AUTISM & BLACK AND WHITE THINKING – NO ROOM FOR GRAY

I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Quote from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – a real great example for black and white thinking.

Black and white thinking can sometimes feel intentional or manipulative, especially when it happens again and again and in similar situations when it arises.

Black and white thinking is also known as “polarized thinking patterns”. Polarized thinking patterns are ways of thinking that just make sense to people with Autism yet other people with mental illnesses such as Bipolar, Depression etc. Black and white thinking is a pattern of thoughts that are characterized in thinking in the extremes as they will work in way of being polar opposites.Example is that everything will be the worst day ever or best day ever. Individuals on the spectrum struggle with the nuances and non-verbal gestures and communication that exist in interpersonal interactions and communication standards
that may come more naturally to others.

How many times a day do you find yourself thinking, feeling or talking about something as if there must be only one or two possible choices or ways to go?

For example – Either I’m a winner or I’m a loser; I can prove I was right, so that proves you are wrong; to take care of your needs I have to give up on mine; if you can’t be open and spontaneous (like me) then you are inhibited; I only have two choices, fight or give up; you are controlled by your feelings and he is controlled by their own mind.

Another classic example here is that anything lower than a 100% on a math quiz = failure. And, that’s even if the actual grade earned is a 97%. Handling conflicts is a tough one to begin with, but for someone with Autism, an argument or lack of agreement about a topic = no more friendship. A young woman with Autism may get in an argument with a friend at school and immediately feel they are not friends with this person anymore, struggling to understand that disagreements are a natural part of any relationship and can and should be able to be worked through with communicating to one another. These automatic thoughts can lead to significant setbacks in a child’s academic and social functioning.

Notice also that this way of looking at the world also contains very strong judgmental elements. The essential energy behind each polarized thought is that one idea, one person or one side is good or powerful and the other is wrong or powerless. So, what is going on that locks us in to this limited way of looking at life and robs us of our freedom of choice?

This way of seeing the world (polarized thinking) is not only common, it is often emphasized during childhood and teenage years, by our parents, (you are a good child or a bad child; if you don’t tell the truth you are lying) our teachers (If you know the ‘right’ answer or do your exercise the ‘correct’ way you pass; if you can’t do it correctly you fail) and our spiritual leaders (until you are ‘saved’ you are not a true believer; this is only one ‘true’ faith, no other faith can get you into Heaven).

Polarized thinking is the very essence of our legal system (either you are innocent or guilty, if you can prove it you win the case, if you don’t have the evidence you lose the case).
Polarized thinking for black and white thinking can go to the extremities.

Our government and our political parties operate very much within the limits of polarized thinking, which effectively rules out most opportunities for compromise or consensus.

Most wars are between two sides, each stuck in the same kind of restricted thinking but polarized in opposing positions with no room to move. (We are right, they are wrong and we must kill them to prove it).

Sports such as football encourage the same approach to life.

This sort of approach is like known for as a “All or Nothing thinking.” As this will interfere with our lives of a healthier relationship or friendship with someone.

Does this seem to look and feel familiar to you of what we say to ourselves?

With this type of thinking this can distort our reality and contribute to negative impacts of our lives such as anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses.
How we change our way of thinking is up to us.

HOW DOES BLACK AND WHITE THINKING AFFECT US?

Black and white thinking can create helplessness. Example is that we may put our partner down by saying that they were a complete jerk for not doing what you asked them to do
and you on the other hand isn’t willing to change your thoughts and outlook of the problem at hand.

*Invites defensiveness in others:

Example you never done the chores I asked you to do. You start yelling and all and that makes them feel worthless and defenseless due to you attacking them with your words. There are a lot of reasons why they may not have done that they could’ve been busy, tired, forgot to do them and not intentionally trying to drive you insane. This sort of thinking behavior towards our partner will then result for break-ups, divorces, arguments and so much stress etc to the point that you will be left alone.
So, we need to be careful how we use or choose our words to whoever we’re talking to as this can result in consequences. You can always find ways of improvement for your communication that you’re having issues with. Also, be patient with them.

*Negatively impact your relationship with others.

Say that you’ve been dating for a while and everything felt really good with being with that person. You feel on top of the world and then all of the sudden they’re the worst person to be with. You’re in a vicious cycle of love and hate, good and bad, up and down. When this happens all too often in a healthier relationship the black and white thinking can impact your peace and comfort with each other and being able to connect with each other on a deeper level as you crave for love and acceptance from your partner.

