An Introduction to Depression
An anthology by Zac Ramsay
An Introduction to Depression
I never wanted any of this, but then again, who really ever does? Yeah, yeah, shut up I know it sounds cliché and all that crap, but it’s true. I’ve been told I have a lot of privilege, and as an undergraduate journalism student in a fairly progressive country I understand that privilege and I deeply appreciate it and the life it has afforded me. I grew up in an upper middle class home as a white Christian child with white Christian parents with white Christian friends with a few minorities sprinkled few and far between. I never wondered where my next meal would come from, or if my parents would be there in the morning, but looking back on my childhood, I was mostly ungrateful. I spent the first sixteen or so years of life not understanding that there were other people in the world who didn’t live the exact same life as I did.
Sure, there were starving kids in Africa who would love to eat the broccoli off my plate, but they were more a myth and folk legend to me than actually starving people who’s lives were substantially different and possibly worse, but no more important than mine.
I didn’t learn to swear until I was eight, thanks to my soccer team playing in the same indoor complex as the men’s league. I had the standard sex talk in grade five and six as every kid I knew did, but I didn’t really understand it, or even think about it until about two years ago. I never experienced gang violence, I was never in any real kind of danger, nor did I make any life-altering mistakes and neither did my parents. My life was safe, it was boring, and it’s exactly what I want for the rest of my life and for my future children’s lives. Sure, I’m not off being a war hero, but I’m also not getting shot at and starving in a war-zone wondering if I will ever see another friendly face again. I have been criticized for not trying to live a more exciting life, but I don’t care. I’m comfortable where I am in the safety of my not war-torn country.
My parents paid for the bulk of my education and almost every expense that I had growing up. I owe my good position to them. I have a bright future, not because of anything special that I did, but because of the work my parents put in, and the work their parents put in, and the privileged place in society they hold because of their race and religion.
When I tell people that I’m depressed, most of them scoff. I have everything I could ever want. The only possible disadvantage that I have is that my car insurance is slightly higher because boys at my age are typically dangerous drivers. Woe is me, am I right? What do I have to be sad about? Literally nothing. Nothing at all. I’m just sad that my sorry life isn’t more exciting.
For the longest time I thought that what I was feeling was just how people felt all the time. I never felt the need to talk about it with anyone because that’s just how everyone felt. Of course, for most of my life I was too young to even understand how I was feeling, it mostly came off as frustration or anger while I wasn’t holed up in my basement alone, but as I became older and started spending time with different people I noticed that the way I was feeling was not the status quo. This, however, started when I was a teen in high school, meaning that everything was happening to only me, so I never ended up talking to anyone about it.
It was only until the second year of university that I realized there was something truly wrong with me and it wasn’t just a natural human condition nor the effects of puberty that made me feel the way I was. The persistent pit in my lower chest, the chills running up my spine, and the numbness in my mind were not normal. Not specifically unique to myself, but by no means usual.
At this point, however, being generally sad and unconvinced that my life would matter in any way was completely normal. Although it wasn’t pleasant, and I knew it wasn’t normal, I still lacked the conviction to talk to anyone about it.
The way I thought about it was personified well in a short story I read a while ago. It was about someone who had lived their whole life without the use of their legs in a wheel chair. People would often feel sorry for them, but they never truly understood why. Sure, their life was a little less mobile than other people’s, but they by no means felt they were missing out on their lives. This was just how it was, this was the life that they were comfortable with, and the functionality of their legs didn’t make or break their will to live. The same goes for me. While the analogy isn’t perfect, it’s close enough. I don’t need people’s pity nor feel like I have a terrible life, I am well aware of how great my life is. Even though there is a constant tug of nothingness in the background, I’m still living my life. This is my normal.
This was my mentality for the past few years. I knew my lot in life was hampered with numbness, but I was aware my life was still good, and so I felt like I had nothing to talk about even if I spent most of my time feeling worthless and too small to ever matter beyond my tiny circle.
Suicidal thoughts were just thoughts and never really escalated to any sort of meaningful planning and therefore didn’t affect the way I interacted with people. My coping mechanisms helped me get through the day. As the benefits of my little periods of escape were irreversibly dulled by overuse, I felt increasingly isolated from the rest of world.
