I was thirteen when I first realized I had depression. I didn’t know why, and I didn’t understand it. It simply became a part of who I was.
I, so badly, wanted to be like the other girls. They were thin and blonde, and they didn’t have a care in the world. They were fun, and beautiful, and they laughed at all the boys jokes. Boys liked that. Boys liked it when the girls laughed at their jokes.
Why couldn’t I be like all the other girls?
I was known for being sad, and for having hairy arms. I was known for being odd, a little different I guess.
I was the girl with hair cut to her ears. The girl who was shoved up against the wall, grabbed by the neck, and twisted at the arm, for naively, and ever so innocently, uttering the words, “I have a crush on you.”
I was the girl, flipping through pages of magazines, ripping them out and pasting them to my walls. Maybe if I just stared and hoped and wished and stared some more, I would begin to look like the other girls. Maybe, someday, I would be liked and loved, like the other girls.
I didn’t understand why. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be like the other girls.
Why wasn’t I happy and fun, like all the other girls? Why was I the girl who sat in her closet with the lights shut off? The girl whose eyes sank heavy in her face. Why was I the girl who ate her lunch in the bathroom stalls? The girl who felt hollow and alone, even in a crowd.
So, I became the girl who didn’t feel like this world had a place for her; the girl who wished her edges and curves, would be molded and shaped, just enough to fit.
I became the girl who believed she had to change to be loved like the others. The girl who believed she had to morph, poke, prod, cut, tear, walk, talk, act, and dress like the others.
I became the girl who drank away her pain, and laughed with all the boys. The girl who lived in a haze of belief that this, this drunken, foolish kind of love was real, and enough.
I said goodbye to that girl, about two years ago.
She still likes to visit every once in a while. She likes to tap on my shoulder, and whisper in my ear. So I let her sit, and I let her speak. But she doesn’t have a place here, anymore. She isn’t welcome to stay.
There’s a new girl that stands in her place; a woman in fact. A woman who has found her way out of the darkness, out of the weight. A woman who has come to her own.
This is my letter to the girls.
This is my letter to the girls who feel misplaced; the girls who can’t put words to their pain.
This is my letter to the girls who were told it’s their fault; the girls who were told their love deserves fear and abuse, in return.
This is my letter to the girls who live in a haze, who eat lunch in the bathroom stalls, who sit in their closets, and wish they looked more like the others.
This is my letter to the girls who believe they need to change, who believe they have to be molded and shaped into someone other than who they were created to be.
This is my letter to the girls who need to know, this isn’t the end of their day. The closet you sit in, will soon feel distant; the feelings of insufficiency and worthlessness, will all go away.
The woman you’ll become, will protect you, love you, and serve you. The woman you’ll become, will hold you close, and keep you sacred. The woman you’ll become will overwhelm you with her fearlessness, and strike you with her will to live. The woman you’ll become will challenge you with her strength, and speak with boldness and grace.
The woman you’ll become, will be you.