  • It can hurt your self-image

How and what do we see ourselves as a person can be another way of looking at it as we may think either we’re a good or bad person yet in reality we’re in between.
Yet, when
we think black and white we risk being overly self-critical or we end up refusing to see our own faults, flaws and imperfections. This can lead us being hypersensitive towards
others opionions and make it difficult to accept cristicism without deep insecurity that will in turn lead us to not being able to love ourselves and allow for growth
in all areas in our lives.

WHY DO WE USE BLACK AND WHITE THINKING?

Black and white thinking can serve as a purpose in the right way yet this is a form of a defense mechanism for us as we act like we’re a victim from a traumatic experience
or that we want to be in control of everything and everyone around us.

So how can we begin to help our children and adolescents develop a sense of the gray area? Below are a few strategies that can be used to help the black and white thinker in becoming more comfortable in all of the gray areas that life tends to throw our way.

  1. Define the gray area for them

Since black and white thinkers don’t naturally see the gray, it can be helpful for others to define it for them. For example, if a child who has Autism worked on a long-term project in art class and brings it home, claiming they are disappointed with how it turned out and writing off the entire thing as a failure, a parent can ask their child questions such as “did you have to learn any new art skills to make this project?” or “what is one thing you do like about the project?” Asking these questions prompts children to see that both positive and negative aspects of one thing can coexist.

  1. Changing our thinking patterns

Another way to define the gray and expand the walls of black and white thinking is to ask the child or young man or woman if there are other reasons that a particular outcome may have taken place. For example, if you are driving along on the highway and notice that there has been a car accident, engage the gray area thinking by asking, “How do you think that car accident happened? How else could it have happened? What else? Anything else?” The goal is to help him to identify that it could have been
the red car that hit the blue car. It could have been the driver in the blue car was texting or focusing on a phone call. Perhaps the driver in the red car sneezed or was arguing with the passenger and wasn’t processing that the driver in front of her was slowing down.

When gray area thinking isn’t happening naturally, provide choices or ask questions. For example, “Do you think it could have been the fault of the driver of the red car or the blue car? Do you think the driver didn’t notice that traffic was slowing down?”

And here’s another big set of questions – ask about perspective and feelings. “How do you think the drivers of the cars might feel? What do you think the driver of the red car is feeling right now (if the red is obviously banged up more than the blue car)?”

These conversations will not be met with ease and it will take persistence to initiate discussions about other reasons, feelings, and perspectives again and again until the language and thinking patterns begin to change, even if just a little.

  1. Remind children that a bad moment does not equal a bad day

Many black and white thinkers are very quick to write off an entire day as a failure after making one mistake, or having one behavioral issue in school. Hearing from their teachers, parents and peers that the day still has a potential to improve can empower these children to move past their assumptions and generalizations.

This is another tough idea to internalize because one bad thing = bad day. It’s difficult to weigh the good and the bad of the day and come to the realization that although 1 or 2 bad things happened today, it was still a good day overall. Riding the ups and downs of the day is a life skill that will benefit black and white thinkers as they grow older and learn to navigate the world of school and work and everything else around them.

  1. Utilize a visual

Visuals are an excellent tool to use to help expand those parameters beyond the black and white. Incorporating a rainbow with multiple colors or a traffic light visual can assist black and white thinkers by developing alternative options and will lead them to selecting the most likely and realistic outcome. That is, use the colors or different color lights to identify multiple solutions to a problem, or different possibilities that could take place if a decision is made (e.g., to end a friendship because of a disagreement, or to try to work through it and keep the friendship or to work through it to keep the friendship if it is worth having or losing a friend). A number chart that includes rating scales of 1-10 can also assist children in understanding that the in-between area does exist. The bigger the range, the more the gray area because the nuances of the emotions expands and the child or adolescent has to make a decision how she feels without it being just happy, mad or sad. It could be a combination of feelings, or variations of angry or mad or sad.

  1. Start to see the signs of the all or nothing thinking that arrives in our mindset.

Just think about what was shared earlier about how we speak like always, never. Trying to make someone perfect.

  1. Challenge our thoughts

Just because you’re thinking it, doesn’t mean that you may act upon it or it doesn’t sound true. Take away your negative thoughts and replace with them with positive thoughts.

  1. Replacing negative thoughts to a moderate standard of thoughts
  2. Increase your willingness to feel all your emotions.

