The Letter

Hi Internet! So in Undiagnosed but still real I said I would write a post dedicated to telling you how I told Ma about it all (or some of it, at least). I wanted to write this especially for anyone who is in a similar situation to the one I was in and wants to reach out to someone they care about but aren’t sure about how to do so.

So basically I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle telling her face to face what I was going through. In my family and I’m sure many others, mental health is just something you would never bring up. It’s almost a myth and I knew that finally coming forth would be a very different, to say the least, experience for my mum. I wrote her a letter. I said that I had been feeling extremely down for the past two years and to my best ability I tried to explain why. This was all one and a half years ago.


I spent the night before writing it all down on a couple A5 pieces of paper and read it through so many times that I got bored of it but I just had to make sure I had every detail that I wanted to tell her. I started from the beginning and tried to just really explain the emotions because I knew that would be the biggest challenge for me to say and for her to understand. The severity of any of it, really, I did not go into and I just tried to explain it in more broad terms but still get my message across.


I went downstairs and my heart was pounding so, so much. I know I shouldn’t have been but I was embarrassed. I was ashamed that I was like that and this was even a thing I had to tell my mum but I knew I was ready to. I gave her the letter and asked her to read it when I was back upstairs because I didn’t want to see her reading it and that’s what she did.

Later that day, she called me into the room where she was just lying down reading the letter for the god-knows-how-many time and asked me to come lie down with her and talk to her about it. Not many of you will know this about me but I don’t handle serious issues well and more often than not I’ll smile; even if it’s the most morbid thing. So what did I do? I got embarrassed, got all giggly, couldn’t look her in the eyes the whole time we talked about it. All the while I had my face covered and I couldn’t even bring myself to look at her.

In retrospective, that probably didn’t help her understand the seriousness of my situation but there wasn’t anything else I could do! I mean, I smiled when I told my dad that our goldfish died from the water overheating. I’m not heartless, I promise but serious is something I don’t usually do. Anyway, she talked through the things she felt she understood and that was the end of that. We’ve never talked about it since then.


I had hoped after that Ma would take me to a psychologist because that’s what I needed; an unbiased, unopinionated person who just wanted to help me but, that didn’t happen. I know, in a way, it is probably my fault because if I had only told her how serious it was she probably would have but I didn’t. Just from reading the letter anyone probably would’ve assumed it was tiny, petty things that I was just labelling as depression. It wasn’t tiny, petty things though but even now, I could never properly explain to someone why I feel like I do; it’s just a combination of a billion things.

Chin up, guys! This story doesn’t have a (very) sad ending because in the end it did help me. I knew she didn’t just dismiss my bad days as easily and was gentler towards me when I was feeling shitty and that still helped.

All in all, I am relieved I did this so if anyone was thinking of doing something similar but wasn’t 100% sure how it would turn out, of course everyone and their situation is different, but if they love you, they will accept you flaws and all.

– Chan


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