Wednesday 18 July 2018

'People are waiting for me to get better, give me my life back' - Woman's heartbreaking description of depression

The Letter I Wish I'd Sent series
The Letter I Wish I'd Sent series Newsdesk Newsdesk

A woman has said that depression has robbed her of the love of her life, halted her career and stolen years of her life.

The woman, who will only be identified as Eimear, has spoken candidly in a heartbreaking letter about how she is determined to overcome her mental health struggles.

She said in an inspiring message that her loved ones are rooting for her and she would love to have a "normal life."

She wrote the letter to the Sunday Independent series 'The Letter I Wish I'd Sent.'

The full letter reads:

Dear Depression,

I HAVE some things to say. Fighting you isn’t working this time, so please hear me. I’ve lost so much because of you, and yet I don’t want to hate you.

I hate that you stole years of my life. I hate that you made me push people away, that you hurt my family, that you’ve halted my career path once again, that you hold me back from being all that I can be.

I hate that you scare people away, that you make them uncomfortable. I hate that people judge me because of you.

You steal joy — you don’t even swap it out, you just leave me empty — looking like me, but you’ve taken bits that people can’t see.

I hate you so much for taking my favourite thing from me. My music. Of all the things you ruined for me, that was particularly low.

It’s bad enough that I can’t work, I can’t concentrate, I struggle to read or even watch films. I admit it — you got me.

This time you really did it. You’ve had me awake all night, crying literally every day, in public, too. You’ve even had me praying.

Where does it end? I won’t bother asking what you want because it’s clear.

Every time you’ve had me staring at the river, or the tracks; when you’ve taken me on dark motorways.

When you’ve had me counting my pills, Googling toxic information, wishing for things one isn’t supposed to. You’re doing your best to take me this time.

I starved you of all the things you love — isolation, negativity, late nights. I’ve tried to medicate you.

You did not respond well. I’ve instead fed myself with nutrition and love, exercise and self-belief and all the things you reject.

Because of you, I lost the love of my life, the loveliest man I’ve known since my father.

No, you’re not responsible for his actions thereafter, but we both know you’re the root cause. You hurt people. You hurt him. He acted out of pain, and fear and it all comes back to you.

People don’t know how to deal with you. Hell, I’m still learning, and we’ve been together now for most of my adult life.

I used to accept you. I decided to embrace you. I even convinced myself that it was you that gave me my gifts. That without you I couldn’t be as creative, smart, as fun.

But you’re not what makes me who I am. You’re just part of me. And you need to know that.

For a while now you’ve been taking over. My existence revolves around you, taming you, talking about you, managing you, fighting you. But we both know there’s so much more to me, and I’m writing you this to ask you to set me free.

We managed to co-exist before, remember? It was working quite well. Can we just go back to that?

I’d acknowledge you every day, just like Russell Crowe as John Nash nods to the Paul Bettany character at the end of A Beautiful Mind, we’d leave each other alone.

I don’t know what this is about. If you wanted to prove you still had power over me, you’ve made your point. I know you’re there.

I know you want to take me this time, but my family need me here.

Besides which, I’ve an able body and mind with things to do, and, well, you’re just getting in the way. So, here’s the deal.

I want you to stop lying to me. Stop telling me it’s OK to end my life. Stop telling me I can’t have it all, because I was pretty damn close. I can.

Stop telling me that people don’t understand because I know that there are people that do, and I want to meet them. Stop telling me no one can cope with this, with me.

It’s not true. You want it to just be you and me forever, till death? Well, I’ve had a taste of more. I liked it. If we’re in this together, can we just make room for more?

So just please, please, let me win again. It won’t mean you’re defeated. I know you’re not leaving.

You’re a ‘chronic condition’, but we can make this work.

People are waiting for me to get better. I’m doing my best, but I need your help.

I’m sorry I’ve kept you hidden, but I thought I was giving myself the best chance for a ‘normal’ life.

Give me my life back, and I’ll show people that you’re not to be feared. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to get you accepted, whatever you want.

Just let me, please. Eimear

Name and address with editor


  • If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this letter please contact Samaritans helpline 116 123 or Aware helpline 1800 80 48 48


The Sunday Independent is encouraging readers to write the letters you wish you'd sent as part of a series celebrating the art of letter writing. Send your letters, including your address and contact details to: The Letter I Wish I'd Sent, Sunday Independent, Independent House, 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, or email clearly labelled 'The Letter I Wish I'd Sent'

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