July 18, 2016

An Open Letter to my Depression.

girl, paint, sad, artistic,

Dear Depression, my cold lonely friend—

Our friendship needs to end.

I thought it best to write to you, seeing as you never listen to a word I say. I have tried to talk to you on many occasions and failing that, I have even tried to avoid you. But unfortunately, you never seem to get the message.

You are the argumentative friend, the party-pooper, the jealous girlfriend and the “woe-is-me” little girl who pities herself. You are the voice at night reminding me that I am alone, and that whilst I love my family dearly, they may not understand our relationship.

You are the tears behind the smile and the disappointment in my heart. You are the clouds in my mind and the black tar on my once colourful soul.

I don’t wish to hurt you, my somber friend. I once relied on you to protect me from reality—to hold my hand whilst I cried on your shoulder and to keep me from entering the darkness you possessed. You helped me connect with my creativity and showed me how to feel music and art with deep, raw emotion.

But my dearest, please detach from my quivering soul.

Your darkness has possessed me. Your gloomy black soul has attached itself tro mine. My colours are splashed across our souls like supernovas in space. My happy thoughts are consumed in yours, like stars in a night sky.

Despite the beauty that we have created, we can no longer continue this silly affair. In time, my soul will be completely black like yours, my darling. Please protect me again, as if I was the little girl you remember. Let her be free.

Today you visited, and I hoped that I would have the strength to tell you to leave—but you smiled at me and understood my pain. You held my hand once again and lay with me on the floor, your cold body entwined with mine.

My bleak friend, allow my light to break through your clouds of darkness. Let my soul glow and bask in the rainbow of light with me. Do not be afraid.

My little demon, what have you done?

You have let others see you. You are no longer my secret. Our friendship has been exposed. And now you are pitied and blamed for my outburst of emotions. You have become a diagnosis with consequences. I have fallen prey to the advice of doctors. My dark friend, they have tried to remove you surgically with medication, but I became sick. Do not let them prescribe any more pills and potions. Let me go.

My miserable friend, there will be times when we will meet again, where we may share a story or two over a cup of sorrow or a walk through a dismal street. We may meet again sooner than you think. But tonight—whilst you sit among your other cold, lonely friends—please do not return to me. Let my soul rest.

Although I know you are not with me as I write this letter, your presence lingers. My desolate friend, my depression, you have left a bruise on my soul, purple and black, floating like ink on parchment. In time, the bruise will heal, the memories will fade, and the feelings and pain will ease. But I also know that you will always lurk in shadows of my darkest moments, occasionally seeking my hand to comfort my soul. Sometimes I will ignore you, and other times, I will embrace you.

But for now, my little rain cloud—rejoice, for I have set you free.



Author: Melissa Harkins

Image: Emilio Garcia/Flickr

Apprentice Editor: Melinda Matthews; Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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Melissa Harkins