Letter to My Depression By Shyesha Washington

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Dear Depression,

For the last decade or less, we’ve been in a toxic relationship. Having you in my life made me feel weak and useless to the world. Even when I tried to leave you alone so I can experience happiness and happier thoughts, you came back with your version of my reality and like the weak person I am I fell for your lies and empty promises once again. My view of the world was like a blank canvas with all voids of color because of you, but this time I didn’t want my canvas to be blank of color. What I wanted was it to be filled with vibrant colors in every corner of the canvas. I didn’t want to admit it but over time the presence of you in my life scares me more than anything else.

At first, I didn’t think of you as something to be taken seriously because I could avoid you if I kept you in the back of my mind. However, you proved me wrong, when you started giving me the impression that suicide was the best escape from my life. You told me that if I die then my family would be better off without me and my negativity because they probably wouldn’t dwell on my death too long before moving on. At the time, these reasons made dying the best excuse for me whenever I faced the overwhelming events in my life. So, I thought about it on multiple accounts. How would I do it? How would I end my pathetic life? Would I hang myself, overdose from pills, bleed out or jump in the river and drown? All these thoughts plagued my mind because you wouldn’t let me think of the good memories that used to fill my head because you were busy making those happy memories seem like bad memories.

Although you made sure to remind that death was the easier way out, you didn’t see the anxiety that came with those thoughts. My anxiety for death made itself known when I started questioning myself about where I would go once I was dead. I didn’t know if I would be accepted into heaven or to hell for ending my life early on. Or better yet the question was if I would keep afloat in the endless turmoil of black void for the rest of eternity. So, as much as I wanted to die anxiety forced me to keep living because the fear of what comes after death worried me more than the happiness of my family.

So, in a way anxiety made me overcome a crucial factor for you but it really didn’t help that now I had another issue to deal with besides getting rid of you. You see anxiety was only good for when you plagued my thoughts with death because anxiety would give me an attack to make me think of something less scary like playing on the playground as a little kid. But somehow, anxiety got greedy for more attention and started to make itself prominent in my social skills. Anxiety wanted to show me that they were also in control by making it difficult for me to interact with others my age. They wanted to show me that everyone isn’t to be trusted or allowed to enter my life and make me feel a tad bit normal. Which made it hard for me to make more friends outside of my comfort zone.

Furthermore, I’m tired of you and the anxiety you brought along trying to ruin everything good in my life. First, it was plaguing all happy thoughts with negative ones. Then it was trying to convince me that death was the answer to all my problems that YOU created. Lastly, it was trying to control my interactions with others to the point that speaking to other people scared me, because of all those things and a lot more, I decided that our relationship must end here.

So, I reached out to a therapist for the first time in my life who I believed could help me become the person I wanted to be without you forcing your way back in. Though from time to time I feel your lingering presence in my life, I just want to you to know I will not be falling for you again. I will not let you control me or limit my imagination from the life I should be aiming for. Nor will I let you try and tell me anything wrong about the people I choose to let in my life. My life from this point on will be filled with positive people, happy thoughts, and dreams of a life filled with emotions I was never able to express.