A Letter to a Friend I Didn’t Text Back

Things get hard sometimes, but we’ll get through this, won’t we?

A Letter to a Friend I Didn’t Text Back
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Things get hard sometimes, but we’ll get through this, won’t we?

Trigger warning: This post contains mentions of depression. Read with care, fearless community.

Dear friend

I’m sorry I didn’t text you back.

Things have been hard of late. One moment, I’m laughing and reading a book, and the next, I can barely breathe. I try, but my lungs seem to have forgotten how to work. My chest feels so tight I worry it might be a heart attack.

But I’m still alive, so it was probably nothing.

How fortunate.

You know how life gets.

Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother. Is it worth it?

Am I worth it?

There’s been a lot of pressure at work and I wasn’t able to set my priorities straight.

These days, all I want to do is sleep. I have breakfast at 4 PM, only to abandon it halfway because I’m not hungry. I’ve been wearing the same clothes for I don’t even remember how long.

I feel exhausted all the time. I can’t muster the energy for basic tasks like opening the door when the doorbell rings or remembering to water my plants. There are dishes in the sink from three days ago, and I’m so tired, I worry I might never get to them.

All I want to do is shut myself up in my room and disappear. The world will go on. It always has and it always will.

But things are getting better. I’m slowly figuring out a rhythm and I know life will be back to normal soon.

Yesterday, I spent four hours in bed after waking up. No, I wasn’t scrolling through Instagram on my phone like I used to when you knew me. I forgot to charge my phone so the battery died, but I didn’t even want to get up and charge it again.

I just lay there, watching the fan trace slow circles across the ceiling, wondering if there was a point to it all.

I miss you. Let’s catch up soon.

I wish things would go back to how they were back in college. I miss holding your hand and walking under the starlit sky. I miss laughing like there wasn’t a stone tied to my heart, weighing it down.

I miss only having to worry about exams and college elections.

Will I ever get that back? Will we?

How are you? I hope you’re well.

I want to tell you all this, but how can I, when I know you’ll look for a reason.

“What’s wrong, Ana?” you’ll ask. “Tell me. I’m sure whatever the issue is, we can solve it together.”

Maybe we can, but what if I don’t want to?

And what if there’s absolutely no reason you’d consider valid? What if it’s all in my head and I’m the one responsible for how I feel?

What if — like everyone else I’ve opened up to — you tell me I need to go for a run, talk to more people, or eat healthily?

I know you’ve got my best interests at heart, but I don’t know if I could take it if one more person told me going for a run would magically solve everything. It doesn’t. Trust me, I’ve tried.

I’ve tried everything, but nothing works.

Maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m the problem. Maybe I feel this way because I was born with a curse like my old grandmother used to say first-born female children are.

I’m sorry I missed your birthday. Please tell me you had fun.

Time has blurred into an unfathomable wave and I no longer know one day from the next. I only realized it was your birthday when a calendar invite from a colleague forced me to see the date.

But by then, it was already too late to wish you. I could have fixed things if I tried harder. Maybe I should have stirred up an apology and you’d have forgiven me after a while. But I didn’t have the energy to put on a smile and take all your friendly jibes in stride.

Dear friend, I’m not sure if this is a letter or a call for help. But even if it’s the latter, what can you do? What can anyone else do?

I have to save myself, but of late, I’m not sure if I want to.

I wish I could tell you all these, but I’ll delete all the Italicized parts before I send this letter.

You always told me I had trouble sharing my feelings with anyone else. How can I, when everything’s so fucked up? How can I tell you what I feel when there’s no fucking reason I should be feeling this way at all?

Let’s meet and get brunch someday.

Before it’s too late. I love you. I miss you.


Author’s note: I pulled this from my drafts from February 2020. Things have gotten better since then. I’ve taken therapy and am on SSRIs. There are still bad days and relapses, but overall, I’m holding on. I don’t usually share this side of myself on Medium because I don’t want your sympathy, but today felt like a good day to do so, especially after Jolie A. Doggett inspired me to be brave and speak in my voice when I write.

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