It’s okay to feel not okay some days but the number one thing to remember is how we express or act upon it. Talk to someone that you trust or even to talk to the other person that you’re having issues with and try to work on a solution than making it an everyday problem.

  1. List your options

We know that when we do end up thinking negatively we should be able to weigh up our positive thinking as well. Black and white thinking patterns can have quite the impact on everyday functioning, both in and out of school, relationships, friendships and more.

Incorporating some of these strategies can assist black and white thinkers in challenging their automatic thought patterns. For those who see the world in nothing but extremes, it is important for them to gain some perspective and learn that life rarely fits itself perfectly into an “all or nothing” approach.

Life sure can be tough and have a lot of different feelings and emotions that comes with it yet again as I said it’s up to us how we are going to approach the situation and ‘how or what we think. Can someone love me for who I am and what I am

10. Ask others for help.

Sometimes it is good to have someone else to talk to and being able to share our thoughts etc so that we can gain a better understanding and perspective to what and how they see if there was a problem. As said communication is key here and two heads are better than on.

Bottom line here is that with all these strategies and knowing what is causing you to think the way that you do, the sooner the better you can get help for yourself. It’s all about taking care of yourself first and foremost. It’s all about accepting the fact that something isn’t right and with the right methods we can go further in our lives. Remember what we say and do in our lives is up to us and starts and ends with us. We’re the authors and painters of our stories.

To All The People Who Still Love Me At My Most Unlovable State, Thank You!

It’s good to show our appreciation to others as the smallest of actions usually shows more to others of what and who they are as a person towards us!

I want to write this from the bottom of my heart to all people that may have come to my life for a reason or a season at a time. I know that I may not be the easiest person to understand or work with yet to the ones that are still around, thank you. As you are aware and may know me by now, that sometimes for me as a person it has been hard for me to find the right people to open up to and all yet despite it all of the past experiences and situations and all that I’ve faced that I need to remember once in a while to let my guard or walls down to give people the chance to show me that they’re not out to get me but to try and assist me in anyway possible.

I know that I don’t say it enough in the way of my words and actions yet I am humbled and forever grateful to have the ones that has stood by me through all my trials and tribulations that I’ve been through right now as well as in the past. While we go through these trials and tribulations, I’ve learnt that this wills show us who will be there for us through this with their true colors.

I want to say to all the people that has seen me fail and fall on my knees as I stumble upon some situations and circumstances that you lifted me up and walked by me and guide me through it all. I want to thank you all that has been there for me as either for my legs when I am not able to walk some days as well as also my arms when I seem not to be able to carry anything.

For even when I feel that I am weak or at my lowest point that you allow me to lean on you for some strength and inner courage when I feel so convinced that I feel that others are out there to attack me in anyway that you act as my sword and shield when it arises.

Thank you for the ones that has been with me through and through of trying to keep my stable and giving me some form of hope and foundation to stand on when I fall.

When I am sometimes tired and clumsy along with being tired, you’re there by me to help me back up again and push me forward to get tasks done.

To the people that has been in my circle or has known me that has been telling me it’s okay to feel too much when you guys know me for being the sensitive and empathetic one around. Thank you. To the people that has been telling me on my bad days that it’s okay to not feel okay and to feel that I’ve been defeated in anyway shape or form that I should either come back to what may have not been completed etc. Again, thank you. Thank you for also understanding me as a person behind my faults, flaws and imperfections along with my mask hidden with my diagnoses. Thank you for also understanding me as a person who has a sensitive heart and never telling me to harden or to forever change me for who and what I am as a person and for accepting me for who and what I am as a person. You let me be able to be me and be able to express myself as a person to be able to love freely and openly. You remind me on a daily to never try and be someone else or to try and fit in a box full of expectations etc. We know that sometimes when the box is full, that it will bound to split or even the contents falls out.

On my messiest of days, when I don’t feel like myself, you still care!

To all the people that knows me by now with my voice that has been silenced for too long and now starting to try and have the courage to speak out and just to talk to every day people like you, thank you. To the people also who knows me for who and what I am – EXACTLY who and what I am and have the courage to still stick around and support me through and through, thank you. Thank you for seeing any cracks or bruises and by choice you choose to stay. Thank you for allowing me to express myself and knowing that I am not the person I pretend to be and loving my roots and everything else about me. You’ve seen me at my worst and darkest hours and moments along with sometimes when I wear my mask my mask then begins to drop or fall off and the real me begins to show or shine out. And, whenever that happens you tell me I was and I am still worth everything in this world. You tell me that I am loved, cared for and am needed to do my tasks to fulfill my purpose, goals, dreams and so much more. You tell me that no matter what I shouldn’t be afraid to shine my light and greatness to others. You tell me nothing has changed and shouldn’t have to be changed to suite others around me who wants to change me for the wrong reasons etc.

