Thursday, 7 December 2017

Dear A.D...

Dear A.D*,

Well, we haven’t been very well acquainted for very long, and for years I swore we never would be. I was intent on avoiding a relationship with you. I’d observed your connection with family members for years, and I had watched a marriage break down because you weren’t around anymore. That dependency terrified me. I swore I would always keep you at a distance. But in time I have been persuaded and here we are. I don’t know if I could consider us friends, quite yet, but it seemed fitting that I write to you anyway. In this stage of my life, I need your support. The first few weeks were rocky, I will admit. And I almost gave up on you. I am almost glad that I didn’t, upon reflection. But I worry you will give up on me, before I am better equipped to deal with the cracks that seem to have appeared in my head.

You make me tired. Everyday. But you also mean that I can to sleep, and you help me to sleep. You mean that I can face each day without feeling the temptation disappear or check out. You are a form of courage, in a way. Although I miss drinking, and sadly this is not an element of our friendship. It is something we can not compromise on, no matter how much I do miss it. Regardless, I am too tired. I am even more so as the days go on. Why is this? Perhaps because so much of my energy goes into letting you in. It goes into keeping negativity away and fighting off urges. So, I suppose that becoming tired is a fair and noble sacrifice to make. You, my friend, mean I can get out of bed. You make it, so I can get up, and operate normally. Whatever normal is. I suppose that having your support means that I can to perform, in a way I have never can do when I was younger. You make my depression more manageable. And I know that I panic much less when I have you on side. When panic does hit, you make the little voice that tells me to breathe that little bit louder.
Still, you concern me. Or rather, your effects on me concern me. I wonder about how many of my reactions are really mine. How many are things you have quietly suggested to me. I wonder how I have changed since my association with you began. I wonder if I have changed at all. I wonder if my feelings are just numb, or lying beneath the surface. Rather than dissolving. Truth is, I don’t know what is going on internally. It worries me that I am too tired to care a lot of the time. Even so, on occasion I am grateful for the break from myself. The numbness that you give me most days.  

My thoughts race quite a bit too. Sometimes it feels as though my skin is crawling, or is thrumming. Concentration is also hard to come by. And despite being tired, sometimes sleep evades me. Sometimes you are not enough to get me out of bed. Sometimes everything else is a bit too much. Sometimes it is simply enough for you to keep my head quiet whilst I lie there, and think. It is enough for you to be there, and for me to know that I have tried that day.

My dear A.D, you are somewhat of a comfort blanket now. I have tried going without once or twice. I am not ready to get through the day without you. And I’m only just now beginning to accept that as being okay. I’m realising that you are not an instant fix, and you cannot fix all the things that are wrong. You cannot fight off all the demons- only I can do that.  But you can buy me some space, and some time. I’m learning that self-love, and self-care can buy me even more head space, and more time. This includes talking to people and being honest when I am struggling. And I am trying.

For so long, I thought that needing you made me weak. That it meant I couldn’t cope on my own. But asking for help, and admitting that I needed you, is one of the bravest things I’ve ever done. And until now you have remained one of my best kept secrets. But there is nothing to be ashamed of. You do not make me crazy, just as you will not make me happy. You are as you are. I accept that. The majority will come from me.
Someday, A.D, I hope we will be friends. I hope we will gel better than we do now. However, I hope that one day I will be strong enough to leave you behind. But I want to remember you fondly. For now, I must stick with you. But I will remember that 'all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well'. Someday, I will be well.
I hope you are well, too.

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