I’ve done a lot of corny things in the name of mental health. This is one of my faves; it’s just as satisfying as it is utterly silly. Go ahead, write yourself a break up letter to depression. Here’s mine:
You’re my oldest friend. From my earliest memories to recent mental records, I can recall your numbing permeation of my organs; your denial of my mindscape’s yearning to occupy a room larger than the current room. You were there for me when I thought I might be the exception to warn me that I was the rule. You were the warm weighted blanket when all I could do was stare into space. You were there to ground me when I stumbled into pockets of ecstacy. You were a key essence in the scent of my soul and I could always settle comfortably in your musky base note. Your potency piqued my attention in childhood, blended into my being through adolescence and coalesced as a feature of my identity in adulthood. You made it okay not to get up, not to try, not to fail. You made watching movies about people doing things better than actually doing things. You made ice cream taste so good.
I thank you for your service. I commend you for your persistence. Without the consuming scope of our affair, I would not have decided to kick ass. Without your bewitching whisper daring me to learn the beauty of the color beneath my skin, I wouldn’t have needed to wake up. If you hadn’t taken the wheel, I might not have had the time to stare out the window, watching one moment blur into the next. Without your monochrome brush I might not have noticed the brilliant orange butterfly, which has decidedly tugged on the corners of my mouth.
I don’t need you anymore, so fuck off. We’re over and makeup sex is off the table. No longer will you obscure my talents. No longer will you instill fear of action. No longer will you fix the ceiling of joy. I cannot unsee the butterflies; I cannot forget the power of my will.
I am interesting without you. I am intelligent without you. I am complex and free from your reign. I am more powerful than you could ever be, because I created you. You are no longer embedded into my personality. You will come knocking and I will be rocking out to the sweet subtle sounds of the present moment. You will come pleading, placating, justifying, beguiling, mediating. My answer will be the same.
Talking about depression is taboo in this culture. We take a pill so as not to burden our neighbor, without stopping to think that our neighbor could also be depressed. Consider me your neighbor and be a burden. If the ubiquity of depression is never revealed, we’ll never amass the energy to abate it’s influence on the collective consciousness.
It’s taken me many years, books and podcasts for the message I have always intellectually understood, but never actually felt, to settle into my bones: depression is a choice. It’s the easier choice for many, and it would be especially easy to dismiss my point of view as mere magical thinking. Allow me to retort: thinking is magical, and magic is not mere.
Share this message if you have ever been, or known, a person with depression.
I love you all,