A Letter To Those Battling Post Grad Depression
If you’re searching for someone that will tell you to pray it away, this is not the letter for you.
If you’re looking for someone to tell you to put on a brave front and be Positive Porsha or Optimistic Omar, this is not for you.
If you’re seeking flowery words telling you to be grateful or analogies of how it could be worse, I did not write this letter for you.
However, if you’re looking for a letter telling you that it’s okay to not be okay — if you need a reminder that it’s okay to be unsure and that it’s okay to be lost,
I wrote this for you…
I wrote this for the person working the hell out of that 9-5 until their passions turn to profit, I wrote this for the person who stepped out on faith and quit that job they hated in hopes for a better view of life, I wrote this for those who keep it together all day only to get home and fall to pieces when you see the milk was expired. I wrote this for those wondering when life stopped being so fun, for those who brunch on Sundays because even sadness tastes better when you’re drowning it in bottomless mimosas, and for those just thanking God that Instagram filters also make falling apart look sexy.
First, let me say I wrote this with love.
If you’re reading this, even if I’ve never met you, I wrote this with love. Every word is written with love simply because I know how hard you fought just to get out of bed and function today. I know the struggle of putting on the “let me get dressed and do this shit because the first of month is coming and bills are due” mask when there’s sadness devouring your soul. I know how exhausting it is trying to gracefully walk through hell. I know how suffocating it feels to perfectly curate your image, so no one knows your uncomfortable truth. I’ve been there. Hell, some days I’m still there.
This letter requires you taking your mask off though.. That mask you’re wearing of pretending like you have it all together. Take it off. And let go of that front you put on for the world. Your inner actor/actress can make their debut again in time for work in the morning, but this letter isn’t meant for the person you’re pretending to be.
But, just know the sadness in my soul recognizes the sadness in yours, so please know this letter is written with love.
I know you’re at a place where peace seems foreign and your dreams seem out of reach. Or maybe you’re living your childhood dreams, but happiness seems like more of an illusion than reality. I know you’ve spent so much time as the strong one---the one who always had a plan.. and I know you feel like you’re underachieving, but you aren’t. I know society has told us that fake laughs make for better melodies than talking about our ugly truths. But, I promise you that it's okay to struggle. You don’t have to apologize for your sadness, your darkness, or your demons. You didn't swipe right for depression---you're doing the best you can.
You are allowed to feel lost. You are allowed to plunge through emptiness. You are allowed to travel through the depths of sadness. You are allowed to admit you don’t have your shit together. You are allowed to not be okay. You are allowed to acknowledge the pain throbbing in your chest.
It isn’t your job to pretend to be okay when you’re not. You don’t owe anybody your composure.
I wish you didn’t have to travel through the merciless seas of self-doubt. I wish you didn’t have to battle those intrusive thoughts telling you that you should be doing better. I so desperately wish that you weren’t being spoon-fed negativity from people too afraid to dream. I wish we weren’t taught that we had to hide our struggles – I wish everyone knew that the sadness they feel needs love, too. I wish you knew that you aren’t less lovable because you’re fighting darkness…We all have demons we silence into hiding during the day only for them to emerge from the shadows at night and haunt us. I wish it wasn’t so hard for us to forgive ourselves for not being the adults everyone else wants us to be..we didn’t even sign up for those roles anyway.
I am sorry that life is so hard right now—I wish this wasn’t so hard. I wish we weren’t all scheduling our breakdowns around happy hours. I wish you—me—we all had been better prepared for life after graduation.
I wish we didn’t romanticize the glitz and glamour of graduation while leaving out the part of the fairytale where darkness can devour us whole. No one prepares you for the darkness that comes with the degree. There are a lot of things they don’t tell you about life on the other side of commencement. We are not prepared for the task of dismantling ourselves and putting ourselves back together again. We are prepared to excel in our chosen career paths, but they failed to prepare us for the amount of leaving we have to do... the leaving of relationships, friendships, cities, and at times even ourselves. We will leave ourselves and try desperately to crawl back.
And we all want better.. better for ourselves, the world, and our families, but please know that we must be gentle with ourselves on the way to better. But, I want to remind you that you’re still doing the best you can, with what you have, where you are. So, please let yourself be.
It’s okay to be unsure. It’s okay to have more questions than answers. It’s okay to have more aspirations than awards. It’s okay to stumble. It’s okay to not have your dream job right now. It’s okay to use your 9-5 to pay the bills while you schedule time to work on your dreams. There are a million routes that will get where you want to be… there are a million paths to the life you’re dreaming of. It’s okay to take your time to get there. There is no urgency in healing. You don’t have to solve everything today.
you are not a failure for battling post graduate depression.
You are still magic.
and I’m rooting for you.