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An Open Letter to My 19-Year-Old Self Who Just Fell Into Depression

Remember: They'll understand you. Let them in so they can find a way to help you overcome that depression.
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Hi KC,

I'm your future self. The version of you that's mature and bearded. I wrote this letter to let you know that I understand exactly how you feel right now.

You feel dejected and depressed. You think you're a failure. Your online business isn't doing well, because you've closed down three within three years.

I totally understand all that. Because I'm you.

I can feel your pain and the frustration of failing with no success in view. This period in your life will probably be one of the greatest hurdles you'd fight to overcome. But I'm confident you'll come out strong against those circumstances.

Here are 4 things I'd like you to ALWAYS remember in your fight against those depressive episodes. I believe they'll help you overcome depression if applied. The first one is:

1. Always remember you're stronger than depression.

Right now, you're down. Dejected and haven't been able to sleep well in the past one week. Your cheeks and eyes are all red and puffy. Fatigue is creeping in and you can't seem hold it together anymore.

In that minutest moment, giving up naturally becomes the normal thing to do for a lot of people. But that's the thing: you aren't "a lot of people." You're KC, and you're stronger than depression.

Depression could make you sad, lonely, dejected etc., but all these are external factors. They don't dictate who you are. Outwardly, you may look like a crazy person now, but inside you're a fighter.

And you need to believe that. Because the mindset you have towards depression right this moment will determine whether or not you'd ever come out from it.

That's why I want you to believe you're stronger than depression. Because it's only those who believe they'll come out from depression - that do.

If you give up, depression will win the fight.

2. You can't be inactive and come out from depression.

This is because depression craves dormancy -- a state of being lazy and not in the mood to do anything. Right now, your way of escape ​from the world of depression is either sleeping, eating or sitting alone all day in front of the TV.

And while you may think you're enjoying those dormant depressive moments, the whole world is progressively moving ahead. And if you're not sensitive enough, you'd be left behind with the rest of the world's purposeless individuals.

That's why to segregate yourself from depression, you'd need to forcefully take charge of your life. Taking charge of your life connotes not giving up on your goals. Don't let depression stop your life.

Go to that job. Go hiking with friends. And try to finish that novel.

Go out there and continue your normal daily routine. Stop wallowing in inactivity like - watching TV all day, sleeping, and doing other time wasting activities - that ultimately leads to self pity.

Just remember that depression won't stop you from moving forward with your life. It cannot dictate how far you'll go in life.

But you can.

So step out there and make things happen.

3. Speaking positive words consistently will help fight depression.


From experience, I've come to understand that to a depressed person, speaking and being negative is easier to do than being positive. And I get it, that's exactly what you're experiencing right now.

I know you really want to be positive, but being depressed makes it an uphill task.

You complain about every little detail. You push friends and family away. You find fault in everything.

All these makes you toxic.

And people naturally avoid toxic people. Which means friends and family will start to avoid you if you don't change.

But there's a way out from being this toxic person who speaks only negativity. The way out is: speaking positive words. Saying positive words is powerful because words have creative power. What you say can literally take you out of depression or deeper into it.

Speaking negativity sabotages you. Being positive and using positive affirmations to speak into your negative environment will help you create a strong back to depression.

And if you continue long enough, it'll help you come out of depression.

4. Talking to someone about those depressive episodes ALWAYS helps.

Stop shutting out people and isolating yourself in the process. Depression craves isolation. It wants you to be alone. But you won't give in to that.

Talk to mom.

Talk to Dad.

Talk to everybody who's been coming over to check on you.

They are all worried and have no idea why you're pushing them away. You need to understand that it's a lot easier to overcome any aggravations of life when you have the support of your love ones. I know you may think they don't understand what you're passing through. That pushing them off is your own way of trying to protect them from the toxic person depression has turned you into.

But it's actually the opposite. When you talk to friends and family about how you feel, they will understand and try to take your "negativity and your pushing them out" lightly. I can't promise you your friends will understand. But for the percentage who do, they'll try to weather the storm with you and possibly help you overcome those depressive episodes.

But this can only happen when you open up to people. But If choose to block every one out, a lot of them will walk away from your friendship.

And maybe you don't understand it now, but true friendship take years to build. As a mature version of you, I want to leave you with this nugget:

"It's better to lose depression for the sake of your friends, than lose some of your true friends to depression."

Remember: They'll understand you. Let them in so they can find a way to help you overcome that depression.

Follow this letter, and you'd come out strong. Be courageous and never give up.

- KC (Your future self)


If you -- or someone you know -- need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.