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Dear Depression. . .

The Journey Of One Woman's Letter, To An Old Foe

(This photo was taken at the American University In Cairo's New Cairo campus; Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

Dear Depression, 

It’s been some time since we had a conversation-if one ever existed between you and I.  I’d go with the latter.  Here we are 13 years later, and I’m happy to tell you. . .I’m alive!

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

I know you tried.  Tried your hardest to bury me, break my Spirit, kill me. Do you remember the night I stayed up in my dorm room , sophomore year of my undergraduate studies?  How you urged me over and over to kill myself?  Do you remember telling me my lilfe was worthless?  You gloated in thinking you had won.  Yet, another feminine Being was with me.  Escorted me to the hospital.  Sitting with me in the ambulance; staying with me until morning dawned.

When killing me didn’t work, you waged your war to keep me immobile.  So egotistical and narcissistic, that you even used medication against me.  You wanted to have your way; trying to prove your pseudo triumph.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

I’ll be honest.  I took the bait, initially.  Thought you were almighty and powerful.  Believed that you would forever rule my life.  Those many times in undergrad, when I thought I would never graduate from Spelman College.

Struggling through classes.  Feeling marginalized, ostracized, and demonized.  Two hospitalizations.  Suicide plannings and contemplations.  The aura of being, forbidden.  A rouge-colored marking, as a message to others-”stay away from her.” I remember those times.  You even traveled to Egypt, as a ”reminder” to me of your presence.  Taunting me.  Mocking my travels and studies abroad, as an illusion to escaping you.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

You cackled of my Being.  Yet, I’m the one who chuckles, last.  You see, after I realized that I could no longer run, or hide from you, I faced you.  I soon figured out that your only way to live, is through death.  That’s why you hide in secrecy.  You rely on your victims to stay silent-failing to speak of your presence.  Though, they know you are there.  Shame, fear, guilt, and secrecy, are delicacies of choice.  It’s the only way you can feed yourself.

So, while you crept inside of me, I began to study you.  I jotted down your movements, and mapped out your patterns.  When you knocked on my Spirit, I announced to the world, that you were here.  I became more active in the areas you hate.  ExerciseHealthy EatingMeditation. Positive People. And Healthy Discussions With Those Who Are Trained To Listen.  When you sent pain my way, I purged you out with tears.  You thought crying was a sign of weakness.  In actuality, it was a weapon of choice, for my defeat of you.

(Photograph By Lauren K. Clark)

You triedRelentless in your addiction to winEven resorting to using the ignorance of other people for your advantage.  Because when I didn’t die, you used isolation, and mental diagnosis to shame me.  When I spoke out loud, or soothed my Spirit with words, you relied on others to call me ”crazy.” Tainting my persona, when you are the real lunatic.  Loneliness is your method of destruction.

Painting, music, theater, and dance allowed me to reflect my humanity.  My womanhood.  My Beauty.  My unique aesthetical connection to the Universe.  And thus, I was connected to other Beautiful Beings.  I was never alone.  

(Photograph By Lauren K. Clark)

And guess what?  Not only do I study you.  I’ve also decided to go into research, holistic, medicinal, and clinical fields to know you, even more.  That way I can pursue you.  Now, you are my prey.  I will hunt you down, and find who you are trying to destroy.  I will share all the remedies that healed me, and allowed me to fight you; when you decide to rear your ugly head in the world.  

Are you afraid?  Well, you should be.  Be VERY afraid.  How does it feel, depression, knowing that more tools are being created to defeat you?  Eventually, ridding you from our planet.  You thought you were so clever.  Yet, in the end, you are the lifeless one.  How does it feel, depression, knowing that more and more people (the world over), are waking up to your fakery?  And I’m not the only one.  Others have come, and more are coming; speaking of you. Sharing their testimonies and triumphs over you.  So, you can’t hide.  Your very name, will no longer be. . .taboo.  That means your food supplies are running out. Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock!

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

So, run. . .depression.  Hide. Sneak away.  I see you.  I know you.  Even when you are coming, I feel you.  It’s been 13 years, since we first met.  No longer the scared girl, who you can torment.  I’ve battled you for a long time.  Now, I don’t even really. . .feel you, anymore.  You don’t come around very often.  When you do, you are very hasty in leaving.

Dear Depression,

Do you remember who I am?  It’s me.  Lauren.  I’m alive.  And, you did not win!

(Photograph By Gabriel Neko, Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph By Gabriel Neko, Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

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