From Natalie.

Dear You,

Sitting in A&E, sobbing inconsolably, while being told things would get better seemed like a fantasy. I was convinced that I no longer wanted to be here. I could not take life any more and was no longer prepared to suffer. Medication and counselling had not fixed me. I had nothing... or so I thought. I was constantly told that things would eventually feel different, from numerous health professionals and the few friends I had let in. How could they know? They were not going through this! They had not experienced what I had, to get to this point, abuse, neglect, stress... there was no hope. I did not believe them.

I do now because I am better. I am not suffering from suicidal thoughts constantly. I do believe that I can have a good life. I know life will not be easy all the time, but I am more prepared to deal with it. I am being proactive and going on courses about depression, having counselling, taking care of myself and have a new job. I used to think it was selfish to care about me but it is a necessity. You cannot do anything for anyone until the healing starts.

I cannot wait for you to see how life is, free of depression. It is amazing. You look forward to waking up each day. To going outside and smiling because the sky is blue and the sun is shining, feeling the warm sun on your skin. It feels like the sun has been missing for a long time. Then you notice that your smile has made someone else smile. You realise that you would not have been able to experience these things, if you were no longer alive. You look forward to seeing friends, who you can genuinely laugh with again. You might have a bad day but the good days outweigh them. You can finally experience what you have been missing out on. I cannot wait to welcome you to the survivors gang. There are lots of us. We have been to that dark place but have come back up, and found the light.

You will too.

The time that you felt so bad feels so long ago, as if it were a dream. You tell yourself every day that your past won’t steal your future. Your future is now yours to make of it what you will.