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Girl in white polo facing a grey sky away from camera

The alarm rings first at 6 PM. “Go home,” it says. It rings at that time every working day, and I rarely listen, but I like that it exists. It rings a second time at 10:45 PM. This one says “Take meds” and I obey more religiously.

It’s always a music box version of Bach: Cello Suite No. 1. It’s the biggest reason I don’t mind the alarms. The second is because I set these reminders surprisingly during the weekend of a mental health emergency. I thought I loved myself the least in those moments when (TRIGGER WARNING) I most wanted to die.

But let’s say there are four verticals inside me: Winter, the depressed one; Summer, the hypomanic one; an unnamed, significantly worse one; and the slightly better, mostly trying one, the only one I call Apple.

So this is a letter to Winter, from Apple.

First, you’re good at your worst and quite wonderful at your best.

Second, here’s why. You left me acts of kindness even when you believed you wouldn’t live long enough to see me again. Even when you were least convinced of my existence, you loved me on autopilot.

Third, most of the time I think of me, I try to better me, and I urgently avoid you. And you – you think of me too.

Fourth, did you know it’s okay? That it isn’t your fault everything’s a little harder for you?

Fifth, I forgive you. I love you and I have long accepted you as you are.

Finally, I send this as written proof that I do exist, and I will always, always always always return to you.

Apple Nocom

Apple is a witch, a writer, and a mental health advocate from the Philippines. She keeps a blog as a creative outlet and a self-care diary, so she writes about depression, self-improvement, art projects, spiritual practices and other things that help her cope.

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