An open letter to those suffering with depression through a Pandemic

Dear (insert your name here), Yeah, you. The one reading this right now. Hello. My name is Cecilia and I just want to say that you are so important and valid. If you are depressed, or suffer from any form of mental health issues, keep reading. If you’re not depressed, I’d suggest that you keep reading as well, because you may know someone who needs to hear what I have to say. You, with that big soul and a smile you use to hide your pain. I can see right through it. In fact, I feel so much of the world’s pain and sorrow that it’s overwhelming. I’m an empath, and well, I struggle with depression and anxiety as well so I know the struggles that come along with trying to keep your mental health in a positive state, even when it feels like the world around us is chaotic. You might be high functioning, where no one knows it, but I know it. Everyone thinks you’re the funny one. You live to make someone laugh and smile everyday while you cry yourself to sleep at night. I see you. Everyone thinks you’re the strong one. You’re always there for everyone else, but you can’t even help yourself. Everyone thinks you have it all together, but little do they know you’re hanging on by a thread. I see it. You might not even be high functioning and someone who just exclaims how miserable they feel everyday, and that’s okay too. I know you’re not attention seeking. You’re seeking for a way to make the void not as painful. The darkness has comforted you for years that you might find it hard to find hope, especially now that the world has been engulfed in a pandemic that has reached millions of people. Not only that, we’re living through so many changes and adjustments that many things that have been planned prior to this year have been cancelled or modified. For those with anxiety like myself, who like to plan things ahead of time, there is no comfort in stability right now. I can’t say for certain if plans outside of my control will be stable, but the only thing I can say is that I can start controlling how I feel and react to the world. The first half of the year was rough, that’s when it felt like it was a dream. Now it feels like we’re stuck in a time loop and we’re all hoping that “someone” or “something” does the right thing to get us out of it all so our lives can return to some semblance of normal. A normal of being able to walk in the street without being scared of our fellow neighbors. A normal of being able to enjoy movies, sports, and events again. A normal of just knowing that there’s some security out there. Yet, like many of us, “normal” has shifted and it’s made us feel insecure. You may feel depressed, or anxious, or worried but I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone right now. I know life has been rough this year. 2020 has not been the year for those like us: The empaths, the dreamers, the sensitive souls. We have had to endure so many changes and lifestyle adjustments, and you happened to come across this article, because you’re still here reading this. I’m so proud of you. I don’t know you by name, or where you live, or where you’re from, but I do know that you’re a human being out there that cares enough. You care enough about yourself and those around you to make it another day. You care enough to read articles that will give you a sense of hope, or comfort. You care enough because like me, you believe that there is still good in the world, even when our news-feed fills us with fear and nightmares. Like all bad times, this all will end, but there’s no telling as to when. Not knowing when it will end is the worst thing for those who suffer with anxiety and depression. It feels like we’re constantly at a bottomless pit. I know. We just have to keep riding the waves in what feels like an endless ocean of calamity, until one day the waves cease. The boat will one day stop rocking, and we can have a moment of the inner peace and stability to guide us back to better times. It might not be today, but deep inside of you is a light. You don’t have to shine right now, but don’t forget that you are made of stardust and sunshine and miracles (and almost 70% water). All the stars in the night sky helped create all of us. We’re made with the same minerals in our bones and blood that connect us to the world. Whether you believe in a God or not, we’re all connected to each other in some way. We can relate through blood, nationality, beliefs but we all relate because we’re human. You don’t have to fake your happiness either. I don’t believe in faking it until you make it. I believe in feeling everything until you acknowledge you don’t want to feel that way anymore, and then make changes that serve your highest good. All you need to do right now in these times is be true to yourself and acknowledge your emotions. You need support and people that can be empathetic with you. Remember you are the captain of your own ship. Even if it feels like you’re in a sinking ship, you’re not alone. Maybe your friends or family don’t believe that your mental health issues are real. Maybe you’ve been told that you just need to “think positively” and it will all get better. Maybe it’s just really hard to be the captain of your ship right now, but I’m here to be your co-captain. Do you need someone to tell you that you’re valid and you mean something even when you don’t feel that you do? Well, you’re valid and you’re a wonderful human being. I don’t care about your past or the terrible things you’ve said or done. All I care about is helping you find peace in a world where there’s so little of it to be seen. We’ve all been in isolation and human beings suffer when we cannot be with our tribe. We were made for connection in a world where we’re not connecting as we should. You deserve to be happy, even if you’re struggling to find it. I’m sure you’ve gotten told to “snap out of it” once or twice. But guess what — this pandemic makes it hard even for neuro-typical people to even “snap out of it”. You’re not alone. I’m proud of you for living and being strong enough to choose to make it through another day. Even if you wake up feeling miserable. Even if you wake up, and all you can do is sit in your bed and stare at the ceiling for hours before you even start your day. Even if you haven’t showered in a few days or a few weeks. Even if your room is a mess because you don’t have the energy to clean it. Even if people make you feel guilty because you have “all this time” and you’re “wasting” it. You’re not wasting anything that helps you make it through just one more day. You’re special, and I hope you find your light again. But no rush, you know. Just know that you’re not alone, and I love you and I don’t even know you. Someone close to you loves you. Someone in the same room you’re in probably loves you. You are SO loved, even when you don’t feel it. Just like the sun doesn’t always show up in winter, it’s still there behind the grey clouds. The love is still there behind your grey clouds, just remember that.

Sincerely, C.J. Sanders

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