To the people who love me for me even when I am vulnerable or when I’m not lovable. thank you.

Thank you all for the ones that has been there for me to show me the meaning of friendship, love, guidance and affection. To me you are the good in this world, and to also be able to shine your light and greatness to others. You also have a plan and a purpose in life and I pray and hope that you’ll find it. You’re the ones that has helped me to see the good in me when I can’t seem to find it myself.

To the many friends who has left me because of my Mental Illness

To the many friends who has left me because of my Mental Illness

I am going to be real and transparent to you all who maybe reading this right now and if need be to expose almost everything out of the dark skeleton closet. This letter I’m reading/writing to you all who is reading this is one of the many that are the hardest to write to date to really expose my thoughts and feelings. Yes, I’ll admit to you all that sometimes I can be a pain in the arse or whatever yet it’s not fair or even good to even try to label me with everything under the sun. Why? Because that will just strip me from everything that I have been working myself on and that I also have hear them all before and I am doing best to be the best I can be for ME. Yet, let me tell you that these labels doesn’t deserve to be put on me as they should be put on the books or even on glass jars.

I know that there will be people that will come and go in our life for a time, reason, season and a purpose. May be they are there to expose us, to tear us down, to build us up. Yet, whatever the reason- or terms of events of some situations that we do personally struggle and go through in life of what we may face and what we go through will sure as hell test us who’s real and who’s going to be there as well as having our backs right to the end of tim. This can be a test also based on TRUST. Trust for me has always been hard for me to remain as to whatever it may be that the quote I lived by is this: “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair.” I do find it hard sometimes to trust people in my circle, so if you come in and then I start to open up to you my worst and dark fears along with secrets. Congratulations. I am now entrusting you with my life to trust you for whatever I share with you will remain between us til that time comes if need to reveal or share it to the world.

As I write this to you all and while you are reading this – I want to say this from the bottom of my heart thank you. That is the truth that is all I can do right now just to thank you. I want to say thank you for being a part of my life when you did decide to come in and be there for a time, season, purpose or reason. I want to say again thank you for leaving me and making me a stronger younger woman despite it being a real and scary as well as an emotional rollercoaster. I have now opened up my eyes wider and to see deeper to realise that all of this has to be done for me and me only. MY CHOICE ALONE NOT YOURS. I have now opened up my eyes wider and to see deeper to realise that this step I am making for change is for me to get better in myself in all areas – mentally, physically and spiritually.

Yes I’ll admit again that this can be the hardest decision you and I will ever have to make to date while having a mental illness to constantly seeing people that walk in and out of your life but at the same time this gives you and I a chance and opportunity to reevaluate and think about our relationships. If you were not ready and able to handle me now at my worst then you’re sure as hell not ready or so don’t deserve to be there at my best.

I want you to know while I sit and write/read this to you that mental illness is real and it’s not fake. You may or could get or have some type too. But, let me tell you that brains like any other organs we have are beautiful and that they’re responsible for so many tasks to do. And like any other organisation of the body or system – they can and will get sick. The fact is about our minds that it too becomes sick yet it takes years to notice before it starts to manifest into something else. When it does finally arrive and come knocking at our door to make its presence known, you might be able to minimise the pain for a short period of time or a short while without anyone noticing as we try to hide it as best as we can and not to show how and what it feels like but after holding or suppressing it for so long, it comes back like karma and a boomerang that keeps on returning and never leaves.

 

Too people around you- it’s like a quick and sudden change of moods, thoughts and attitudes all in a quick 360 in a short period of time and space. But in fact, it has been there all along- just real slowly and deeply stabbing you like a sharp dagger.

