Dear Depression, looking back on my life, I am amazed that the relationship you and I shared lasted for so long. For a decade, I allowed you to take me to a place of no return; so many times, I sat on the edge of life and death, searching for a way to release you, only to end up right back with you.
I hate to admit it, but you almost accomplished your mission to destroy me. Yet, the keyword here is ALMOST, and almost doesn’t count!
Do you remember when you first met me? I was only ten – at that age I fed into every negative word spoken to, and about, me; I didn’t have enough sense to know better – and our relationship was birthed through harsh words from people in my life. Every day, I dealt with my classmates calling me “fat ass,” “dough boy,” and the worst of them all, the name which stuck with me for years, “Richard, the Bitchard.”
Our relationship was consummated on a day I will never forget: I came home, went into the kitchen, walked to the cabinet, saw the big cutting knife – I wasn’t ready for that one yet, so I grabbed a butter knife instead – sneaked into my room, and, well, that first dig into my skin bonded us.
Depression, you led me to believe I could really cut out the fat from my body, and I remember being upset at you because it didn’t work. But, viewing my blood rising up through my cut skin, intrigued me. For a split second, the pain I felt made perfect sense.
What the hell was I thinking? Why did I let you in?
I started taking karate classes the same year we bonded and I thought I was going to beat you because I learned how to defend myself. All of a sudden, my classmates stopped picking on me and so I thought I had beaten you. I grew taller, started playing basketball and, with my skills on the court, I had all the pretty girls watching me; I was on a roll, because you were no longer in the picture.
But, then, my grades dropped and my parents pulled me off the basketball team. I then heard your voice yell, “FAILURE!”
The moment I heard you, Depression, goosebumps spread over my body, and my mind slipped into a dark place. Just like that, you came back, and every ounce of control I had, was gone; I gave myself back to you, Depression; I claimed the knife in the kitchen, which I hid under my mattress, as mine, just as you had claimed me, as yours.
When I got my first girlfriend, I thought I had beaten you, again. I was in eighth grade, and for the first time in a long time, I felt alive. I went to school the next day filled with excitement in anticipation of announcing my girl to all of my friends. No sooner had I made it through the school doors, I was telling everybody my news! I couldn’t believe I finally had a girlfriend—a beautiful one at that.
As soon as I saw her, I said, after a hug, “Hey, baby!” She looked at me as if I had two heads and replied: “I don’t like you like that.” The joke was on me and my heart was crushed; the sting of that joke taunted me for a long time.
Going home that day, I had my plan of action. For some reason, I believed that inflicting physical pain on myself was going to help me feel better. From that point on, you became my comfort zone. The more I hurt emotionally, mentally, or physically, the closer we became. I didn’t know if I was better with you, or worse off without you.
During my sophomore year, in a new school where girls finally started liking me, I fell in love. As soon as I felt comfortable loving someone, and being loved in return, you came back, and love left. You returned with a vengeance, and I almost allowed you to kill me. The thoughts of death were strong, but something inside of me was stronger.
Why did you choose to bother me? What did I ever do to you? You tried to kill me repeatedly from the time I was ten all the way through college. Depression, I hate you and I don’t have any more power, or control, to give you. You tried me; you tested me; you annoyed me, but, as you can see, you didn’t stop me.
While you taunted me, you also caused me to feel a greater love for myself and others. Love brought me to that point in my life, and that same love helped me walk in my purpose, despite the pain. That love is stronger than you, Depression; that love beat you, and that love is between my scars.
Thanks for reading!
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