To My Dear Friends,

I’m sorry if it took me this long to tell you the truth. The thing is, I have a jealous friend. He doesn’t like it when I hang out with you. He clings to me every moment of every day. He convinced me that I am better off without you–that I am better off alone. I began to push myself away from you guys. I stopped answering any of your calls and returning any of your messages. I kept on cancelling on our plans.

He suffocated me. He keeps on suffocating me. He leaves me to cry myself to sleep and hide under the covers so no one could see. I want to ask for help. I’m dying to ask for your help. He convinced me that telling you won’t do me any good. He made me think that you would judge me. He kept on telling me you would not understand. And I believed him to the point that he gained the power to make it hard for me to go to school–to socialize with others. He left this constant heavy feeling inside my chest; as if he ripped my heart out and left this gaping hole in me. I felt empty and numb. I feel hopeless. Worthless. Helpless. Sleep is my only escape. I started going home alone past midnight and I could pass through dark alleys without any ounce of fear in me. I crossed busy roads without looking both ways. Sometimes, whenever I would pass through the cold corridors of the hospital thoughts like “Why couldn’t that have been me on that hospital bed?” would cloud my mind.

Despite all these, I still put a smile on my face. I still laugh when you laugh even when nothing inside of me feels like laughing at all—so don’t blame yourself for not noticing. People only see what I want them to see. I did these in an attempt to feel normal again—because I thought that maybe if I acted happy he would finally leave me alone.

I was wrong. So wrong. There are details to this story that I would rather not expound on but know this: I did muster the courage to ask for help. I am on the road to recovery. He may not leave me completely, but at least I will regain control over my life again–the life I thought I had figured out. Please understand that my friend and I are not the same person. I will soon be myself again. I know someday I will be able to smile again and feel it in my soul. I will be able to laugh again and actually mean it. I will be able to feel the warm beating of my heart beneath my palm as it gives me hope to live the life I should live. A normal life with normal emotions.  I hope you will still be there to enjoy it with me.

My friend’s name? He’s Depression.

I hope you never meet him.

Love,

P of 2021