I knew I was spiralling, and I knew this was the worst I had felt in a long time, but I had been through down periods before that were longer than this. I thought I would be fine. However, the continual overuse of my coping mechanisms combined with the prolonged down period lead me to my first sincere suicidal scare last week. I don’t want to go into detail as it clearly is a traumatic event in my life that I would rather not relive, but I’ll go as far as telling you that my family and I never got around to throwing out painkillers from when I had my wisdom teeth pulled. Nothing was ingested, thankfully.
It was the next night I called my best friend to go out for drinks, not telling him anything other than I wanted to hang out. There was a bar close to his house, so we had a few drinks there, talked about what we usually do, and then walked home once it started to get late. It was a clear night in May, surprisingly warm for the time of year. The way to his house was through a pretty big park, which meant that when it gets dark we could see the stars well enough for still being in the city.
I’ll remember that walk forever. The cool breeze, the artificial warmness brought on by a few too many drinks, and the silence that only comes once everything is asleep.
The serene atmosphere of the walk was doing little to combat the tempest I was feeling. I had never told anyone about how I felt, and we had been having such a good time. I didn’t want to ruin his night with literally depressing conversation.
“Do you ever think about how small you are compared to everything out there?” he asks, hands in pockets staring up the sky. He sighs as he scans the stars.
“Yeah,” I replied, staring at my undone shoelace, debating whether or not to stop to tie it.
“There’s the big dipper,” he pointed.
“Nice,” I sighed, too focused on my shoelace to really care about stars that haven’t changed their position in the night sky since humans started looking at them.
We walked in silence for a while. The faint rush of far away traffic was the only thing competing with the sound of our shoes for the attention of my ears. My nose was fully occupied by the stench of his deodorant. What would have made him think that much deodorant was a sensible choice?
“The little dipper is there, and I think the one that looks like a ‘W’ is called Cassiopeia,” he said with his neck craned up at the sky. “I remember going to planetariums a couple of times as a kid and I always loved it, but I can’t remember where most of the constellations are.”
A mosquito buzzed in my ear. I remember how I thought it was amazing that they could always find a person in any kind of space within a matter of minutes and continuously hum in their ear, seemingly with no perception of how much danger their life is in with a giant swatting at them.
“Isn’t there a way to find all of them by following the handle of the big dipper or something?” I recalled as my friend’s birthday parties at the planetarium flood to the front of my memory.
“That’s about all I remember,” he let out a small chuckle. “Every time I look at the stars I mean to look it up, but as soon as I get home I forget all about it.”
The mosquito landed on my arm and I tried to smack it, but it flew away before I got close. To this day I hate evolution for allowing those disgusting creatures to come into existence.
“I find that happens a lot,” I said. “In the moment I’ll have tons of motivation, but as soon as I go to do it I lose it all. It always feels like it will be too much work.” We were walking slowly, but the short bursts of conversation combined with comfortable silence lead us to being half way back to my house. I looked ahead to familiar curve of the asphalt path in between the rows of oak trees. During the day, the light just barely trickles through the leaves to cast the path in an almost magical orange glow. Now, at night, the darkness is overwhelming, but somehow peaceful regardless of the innate human fear of the darkness.
This was the place that spurred my imagination as a child. We would play here and we would create these amazing fantasies of knights and dragons, or teams of superheroes saving the world. For my entire life this place had preoccupied my imagination and fuelled story after story.
“We don’t come here that much any more,” he said, finally relaxing his neck. There was something in his voice that made me pause before I replied. It wasn’t like there was sadness or a longing for a return, but that he was simply stating a fact, like my friend did not mirror the attachment that I had to this place. I wondered if he remembers it like I did. I wondered if he remembers me like I did.
“It makes me sad, honestly,” I looked over to him. He had noticed my shoelace, but decided not to say anything. “I’m moving in a week and it feels like I’m never going to see this place again.”
“What do you mean? Your new place is a ten minute drive away, you’re going to come over all the time and we will most certainly walk through here again,” he stopped to grab a leaf and inspect it. “It’s like nothing has changed,” he sighed as he let the leaf fall to the ground.
“I guess you’re right. Classic me, overthinking everything,” I only said that half-sarcastically. I felt the mosquito on my leg and finally managed to kill it. A smear of blood patterns the area indicating the insect had already had its share of my blood before I noticed it again. I hoped they would leave me alone for a while.
