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Thursday, February 25

An Open Letter to My Family, Friends, Loved Ones, and You

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When I first started to share bits and pieces of my story less than five years ago, I would simply tell people I had been depressed at one point, but that I was better now and life is good.

I don’t think I was lying at the time. In fact, I think I truly believed that I was better. Life was happy, I had my husband, I was happy at work, and my family and I were spending more time together.

But those bits and pieces were just bits and pieces. Maybe I wasn’t lying to you, but I was lying to myself. I only told people I had been depressed because that was the only thing, the only part of my mental illness, that I had managed to accept.

You see, this is a struggle for me too. As hard as it may be to read these stories, please know, it was exponentially harder to live them.

I am just now starting to see what my whole entire story is. I know now it’s not the story of a girl that was, at one point, depressed, who is now better, happy and living a life that fulfills her.

No.

That is not my story.

I know that hurts some of you. It hurts me too. It kept me up for four nights. It kept me from eating for days. It kept me from dreaming. It kept me from believing anything was real. It kept me questioning my own existence. It kept me begging - begging myself, begging to an empty bathroom, begging to the walls of my apartment, begging my sleeping husband - to please be real, to please really love me. Because this is a story about me - a person who couldn’t live, who didn’t want to live if love wasn’t real.

That’s it.

And I’m sorry if that breaks your hearts. It breaks mine too.

We don’t choose our stories. They just happen. And we can tell them, or not. But you see, with my story, it’s also a story about Mental Illness.

That story is one that can be happy, and one that I think is on the way to being that.

But for awhile, and maybe for awhile more, it’s going to be a story about how my own thoughts betrayed me, how my body betrayed me, how love betrayed me, how I betrayed me. And that has to be okay.

You see, I have to accept my story. To accept my story, I have to tell it. Because by telling it, I can no longer hide it. And if I can no longer hide it, I can no longer be ashamed.

I know many of you have known me for over a decade. Many of you have known me my whole life. A special few of you have known me from the day I was born, the day my lungs took my first breath, the day I first said hello to this beautiful Earth of our’s.

Thank you, for still being in my life.

I acknowledge that many of you, most of you, don’t know these stories and are hearing about them for the first time.

I want you to know that every story is true. I might be dramatic, hyperbolic, and a fan of poetic prose - but the stories are true. And I’m sorry if that hurts you. It hurts me too.

I used to hate that this was my story. I used to say I was “fucked up.” And I hated myself for being myself.

But now I don’t hate this story. I don’t love this story. But it is my story. So I accept it. I accept this story as my story.

I’m sorry if that breaks your heart. I truly am. I don’t mean for that. But please know, I have to tell it, because my heart was broken to the point of no return less than 10 days ago. My heart broke, and it betrayed me, and it told me love couldn’t be real.

And I pleaded with my heart for four days. I laid awake, starving, pleading with my heart to let love be real, so that I could live.

That’s the truth.

That’s my story.

And I share it because I have to accept it.

That’s it.

Because my heart can’t break anymore.

Because I want love to be real.

Because I want to live.

And I think you want that too.

So I’m sorry, to you, to my friends, to my family.

I’m sorry to myself, that this is not the story you wanted to read. It’s not the story that I wanted to tell.

But I’m 28 years old now. And for 28 years, I thought I was alone. I thought my heart and my mind were the only ones betraying me in the way that they did.

And you can ask me, “Why?”

I welcome that question. I am used to that question.

I’m used to saying, “I’m depressed.” and I’m used to the response being, “But why?”

And the answer is that I don’t know.

That’s not the way I was made. That’s not the way my heart or mind works. I just am this way.

And this is just my story.

Whether you like it, whether I like it - whether you hate it, whether I hate it; whether it hurts you, whether it hurts me.

This is my story.

We have to accept it. I have to accept it.

Because I want to live.

And to do that, love has to be real.

So let me tell my story.

Because love has to be real.

Or I’m not real.

So let me tell it.

Because I believe love is real.

I believe love is real.

And Love saved me.

And Love got me the help that I needed.

And Love makes me see the beautiful colors in a night sky.

And Love makes me hear the songs of birds in trees.

And Love makes me feel the wind brush against my skin.

And Love saves me everyday.

So let me tell my story.

Please.



Love, Hope, Forever,
Kristine

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