An Open Letter to All the People in My Life: It's Not You, It's Not Me—It's Depression

To all the people in my life,

I want to begin by saying I’m sorry.

I'm sorry that I can be really down sometimes.

I'm sorry that I take my frustrations out on you.

I'm sorry that I don’t always understand.

But mostly, I’m sorry that I have to be sorry.

I suffer from a mental illness. I suffer from depression, and it’s something I can’t control. I know this doesn’t always excuse my behaviour, but it’s something that should be considered. When I’m being moody, or if I say something offensive, it’s not because I’m trying to be a mean person. It’s not because I want to cause pain. It’s because I have an illness, and sometimes I can’t stop it from taking over.

Please know that when I lock myself away and refuse to talk, or if I snap over trivial things, or if I am blatantly mean with my words and actions, it’s not you. But it’s also not me.

You see, I’m just as much of a victim as you are. The difference is, I say sorry when I’m the perpetrator. Depression never says sorry. It breaks you down, over and over again, and leaves you to put yourself back together. It doesn't sympathize, it doesn’t try to understand. It hovers over you like a heavy cloud waiting to release its rain.

I really want you to understand this: the way I act is not because of you, but it’s also not because of who I am. I like to think that I have a big heart, and I try to love everyone in my life with every part of me. But sometimes, my depression can get the better of me. Sometimes, it’s not me controlling my thoughts, words or actions. Sometimes, I become an entirely different person--a person that I don’t like. But I can’t always help it.

To my friends and family, thank you so much for standing by me when I’m at my worst. I’m truly sorry that I have to be sorry so often, but I truly cannot change it. I have gone to therapy, I take medication, I try to do things that make me happy, yet sometimes this is not enough. Sometimes I need to lay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. Sometimes I need to cry for hours on end until I feel like my heart can smile again. And sometimes, I have to go through a really bad day to experience a few great ones.

But please know that it’s not you and it’s not me. It’s Depression.