An Open Letter to my Brother


I am mentally unwell. My depression has spiked with the breakup from my recent love, my “goodbye, and good riddance” to our dad, and my exciting, yet terrifying decision to pursue my passion as a career. I am jobless. Moneyless. It has all become so much, each day I question if I am doing the correct things… I believe I am. I am just scared. And very homesick.

I wake up feeling sad, lost, despondent. These feelings wake me, often felt before I am conscious. They tend to last throughout the day, often driving me to message you for comfort. I worry I annoy you at times, but I know you love me. I know you care. And I know you understand. That is why I choose to come to you with my thoughts.

You are always there for me without fail.

I force myself to eat, choosing healthy things that require time to prepare over the simple, easy to microwave pizzas slowly disappearing from my freezer as my bandmate chooses them over eggs. I can go a whole day without realizing I haven’t eaten, so it has become part of my agenda: Wake up, attempt to suppress my dark thoughts, poop, dress, cook. It is good for me, and I usually feel better after eating. Physically.

I try to remain busy, I have lots of work to be done. But I am often distracted by my intrusive thoughts. Even when I leave to take a break, get outside, escape my bedroom, these thoughts tend to follow me. “Jump in front of that speeding car.” “Keep going, get lost, let your phone die, then die.” It breaks my heart. I do not want to die. I just want the pain to stop. I want a normal, healthy mindset.

Right now you are sending me photos, pictures of me and the family from when I was young, not even in high school. There are photos of you, your wife, your old blue heeler who ran away. You are young, thin, and as handsome as you are and have always been. There are photos of me smiling with braces, hair still on my head. Photos of the family, our brothers, our sister and her husband, my mom. I am heartbroken we are not as close with our brothers as we are to each other. But I love them, I know they love us, and I know they are living fulfilling, hopefully happy lives.

And there are photos of us with our dad. Dad. Wow. He was younger, stronger, and probably cared then. He took us fishing once, and we have photographic proof! I wish he wasn’t the way he is now. I wish he was healthy, strong minded, proactive and selfless. Caring, loving, nurturing, and gave a shit. Dad. I miss him, I wish he was worth keeping in my life. Our lives. But we don’t choose our father. I love him for giving me life, but other than that… there isn’t much to love without lying to myself first.

Brother, I miss my girl. She was perfect to me, amazing in every way. I hate that she has found happiness with someone else, because she was all I wanted, even more than my own music. I put my everything into making us work, trying so hard to keep her happy and motivated. But it wasn’t enough. I am trying to constantly remember that I am enough, though most of me feels I wasn’t. I am more than enough.

Brother, I miss you. Your gravely voice, your jokes, your laugh, your smile, your smell. Our talks, your rants, our adventures. We have the same love, heart, and drive for anything outdoors. I can say “Let’s walk over there!” and we will go. You can say “Let’s scale this mountain!” and we will go. I can always depend on you for an adventure, and a good day.

I love you, brother. I miss you.

I want you to know I am hopeful for my future. I look to you and find so much inspiration. You have the same struggles with depression as I do, yet you have worked through it diligently. You have a beautiful wife, incredible kids, and amazing skills that are providing you with a more steady and stable future. I am so proud of you, never lose your stride.

Thank you for loving me. Understanding me. Helping me through not only my personal issues, but my every tedious question about, well, everything. I am working on finding answers myself, but I know you will have the answers I cannot find. Do you know the meaning of life? Because I’d really like to know.

Again, I love you, brother. You are my hero.


Photograph year unknown. Taken by my brother.


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