For me, writing has always been a sort of solace. If I’m feeling overwhelmed by my thoughts, I write to get them out and organize them. I have countless word documents on my computer from over the years. Most of them are short; just a few lines I wrote when I needed to vent. I typically feel the need to vent when I’m in a bad state, and so a lot of my writing is quite sad. Some of it, though, is downright scary – even for me. It’s those documents that remind me of how very real depression is.
I make an effort to write when I’m in a happy mood, too. I write to myself so I can read it when I’ve fallen back into a depression. I read my own happy thoughts as a reminder that I’ve been there before, and I can get there again.
Although I am feeling strong right now, not everyone is. And I wasn’t always. The following is a rework of many recurring thoughts I’ve had when I’ve been depressed.
I’ve written it to anyone who is trying to support a person suffering from depression. I get that it can be exhausting to care for someone who doesn’t seem to respond to your attempts to help. I wrote this, hoping to provide some perspective – to both parties.
You may never say it, but I know you resent me. At least sometimes.
You resent me for holding you back. You resent me because you don’t want to be stuck here, looking after me. You are annoyed by me. You wish I had no problems, so you could go out and do whatever you want, whenever you want, and never have to worry about me.
I’m sorry to put you through this.
I get that it’s hard for you, too. You want to understand but you can’t. You can’t because you’ve never experienced this – and I am so glad for that, because believe me: this fucking sucks.
You want to provide solutions. You want to fix my problems. But you can’t.
You know this isn’t my fault, but sometimes you forget. Sometimes you get mad at me for being such a downer. And sometimes, you do blame me – you say it is my fault, and that if I’d just get out of bed, everything would be fine.
No. It’s not that simple, although I wish it were – and I know you wish the same.
I want so badly to want to do things. I want so badly to want to go out. I want so badly to want to be social. But I don’t want to. I can’t want to. No matter how hard I try to want to.
I want to believe that people like me, and that they want to be around me. But I can’t believe it. My mind won’t allow me to believe it.
I know that my negative attitude brings my negative thoughts to life: I know that no one wants to be around someone who is sad all the time. You don’t need to remind me of that.
Try to remember that I can’t help it. I didn’t choose this. It chose me, I guess.
Support me by reminding me that this is now; this is not forever.
Validate my feelings, because what I’m feeling is real. Accept the fact that I am the way I am right now: I am sad. I am feeling worthless, useless, and hopeless. Validate me, and then remind me that you’re here for me; that WE will get through this together.
I know you’ll have moments where you resent me. That’s okay. This isn’t a walk in the park for you, either. Just try to remember it’s not me you’re resenting: it’s the depression.
Help me instead of hating me.