From Debs

Dear You,

I know right now you feel as though you are at the bottom of a deep, dark hole and although you can hear the voices and laughter of people you can’t understand how they can possibly have anything to feel happy about. I have been at the bottom of that hole, feeling as though I would never be able to climb out of it. I know you also feel invisible when you are around other people so you tend to avoid such situations and hide away. I know, because I have done so, even hiding away from myself, avoiding looking in the mirror because I didn’t recognise the person looking back at me.

I know that this makes you feel angry with yourself. You feel stupid and weak and you constantly beat yourself up about it. You can’t talk to anyone else about it because you know they won’t understand and no words you use would ever be able to explain properly how you are feeling. You believe everyone is wondering why you can’t just cheer up, snap out of it, and you hate yourself for not being able to. Believe me, I know, because I have been there. I have hated myself for being that person, not understanding why I couldn’t ‘snap out of it’ and feeling guilty for burdening others with my useless, miserable self.

I also know that you WON’T always feel this way. One day, something will make you smile. It will take you by surprise and you will hardly recognise the feeling it brings. One day, you will find yourself thinking about the future, something you can’t do at the moment. You will start to make plans, maybe only for the following day and maybe only for a small thing – going out for a walk, or to the shops. But these things will start to happen more often and you will start to feel able to let go a little bit of the fear that is holding you in the bottom of that hole. You will start to climb out, step by step. Sometimes you may stumble or fall but each time you do, you will get up stronger and you will continue your climb. I know it feels like it will always be this way but take it from me, it won’t. One thing you can be certain of is that nothing stays the same.

So, in the meantime, be kind to yourself. Be patient. Do not be angry. You are not to blame and you can’t snap out of it. Your brain is your friend, not your enemy. It is trying to protect you by closing your emotions down whilst you get strong again. Your brain and your mind are always working towards achieving a state of peace and happiness for you. Work with them, not against them. Remember the things that make you happy and even if they don’t make you happy at the moment, do them anyway, because that happiness is still there. You may not be able to feel it right now, but remember that it is always there. One of the things that helped me was going to meditation classes at a local Buddhist Centre. In particular we were prompted to think of our mind like a beautiful blue sky, and even though it may be covered by dark clouds at the moment, it is still there, behind the clouds. Occasionally, as a cloud moves, you will catch a glimpse of blue and you will know that it is still there, and always will be. Remember that nothing stays the same. This is the way of things. Whatever you are going through now will pass. The clouds will move and the sun will come out again. Wait with patience and acceptance of what is at this time, knowing that it won’t always be so. Soon things will change and you will feel happy again.

Remember, too, that there are many of us who do understand and believe in you because we have been where you are now and have come through it. I have and I know you will too. I send you my love and hope that my words will help to reassure you a little at this dark time. It will pass.