 March 2016

My Open Letter to Depression

Dear Depression,

You have been in my life for far longer than I ever realised, skulking about in the shadows like a malevolent troll.  You slowly depleted my confidence and wiped the smile from my face, and yet all the time I thought I was to blame.  I believed that I was too weak, too boring, and too insignificant and I almost let you win.

You made me feel so lonely that I believed there was an invisible wall around me.  I began to feel discouraged by everything the future had to offer.  You got to me in so many ways; emotionally, physically and spiritually.  I could no longer find comfort in the things that once helped boost my wellbeing.  You cut me off from the beautiful world and laughed as I floundered in the choking fear that tried to drown me.

Maybe it was you that contributed to the physical pains I endure every day.  My muscles scream with every movement.  I ache all the time, I can’t sleep and I embark on moments on self-destruction with my diet, but I think you feed on these debilitating feelings.  You thrive on negative energy and found an inviting home in my suffering.

You distorted how I saw the world, stripping away the abundance of love and friendship that surrounded me and made me believe that I was alone.  I saw myself as a burden to my friends; I supposed that I had become the negative force in their lives and trusted that they would be better off without me. 

I understand that you may always be a part of my life but I refuse to let you win.  You can take away my light and make me feel inadequate; you can terrorise me into considering that I have no control, but you are wrong.  Yes, I will have bad days, but that’s okay because I now realise that every morning, when I wake, I have a choice – and I choose to defeat you.

I vow to live my life with passion, creativity and love.  We aren’t on this incredible planet for long and you have taken far too much from me already.  Tomorrow, I will rise like the sun and let my light shine because you will have retreated into the shadows.

Thank you for the lesson you have given me but I’m now fully qualified to take back control. 

Regards

Shelley x

24 comments:

  1. We will do it together Shelley, one day at a time. And remember where you have come from - you are going somewhere as light as it was dark, as beautiful as it was ugly. Blessings x

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  2. I'm so with you on this one! I recently wrote myself a similar letter about anxiety - and I'm really fighting to stay on top, but my life is so much better as I stay ahead of it.
    I've had clinical depression since I was fourteen, so I know it like a shadow too.
    Grab that creativity, passion and love, go right with it and shine! xxx

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. It's so lovely to hear from others who can confirm that I'm not alone. Somewhere in the brain fog we often forget that simple reality. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, it's greatly appreciated. xxx

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  3. Ah Shelley this is gorgeous. You'll get through, you are so strong and talented and found something you love to do as well as are good at-that's amazing! Big hugs xxxx

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  4. Must be bloody awful. I thank any God who's listening for not afflicting my brain with this particular chemical imbalance. Unhappiness and difficult times you can deal with, however awful, because you know the strategies and that it will end, but real depression must be a terrible illness. A tribute to your strength that one would never know you suffered, Shelley! xx

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    1. Thanks, Terry. I think that's the allure of social media - it allows me to wear a mask and be the bright and bubbly person the world expects me to be. On the flip side, this can add to the overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety. It's therefore very therapeutic to show my friends (both online and physical) that behind the emoji's and the shared jokes, I'm fighting a silent battle - one that I will win! My strength also comes from the positive influences that surround me - my children, family and friends, and I include my online friends, such as yourself, in that! xxx

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  5. Brilliant letter, I need to convince myself of this too...

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. Self-belief can be our biggest fear sometimes, I hope you are able to believe in yourself soon x

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  6. I've tried to comment three times and don't know what to say. I am overawed at your courage and send you love and wish you strength in your fight to beat this awful thing. Hugs Sue xx

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  7. Very powerful and moving, Shelley. That’s the worst of the silent battles, no-one can ‘see' what’s going on. It’s a horrible thing to cope with. I hope your candour helps others too. Kick it in the butt!! xx

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    1. Thanks, Cathy. Maybe this is where my love of strong female book characters comes from - a passion to learn how to kick butt! xx

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  8. It lurks just underneath the surface, Shelley. This is such a good post. Thank you.Jx

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  9. Sometimes I feel as though there is no choice. Your words ring true.

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    1. We always have a choice, Tea. It's remembering that we do that's often the problem xx

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  10. i loved reading your letter Shelley i admire you for your strength and self belief i wish i could conjure up the strength to take controle of my life too xx

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    1. Thanks, Miriam. It took me a long time - and small steps - to regain control and yet I still struggle every now and then. The best advice I can give is to be kind to yourself and the rest will follow xx

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  11. Knowing your smiles it's hard to think you suffer(ed) depression. Goid on you Shelley for overcoming it and Depression... please style away from.this sunny lady ��

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    1. Aww, thanks for that, Ritu. The good days are outweighing the bad at the moment so that's a wonderful reason to smile :)

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  12. You're much more polite to your depression than I am to mine! *grin*

    I'm sure you're well aware of what F.I.N.E. supposedly stands for (F'ed up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional) in support circles, but I have to say, I think they should revamp the definition to include your graphic. It is spot on!

    *hugs*

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    1. Ha ha, I fit all of those things!! Over the years I've come to really loathe the word 'fine'. Maybe I should petition for the return of 'dandy' - used together it doesn't sound so bad. Yep, I'm fine and dandy, thank you ;)

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