The Recovery Letters is a blog which publishes letters addressed to those suffering with depression, written by people who are recovering. They kindly approached me to write one for them. I hope you like it.
Did you know that there are flowers which bloom only in the darkness? Even on the blackest night, Moonflowers blossom, their beauty shining through.
Depression can make you forget everything you know and rob you of rational thought. It sucks the colour out of life and makes you feel like the world is spinning without you, like you’re absent. Like you don’t belong in any conversation. Like it wouldn’t matter if you weren’t present in the room, the town, the world.
The strength of depression lies in its ability to negate positivity. No matter how sincere the compliments others may pay you, you can’t believe them. You can’t accept that you’re worthy of love, acceptance or even happiness.
But you are. You really, really are. You can’t see it at the moment, because you’ve got a rain cloud over you. There’s a deluge of icy rain blurring your vision and a fog in your mind, obscuring your thoughts. But underneath it, the truth is you’re still there. You’re here and you matter. You’re kind, beautiful, loved. You’re important to so many people and you deserve to get better.
I know you don’t believe me. I wouldn’t have believed these words either. I’d have discounted them, ruled out any positive words. Put myself down.
I spent long, dark, anxious nights awake. My mind raced and I felt like the only person awake in the world. As if the night would never end. Panicking and palpitating and crying.
But little did I know then, that even during darkness, flowers still bloom. And one day, without you even realising, you start to notice them again. It starts with a strange feeling one morning. You think of something you’ve got planned for later on that day, and an odd feeling comes over you. It takes a while to recognise it at first. Is is anxiety? No. It’s called positivity. You’re looking forward to things again. Fancy that.
You might look up at the blue sky, and really see it. Once clear sky seemed to mock you, going about it’s business despite your pain. But suddenly you’ll really see the sky again, appreciate it, allow it to bring you a sliver or joy.
One day soon you’ll notice a beautiful flower, or laugh at a joke, or sing along to something. Little by little, you WILL get better. Because you, as much as anyone, deserve happiness. You are worthy of love, of kindness and of compassion.
In the depths of the darkness it seems like you’ll never recover. But you simply must believe that you deserve better than this. Because you do. You are more than your depression and it does not define you. It is a chapter in your life, yes. Perhaps a big and significant one. But it’s not the final chapter.
Help is out there, so please, please, find someone who will listen to you. Who will sit with you in the dark place until you’re ready and capable of leaving it behind you. If it’s medication you need, take it. Seek out therapy, support, exercise…. Whatever you need. If you don’t know what you need, please find someone to guide you.
Falling apart gives you the opportunity to put yourself back together, like a phoenix from the ashes. You may never be quite the same, but that’s okay. Even in the dark you’ve been quietly blooming and learning. You just haven’t been able to see it in yourself. Soon you will.
Be kind to yourself, dear friend. It truly can and will get better. I promise. You’re not alone.
You can find many more letters here.