I still hadn’t worked up the courage to talk to him about anything regarding how I felt. We talked about me moving away, sure, but we had been talking about that for weeks and anxiety over moving away and starting a new life is something that’s easy to talk about because it’s something everyone goes through, something that he could understand.
We decided to stand in the dark for a while.
“Do you remember when we used to see who could stand here the longest in the dark without running?” I asked, trying to break the bubble of tension floating around me. He laughed. I could barely see him, but I knew exactly how his face looked when he laughed. The creases next to his eyes, the rise in his cheeks, and that big stupid toothy grin accompanied by a wheeze of a laugh. As soon as his big bellow of a laugh turns into a wheeze, I know I’ve really struck a chord with him. “What’s so funny?”
“I’m just thinking about your face whenever it was your turn,” he wiped a tear from his eye. Was I really that funny to watch? I just remember being terrified. I guess I must have been making a face to match. “I would stand there for two or three minutes, get bored and walk back out to you. You always wanted me to go first to make sure there was nothing hiding in there. Even so, you’d never last more than a minute before I’d hear your little yelp and see the pure panic on your face as you sprinted back out to me. It was priceless.”
It seemed so long ago. When I stood there in the dark, I was scared, but not like I was when we would play that game. At the front of my mind, all those years later, I knew that nothing is going to jump out at me and no monster will form itself from the darkness to consume me. However, at the back of my mind, there was still that child like existential fear that I was in danger in the darkness, regardless of how safe it really was. It seemed like a lifetime ago that every shadow was a demon and every snap of a twig was a murderer ready to stab me in the back and watch the life drain from my eyes. Even if my friend went first, the monsters would know who it was and not touch him. It was me they were after, so no matter how many people I could convince to go before me, I was always in danger. It still kind of feels that way.
The faint buzz of a mosquito returned. It always does, no matter how many you kill.
“Are you going to leave your shoelace untied on purpose the entire way home, or are you eventually going to tie it up?” he asked, clearly it was bothering him. I kneel down and mitigate the tripping hazard. “Thank you, how do you stand to leave them like that?”
“I know that look,” he said.
“What look?” I remember the panic that was screaming through me. Did I always have a look when I felt like this? How long has he been noticing? Has he known all along and not cared? Has everyone noticed and not cared?
“You’re terrified right now, aren’t you?” he chuckles to himself. He was right, just not in the way he was thinking. The wave of calm that rushed over me did nothing to calm my heart rate. The familiar rattling in my rib cage desperately trying to remind me that I’m alive, pushing as hard as it can to rid my blood of contamination with no success. No heart can filter an infection that doesn’t exist, no matter how fast it pumps.
“A little,” I managed.
“Let’s keep walking then, I don’t want you to wet yourself.” As we make it out the other side of the trees, the hum of the traffic returns, but less faint making the scraping of our shoes quieter.
To this day, I don’t know what it was that motivated me to throw myself down on the slightly damp grass. Most of me wanted to get home as fast as possible and curl up under the covers in my childhood bed and hate the world in my own private space. There must have been a part of me that knew I had to talk to him.
I remember his look of utter confusion as he saw me flop down next to the path with my arms behind my head. He told me a few days later that I looked unusually calm. All I can remember is the beehive in my head, the heaviness of the air, and my heart almost lifting my chest off the ground.
In that moment when he moved to lie down next to me, it felt like the world stood still. I could no longer hear the traffic, the mosquitos had finally decided to hunt new prey, and the monsters of the tree covered path had gone back to bed. We were the only things awake.
“Is everything okay?” he asked. I knew this was coming and yet I couldn’t stop the build up of sadness in my chest. The all too familiar feeling just before a flood of emotion is about to leave my body where it feels like all the tears and feelings and pain are about to explode up from your lungs into your tear ducts. The stars and crescent moon blur as all the pent up emotion that I had never shown to anyone erupts into the humid night air.
“I’m so sad,” I sobbed, trying to wipe the snot and water off of my face only to have it replaced. How did I ever think this wouldn’t happen?
“About anything in particular?” he didn’t seem phased at all. He didn’t care that I was bawling my eyes out next to him. He cared about how I was feeling and wanted to make it better, regardless of what it looked like on my face.
“I honestly don’t know,” I say wiping some of the tears from my eyes. “I have been trying to change things in my life, slowly cutting things away and bringing things back into my life to see if it changes how I feel at all but nothing seems to make me feel any better. It just feels like I’m helpless, you know?”
