Dear friend,

Every case of depression is different. Some are diagnosed, others are hidden so no one knows, some are denied until it blows up one day. But whatever the case, depression is real. And you know that.

I've been there. I've wrestle with it when I was younger and still occasionally wrestle with it. But here's the thing about depression. It makes you feel like a victim. Like your hands are chained behind your back and there's nothing you can do to change the circumstances you're in. It makes you feel comfortable in the prison it appears to lock you in. It feels like a ton of bricks on your chest weighing you down in the morning, denying you permission to get out of bed. It feels like tape on your mouth like a plastered smile when you're in a group of people who are laughing and talking, but you can't seem to join them. It feels like apathy toward the things you love because what's the point anyway?

But every time you get out of bed in the morning, despite the heavy weights on your chest, you are fighting it. Every time you choose to laugh, genuinely laugh, along with your friends about something, finding joy if only for a moment, you are fighting it. Every time you choose to do something you love doing, even though you don't feel like it in the moment. Depression makes you feel like a victim, but a victim doesn't fight back.

You have the right and the ability to fight this. You aren't the victim. You are the warrior. You might be being attacked from all sides by depression, anxiety, fear, sadness, but you are still here, still living, still participating in your life and that is you fighting back. It's choosing to declare, "I will not be a victim of you any longer. I choose to fight back."

And you don't have to fight alone. We are all fighting with you. All of us, whether we still wrestle with it, whether we have recently won, or whether we have been free for many years. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are people who have fought depression and won. So don't give in. Don't let yourself stay a victim. There is hope.

You are worth fighting for. There is Someone who loves you beyond all belief. Through all the pain and in all the struggle, whether you see it or not. Whether you feel it or not. You are worth fighting for. It is not a question. It has already been decided. You. Are. Worth. It. Don't give up. Fight back.

Every time you feel depression attack you again, I beg you, fight back. Fight by finding the good in your world. Fight by doing the things that your depression tells you that you don't want to do. Do the things you love. Don't let depression steal that from you. Fight by telling someone who will listen, even if depression's telling you to keep it to yourself. Don't. Fight back. I'm going to say it again -- You are worth fighting for.

Love,

A fellow warrior.