Depression is painful. It is years, sometimes a lifetime, of compounding traumas that turn into thoughts of unworthiness. Depression kills.
In a beautiful open letter, spoken word artist and grad student Tonya Ingram captures what it’s like living with a sadness you cannot explain to others (video above). Though she reveals a haunting, personal journey, it’s one that can resonate with any sufferer.
Tonya perfectly expresses the ways in which depression tricks its hosts into giving up, reciting “Find the nearest ledge, you say / Walk out, you say / Suspend, you say / Wouldn’t I be happier dead yesterday?”
However, she also reinforces the monumental importance of breaking free through positive self-talk. “I’m forgiving myself / For not being strong enough to believe in myself,” she says. “I am letting sadness go / I am letting loneliness go / You will not silence me.”
Tonya’s beautiful words were put to videography by the BuzzFeed video production team and features animation by Caroline Miller. It premiered on BuzzFeedYellow on May 14, 2015.
If you feel like you’ve seen her before, you might recall her equally powerful performance on the fourth season of Lexus’ Verses and Flow in 2014. See below.