A Letter to my Therapist
In the city of Aglane, there was only one spot outside. The Close was an inside out world where if you ever had a good dream, you would cross the Tree Bridge and release it. If you ever needed a good dream, that’s where you’d go.
Tales have been told of the place beyond the Tree Bridge, a place of butterflies and glitter rain, they called it The Away. Many people have been told things about it, I’ve heard many stories about The Away, that it is too beautiful to describe. But most people say that The Away has a very dark side, with poison rain and ravens, but since the beautiful place is called The Away, people call our home The Close. No one had ever gone to The Away and came back the same, hardly anyone ever came back. But many people had gone close to The Away and came back happy, they say that The Away is more beautiful than The Close, so the more people that go have trouble taking the turn back home.
Of course no one wants to live in The Close, it gets boring after a while, being in the same place for who knows how long, Aglane is not a beautiful place, but there is only one other place to go, and that is The Away. No one has ever lasted in The Away for more than 6 hours at a time, rumor has it that you lose your eyesight and you can never see anything but darkness. No one believes such nonsense, that has never happened to anyone in Aglane, it is only a myth.
The Away is different, there are photographs and stories and articles everywhere, there is a bridge that leads to it, so how can it not exist? Aglane is a big place, but it is small enough that you can mutely tell that it is inside out, anyone living in a world with its outside actually outside is very lucky.
The Away is filled with different animals than Aglane has, it has Shadow Harpies, which are black raccoon sized guinea pigs. They make small squeaky noises with every motion they make, The Away also has Hollowed Wisps, which hang from the trees and fly around, replacing parts of your soul with cracked glass. There are Glow Reapers which are trees that look like normal trees, but their branches reach out and pull you into their bark, the last animal there are Marsh Giants, they live in swamps and marshes, they do exactly what you’d expect, they pull you into the marsh and leave you at the bottom.
The Away is coated in darkness, there are no animals in The Away that are similar to The Close. The only animals in The Close are Snow Dragons, they are sold as pets, they aren’t the size of real dragons, they are fox sized, but they look like dragons, my Snow Dragon was named Cypiru. In Aglane, we always had the same thing for breakfast everyday, Arcane Mint toast. For lunch everyday, we had Dragonturtle Pud, and for dinner we always had Slow Cooked Silk Whale. For some reason, those were the only foods that Aglanians never got bored of.
You always had to be careful when going near The Close, the Mosswumps would pull you in, telling you bad things that you had no choice but to listen to. But the worst thing in The Close was a Sky Fairy. You could never tell one Sky Fairy from another, and you could never tell if they wanted to tell you good things, or lead you into The Away. The Sky Fairies were clever, but Snow Dragons could always tell if they were evil or not.
The most annoying thing about The Close was the voices. They wouldn’t ever stop talking, constantly reminding you of new things to worry about, slowly drowning you with your own words. They filled up the space where the air is supposed to be and they hurt you. Not just emotionally, they physically hurt you with anything that came to mind, they didn’t have a filter to stop them from saying anything bad. They had no conscience to tell them not to say something or that they shouldn’t be saying anything, they just talk. They talk into the air, they talk into space, they literally hurt anyone and I swear other people can hear them from the inside of The Away.
The Away kept everything bad inside of it, all of its demons were just waiting to get their hands on a positive soul to destroy. No matter how hard you tried to resist getting caught up in The Away, you couldn’t stop it. The Away made you wonder why you were here, why you were happy.
The voices make you hurt until you’re numb, then you have to deal with not being able to feel anything, including love. Then you wonder why people care so much about you, you wonder why you’re hurting, why you’re tired, why you’re angry, why you’re hated, why you’re crying.
Sometimes, you just need a Snow Dragon to tell you why you’re here, you need someone to let you know that it’s okay to cry. Crying is easier than explaining why you’re sad sometimes.
No one likes staying in Aglane, it’s like being a prisoner, like your feelings mold into a lump of clay and sit in the pit of your stomach like a boulder. It makes you wish that everything inside of you could just be silent and still and just give you time to think. Being in Aglane makes you want to scream, leave me alone at the top of your lungs because no matter how difficult it is, you can’t hide from yourself.
The things that the voices tell you are scary, I know. They make people feel like they don’t want to live anymore and that they need serious help. Some days it will feel like you’re screaming out for help but no one can hear you, it’ll feel like your voice is underwater but your body is on land. Most of the time, you’ll get tired of being you. You’ll get tired of hearing voices. You’ll get tired of being alone.
Sometimes, you’ll just want to sit down, figure out what’s wrong with you, get it fixed and move on. You will go days of not speaking to your family or friends and you won’t even notice that they’re talking to you because you’re too close to The Away. The Away is like a person. Beautiful and perfect from the outside, but broken and terrifying on the inside... you can never tell if you’re scared of your own mind or yourself.
You can always talk to the Mosswumps, but they won’t care, they’ll pull you into The Away and never let you go because all they want is someone to care about them. Some days, you’ll feel trapped inside, like someone is constantly watching you from directly behind your back, but when you turn around, no one is there. Don’t worry. You’re not going insane.
