An open letter to clinical depression

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I hate you. You’re a thief that’s taken so much from me. The moment you gave me my first panic attack life changed forever and a door opened which can never be shut.

I’m in awe of you. Your relentlessness, your power over me and your ability to instill fear within the most joyful, everyday things. How you ever made the innocent tinkle of an ice cream van bell strike fear into my soul on a balmy summer’s day is beyond me, but seriously, bravo.

I’m grateful for the things you’ve taught me. Self awareness, that being vulnerable is OK, and that all frightening things shrink when you face them head on.

You muted my capacity to love and replaced it with a cocktail of fear, nihilism and apathy. But it’s back stronger than ever now.

You’ve aged me. I’ve confronted things that otherwise may have taken a lifetime of experiences to unearth. I’ve looked my mortality in the face and I’ve come to terms with it. I’m not afraid of dying anymore. I am afraid of not living though.

By taking me to the end of my fear threshold, you showed me there’s nothing to be afraid of.

By forcing me to take time out and recuperate, you taught me to be kind to myself. And now I’m better at being kind to other people.

By showing me that I was living wrong, you forced me to make changes. Living under your crushing weight magnified everything that wasn’t right in my world, and forced me to think about what I could do to make it better. Without you I probably would have just muddled along as I was, accepting things as they were. Now I refuse to live anything but joyfully.

You made me difficult, in fact a complete toss-pot, to be around. But that’s OK because I love those that stood by me all the more for sticking around. You did make me hurt my family when they were trying to help me though, and for that, I still think you’re an ass face.

You’re awful and there have been times you’ve almost destroyed me. But you haven’t crushed my spirit, and you never will.

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