I hope you’re well. It’s been a while since I’ve written, and I want to find a moment to acknowledge you as another journey begin for me.
I hope you will revisit the contract I had you sign years ago when you took up habitation in my mind. In this contract, I allowed that your continuous rental comes with these limitations:
You will be quiet. You will not breed. You will not worsen, displease, destroy, or in any other way control my mind. You will dwell in a small, windowless space just about the size of the tip of a stickpin in a deep pool inside my mind, where you will have no fuel, no guests, and no hope of running away.
Thank you, depression, for respecting the simple factors of this agreement. It has been a healthy and productive few years, and I look forward to your continued mutual aid. I’m aware you don’t get out much, if at all, and I thought it might be sweet of me to afford an update. Here’s what you’ve done for me – without even knowing – in the past few years.
You’ve given me a keen sense of perception about my body. Now more than ever, I can monitor how I am feeling. I’m aware of every tear, feelings of worthlessness, pain and fear much faster than in the past, and I stay connected to my psychiatrist more than the average person might. As a result, my doctor has informed me that I am healthy as a fiddle, except of course for you, depression. Did I mention I’ve reached 28? Thank you for that.
You’ve given me a sense of empathy for others I had previously lacked. I’ve been able to speak to others about you, depression. I am a better listener and a better counselor. I am grateful for this gift.
Because of you, I live in the moment. When I was faced with my insanity, I began to see how important it is to be thankful for each day, I see now – all that matters is this moment, and the next, and the one after that. I’ve slowed down; I breathe in, I breathe out, I discover, I tell the difference, and I express.
I don’t take things personally anymore. In fact, I don’t even take you personally, depression. You’re here, and for the plausible future, “here” you shall stay. There is nothing I can do to get rid of you, at least not at the moment.
Nevertheless, I can try to defeat you.
I have covered up “negativity” in favour of a positive and affirming life. I have hidden fear and embraced interest and love. I have ended obtrusive habits in favour of creative endeavours. I have sought to connect rather than isolate. I have stepped way beyond my comfort zone, because I have realized that my comfort zone isn’t comfortable at all. It’s safe and restricted, but like the place where you find yourself in my mind, depression, it’s a small, dark windowless room. I prefer the ambiguity and voyage of wide open spaces. I prefer to visit the boundaries and the border, the suburbs of towns where God lives.
I will keep you there so I can go out and live life in spite of you and yet because of you. My life as a downhearted man is a gloomy life, I must say. I have no need for negativity, no need for self-loathing, no place in my life for the stigma so often placed on me by society because of my depression and my homosexuality. I have embraced love in your wake. I am a beautiful and divine child of the universe. It may have taken your residency inside my mind to get me to realize this, and for that I am grateful.
I forgive you, and I also thank you. You wanted to destroy me from the inside out, however, instead you have made me stronger than I ever thought possible.