In The Away, anxiety and depression will haunt you, fear will grip you, and anger will constantly linger in the exact air that you breathe. You will actually end up scaring yourself because of everything that’s going on inside your head. The voices will scare you.
At some point, therapy won’t help anymore, you’ll get sick of hearing the same “coping skills” all the time. You’ll get tired of pretending. You’ll realize that no one can help you and that you’re too sick. No one hears what you hear.
Someday, someone will tell you that you’re living just so you can die. You won’t leave a mark on the world. You’ll only leave marks on yourself.
Sometimes, you’ll feel like when you lie to other people about how you are, you’re trying to trick yourself into thinking that you’re okay. You’ll realize that you’re just hiding from yourself, you don’t want you to realize that you aren’t telling the truth.
You’re going to feel like you don’t know what’s wrong with you. Maybe you’re depressed, maybe you’re anxious, maybe you’re bipolar. You can never know, though. All you have is a pointless diagnosis from a doctor who thinks that they know how you feel better than you do. You’ll realize that everything you’ve told your doctor isn’t the whole truth.
But this is. This is everything that anyone has ever wanted to tell their therapists but they feel like they can’t because too many people have found out and left them. You always leave therapy wondering if something magical would happen overnight and when someone asks what happened during your therapy session, you’ll realize that you have nothing to say. Because nothing ever happens.
Whenever you’re happy, you’ll realize that you’ve just tricked your mind into thinking that you’re happy so you can smile for just a while longer. You will let your guard down someday, and you’ll find yourself in a hospital gown, just like I did.
At some point, you’ll remember all the “good laughs” you had were fake. That you somehow tricked everyone into thinking that you were happy. No one will be worried about you because you never tell them anything. “Everyone has bad days,” they say to you, but you’re just stuck in a whirlpool of bad days, weeks, months, years.
You’re probably thinking at this point, “Wow, that’s all so true. What’s wrong with me?”
I can answer that.
You don’t let anyone in. That’s what’s wrong with you. As soon as you hear a hint of judgment in anyone’s voice, you shut down because you’re scared of what will happen if you open your mouth. When people ask what’s wrong, you feel like breaking down because there’s so much you could say but everything you need to say can’t be said because you’re scared.
You can’t smile forever, your smile will fade eventually. At this point, part of you can’t tell lies from truth because both come out so smoothly, you can’t tell love from hate because you don’t get enough of one and you get too much of the other. It’s always a different excuse with you, your hands shake as you spit out “what’s wrong” with you. That’s when you wonder if it will always be this way.
The inside of your mind is black, there aren’t any more hiding spaces that you can find, no one else is there except for your demons. You can’t hide from yourself anymore, thanks to me. It’s okay to be scared of your mind, maybe it’s time to leave your life to someone else, like a present. Everyone says that they’d miss you, but it seems so easy just to not believe them and get rid of everything, including your pain.
Soon, you’ll realize that therapy does nothing for you, that you aren’t getting any better, in fact you’re getting worse. You will stop believing that someday you’ll be mentally healthy. You won’t believe that you won’t hear any voices soon. You’ll notice that you’re always tired no matter how much sleep you get. You’ll notice that you’re always wearing long sleeves even though you don’t have any cuts on yourself.
You’ll notice that you aren’t okay. No matter how hard you try. Or how badly you want it. Or how much you fake it, you won’t be okay. Eventually, you just give up.
You’re going to realize that I’m right one of these days. You’re going to be smiling and notice that it’s completely fake, you’re going to think back to when you read this and go, “Wow... I guess it was correct.”
I know you’re probably thinking that this was way too sad and that there was no point in reading all of these pages just to be told something that you didn’t even want to hear, but this is going to help you. Instead of all of those pointless “coping skills” or the years of therapy that you went through in the hopes to get better, this is the truth. This is exactly what you have wanted to tell someone but you didn’t know how to say it.
But at this point, you’re probably in The Away by now. The way you’ve been listening to me and thinking that I’m right, you’ve been listening to those voices in your head. All of the terrible things that they’ve been telling you. You’ve been listening to them, you’ve been listening to the Mosswumps, and now the Shadow Harpies have replaced parts of your soul with the broken glass from their voices.
There will always be that little part of you that doesn’t want to admit that everything you’ve been reading is true. The voices in your head will be the ones keeping you from admitting what’s been wrong with you. And the only way to get better is to admit that you have a problem and that there’s a way to fix it. Even if you don’t believe that there’s a way to fix it, the best thing you can do is admit that you have a problem.
The scariest thing inside of you is your mind, it’s also the most powerful thing, it can make you want to end everything and it can make you want to stay living on the earth for thousands of years. Some days, you’ll love life, and some days it’ll feel like your happiness has turned into ice and just needs a few years to thaw out.
Sometimes, you’ll feel as if your voice has been stuck in your head instead of hanging in the air for you to see, you need to get your voice out. You need to speak up and admit that you have a problem, it’s okay to have problems. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s even okay to not want to be okay. All of this is part of the human condition, something that even the most perfect person has to suffer through.
