Hi, dearest. It’s just me, checking in. I know things seem impossibly hard right now. The voice of depression feels louder than any voice on earth, doesn’t it? And when you’re enshrouded in it as if in a tomb, it’s as if there is no possible life outside of the dark tunnel you currently inhabit. How I wish you could take a peek outside at the light up here! It will be blinding at first, of course, and you may be offended by the beauty of it. How can anything be beautiful or light or colorful when the dark swallows everything in sight? How can anything be fun or lovely when all you can do is berate yourself and judge your very existence? I know. I’ve been there.
Depression is such a liar, you see. It lies better than a corrupt politician. It tells you that nothing is worth doing. It tells you that you are worthless and a failure, so why bother trying anymore? It tells you that you’re a burden and it fills you with guilt and dread.
I am glad to be able to tell you, because I’ve lived it, that the lies of depression don’t have to overcome the truth of hope. Can you hear me, you exquisite soul? Cling tightly to the tiniest sliver of light trying to reach you. Hold fast to any bit of hope that comes to you, hazy and wandering though it may be. By doing so, you are sending the message to your brain, and therefore to the villain that is depression, that you can survive this. You can feel better. Hope and peace and contentment can return to you again. The darkness can be wiped away. Keep reaching out, I plead with you. This is not permanent. Help is here. You are not alone, and there is music after the silence.
Melissa lives in Richmond. She believes in open dialogue around mental health in order to erase the stigma attached to mental illness. She believes there is hope, and she believes that life is worth living, even when it feels least like it.