A friend (Hi, Matt!) commented on Facebook that hearing about depression from “a voice on the inside” is what makes my writing special, and I was so glad to hear that. I actually resisted starting a blog for a long time, but finally decided to be brave because I do think it is important to talk about mental health in an open and honest way. I would like to share an updated version of a note I wrote to friends after my time in the psychiatric ward, one of the first times I ever tried to write about my depression and actually showed it to other people:
Did you know that being less than perfect does not mean you are a total failure destined to die alone in a ditch with no friends to miss you? You did? Really?
See, I didn’t, not for a really long time. I thought I had to be perfect and, since I couldn’t be, then, well, what’s the point in trying? I know it may sound ridiculous, but that is one of the many, many lies depression tells. If it does not sound ridiculous, and, in fact, sounds eerily familiar, then my heart goes out to you. You may not know or realize or be able to process, but you do not have to be perfect. You do not even have to try. You do not have to be anything except yourself. You have people in your life who care for you and want you to be well. You have people in your life who want to help you. Please try to let them, even if it’s hard, even if you think you don’t deserve it, even if it would be easier to shut out everything but the voices in your head. Please.