Don’t worry, you haven’t gone off the deep end just yet, you still have a long way to go. Being in The Away for a few hours won’t hurt you, but if you stay for too long, bad things will happen. How do I know, you ask? I’m writing this from The Away. Let me simplify things a little bit, Aglane represents the mind itself. The Close is the safe part of your mind, where you can just be. However, where there’s a safe place, there’s a dangerous place, which is where I am right now.
If I’m going completely raw here, The Close is the time where you’re just okay. Where you’re just there, living alone but being happy. The Snow Dragons represent your thoughts when you’re in The Close, they aren’t dangerous or scary, they’re like harmless little dogs.
The Away is the darker part of your mind. The place that you go where you sit in the corner of your bedroom and mumble in a foriegn language that has no meaning but you know exactly what you’re saying. That’s the place that you go when you’re thinking about doing it, but you aren’t ready to die even though you feel like you have nothing to live for.
The human mind is a very scary thing to face. They say that we are our own worst enemy, and I completely agree with that statement. It’s difficult to face yourself even if you feel like you’ve done nothing wrong. We can’t always stay in The Close, sometimes, the voices draw us too far away so we can’t stand up because we’ve walked so far to go to The Away, and that’s okay.
Anyone that has ever told you that everyone is different, is wrong. Everyone’s the same, but our minds are different. Some of us see things that aren’t real, some of us hear things that aren’t there, some of us have existing mental health, some of us don’t. We all have the same shell and the same insides, but the mind is a complex thing that no one has yet to figure out.
When I die, no one will have the right to cry or mourn me. No one ever cared about me, everyone hated me, but it’s okay. I’m not worried. And neither should you be.
Leaving something behind is like jumping off of the edge. Once you’re off the ground, you have no choice but to accept where you land and let everything go. I can’t remember a morning when I didn’t wake up and have red around my eyes from crying all night. I can’t remember a morning where I woke up and could get out of bed without going over everything in my head to make sure it’s completely worth it.
Sometimes, I feel like there’s no way for other people to understand that depression and sadness aren’t the same things. There’s no way for mentally healthy people to understand that it takes so much energy to get out of bed in the morning and find your motivation.
I can’t just do things. I have to think hard about if it’s worth it and if I should go through with whatever I’m thinking about. It’s usually not worth it, but I do it because I’ll be punished otherwise.
Some days, you’ll get so mad just because people ask questions. It’s like the whole conversation is just questions that you’re too tired to answer. Then people ask why you’re tired and you feel like you have to explain why sleep won’t fix how tired you really are. The more sleep you get, the more you’ll just want to sit in bed and wallow in what happened the previous night.
You’ll know so many people’s last words, but you’ll never know mine. Sure, you may think you know things about me, but only some people will know the real me. You may know some of my secrets, some of my feelings, but no one knows everything.
Depression is heavy. It feels like you’ve just run 20 miles and you can’t feel your limbs or your head and your heart is beating so fast. Like your lungs are screaming out for oxygen but there isn’t enough in the entire world to satisfy your need. You’ll feel like you’re constantly gasping for breath and struggling to hold on even though you know you’ll make it through this.
Knowing that life goes on is precisely the saddest part of life. Just thinking about how much more you have to go through and how much more pain there will be. You’ll lose friends and family and you’ll go through the worst heartbreak imaginable but time doesn’t stop for anyone. You’ll have to learn to keep going while everything is kept inside.
Watching someone leave your life slowly is like watching the sunset. The process takes forever and you have to pretend you don’t notice that you’re talking to them less, but it just keeps slipping away ever so slowly.
But then there will be times where absolutely nothing is wrong. Nothing is happening to make you upset. But you’ll feel some of the worst pain just because nothing is wrong. It feels like something should be wrong for you to feel this way because otherwise your sadness is invalid and wrong. But I can assure you that this will happen time and time again. The world doesn’t stop turning just because you tell it to.
You know, grief and sadness do things to you that you can’t reverse. You’ll start feeling upset and say some things out of anger that you could never possibly take back or fix. Some of these things are said to loved ones, others to people that you couldn’t possibly care less about. But either way, feelings do strange things to the mind.
Some days, things will actually go your way and good things will happen, but suddenly, you’ll remember that it’s not real. That your happiness is just temporary lies that you fooled yourself into believing. You’re not happy, and you’ll start realizing that there’s only one way that you’ll ever be happy...
You’ve spent the worst times alone, so you act like you don’t need anyone when really, you’re crying out for help by showing people that you can do this on your own. You know you can’t handle it, yet you continue to hurt yourself by forcing yourself to think about the unthinkable.
Lies fumigate your thoughts and it feels like there’s nowhere else to go but get lost in the never ending abyss that floods your body. You’ll realize that you’re the monster under your own bed and there’s nothing you can do to change it.
Take the safe route in life, and don’t ever trust anyone with anything, if you do, when they leave, you’ll start missing them...
I will always have a better half, but because I have a better half, that indicates that I am the worse half. And that, my friends, is exactly what you need to hear.
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