 

At some point in your llife- depression can and get so bad to the point where we just want to stay in bed due to the lack of motivation and energy that has been drained out of us or even to the point where it comes when we brush our teeth it becomes a choice and not a chore or part of a routine. Eating our meals of the good three times a day routine is nearly impossible and can go out the window as well as keeping up with homework/schoolwork or just general work that we do everyday can be and will be or become a challenge. Maintaining friendships is also a difficult task. I expect you to understand how I feel some days after to what I have been sharing pen to paper or in this case keyboard to screen or even just by watching some of my videos to share my life story.But, all I can do again is hope since you may not have experienced mental illness then again maybe you have but at some point in my life just being there for me can be more than enough as well as important as in talking to me and keeping in touch with me everyday. A call or a text message will be greatly appreciated as you took the time out of your day to see how I am and what I am doing.
What I do know and understand is this- in how hard it is not to have people in your life that you can turn to or to reach out to that you thought you were your best friends, confidant and more. You thought that you could seek out and just talk to them. What I do know and understand is that any mental illness of any kind doesn’t or can’t define me. What I do know and understand is that I will not invalidate myself just because of my mental illness or beat myself up if I have already lost a few friends along the way or even try to cry myself to sleep or worry about it. I believe I shall and will become better- I shall and will win the little accomplishments that I have made I should be forever grateful for of what I do everyday- Just being able to be in the moment. To breathe, live, love, laugh, dance and sing along with any other activities I love to do to build me up and look deep down to find out who and what is the real me.I shall and will keep practicing or continue to practice self-love and self-care. I shall and will seek help when I’m ready and when I need it. I wont let this stigma of mental illness win.

 

Aspie 🙂

A Letter to My Anxiety

A Letter to My Anxiety 

Just a little side note: Before I begin, these letter that will be on my series for the “Dear….” that some of these were written a long time ago and all that we need to express ourselves one way or another- be it through our videos, writing and more.

Yes! Some of the topics I may choose to write and share with the world may be touchy yet it needs to be shared from what I have been through along with many others that may have as well, My main purpose here is that we can learn from each other and to grow more in each other – as a reader and writer. I feel in my heart right now that some of these everyday topics that we choose to sweep under the carpet or under our feet, to ignore them or to just deny the fact that it is not happening but in fact let us be REAL here IT IS HAPPENING. Whatever is happening in our lives, we need to question, “Why are they acting this way?” How are they really feeling?” etc. We cannot always blame others for our thoughts, actions and circumstances as we need to understand and see it from a bigger picture. With this one and many more that I wish to share, however besides it being touchy that I pray and hope that it does shed some light and encouragement to let you all know that we are not alone!!

 

Dear Anxiety:

I am a new, stronger and better person- Thank you. Do you remember the first time we met? I sure as hell do. I remember the first time we met so clearly, yet it may have been so long ago. We met when I first started trying to make friends while moving and transitioning to one town or city to the next. The second time we met was after another season and transition of change that you became apparent and showed up again, while I was maturing and started the dating scene.

Anxiety, you do however tend to show up unexpectedly and unannounced when I just feel comfortable and at home and turn my world that I thought I knew, upside down. Every day, every minute, every hour I spent awake laying in my bed and this dark feeling sweeping over and inside of me will awaken me from my deepest and darkest slumber. From there on, you were almost like a friend of mine, trying to steal everything in life that was in reach and at arm’s length. At first – I was too blind and in oblivion to what you were trying to do to me, and when I knew that my world was spinning out of control as well as sending waves of emotions sweeping in and around me to the point where I could not breathe or control myself, I started to hate you. I then began to hate myself also, as well as blaming myself as I thought everything that I was going on was my fault. I hated you for ruining my life, innocence and more. The more hatred I began to feel for you and towards you- the darker and heavier my heart began to feel, and then Depression came into my life, and also became a friend of mine. The feelings were so real towards you were true and that some days, they felt so strong I did not want to live anymore as I wanted to close everything off and shut down everything in my life. I have now however, tried to reach out and to explain to people who cared about me, yet I got tired of explaining myself and my behaviours to them. That then caused them so much anger, hate and more towards me. I tried to reach out to them once more and when I did that, they thought in their minds that “I was too complicated”, “Too hard to understand” and many other labels. These thoughts became so overwhelming for me that frustration started to grow inside of me, as well as other mixed feelings that I was trying to tame.

Despite everything I faced, either big or small, I say thank you, Anxiety. You taught me more than I will ever know and you did. However, you pushed me to some boundaries that I dared not push myself. I then began to learn more about myself as well as loving myself more, and to treat myself more with respect which I so much craved for. Yes, I am human. Anxiety, you pushed me to take a step of the unknown to remain true to myself and to be positive and help me to create a better and brighter future.

