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An Open Letter To My Loved Ones About My Depression

21/03/2017 14:04

I am not really sure where to start all of this off, my story is so long now I feel it would read as a novel not a letter...

I suffer from an illness called depression and sadly it is an illness that will always be there. There are times when I feel really good and there are times when I feel really bad. While my illness is a part of who I am, it doesn't define who I am. Even on those dark days when I feel as though it has engulfed me.

I am still me. I am still the caring, loving person who only wants to see the good in people and be a good person myself. I know it doesn't always come across that way, because sometimes the depression makes me despair, makes me angry or makes me irrational. Sometimes it makes me hate myself beyond measure.

To one day look in the mirror and feel content with what I see is a day I long for, but rather than just long for it, now I aim for it. One day I will get there. One day I will have adequate self esteem and be at peace with myself. One day I will have mastered how to mute those negative thoughts and only listen to the positive ones - the real me I like to call them.

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I will mess up. I will over analyse situations and I will have set backs. The main thing is though, I am dealing with it. I am facing it head on. I used to be so ashamed of who I was, especially when I was a teenager unsure why I had such weird and dark thoughts. I was so ashamed and NEVER wanted to admit to people how I really felt. I secretly carried my depression with me into adulthood and tried to stifle it only for it to grow bigger and bigger as the years went on. Alcohol didn't diminish it, even though I thought for years that it did. I was self medicating and assumed that alcohol turned me into the confident, charming and funny person I wanted to be. It didn't. It just made the issue worse.

One day the depression was too heavy to carry that it crippled me and I couldn't get up again. But that day I changed. I faced it head on and told myself enough was enough. I couldn't continue living this way and something had to change.

Now I have to analyse my thoughts and tell myself positive things every single day. Some days are easy to get through and others aren't. If I am not mindful of what I am thinking I can slip up. I am human, I accept I will slip up. I will probably mess up a lot more than other people do but I am not perfect. Far from it. I am not looking for anything but understanding. I don't need pity or even forgiveness. Just understanding. Understanding that I suffer a crippling illness but that I am still me. And I am getting stronger every day.

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