Dear Depression,

I remember when we first met about six years ago in eighth grade. I wasn’t quite fond of you at first. You made me feel sad and angry and I couldn’t figure out why. Because of you, I made a lot of mistakes in my friendships, self-care, and schoolwork. I always thought you’d leave me like many of my friends, but you didn’t; you stuck around.

During a time in my life when I was only experiencing happiness, you showed me that I could also feel anger, despair, and loneliness. I never thought that I could experience so many emotions.

When I spent nights laying in bed alone, you were there for me. You comforted me and made sure I wasn’t too lonely—like a good friend would.

I got older and our conversations became more complex, but still held the same messages. You told me I was worthless and unloved. You constantly told me that I didn’t deserve love or a good life. You made me feel like I wasn’t beautiful and didn’t deserve to live. I was convinced that I didn’t matter, but I listened to you—because that’s what good friends do.

You were there for all of my big moments, even though I didn’t ask you to be. You were there when I had my first solo in a concert, when I had my first gig, when I was applying and auditioning for colleges and scholarships, when I got accepted to schools and when I began my new life.

When I got to college and tried to make new relationships, you held me back and made it as difficult as it could be. You didn’t want me to be friends with or love anyone but you.

Our relationship was incredibly complicated. On one hand, you were there for me at times when I needed you—even if I didn’t want you. You also made me feel so down that I wanted to die and you encouraged that feeling. Every relationship requires balance: a give and take on both sides. It seemed like all I did was take from you, but you wanted to stay anyways. I didn’t seem to give you anything, but you didn’t care about that. You simply cared about me.

But tell me this: is our relationship worth all of this trouble?

I want to make sure you understand how much I appreciate you and all that you’ve done for me.

Thank you. Thank you for sticking around when it felt like everyone else was walking out of my life. Thank you for making sure I never felt too lonely. You have been good to me. Thank you for showing me that I can experience more than two emotions. Through our relationship, I have learned more about myself than I previously knew. Thank you for giving me a new perspective, but I think now it’s time for us to part. This relationship is toxic. I realize now that you have enjoyed watching me hurt and struggle for years.

I am a different person than when we first met. I’m stronger thanks to you. I know that I am loved and beautiful. I deserve to live and be happy.

I’m thankful for you and for our time together, but I think we’ll both be better off on our own. I’m ready to get back in touch with happiness.

Best wishes,

A girl ready to let the love in