This is to those of you who support us with depression. Our parents, friends, GPs, nurses, mental health workers, siblings, partners, colleagues, and flatmates. We want to say thank you; for being there, for trying to understand, for not giving up on us.
For continuing to try and communicate with us. We know it’s not easy. We know that it’s hard when we struggle to talk. We know it can be difficult when you ask us a question and it takes us twenty minutes to answer. We know it’s hard when you ask us what’s wrong and we can’t tell you. We’re grateful that you continue to ask us if we’re okay.
For texting, calling, and messaging us. We know it’s frustrating when it takes us days or weeks to reply to messages. We know it makes it hard to arrange things. We know it might make you worry. Thank you for not giving up on us and for carrying on contacting us even when we don’t reply.
For trying to understand us. We know it can be hard for you to understand, especially when we struggle to explain. We know that ‘I don’t know’ is one of the most frustrating answers to the question ‘what’s wrong?’. We know that you want to understand and you want to help. We really appreciate that you continue to try, listen to us, to be there.
For listening to us, even when we make no sense. We know it can be hard to have a conversation with us. We know it can be hard to hear how much we’re struggling. We know how tricky it can be to have a one-sided discussion. Thank you for talking to us – for telling us about your day and helping us to maintain a sense of normality. Thank you for the meaningless conversations, the meaningful conversations, and the conversations that we have without words.
For picking up the slack when we are unable to manage everything that we need to do. We realise that watching us struggle to complete basic tasks despite having no physical afflictions stopping us can be difficult. Thank you for doing extra duties at work, for helping us make sure that all our jobs get done even when we are unable to do them all ourselves, for helping us to clean our flats and houses, for cooking for us when we’re struggling to eat properly. Thank you for going out of your way to do extra jobs. We really appreciate it.
For respecting when we need space and time, and recognising when we need you to break down our walls. We know how hard it must be to watch us feel unable to look after ourselves. Thank you for helping us to practice self-care, for helping us to do things we struggle to do – for encouraging us to eat, for accompanying us outside, for helping us to get dressed, and for all the other little things you help us to do. Thank you for celebrating our little wins with us and for your gentle encouragement.
For not giving up on us, despite how long we’ve been ill. You didn’t sign up for this. We know you wish there was a ‘quick fix’, or something you could do. We do, too. Thank you for standing alongside us and for being so patient.
For validating us, for recognising our struggles, for not just assuming everything is okay, but for taking the time to listen, and for really hearing our response. Thank you for supporting us.
For letting us cry, for letting us be sad, angry, and upset when we need to be and for all your hugs. Thank you for putting up with us when we snap, for holding us when we feel like we’re falling apart, for sitting with us when we struggle to be alone.
Thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do, to support us. It’s not gone unnoticed. We really do appreciate it.
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