Dear Future Boyfriend,
I read somewhere once that when a person dies, and there is no one who loved them and who will miss them, the mourning is assigned to a random human, and this is why people sometimes just feel sad. I doubt there’s any truth to the tale, but some days I wish there was at least a small grain. Because some days my sadness outweighs my other emotions, and I don’t know how to tell people the reason behind it all. But this little nugget of mostly incorrect knowledge is so much easier to swallow than the truth behind this dark monster.
Because how do you tell someone there are days when you can’t love yourself? How do you tell someone that somewhere along the way from your brain to your heart, the love for yourself was accidentally renamed and rerouted to love for others? How do you explain to someone that hating yourself doesn’t mean hating others, because the two aren’t mutually exclusive? I don’t think you can; at least not easily. But I’m going to try to anyway, because it’s something you need to know. It’s a part of who I am. It’s not a phase. I won’t grow out of it. We’re a package deal, which sounds a little foreboding, but I can help you along the way. Because I’ve been living with Depression for five years, so I guess you could call me an expert on darkness.
Which is why I want to help you and as many other people as I can understand this sinister plague. And the first place to start is to let you know thoughts can be detrimental to happiness. People like me have the tendency to over-think everything, 98% of the time. And over-thinking, well, let’s just say no good can come from it. Believe me, I know. Over-thinking leads to doubt, and doubt leads to self-loathing, and self-loathing leads to all the side-effects of Depression. We can go from relatively happy to overwhelmingly sad in less time than it takes to blink, which leaves most people saying, “Well, that escalated quickly.” And they’d be right.
I’ve gone from laughing myself into an asthma attack to absolute self-hatred in the time it takes me to catch my breath. And then I’m left wondering: how can anybody love me if I can’t love myself? But the fact that I still believe in love and I still see the beauty in the world despite all I’ve been through is a sign of the strength of the human spirit.
There are days when I don’t think I can get out of bed because the weight of this load I’m carrying is too much to bear. There are days when I use up all my faith as soon as I get out of bed when I trust the floor will stay firm under my feet. There are days when I hate myself so much, I wonder how other people can be around me. But these are the days when I love others the most, because I know they’re travelling the same dark road I am, and it makes this journey so much more rewarding. And I want everybody I meet to feel loved.
And I’m going to warn you now: there will be days when I tell you, “I don’t need a man with a superhero cape to rescue me.” Don’t believe me. It’s a lie. Because for a long time, I tried to wear my own cape, but I couldn’t get out of the pit since my cape was held down by my own two feet (which goes to show that you really can be your own worst enemy).
There will be days when I call you at ridiculous o’clock because I can’t sleep and my mind’s a battlefield in the middle of a war. Just listen. Don’t try to fix me. You’re not God, and I’m not either. God will do what he will in his own time.
There will be days when I won’t believe any of the nice things you say to me. Tell me anyway, and I’ll save them for a day when I need to hear them the most.
Accept me for who I am, Depression and all, and I promise I’ll accept you too. You help me, I’ll help you. And when I’m having a bad day, and I can’t love myself, I’ll come find you. I want you to do the same. No one ever said life was easy; they just said it was worth it. And I for one believe them. And yes, I tried to kill myself, but now I’m trying to outlive myself.
Because this is something I have to live with. I’ve made it this far, and I will keep going. I won’t always know the precise, exact reason why I’m sad, but when that happens, like it did today, when I come up to you with tears streaming down my face, and I can’t tell you why, I’ll just say:
I think someone died today.