As I have now grown up and am becoming a stronger, independent and confident young woman taking the first baby steps to finding what I need in life as at the moment, I am still a student whose self-teaching and self-learning in this walk of life. Despite it all, Anxiety, you are still hovering over and around me to start to stress and panic over deadlines, assignments and more. I am now the one who  has now  started pushing herself to go further and to move on forward and not look back. Yes, I have made plenty of mistakes and I am not proud of them. Have we not all made mistakes that we are not proud of or want to try and bury and forget them? Despite these mistakes and choices made, they are my life lessons, teaching me everything in what I needed to know and that I needed to know.

I want to thank you Anxiety, for waking me up all hours of the night. Despite it being restless nights, you started giving me a driving hunger and passion to follow my dreams and goals in life. Despite the sleepless nights, you came and became a renewed being, soul and spirit of myself filled with grace, humanity and more. Despite reaching and seeking out help, I knew that I was not alone facing this, as there are many others like me going through this struggle. I knew that there was support and help out there for me, yet I needed to find it for myself. You also opened up my eyes and heart to accept my flaws, imperfections that I have and I am not ashamed; for what I have got as this has made me who and what I am today. I have come to terms and realization now that; I am the only one in control of my life and everything in it. I am the one in control of my happiness, peace, self-worth and more. Thanks for letting me have a bit of time where I could self-reflect to who are and will be in my social circle, and to deserve to still be in there despite it being a lonely road ahead of me.

Anxiety, one more thing I would like to say to you right now is; despite all the years that you were there causing me so much pain, misery, heartache and more, I am proud to say it was well worth it and I would not have been the woman I am now today, and would be in the nearest future.

Thank you!

Yours sincerely,

Aspie

Letter to My Depression: Dear Depression, I Will Not Let You Control My Life

Letter to My Depression: Dear Depression, I Will Not Let You Control My Life 

Just a little side note:

Before I begin, these letter that will be on my series for the “Dear….” that some of these were written a long time ago and all that we need to express ourselves one way or another- be it through our videos, writing and more.

Yes! Some of the topics I may choose to write and share with the world may be touchy yet it needs to be shared from what I have been through along with many others that may have as well, My main purpose here is that we can learn from each other and to grow more in each other – as a reader and writer. I feel in my heart right now that some of these everyday topics that we choose to sweep under the carpet or under our feet, to ignore them or to just deny the fact that it is not happening but in fact let us be REAL here IT IS HAPPENING. Whatever is happening in our lives, we need to question, “Why are they acting this way?” How are they really feeling?” etc. We cannot always blame others for our thoughts, actions and circumstances as we need to understand and see it from a bigger picture. With this one and many more that I wish to share, however besides it being touchy that I pray and hope that it does shed some light and encouragement to let you all know that we are not alone!!

Let us now begin this letter,

Hello!

I remember the very first time when you came into my life, which was from the very beginning. Growing up as a sweet, young, innocent, bubbly girl that was full of energy and spirit. A sweet young and innocent girl growing up to not knowing what is going to happen, and you came in secretly into my life without any reason or my permission to the changes that were about to happen. I was growing up as a sweet, young and innocent girl, in a world full of unfamiliarities as well as uncertainties with broken dreams and promises. However, the first time we met you were cleverly hidden and disguised under me as a mask full of different emotions which I would show to the world. While you were cleverly hidden, you did not even surface, and I was at that time, ignoring the signs and symptoms of what you will bring, despite being at a tender young age of eight. I was always a happy, young-spirited, free-willed child that was bubbly in character and putting on the brave face, regardless of what it would be or could be as I had so much energy to burn.

The second time we met, Depression, was when I was in my pre-teens, trying to fit in and blend in with the crowd that I was associating and hanging with. I was then, however trying to act like somebody who I was not when a few of these sweet nothings and some basic name calling started to creep into my mind and creating so much doubt, fear, insecurities and uncertainties to who and what I am and was at that young age. I even felt my mind and body weren’t mine and that, they belonged to someone else. But, I now know and believed that this disease is incurable, but is manageable to a degree.

After having you in my life, it felt like I was in a deep and dark hole with no light. I fought myself and cried to myself at night, with tears streaming down my cheeks and face staining my pillow due to the torture of your sweet nothings and lies that you were feeding me.

I will say this to you that “Depression, you were a childhood friend to me, despite giving me so many hassles, drama, heartaches, heartbreaks and other mixed feelings just to basically give you full control of my life. It got me wondering when it was ever going to stop.”

