When Depression Arrives: An Open Letter to My Son


In two days you’ll be 16 months old. At this time, the biggest worries you have are when you’ll get your next snack or where the dog is hiding (from you). This is an exciting time in your little life.
Your days are filled with shredded cheese, playing in dirt, and waving to zoo animals. Books are your constant companions, and you don’t have too much to worry about.

Sweet boy, there may come a day when you become less concerned with why a stranger didn’t wave back to you at the grocery store and more concerned with other things. Grown-up things. Things that no child should ever have to think about.

Here’s a secret: depression runs in our family. And while I hope and pray and beg the Lord that this illness won’t be passed onto you, we can’t be sure.

So just in case…

I want you to know that depression is a liar. Sometimes he creeps into your mind before you’re even old enough to understand what’s going on. There will be days when he chatters in your ear all day long – and some days that will be so quiet in your head that you feel like you’re suffocating.
There will be times when your brain is a thunderstorm; alternatively, times when your body feels like a desert. It’s so much for a little guy to take on – but you are not alone.

Depression is fierce. It knows your vulnerable places and targets the most precious part of you. LISTEN TO ME – I will help you build armor. We will come up with a plan. And we will ride into battle together. You saved my life once before – I will fight for yours as long as I’m here.
You were made to slay dragons. Sometimes that dragon is in yourself.

I’ve seen the way you think, little man.
The way your mind makes connections that no one else would notice. The friendliness you have towards everyone you meet. The comforter that you are. I’m not alone when I say that you are going to change the world around you. It might just take a little time for you to get there.
Don’t let the expectations that seem so heavy on your shoulders define who you are.
You will accomplish what you are meant to when it is time.

Right now you have so much joy in your heart. Everything is an exciting discovery to you, and depression will try to steal that away.
Trust me, baby, we will fight our hardest if that day comes.
After all,  your name means little warrior. Because that’s what you are.

Love, mama.
When Depression Arrives: An Open Letter to My Son

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Miranda says:

    This is so beautiful. It is hard as a parent to watch your kids struggle, knowing you can’t make it all better. But we can “come up with a plan” together. Thanks for sharing.


    1. What a beautiful and oh so true writing. Depression and anxiety have been a constant source of heartache in my own life. It is hard wondering if your children will suffer as you. Thank you for sharing this.


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