Wow. I think writing that headline took ten years off my life. My heart started racing, my anxiety deciding to come out to play while I wrote this. I suppose I've always wanted to pretend that my brain functions normally, that my hormone levels are where they're supposed to be, and that I have never had a problem getting out of bed. So, here it goes. The breakup letter with my mental illness.
Hey, we need to talk.
We've been together for a while - we first met in eighth grade, and I was too young. You took advantage of a child, wrapped me into your lies at an age where I was so impressionable. You convinced me that numb was normal, that I was all those things I feared - fat, ugly, worthless, and that no one would care about the things I had to say. You took a girl who used to be so outgoing and turned her into someone who was shy, awkward, nervous around even herself. You became my old paint under the new, a piece of me I could never quite shake, even when you decided to take a break from me. You would release me just long enough for me to get a taste of normalcy, and suck me back in.
You were moderately contained through high school. You'd creep back onto my shoulder for about a week, and get bored again, burrowing yourself deeper and deeper inside my soul. You would make me anxious when I hadn't heard from you in awhile - what horrible, terrible thing was coming my way?
And then, all of a sudden, your interest in me became insatiable, and there was nothing I could do to keep the black hole of your presence at bay. So here's where the meat of this letter comes in: Fuck you. You came into my life in a whirlwind, destroying everything in your path this past autumn. You turned a lively, happy and excited college kid into a phantom of who she was once - uninterested, empty, and overall deep into a pit of despair where the light at the top could no longer be seen. I couldn't get out of bed, couldn't take care of myself, couldn't stop crying and feeling the aches of your presence in every bone in my body. I was in some state beyond empty - I felt the emptiness and numbness deep inside my bones, my soul. I thought I would never see the light again, and old habits came back, biting harder than they ever did before. Do you know how soul crushing it is, crying on the floor of your nasty dorm shower at 4 am because you are so terrified to sleep? Of course, you do; you caused it all. You rooted yourself deeper than ever, telling me every few minutes that no one cared, nothing mattered, that this was the life you were doomed to live. What was the point of fighting you? You'd win every time - sucking me back into the black hole of my bed.
And in a moment of strength greater than I ever thought possible, I dragged my haven't-showered-since-before-Vietnam ass to the doctor, and sat in a chair and cried to some man I had met four minutes earlier as he told me that he had never seen a depression index score this high on anyone who hadn't tried to kill themselves. Imagine hearing that. He wrote some words on a small piece of paper, and I began the long, exhausting and frustrating road to breaking up with you, to leaving you behind. And you grasped my shoulders, dug in, trying to prevent me from being the person I used to be.
But here's the thing: you don't own me anymore. You don't get to choose my moods, my relationships, my self-worth. You don't even get to define me anymore. You are the burden I will always have to bear, but I cannot allow you control over me. This is my life, this is my choice - I don't want to be a person who has no control, who can't even get out of bed, let alone stop crying. I want to live this life to its fullest, and I can't do that with you on my shoulder.
I suppose I do have to thank you. Thank you for showing me the inner strength I always had, for showing me the people who will love me for my relationship with you, not in spite of it. Furthermore, thank you for showing the relationship with God I desperately craved, for showing me that there is something worth believing in, especially when you can't quite believe in yourself yet. Thank you for teaching me how to be a better friend, a more compassionate and caring person, and someone with empathy.
But you owe me an apology. You have taken so much from me, having taught me early on that protest is pointless. You have robbed me of social opportunities, of feelings (whether positive or negative), and from fully living this one life I've been given. You have tainted the memories of the greatest times of my life with shadows of you, confirming all of my worst fears and insecurities. You have made me harm myself in every way a person can harm themselves, and you celebrated me for it. These are all parts of me I will never be able to take back, things that will never fade in my heart, on my body, and in my memory. I will have those horrible moments engrained in my mind forever, and that alone warrants an apology.
I'd tell you good luck and I'll see you around, but I hope no one has to experience you, this horrible combination of hormone deficiencies because you suck so bad, and I hope I never feel you creeping up on me, because you'll recieve a swift punch to the face.