He stared straight up at the sky. His eyes were locked onto the stars straight above him. I would think he was just looking for constellations, but his eyes weren’t moving.
“I understand, man, and I want to help. Just tell me how.”
That is the question I had been asking myself over and over again. Even if I were to have asked someone, even if I had eventually got professional help, how would they have helped me? How could they have fixed something that only I understood? How would they have fixed something that they have no concept of? I knew that I was not the only one in the world who is depressed, but I’m the only one who knew exactly how I felt. No one would be able to help me. There was nothing he could do. There was nothing I could do.
“Just having you listening helps, honestly.” I had myself under control. My cheeks were still damp and my eyes still had that faint sting from the tears. The grass was itching my neck.
“That’s all? I can’t recommend someone or help you look? I want to do more than just listen. I want to be able to help you.” His fists were clenching the grass. It crunched as he pulled it out of the ground. My neck itched, but I knew it was from the grass. I just had to ignore it and it would go away.
“Sure,” I could feel my lip quiver as the tears built up in my eyes again. I hate when I’m like this. I especially hated that he had to see me like this. No one had ever seen me like this.
He turned to his side and propped himself up on his elbow so he was looking directly at me. The moonlight caught a tear drip from his cheek onto the patch of the dirt where he was pulling at the grass.
“I think you should get professional help. You desperately need it. I think I know how long you’ve been feeling like this and it’s been a long time. It isn’t always this bad, but I can see it on your face whenever you feel this way. I just know the two kinds of smiles you have, you know? It’s hard to explain.”
It was my turn to stare straight into the sky. If he’d known for so long, why hadn’t he said anything? Why hadn’t he tried to help me before?
“But I’ve seen you when you’re down and when you’re up,” he continued. There was the slightest waver in his voice. There was no other sound. The traffic has faded, and no animals stirred in the bushes. It seemed as if the entre universe was holding its breath and just waiting for something to happen. I could see my shirt flutter from the intensity of my heartbeat. “When you’re up, I see the way you walk. You have this swagger, this confidence. You laugh, and you joke, and you smile like you mean it. When you’re up, you tell jokes to make people laugh and not to distract yourself from how sad you are. You are amazing all the time, but when you feel amazing I see it shine through in everything you do. When you’re down, when you feel as depressed as you do now, it seems like you walk around with a ball and chain. Your smiles are fake, and I see it. I see you joke and I see you laugh and I can just see the difference. It doesn’t make any sense, but I do. I see it.”
My shoulders were being pulled down into the dirt like the gravity of the earth has been increased tenfold. Each breath in that brief moment of silence was an excuse not to say anything. It was a final, pathetic defence for my silence to my best friend for all these years. I knew why he hadn’t tried to help me. It was because he knew I needed help, but everything I did said either that I wasn’t ready or that I didn’t want it. It wasn’t his fault. All he has ever wanted to do was make me feel better. He has just wanted to make me feel whole again, to pull me up from the darkness and show me that there was still something to live for, but each time he has reached, I’ve swatted away his hand. It was all my fault. It was all my fault.
“It’s not your fault,” he said as if reading my mind. He’s not trying to hold the tears back now. “Do you forget how well I know you? I know that look! It’s not your fault. This is a disease, a sickness that has infected you.” He takes a minute. His breath slows and the sniffles disperse. Only through the immense ache in my teeth do I realize how tightly my jaw has been clenched.
Instead of staring straight ahead, I look at the constellations. I only remember a few, but they still amaze me every time. These far off balls of flame, trillions upon trillions of miles away and yet their light somehow finds a way through the blackness of space to reach my eye just so I can see it. With each star I see, I wonder if it has planets, and, if on those planets, there’s some other tiny, insignificant creature looking up at the sky, seeing our sun and wondering the exact same thing.
“Would you go see a doctor if you had an infection?” he asked.
“What?” my concentration broken. “Of course.”
“Then you have proven my point. Your brain is infected. Not in the same way, but it is. Don’t treat your brain differently than the rest of your body, it is just as important.”
“I guess so.”
“Would anyone judge you for getting lifesaving antibiotics?”
“Therapy is the exact same thing. You have a problem that is negatively impacting your life, so you’re going to get a doctor to get it fixed. The only difference here is that you think people will judge you for it, but I promise you that the people who will know that you’re getting help will only be happy for you. The people that matter most to you are the people who have been praying that you will go and get professional help and will cry tears of joy when you finally ask for the help you have needed for years.” He flopped back down onto the grass. “We don’t want to see you suffer any more.”
