It’s me. Yourself. Yep, yourself. Or myself, whatever. Your own self, writing to you.
I know this might seem weird, but you won’t listen to me any other way, so…here I am.
You know you’re having depressing thoughts, Rochel. Don’t deny it. You know it’s true. You know your thoughts can’t always be trusted. You know your mind attacks you, berates you, tries to tell you how awful you are, how alone you are, how worthless you are. Your mind tells you it’s your fault, and that you’ll never get better, because you don’t deserve to. Your mind tells you that if you break down, and cry, or let yourself feel anything – that you’re weak. That feeling sad, or in pain, or vulnerable is weak. Not only is it weak, but that you don’t deserve to. And that what you’re feeling isn’t pain. That you’re not actually in pain! That this is just… You. So you repress these thoughts and feelings, and push them away. You try to act like the Rochel everyone knows. You laugh, you’re energetic, you’re loud, and you’re funny. Nobody would think that this is only an act. Nobody would dream that behind your big smile, there’s a worn out face that has been through so much. Nobody would believe that these thoughts are going through your mind. And these thoughts aren’t new, scarier ones haunt you every day. But that’s the thing with fear. Once you feed the fear, it just grows and wants more. At this point you’re almost completely eaten up by your fear. But when pain is normal to you, you learn to live with it. And so you try. And try. And try again… And you fail. And fail. And fail again. And then these thoughts just grow louder, and they get noisier, and angrier, and stronger, and… So terrifying. But sometimes when you’re rational, you know these thoughts aren’t true. But sometimes…
I know you, Rochel. I am you. I see how recently, these intrusive thoughts overtake you, blocking out any possible rays of hope. I see that recently, you are forgetting to laugh, forgetting to smile, forgetting that you can be happy, that you belong. I see these thoughts tearing you apart, ripping your heart and soul to pieces. I watch you as you’re trapped inside your mind, trying desperately to escape and failing. I know your pain, Rochel – yes, PAIN! Don’t deny it, deep down you know what you’re feeling is pain! – for this pain is mine as much as it is yours. And I cry for you, Rochel. Even if you can’t cry for yourself. I cry for you, because I am you.
But I’m a different aspect of you. The rational aspect, the portion of your brain not riddled by anxiety, and fear, and depression, and terrifying memories of the past. The portion that can see you for who you really are.
Rochel, you’re not worthless. You’re kind, and caring, and funny, and considerate, and you always go out of your way to notice others. When one of your friends is in pain, you’ll do anything you possibly can to help them. You’re a fiercely loyal friend, extremely protective of anyone you love. So Rochel, why don’t you care that way for yourself?
You deserve to be cared for, Rochel. You deserve to be loved unconditionally, just like you love your people. Rochel, I know you. You’ll do anything for someone you love, and you won’t let anyone criticize your people. So why do you berate yourself? You’re a person too, with strengths and flaws. Yes, you make mistakes. Yes, sometimes you stumble. But we all do. To be human is to stumble and fall.
Remember, “Sheva yipol tzaddik v’kam”. You may fall and fall and fall, and your thoughts tell you you’ll never get up again. But, if you were your friend? You’d never let any of your people feel so miserable. You’re so good at pep talks, at getting others to believe in themselves. If you love someone, you’re there for them unconditionally. So why, Rochel, are you so hard on yourself? Why do you think that you can’t move forward? That you don’t deserve to have a future? So what that you have to see a psychiatrist? (at least he has a weird name;) Dr. X, like seriously, I think I’ll go by his English name, Dr. Nosypants!;)) Who cares? Does that change the real you, inside? Tell me this, Rivky doesn’t know about anything. Will she notice that you’ve changed when you return from your appointment? Will she say: “Huh? What happened to you??”
Nope, she won’t! And the only change that you’ll notice, is the change of feeling better. And you will feel better! This may seem like eternity, but I PROMISE it’s temporary! And minimizing your pain won’t make it disappear!
Your therapist asked you: “What do you want?”
Well, what do you want? No, don’t answer what you don’t want. I know you say you don’t want to move forward, but do you really? Is that what you want? Maybe that’s how you feel at the moment, but I don’t believe it’s what you want. I KNOW it’s not what you want.
One last thing, I know it’s difficult to talk, and you don’t know what to say, and the words just don’t… go. But you have to. I understand that you don’t want to push yourself, but you’re going to have to, if you want things to change. So when (No! Not if, but when!) you ask for help, and you talk to somebody, or you’re in session, you’re going to have to talk. You can’t keep opening up and then shutting them out again. Please, just… Talk it out.
You deserve love, Rochel. You deserve to be valued. And I’m here to remind you of that, every single second of every single day, until you finally believe it.
Oh, and Rochel? Put that knife down;)