For a long time I thought the content of this letter would be sad, I am so glad that it is not.
I’m sure when I first told you I thought I had depression it must have been really hard for you; you had felt it yourself and I’m sure the idea of one of your children being in that much pain was very upsetting for you. I remember you saying at one point that you felt it was your job as my mother to fix me and you couldn’t deal with the fact that it wasn’t that simple.
At the time, it really upset me that you challenged my belief that I was ill and that is why I turned to other people for support. My friends had that little bit more distance which allowed them to listen to my pain and be my voice at doctor’s appointments whilst also looking after their own mental health. For a long time I mistook your disappointment and worry that I didn’t feel I could confide in you as a rejection of my illness.
Mum, you said everything I needed
The last six months have been very hard. I have been more poorly that ever before and despite the support of my friends and wonderful boyfriend I started to experience from suicidal feelings. My therapist suggested that I reach out to you, that being honest to everyone about how poorly I was would take the weight of pretending to be fine off my shoulders and allow me to focus on myself and getting better.
Mum, you were amazing. I was so worried about calling you. I had all my notes on assertive communication by my side to help me through what I thought was going to be a confrontation about whether I was ill or not. I am so happy I underestimated you. You said everything I needed. You gave me your love and your support for whatever way I decided to get treatment. You told me I was strong and you were proud. You said you were there in good times and bad but that you also understood if sometimes other people were more suited to helping. You made me laugh.
Over the past five years of struggling with my mental health I forgot that this is a journey for everyone involved. No-one always knows the right thing to do or say. We are all human and we all make mistakes and find it hard to cope. Now I know you have only ever wanted the best for me. I’m glad we gave our relationship the chance to change and grow.