To my best friend: Watching you fight your illness saved me from mine

To my best friend Emma,

It’s been a crazy 3 years. When I first met you, your attitude was undeniable. Sassy, sarcastic and a little judgemental. It was inevitable that we’d be friends. We weren’t always the closest but you were the only one there for me when I needed you the most.

I’ve been ill for a long time now. My days are long. Hard. And for the most part, dark. I cry when no one is watching. I’m happiest when I’m helping others. If I focus on the broken pieces of other peoples’ lives, the less I have to deal with my own missing jigsaw pieces.

My smile isn’t always genuine. My advice can sometimes be hypocritical. My ability to overthink every situation and create situations that will never happen make it difficult for people to stay. But you’re still here and for that, I’ll never be able to thank you enough.

Depression isn’t easy to deal with. I push people away because I’m scared of letting them see me.

All of me. I’m so scared of being alone but too scared to let anyone in.

When you became ill, it was a difficult time for me. I’ve never admitted this but at the time, my depression got really bad. I constantly worried about if you were okay and my head would go round in circles. I knew deep down that everything was going to be okay but what would I do without you?

What I didn’t realise was that, the whole time I watched you courageously and defiantly fight your illness, you were saving me from mine.

Worrying, stressing and overthinking everything made me see that for all the days that were long, hard and dark, I’m not alone. Even in your hospital bed, hours after life saving surgery, you were still texting me asking if I was okay.

Whenever I was visiting YOU, you wanted to ask about ME! For all that I am scared to let people in, you never gave up on me.

How can I worry about being alone when I have someone who cares about my day? Cares about what I’ve eaten? Cares about how I’ve slept?

Even when you were at your weakest, you still cared about making me stronger.

They say everyone has a soulmate. People spend their whole lives searching for their other half. The perfect man or woman. But who said a soulmate can’t be your friend. You’re my other half. My partner in crime. The reason I’m here at this moment writing you this letter.

So, Emma, thank you! Thank you for being there. Thank you for supporting me in everything that I do. Thank you for listening.

Thank you for putting up with my over-dramatic responses. Thank you for believing me when I tell you ‘I’m fine’ (even if you don’t think I am or know that I’m not).

Thank you for understanding when I say I don’t want to talk about it (and then forcing me to anyway).

Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for being my soulmate. Thank you for being my sister. Thank you for making me smile. Thank you for being you amazing sassy, sarcastic and judgemental self.

Thank you for being the best best friend I’ve ever had.

But most importantly, thank you for saving me. Every single day.

With all my love,
Your depressed best friend x

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