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To Those Who Love Me, From a Formerly Depressed Person

CIMG0344I used to be depressed.

Severely depressed and suicidal for many years.

Back then I could only see the world through a fog of loneliness, disconnection, misery, and pain. Everything felt numb and gray, and when it wasn’t numb and gray it was painful and black. I could paint on a happy face sometimes, but mostly I just withdrew and hid from the world.

I thought people who loved me would be better off if I wasn’t here because I felt like a burden to them.

I thought the world would be better off without me here because I felt as if I only took from others, from life and never contributed anything meaningful.

I didn’t want to be here because it hurt too much to be here.

I don’t feel that way anymore.

My friends, my family, I need you to know this.

I climbed my way out of that black pit called depression. I found my way through the fog and back into the light.

I believe in life again. I believe I am loved and worthy of loving. I believe I have something amazing and important to contribute to the world – something only I can bring.

I want to live – not just survive and breathe, but to live full out and wholeheartedly. That is what I do now.

I will have crappy days. I will have times when I need and desire only the company of myself. I will have days when I feel sad and frustrated and hard to love.

I will have the normal ups and downs of life because I am living life.

I need you to understand that having these days does not mean I am depressed. It does not mean I’m in a funk. It does not mean I am falling into that pit of darkness or feeling that seductive pull to follow death.

I was depressed.

But I’m not now. I am living. I am breathing. I am embracing the fullness of life. I am no longer that person who lived in that black pit of depression and suicide.

I need you to trust me when I say I’m not depressed.
I need you to see that I am not broken.
I need you to see that I am living and whole.
I need you to remember that I am strong and capable.

I pulled myself out of the abyss of depression. That took more strength and more courage and more fierce commitment to life than you can know.

I need you to trust that I am capable of staying in the light and the living.

When I have a crappy day,
When I seek out solitude and quiet,
When I am challenged by life’s dips and turns,

I am asking you, please don’t jump to the conclusion that I’m depressed.

I’m not. I’m living.

All in. Wholeheartedly. Embracing all the varied moments of it.

My challenges won’t break me. I don’t need to be rescued from my struggles.

I can handle this.

All I need is for you to be there.
To love me.
To trust me.
To believe in me.
To see me as whole and complete.
To hug me when I’m sad or tired.
To encourage me to trust myself when I am challenged.

Love me. Trust me. Believe me.

I am not depressed.

I am living.

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