He was right. He was exactly right. The only reason I haven’t gone is because I think that everyone will see me as weak, or that I failed in some way. To myself I think that’s always how I’ll see it, but no one else will see it that way.
“I’ll do it,” I said.
“You will?” he popped up onto his shoulder. The expression on his face is one that I still think is the strangest combination of emotions on a human face in the history of humanity. There was this post-devastation look, where it looked like every piece of despair in his body had leaked out through his face, but there was his big goofy smile and excited eyes plastered on top of it.
“I will. It will take some time, but I will,” I sat up to meet his gaze.
“Why don’t you start in the next week or so just by doing some research. Is that doable? Just find someone that you think will work for you. You don’t have to email them or call them, just find a place to start. Can you do that?”
I nod my head.
“Update me when you do. I’m holding you to this. You’ve agreed, no you’re going to do it.” He chuckled. I still don’t know if he did that on purpose to make me laugh or if he was just so happy that he couldn’t hold it in. He knew, though, that whenever he laughed, I laughed, no matter what. We laughed the tears off our cheeks. We laughed the snot out of our runny noses. We laughed until we convinced ourselves that the world was once again right.
“And that’s why you’re here?”
“Well, just taking a look at the surveys you filled out for us, your depression scores are quite concerning.”
“Okay, and what does that tell you?”
“It gives us a place to start. Why don’t you tell me a little about how you’ve been feeling in the past week?”
“It has been the worst it has ever been. I’ve never felt like this before. I thought then that where I was that day was going to be the deepest sadness I would ever feel, but now all I can do is just pray that I could go back to that day and feel like I did when we were laughing together.”
“Okay. Now tell me about what you wrote here. You said you’ve been having suicidal thoughts?”
“Tell me about that,”
I sent him a text in the next week with the link of the place that I had chosen. It was close to my new place and it had got great reviews.
“The next step, after that,” he said sitting up and crossing his legs, “Is to actually email them.” I could see where the dew had dampened his pants. “So another week after you do your research, you are going to send an email and you are going to get an initial appointment set up.”
“That’s doable. God forbid I have to call someone.” I laughed.
“You’re going to keep me updated on all of these steps, right?”
“Absolutely… do you ever feel small?” I asked, craning my neck back to look at the stars again.
“Not all the time, but definitely when I think about the size of the universe.”
“Isn’t it crazy? Even just the size of the planet is mind boggling, let alone the size of the sun, our solar system, or our galaxy.”
“Go beyond that,” the look on his face whenever he talked about the size of the universe was always one of my favourite things. “After our galaxy there is our local group, which is absolutely astronomical in its own right. I mean it’s already impossible to travel outside of our galaxy to another, but our local group, a huge collection of galaxies, is just one little part of a little part of the universe.”
“What, the local group is a part of a super cluster, right?”
“Yeah, so our local group is close with a bunch of other local groups that makes up a super cluster. Then that super cluster is just one of millions within the small slice of the universe that we can see.”
“Wasn’t there just recently a discovery of like gravity waves or something?”
“Yeah, it was so big because we can only see so far because the universe is only so old. Light has only had 13 billion years to travel from a star to our eyes, but the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light, so there’s a lot of the universe that we just can’t see, even though its there.”
“That’s impossibly big.”
Two weeks after that I sent him a screenshot of the email I sent to the therapist’s office in which I booked my first appointment.
“And do you still have the painkillers in your house?”
“Good, do you have any plans now?”
“Do you think you’re in any kind of danger to act on them?”
“Well, I have a plan, but I don’t think that I would ever act on it. Even if I were actually able to execute the plan, I don’t think I would ever actually have the courage to kill myself, you know?”
“I understand. Tell me about the plan that you have.”
My first appointment was scheduled three weeks from when I first emailed.
“My problem is,” I said, “Is that it seems like we’re just so meaningless.”
“What do you mean?” he said looking back to me.
“Well, say I fail a test, or get into a car accident, or a tornado destroys my house, all of those things would have big impacts on my life. Some things could be devastating for me and for lots of other people. Even if there were a catastrophe that killed millions of people, none of it would matter at all in the grand scheme of things. We are a tiny piece, of a tiny piece, of a tiny piece, of tiny piece, of a gigantic, unfathomable universe. How could anything we do matter at all in the slightest bit?”