In the end, I made it my choice to have you in my life and to control me. At midnight, a small silent voice inside of me, as well as a sharp tongue that was like a double-edged sword started penetrating deeper into my thoughts. It was you that was feeding me again with the sweet nothings, lies and more. You robbed me of everything that I had, and once knew and pretended you had the answers for everything to what I was going through, as I was battling and fighting this battle and struggle on my own. I felt while I was in my pre-teens, that I was ready to give up and give in to your wishes and commands, Depression.

I questioned myself, “Do I dare give in and give up?” While you were giving me false hope and false messages of whatever it was at that given moment of time I realised it wasn’t me.

I began to feel very sick and weak, and everything around me that started to fall out, I couldn’t grasp any more as it was out of sight and reach. The reality of me losing this battle that was never so strong.

While in my darkest moment, I was on a suicidal frenzy with you just the thought of me wanting out and pull the plug as well as quitting my fight to you. Yes, I did try to attempt to end my life during Depression, however and luckily, I had my loving and devoted parents by me for support. Yes, despite making their life hell, yet they still stood by me and to this day, they still are standing tall and strong by me, no matter what I am  going through or facing at that moment of time.

All the negative thoughts and sweet nothings that you poisoned me with over the years, fell back into my mind again as I kept crying myself to sleep at night, as so many countless nights I could not sleep through the tears of emotions of mine. I was trying to cope with the never-ending battle and cycle of mine with loneliness and no friends again; you were my friend as you then became the authority and a main source of my life, Depression. I was still stuck in negative thoughts that were growing so fast that then ended up clouding my judgement and perception of life, and living my life how I wanted to live it.

Again, you keep coming into my life unexpectedly, time and time again with sweet nothings, lies and false hopes saying; “No one is going to love you”, “You are nothing”, “You are worthless” and more. Meanwhile, I was battling with these thoughts day in and day out, yet now I believe that there is a brighter future and that, there is hope and light at the end of the darkest tunnel of mine as well as thinking that there will be someone out there for me that will love me for me despite what I may be facing or struggling with. Depression, what you have put me through was a house full of lies, feeding my mind, soul and spirit. I felt so stupid enough to give you the time of day as well as giving to you what you wanted from me in my weakest times and moments, as well as then becoming a slave to you. This illness can do everything it wants at any moment of time or day just by giving up my power to you and more importantly, the authority to just give you what you wanted, just to keep you satisfied.

The other set of emotions I was feeling at this moment of time will not cease or be quiet and calm as you overtook me and my life, yet I will admit Depression that you did create so many fears in my life. Depression, you know that you have a story of you to share and tell in this day and age. I shall now stand up against you. I believe that I am someone who has a vision, dreams and goals in my life which I believe I can achieve. Depression, despite being in my life you cannot and will not have me by having the power and authority in me. I do not now forever dwell on my past, regardless of you being there and what I have been through and struggled with. I am worthy of love, I am being be cared for, I am  worthy to be a princess, I am now worthy to let go of anything that is not  a part of me which is holding me down and out of my life. I am now worthy to let go of anything that you were clouding me; the doubts, lies and uncertainties as I take charge of my life. I am  now starting and will begin now to forgive myself as well as giving myself a chance to heal from whatever had been in the way of my healing, and to allow myself to be a better person as, well as being stronger in the mind, spirit and soul. I am  now forgiving myself and allowing myself to be stronger and better. I have had so many guys that have come in and out of my life just because you were feeding me so much lies and insecurities, as well as putting harm in the way, and I come against you right now. You however, caused havoc in my life when the guys did try to come into my life and you told me to accept that it was true love, despite some of the guys I have been with in the past. Today, I am  letting go of these ones that caused me so much grief and harm, and forgiving them; for what they did to me was wrong and unacceptable. I do not wish for anything else to be stolen in my life like peace, joy and self –worth and many more. I am starting today to rebuild everything that was lost and stolen from me. As you are in my life, I am going to take charge of my life right now, to be a better person and to love myself.

Today, Depression, I am letting you and all the negative thoughts, perception and judgement that were clouding over me to go. I will not give up and I shall and will not let this silence me. I do not know where my life is taking me to, yet I will  take a step of faith into the unknown and to trust and believe in myself, as well as starting to love myself again

Yours sincerely,

A victor and a winner.