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Read Me: An open letter to my own depression

Garry Williams, who has suffered from depression for years, addresses his illness directly.

Garry Williams

Garry Williams is a 33-year-old unemployed man from London who has been dealing with depression for over four years. In this open letter he declares war on his illness.

DEAR DEPRESSION,

I wanted to write a letter to you in the hope we can come to some sort of agreement as to where we both go from here. I have written to you many times before in days of despair and days of hope – today is one of my good days when I can find the strength from within to speak to you forcefully, concisely, from the head and from the heart. If need be, I can also speak to you aggressively just to enforce my point, but seeing as we are now old friends I shall try to remain diplomatic at all times.

Let me start by complimenting you on the wonderful public relations team you have working for you. How you manage to cause so much pain and heartache to so many people and not get a negative reaction in the press is a testament to the work they do on your behalf. How you get away with creating a stigma against those of us who suffer is nothing short of remarkable. When we are on better terms, perhaps you can tell me how they do it.

Exactly how is it that you manage to turn the tables on people so that they are seen as weak, hopeless, worthless and even on the verge of taking their lives because you wont let them breathe? How come you’re  still not seen as the major illness you are when so many people suffer because of you?

Despite all of this people still do not talk about you; there is a fear. Almost reminiscent of the film Candyman where people are afraid to mention you in case you appear in their lives. When I am ready your team can work for me and help promote my blog and then we will see how you cope with the tables being turned on you for a change, how the changing of the guard, in terms of how people see you and react to you when the truth comes out, makes you feel.

‘I knew you were there’

I saw first hand how you destroy someone with no regard, no remorse just a relentless charge through someone’s persona. Watching someone so vibrant, loving, outgoing and confident become a shadow of that person that I loved. To make someone change in such a way and worse of all, to do it over a long period of time so that they are not aware of it. This is not the actions of something that is perceived so lightly by others, especially those who have never been “blessed” with your touch. Like a cold hand on a warm day your touch comes as a shock at first and yet you embrace those unable to fight you off like a familiar face, suppressing the evil laughter that no doubt exists as you claim a new follower.

You came to me over a two to three year time span. I knew you were there but I was not ready to acknowledge your existence. Unaware of the strength I needed to halt you on the path of destruction that was intended for my life, I allowed you to control me and my feelings until that day when you almost beat me. I use the word ALMOST because you had the chance to do exactly that and beat me. Big mistake, mister, because when you had me on the canvas you did not go in for the kill. You allowed me to take the eight-count and instead of finishing me off you chose to dance around the ring, toying with me.

The truth of the matter is that I was a beaten man, but I did not want you to claim me as another victim. From within I found hidden strength, through the love of my wife and children, to rise up and fight back. I am lucky in that sense but others are not as fortunate as me, more susceptible to your uncanny knack of pinpointing someone’s weakness and going straight for it.

‘You helped me!’

The good news for me (and bad for you) is that our time together has not always been so advantageous in your favour. Without you I would not be writing, something I had a passion for as a young boy in school. You stirred my creative juices and made my mind awash with ways in which I can defeat you. You helped me! I guess it is fair to say that it was not your intention but unlike you toying around with me when I was down I have taken my opportunity and I am ready for you. I am ready to help others defeat you and most of all I am ready to show others how the weakness comes from you not themselves.

I am starting a revolution and will unite all ‘Depressionistas’ from all walks of life in my battle. Are you ready for us this time my friend? We may be weak as single entities, but as a force we are strong,  and we will not be defeated even if it takes us a lifetime. Your days of chaining us to shackles will soon be over.

Try putting a positive spin on that!

Love,

Garry

Garry has been unemployed for over 2 years and dealing with depression for around four years. He was only officially diagnosed in March this year. Speaking to TheJournal.ie he said:

The aim of my blog is to help other people realise that A) They have depression and B) that it is not a sign of weakness, especially for a man to admit that they need help. It took me years to seek help and things only reached rock bottom when I was almost willing to throw myself out of the window of my block of flats, of which I live on the top floor.
I have only been blogging since June this year so I am still a newbie but it has been an incredibly positive form of therapy for me. I am also proud that even though I struggle with depression I have managed to self publish two books on the subject to hopefully inspire others.

To visit Garry’s blog,The Depressed Moose, click here. He has self-published two books which are available via Smashwords here.

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Garry Williams

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