A Letter to My Depressed Friend

Dear Friend,

It’s been a long time since we’ve met. It’s perhaps been longer since you met yourself, and I understand that. It’s been a long time coming, but you’ve always been so adamant – to not let it show, to not let it get to you, to not let it come to the surface. You’ve always been a fighter and you are still the strongest person I know. Yes. I know. You don’t believe a word I have to say, but I’m going to be stubborn too – and I’m going to say it anyway.

It’s been ages since we’ve met, and that’s okay. It’s been a while but I know you need your space and I value that just as much as you value your privacy. But it scares me sometimes, Friend. It terrifies me. It gets deep inside my bones and chills the hollow cavities inside of them, for I soon realize that when you are alone, you are not by yourself. Your demons, my love, are always with you – are they not?

I know you will never call them your friends, but they¬†call you their best mate, don’t they? They fill your ears with all sorts of things about yourself that you never want to hear and yet, you ingest them. You take in everything they have to say about you because they’ve promised you the truth, and so you swallow it like a bitter pill. Would you hear something against your new room-mates, Friend? Would you allow me to tell you what they’re actually trying to do to you? You’ve always been very principled to never stand anything against your own – but I promise you they are not your friends, my love. They are not your friends.

I am not¬†jealous or envious of your relationship with them, Friend – I assure you. I know you might think that they are extensions of your own self and so you have to feed them and take care of them and look after them, for they are you in the Emperor’s new clothes. But take a moment, Friend, and listen to what I have to say. Can you feel the weight in your chest? Can you feel the weight that keeps dragging you down? Can you feel the anchor that has tied your feet together and leaves you unable to move? Do you know who’s responsible for all this?

Look up, Friend. By God, look up! Do you see the sunlight up above? Do you see a ridge and some chance of climbing out of the seemingly bottomless pit you feel yourself stuck in? This is not 127 Hours, Friend. I promise you. Do you hear me? I’ll be louder then – let me scream above the chatter of the voices that fills your head and brings you down. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, FRIEND! I PROMISE YOU! YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE!

Look up! Do you see that rope dangling from above? That’s for you friend. That’s for you for when you’re ready. I know you’re not ready friend. And that’s okay. I know you’re not ready and you’re weak – If I had a hundred voices telling me I’m incompetent and ugly all the time, then I would have bashed my head in and would never have gotten out of bed from the weight that the words would place upon me. But you’re not me, and you’re not them, and you’re not anyone else in the world but your own self. And I am so proud of you, Friend. What? You can’t hear me from up above here. Hang on – let me use this rope to come down to you.

See. You’re not that deep. It’s less than six feet and more than a couple of steps. But I know it towers above you like the skyline of Manhattan and the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. I know that it makes you feel small and insignificant. So I’m right here with you, Friend. Would you like to listen to what I was saying?

I was saying I am proud of you friend. No. I am not proud that you’re depressed or anxious – I would be proud of that as well, but I choose to not be proud of that because they are not you. They are just fleas that are sticking to your skin, trying to get underneath it, trying to get into your blood and swim there and move all along the length of your body. But they don’t know your secret, Friend, as I do. They don’t know about what you hide inside that isn’t available for consumption by the world around you. They don’t know about your soul, Friend. And it is your soul and your heart and being that I am so very proud of. It is you, in your entirety, that I am proud of.

You ask me why I’m proud of you? You want to know why I feel that way even though you yell at me and call me names and try to push me away? You want to know why I feel that way even though you don’t pick up my calls and you don’t reply to my messages? Friend. I have known you since we were little children. I have known you and your secrets since before you ever got scolded for them or ever got appreciated for them. Friend, even if we haven’t actually known each other since we were little naive innocent children, it still feels like it. Our level of intimacy far exceeds our level of formality, Friend.

You ask me why I’m proud of you? The simplest truth of the matter, Friend, is that I love you, with every bone in my body. You are family, Friend. You are family.

You draw a blank when I tell you I love you. I can see the tear in your eye. No. Don’t cry Friend. Don’t cry. Here. Let me hold you. I’ve got you Friend. I know love is a word and a concept that seems elusive to you right now, as we sit here in this pit below sea level. I know that you don’t fully understand it anymore. I know that fear inside of you, that tells you that you are no longer capable of loving and being loved. Friend, that is the most beautifully untrue thing I have ever heard in my life.

Do you know why you’re in this pit, dear Friend? Do you know why you feel so heavy? You feel as heavy as you do simply because you have the capacity to feel as much as you do and to hold all of those sensations inside of your volatile, beating, aching heart. That’s what drags you down, Friend. You can’t let go of anyone or anything. You can’t give up on people, Friend. You can’t move past instances in your life. You can forgive easily Friend but you’re so scared about whether people have forgiven you or not. I understand Friend. And know that there is nothing that I need to forgive you for. Not now – not ever. And the world will always forgive you, because you are the most caring person they’ve ever met in life. And if they don’t understand Friend, don’t blame them. Just smile and move on. They are not you, Friend. They do not have your ability to place themselves in your shoes and understand what it is that you are going through. They don’t have your empathy, Friend. Forgive them anyway. And know that they can’t hold anything to forgive if they don’t understand it to begin with.

I know you feel numb right now, Friend. I know you feel as if your system has been overloaded with emotional information and you no longer know how to process it. But I assure you friend – being numb does not mean you have no emotions; being numb means you have too many of them raging inside of you.

However long it takes Friend, I will be right here with you. However long it takes, I shall not forsake you, Friend. However long it takes, you don’t have to be alone.

Chocolate? I think I have some biscuits as well, Friend. Or would you prefer to munch on a packet of crisps? Do you have a TV show in mind? I also have a book if you want to borrow it and just read and not talk.

Let me know Friend. That’s all I’ll ever ask of you – just let me know.

Your Friend.