An Open Letter to Depression
Dear Little Black Cloud,
Can I call you LBC? We’ve known each other for quite some time now, and I feel that we can take our relationship to the next level. You were there when I cried myself to sleep each night before I started my new job, convinced that surrounding myself by new people would only heighten the realization that I am completely and utterly alone. You hovered when I sat at my desk for three hours in the middle of the night, too lethargic to do anything but sit and acknowledge the fact that you kept me up at night for all the wrong reasons. You’ve followed me around without asking, trailing behind me as I walk amongst throngs of students in the Student Union and sitting in on courses you never paid tuition for. We’ve been together for the better part of twenty-one years. I think it’s time to say goodbye. I’d say something cliché like, “It’s not you, it’s me,” but we both know that’s tacky and not true. The little white pills I keep by my bedside and choke down each night are proof that I’m trying to wash you out in a game of chemical mix-and-match in my brain. Those appointments I attend bi-weekly for my personal health? They’re with therapists—break-up counselors, if you will—who coach me on how to rid my life of you. A small part of me is sad to say goodbye. Beyond the apathy, the aching, the emptiness, you’ve been there. A constant, creeping comfort I can count on finding in my lowest of moments. To cut you out is to cut out a part of myself. But I have to. I have friends now, LBC. Friends that like to waltz in the middle of a dark movie theater showing Cinderella. Friends that fake French accents over a breakfast of croissants and crêpes, giggling at the cute server with the black beret. Friends that make sure the forecast is always sunny and clear with no room for little black clouds that bring nothing but soulless darkness and tearful precipitation. I know you won’t be happy with this arrangement. Of the fourteen million adults in the United States affected by you and your brethren, you’ll be sad to see one go. You’ll try to fight back, wiggle your way past my defenses when you think I’m not looking. In fact, I’m almost positive I’ll run into you somewhere down the road, your familiarity distracting me from the poisonous effect you have on my life. But, after some time, I’ll remember again why I’m currently saying goodbye and send you on your way.
Here’s to a happily ever after,
Sick of Suffering, and Searching for Sunshine
Jackie Compton is a senior majoring in creative writing at the University of Central Florida. She is the current secretary of the Zeta Xi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta and the creative director of the Cypress Dome Literary Magazine. She will graduate with her B.A. in creative writing in the fall of 2015.