You probably don't know me. Chances are, we'll never meet in person. I'm just an anonymous person, writing a letter through a computer screen. I'll never know your likes and dislikes, what you do for a living, which sports teams you support or anything like that. But if you are reading this, then the likelihood is that you have been diagnosed with depression, and that is something I know a lot about.
I know how lonely you feel right now. I know how scared you are, how confusing everything seems, how lost you feel. I know that not a lot makes sense right now. I know that part of you is angry, both at the illness and possibly at yourself. I've had all the same thoughts.
I'm not going to rattle off a massive speech telling you how to get better. Everyone's illness is different, it affects them differently. I'm not going to tell you to get medication. I have had both good and bad experiences of medication, and whether you take it is a decision only you can make. I'm not going to sugar-coat what you may go through. It will be hard at times, damn hard. Sometimes you will feel like you just want to give up. On some days, you may feel unable to get out of bed. Maybe you'll feel like it is all too much, and that you can't cope with the illness. I get days like that, even now.
If you had the flu, you'd go to the doctors. Please remember that depression is just another illness, albeit a much scarier one. That may seem obvious, but to many people it isn't. It isn't a mood, you aren't going to "snap out of it". It could take a long time to get better. You will have bad days. You may start to get better, and then regress. But you can overcome this. I promise you that.
If there's one thing you need to know, it's this: you are NOT alone. You are never alone. I know you feel alone, but that's the illness making you feel that. The truth is, there are millions of us, all suffering through the same illness. It's just, the nature of the illness makes us scared to talk about it. I understand why you feel you can't. I know you are scared of being judged. I know you are scared of people treating you differently. That's understandable.
I'm just one person, but there are so many more who will talk to you. But you have to let them know what you are going through. You can't try and deal with it alone, because it can sometimes be just too hard. You have to get help. Whether that's from a doctor, from a therapist, or from talking to someone like me through email, that's up to you. But don't try and fight it alone.
Please, don't be scared to get support from people. Don't let the illness make you feel ashamed, or embarrassed. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You're not a freak, or a drama queen, or a weirdo. You're just unwell.
You CAN get through this. You are not alone. So many people are desperate to help you. Let them.
I believe you can get through this. I believe in you.
Andrew Lawes x