I meant it. It wasn’t just some hypothetical scenario that I posed to incite discussion on philosophy, I truly just felt that everything was meaningless. Not just in the sense of the universe, but in every aspect of my life. A lot of what I hear from people is that they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and that they want to be a part of change. What I thought at the time was that even if what someone did made them a part of a larger movement, everything they did would just fall into dust and never matter. No matter how many lives could be changed, no matter the consequences of any action, it all will fade into nothingness. If not now, then later, but it all will in the end. I thought like that until he changed my mind.
“Are you familiar with nihilism?” he asks. His hands are folded on his stomach. Despite what happened in the minutes prior, he seemed so comfortable. I was comfortable too. I felt more comfortable than I have ever been. My shoulders were relaxed, I felt like I could take full breaths, and my jaw was not trying to crush my teeth.
“Yeah, the idea that nothing matters and everything is meaningless. I am very familiar.”
“Well, are you familiar with optimistic nihilism?”
“No. What is it?”
“If you’re right, and the universe is just this big empty void and we are just some tiny insignificant part of nothingness then the universe is a blank canvas. On that massive canvas there is an infinite amount of space and all of the potential creatures in the universe that are capable of conceptualizing a meaning in the universe are then free to paint whatever meaning they want onto that canvas. So you’re right, there is no overall grand meaning we can be a part of, but you’re wrong in saying that there is no meaning. We have whatever meaning we choose to create in the emptiness. So if you want your canvas to be empty, then it will be empty, but you also have the choice to believe that, even if your contribution is too small to ever be seen outside of our little pocket, it still exists on that canvas.”
I was speechless. That argument, that very human way of denying the possibility of a meaningless universe still keeps me going on a daily basis and it helps to fill the void that the occhiolism sometimes leaves.
I wiped the remaining dampness from my cheeks and stood up. He then joined me. I wrapped my arms around him and did everything I could to remember that moment. I did everything to keep every detail of that little slice of all the existence in the universe that only we would ever know existed.
“So you told me earlier about your friend’s explanation of optimistic nihilism and how it helped you. You’ve told me a couple times in the past that this idea keeps you going. What’s changed about that?”
“I just can’t keep doing this. Every day of my life is so hard. Every night I constantly wake up and stare at the ceiling and just pray that the next time I close my eyes I won’t have to stare at that ceiling again. I live my days feeling that I just shouldn’t exist, that I have no value, that I’m some disposable being that no one will notice if I disappear. All I am is a burden, to everyone. No matter what little pocket of meaning my life has, it is worth nothing.”
I had been to five sessions at that point. Ten weeks since that night. Nine weeks since that text. Eight since I emailed. Eight since he responded. Ten since I saw him smile. Ten since I felt the warmth of his body against mine.
“I had no idea.”
“How could you? It’s not your fault. There was no way you could have known.”
“But he knew. He knew exactly how I felt, he could see on my face! Why couldn’t I see it? Why couldn’t I help him the way he helped me?”
“Humans are very good at blaming themselves, and it’s completely normal to feel like it’s your fault, but its not. You are a great friend, and you did everything right.”
Four weeks have passed since then. Four weeks since I dug the old painkillers from the back of the closet where they wouldn’t be found.
If you asked me that night in May if I would be lying on the floor of my childhood bedroom with a bottle of painkillers in my hand trying to work up the courage to swallow all twelve remaining pills I would have said you were out of your mind. Now, though, it feels like it’s the only choice I have left.
Out of anger, I sit up and throw the bottle of pills against the door of my closet, making a horrendous bang and cracking the plastic container. Through a stream of tears I desperately look around the room for a reason to live.
“I want you to write in this journal. I want you to write how you feel, and I want you to do it however you can. It can be with words, it can be with pictures, it can be through poems, or songs, or stories. It doesn’t matter. I want you to try to get everything out into this notebook. Once you finish writing how you feel, I want to write a list of everything that makes you happy on a separate sheet of paper, things that you are looking forward to, and ways that even things that you are dreading can turn into positive moments in your life.”
“In your lowest moments, I want you to read everything. The good and the bad, and I want it to show you that no matter how you felt at one point, on a different page, in the next days, you always felt better. Can you do that for me.”
“I’ll do my best.”