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Letters to Strangers: Dear I’m depressed,

They say to always check on your happiest friends. Sometimes people can hide their emotions so completely from the people in their lives. Sometimes when someone is going through the absolute worst time of their life, the people who surround them will have no idea. Why do some people hide their emotions? Why do they not reach out for help when they need it? Maybe they are scared of hurting others, or upsetting them, or worrying them. But in these instances people can’t hide their emotions so easily.

Have you ever felt so unbelievably unmotivated that all you want to do is sleep? Burdened with this heavy load on your soul that the only solace is a deep, dark, long slumber. Or maybe you just can’t sleep at all and turn into an insomniac, lying in bed at night begging for rest to come.

Have you ever gone days without eating because your stomach is in painful knots? Or maybe you turn to food for comfort and overdo it and regret it afterwards?

Have you ever ghosted everyone in your life for days on end? Neglected phone calls and text messages and any social media? Or do you lose yourself in the endless pages of scrolling, admiring and hating the people you see. Envying their happy lives and smiles and beautiful pictures of far-away tropical vacations.

Depression comes in so many different forms and levels of intensity. It affects every person differently and makes each person do different things or stop doing what they love.               

Depression is scary. It is a black monster that follows you around, taunting and belittling you. A voice inside your head that is constantly screaming how worthless you are. It is like an infection, a parasite, a sickness that creeps into your blood stream and begins to destroy anything that tries to stop it.

Depression is not a small dark cloud that follows you throughout your day like in the anti-depressant commercials.

Depression is a super cell storm cloud that can rip apart your life, flinging you somewhere so far-away from home you are left stranded.

Depression is a war inside a person’s mind and body, it leaves wounds the eye cannot see and can have a detrimental aftermath.  

But out of darkness comes light, fore they cannot live without the other. To battle despair, you must have hope. To win back your body from the infectious darkness you need the antibodies of love. To conquer the monster, you must have a suite of armour decorated in the strength and faith of those before you who have fought and defeated that monster.   

I want you to know you are not alone. No one is ever truly alone, especially when it comes to battling mental health. There is always someone who will want to help you. Please never suffer alone. Share your pain with those in your life who love you. A parent, a cousin, a friend, a teacher, a counsellor. Whatever you feel comfortable doing.               

Don’t let that darkness run your life. You are so much stronger than that dark cloud. Even when you feel so down and so hopeless, fight against it. If its seasonal depression, or clinical or post-partum. You don’t have to let it run or ruin your life. It is not very easy to speak these words while you feel like you are crumbling from the inside out, trust me I know that.

I have dealt with depression for the last eight years of my life. I have battled against a darkness inside me for so long. And I have failed many times, I have allowed it to run my life and turn me into a completely different and dark person. It is so hard to get up off the couch, or to not sleep for fifteen hours a day, or to force yourself to shower or eat when all you want to do is just lay down and give up.               

It’s so hard to smile when all you want to do is cry. It’s so hard to take care of yourself when you just do not care what you look like. It’s even harder to reach out for help. When all that’s going running through your thoughts is “Why even bother. What’s the point?” But trust me. Life is worth it. You are worth it.

I remember reading this picture online about a girl who had been dealing with a really bad bout depression during her teen years. She then explained how she was sitting on her couch in her late 20s and listening to her husband play with their children. The moral of this story is that nothing lasts forever and when you are feeling your absolute worst, remember that what you are feeling is not going to last forever. It will come to an end.  

So, when you feel like giving up, if you are sitting there on the floor crying and want to make all the pain just go away. Stop, breathe and let the pain come. But don’t hold onto it.  

You matter so much to this world. Your essence, your spirit, they add something to this world that is missing. You are a spark in the electric flow of humanity that makes us, us. Your dreams, your knowledge, your passions, your fears and concerns are part of what make this big wheel go around.   

Remind yourself of your dreams, of what you want in the future. Think of all you would be giving up or who you would be leaving behind. Don’t feel guilty about that all, but just remember that there are so many people in your life that value you. Depression can take over your mind and your body and make you do things you normally would never do. It is and never will be your fault. Remember that this illness, this glitch in your brain is not your fault and it never will be!

By Cheyanna Dyck

My name is Cheyanna Lorraine and I am an Indigenous journalism student.

I love to write, cook, paint and everything thing about summer! Join me on my chaotic and beautiful adventure of navigating through life.

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