In Milan for a conference, I fall into a state of depression, triggered by my ex-boyfriend Richard having in effect almost stopped communicating with me, while I thought we would instead stay close friends after the break-up. Letter to my friend Kathrin:
"Bad news, I am TOTALLY depressed again today. Lonely, I slept most of today (i.e. didn't prepare my presentation, didn't go to the conference), feel like crying anytime something goes slightly wrong. No joy, no energy, no hope. (...)
Also because of Richard. He sent me a one-liner telling me he was busy and didn't have time to read my email. I sent him another one... but I PROMISE this is the last one on the topic. I've said the same thing 3 times, there is no point ever telling this again. I need to just endure the suffering. And stop this contraction on him that is killing me.
Don't be too harsh on me. I am depressed now - like you were after you moved to Paris. It's been 2-3 weeks now, or even more and I was in denial, i.e. it is no small thing. A typical post-beak-up depression. Which could have been avoided if Richard was behaving lovingly but he isn't and I need to accept it, i.e. go through the pain. I can't believe it, I seemed to be on such a happy groove for months. I feel shame, and disbelief."
Email to Richard, from Milan (our communication is mostly one-way now):
"What happens is I am going through a depression now. It's been 2-3 weeks now so I guess it can be called that. The D-word you seem to never have encountered. But you have probably heard that it happens to the best of us, that it is a disease, like a flu.
Depression is a general state of unhappiness that affects all areas of our lives. They are commonly triggered by events: typically, death, divorce, job loss, break-up. My depression happens to be triggered by your "lack of care" - i.e. it would have been avoided had you been more skillful at figuring out how to care for me at this time (but I know it is not your "fault"! there is no fault here, just my disease). It is not caused by the break-up itself, I know as well as you do that things were not working between us. I accept this fact. (…)
I was trying to let you know this so that maybe you could change your behavior to help me (like I am asking all my friends now to be gentle with me because I am depressed).
It is not happening, for some reason (guess when we were together we had smaller versions of it happening - you had no clue what to do when I felt "down") so I know I need to just go through the suffering and wait until it goes away, courageously, on my own. It is hard to live in constant pain. Again, you could have greatly helped, and I wanted to guide you, but I suppose it turned you off. I apologize for all this.
I am sharing this with you because depression is something real and objective that maybe you will encounter again in your life - not in yourself probably, but maybe in loved ones. I wish it did not exist.
I don't know how long it will last. Not too long, hopefully, so I can be my full self again.
With enduring affection and fond memories,
Annelene (or the little that is left of her at this time)."