From Melissa

Dear You,

Depression was the last thing I expected to happen to me.

I started off the summer feeling great, enjoying each day with new opportunities.  But as the summer went on I started feeling fatigued at times unusual for me, and needed lots of breaks to rest. I thought it was weird, but it wasn't long before I felt sad as well, and before I knew it, was unable to get out of bed at all.

I started having anxiety every morning and lived in fear of what the new day would bring. I was completely exhausted, scared, and couldn't eat.  I started thinking of suicide, because I didn't want to face another day.  Sleeping was the only escape from my thoughts which spun  out of control with worry and anxiety over every thing--the future, the past, the present. 

I felt like I had a disease in my soul. 

Days went by and I slowly disappeared into a tiny frame of skin and bones, feeling like my life was over.  I never thought I would ever smile again. I couldn't even force myself to smile. I was depressed about being depressed, because I remembered being happy just a few ago and could not understand why this was happening to me. 

It seemed like never again would I ever be happy, but I found the Recovery Letters and started treatment with a doctor.  The Recovery Letters told me that I was not the only person suffering, and with each letter declaring that "this too shall pass" I felt just a glimmer of hope. It started off small, but grew little by little each day. 

My recovery wasn't overnight, but after a few weeks I started getting energy back so that I could at least drive again and walk up a flight of stairs; later I was able to function somewhat normally, in that I didn't need 3-4 naps to get through the day. Six weeks into treatment I was finally able to smile and laugh again. 

I did get through the depression.  In the beginning, all I had was fear.  But I believed it when others told me "this too shall pass," and it did. 

Now I look back on the depression like it was a distant memory. 

For you, friend, please believe me.  You will get better.  Hold on to that promise.