A Letter to My Mom: Thank You for Understanding My Depression

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Mom,

Thank you for understanding my depression. This is the single most important thing you did that helped me survive. Having someone understand, even just slightly understand that depression is a real illness, means so much. You understood I wasn’t being “lazy,” “attention seeking” or “selfish,” like many people accuse those who are struggling with depression of being. You understood all of my actions and thoughts were out of my control.

Thank you for helping me with my daughter. Not being able to take care of myself was bad enough, but I had a little human being who needed me as well. I was unable to care for her because I couldn’t care for myself. You stepped in, above and beyond, to make sure she and I were both taken care of. You put us both above yourself without accusing me of being a bad mother or not loving her. You understood I was sick and I needed help for that period of time.

Thank you for letting me stay in bed all day when I couldn’t move and for bringing me toast and crackers to force feed me when I was unable to eat. Thank you for making me get up and shower because I needed that push, even though I was angry at you at the time. I know you were just helping me to get better.

Thank you for standing up for me when family and friends didn’t quite understand “what was wrong with me.” Many people will never understand that depression is out of a person’s control, but you did your best to try and make them understand what I was going through.

Thank you for never turning your back on me, even when the depression made me turn my back on everyone, including you. I isolated myself. In my head, it was what was best for you and everyone who loved me because I didn’t want you all to see me in the condition I was in. When I came out of isolation, you brought me in with open arms and kind words. I didn’t feel like I deserve that, but you did it.

Thank you for taking me to my doctor’s appointments, reminding me to take my medication and listening to me when I wanted to talk. Thank you for getting into bed with me and holding me as I cried for hours because that was exactly what I needed.

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Thank you for never giving up on me, even though this depressive episode lasted 119 days. I am in recovery, and I still have “off” days, but you never gave up on me, even when I had given up on myself.

Mom, I couldn’t have survived this without you. I will be forever grateful for that. I know now to come to you as soon as I need to and not to hold everything in. I know you will always be there. I am so blessed to have you as my mom and number one supporter.

I love you.

Your daughter.

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