Dear Depression...

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  • Write It Out

    Write It Out

    Research has shown that writing is one type of therapy that can improve the mood of those who do it regularly. We asked you to write a breakup letter with depression to take back control of your life. Read these excerpts from some readers’ responses and be inspired.

    Illustration by Alexander Iaccarino
  • You Are Strong

    You Are Strong

    Dear Mr. So Low,

    You held me down when I was weak. Now that I'm strong, your ass is mine when we cross paths again.

    — Lucius M. Johnson, Sr.

    Illustration by Alexander Iaccarino
  • Yes, You Can

    Yes, You Can

    I like looking in the mirror and seeing who I really am without you, and how wonderful life really is. So no more. No more staying up all night, crying because life is not fair…

    No more negativity. No more "I can't" when I could be saying "I can."

    — Irene Menendez-Morris

  • You Are Loved

    You Are Loved

    Sometimes I thought you were protecting me from bad things, and that you were showing me the truth of the world. How the world is horrible, how I’m ugly, and how nobody loves me. I’m here to inform you that those things aren’t true.

    The world isn’t all horrible, I’m beautiful, and so many people love me.

    — Rebecca Fleming, Grand Prize Winner

    Check out her full length letter here.

  • You Are Supported

    You Are Supported

    A life-long partner is supposed to be someone who builds you up, who believes in you, and supports you no matter what. You made me feel worthless, alone, and ashamed… No one would choose to live that way because it is not really living at all. 

    Your voice still haunts me sometimes as I lay awake in bed, but I know that you no longer have a hold on me and I don’t have to believe the lies you whisper in my head.

    — Kristen

  • You Are Magical

    You Are Magical

    Me: Hey, Depression. Wanna see a magic trick?

    Depression: I guess so

    Me: Poof! Now you’re single!

    — Anonymous

  • You Are Free

    You Are Free

    A relationship is about give and take and you have taken everything and given me nothing but heartache. You make it hard to move some days and have forced me into over working myself just to avoid you…

    You have changed me, broken me down, and shaped me. I will no longer listen to your negativity, your lies, or humor you with my tears. I am stronger now and I have to let you go.

    — Justine

  • You Are Compassionate

    You Are Compassionate

    I would say, “You will find another girl, don’t worry.” But I sure as hell hope not because I don’t want to see any other girl or boy go through what you put me through. I can help others deal with things like you now because I know what it’s like.

    — Samantha 

    P.S. I cheated on you with a lot of chocolate. 

  • You Are Positive

    You Are Positive

    Well, you've been around for a long time and: 1. You won't let me develop normal relationships with friends or women as you're always there, saying stuff like "they don't like you" or "what a waste of time." What a critical jerk you are! 2. You're always a cloud hovering around me, keeping the sun out on sunny days! 3. You wake me up in the middle of the night and tell me all is lost—when it's not!

    — Reggie F.

  • You Are Creative

    You Are Creative

    You have taught me the depths of feeling. I will take this knowledge and use it in my art, writing and dealings with others. There is a beauty in your depths and having been engulfed, you have given me the ability to understand when I'm approaching your hungry pit...and I will turn and take action either to change the situation or myself.

    — Joye 

  • You Are Independent

    You Are Independent

    When we got together, I lost a lot of friends because of you, though I have to thank you because a lot of true friends came around… And though the marks aren't on my body anymore, they're forever on my heart.

    I’m better off without you… I have a life to live.

    — Anonymous

  • You Will Overcome

    You Will Overcome

    We've been together for 7 years and it's time we part… You tear people down to their last strand of hope and you take a pair of scissors and cut it. You've brought me down to my last strand, but I'm taking away your scissors and I'm throwing you away.

    I am better than you. I am stronger and I will overcome you.

    — Jami Briscoe

  • You Are Beautiful

    You Are Beautiful

    You made me feel so ugly. The number of times I wrote it, into myself and onto pages infinite. I hate to say that, because God has given me such a beautiful person to live in. My personality and self is beautiful.

    I can tell in my eyes, when I look back on pictures from when you lived in me, that I looked ugly. Usually I had been crying, or I was scared. I had fear in my eyes. FEAR. Now I’m not afraid of you, not even a little.

    — Hannah Bertram

  • Write Your Own Story

    Write Your Own Story

    Just as these people have written their break-up letter with depression, you too can take control. While depression is a condition you can't leave like that last no-good so-and-so you can't believe you wasted your time on, you can write yourself a promise: a promise to stay up on your treatments and live your life as you see fit. Depression can take a hike. 

    Depression can feel like it's the one holding your pen, but you can fight back and write your own story.