Love letters : preface

Camila Ribeiro
5 min readOct 27, 2023

Many of you may have heard about depression or experienced it, or maybe not. You might read my texts and think I am insane or relate to them. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. I’m organizing my thoughts for this project, which I’ll explain in more details, maybe now or in another text. It’s important to me, regardless of whether you can relate to it. It’s my experience, my perspective, and what I’ve learned after a long time being lost.

I know I can drag this text too long by giving many loopings, but I’m working on that. Sometimes I can’t focus, and I detail things too much. Still, I believe that details matter; every small action, word, or feeling matters.

Sometimes we don’t see things clearly until they change our lives. I know because it changed mine.

I could be telling you all about the darkness from my past, what I had to overcome, and how I survived, but for now, it’s irrelevant. I’m trying to introduce what I want to present to you.

I always denied using the words “happy” or “happiness” because I never believed it truly exist. I was always careful and afraid of those words. We all know that “happiness” is followed by another word, one I’m equally afraid of —“love”.

But why do love and happiness walk together? Why am I afraid of them? It’s too complex to explain here. I might delve deeper into this question another time because, for now, the only thing that matters is my perspective on what I’m about to tell you.

When someone is hurt for a long time and is a prisoner of the curse of “hate/love,” it’s hard to accept happiness or love. Maybe I love too much, hope too much, and seek things too much. Maybe I am too much.

By now, you might be thinking, “Where do you want to arrive with all this confusion?” I do know where I want to arrive; I just don’t know how to start writing about it. Even though at night, my head is filled with amazing words, I have problems expressing them. It’s confusing.

Okay, let’s try again.

I didn’t know better before. Something wasn’t right, but I would never guess it was depression. Everyone always sees me as happy, talking, laughing, making jokes, and being there for everyone, but I haven’t been okay for a long time.

The day I realized I wasn’t okay was the day that changed everything, years ago. I remember it well. I questioned myself, “How do people say they are happy?” “Happiness isn’t real; something messed up will always happen,” or even “Why is everyone happy, but I’m not? How does it feel?” I never knew.

Today marks the second month since I started treating my depression with medication. I’ve had therapy sessions for the last 2 and a half years, and I need to tell you, it changed my life.

I’m not here to tell you that taking controlled medication will solve all your problems; it won’t. But for me, accepting myself and all the darkness that follows and fighting back changed my perspective.

No one has changed; my friends are the same. But my perspective of them has changed in an amazing way, and that’s where I want to arrive. Yes, I needed to talk about those things from before so you could see and understand my perspective.

I always knew I had amazing friends, we are family. I always knew they love me, and I love them all. But for the first time in years, I can feel it.

I feel loved. I feel the love I give to others. I see them again, their aura, and the impact they have on my life. That’s where I want to arrive. It’s scary tho…do I know how to be happy? Do I deserve it?

Who are they? How is it possible that some people don’t love them? How many times do they not see how amazing they are? How does every small interaction we have give me that warm feeling in the heart and that pain in the belly after laughing so much? Why am I so lucky to have them in my life and not acknowledge it before? Why did I never see it before?

It’s almost like I could see it but I couldn’t feel it or understand it. That’s all on me and my wrong perspective of the facts.

Many days, I look in the mirror, and I don’t recognize myself. I hate looking at pictures of myself. But they never looked away; they always gave me compliments that I couldn’t understand or accept it.

I want everyone to see how beautiful they are from my perspective.

I want to show them that, even though I often don’t express it, I do see how amazing they are and how they saved me, each one of them in different and unique ways.

So here begins the project. Now you’ll understand what I meant by “perspective” or “not caring about your opinion”. We are much more complex than just love and hate. You have every right not to like someone, but that doesn’t mean you hate them, or maybe you just have the wrong perspective about them.

So, let’s see if you can follow me…

People are not what we see or think that they are, but also people are not what they see or think about themselves. Complex, right? Not that much.

I will use myself as an example:

I look to myself and I see fat, hormonal acne, hair loss, too skinny, I look like a little girl, I am not smart enough, I am not worthy of love…

They look at me and they see a human body that changes and adapts, they see how much I understand and fight for the things I believe, they love me and never asked for anything back.

Do you see now? I am not exaclty how they describe me, but I am also not just what I think I am. I am both and much more. How many people have a different perspective of me? Does all this perspectives really matters?

So how do we define what is real, original, perspective, lies…? We don’t. We just accept a few wrong things about ourselves and others, and we keep this cycle forever.

I will connect things a little bit and try to simplify this first part.

Now, for me, it’s almost like I realized that not everything needs to hurt or to be taken very seriously. It’s like when I see each one of them I could also see their love and feel it too. This got me in an ecstasy state and I feel like exploding like a ballon full of glitter.

I might be able to start saying that I am learning how it’s to feel happy. I am scared but not afraid.

I will add a question that is making me confused but confident.

How someone that does not know love can write love letters?

The project will continue, this is just the start.

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Camila Ribeiro

UX/UI Designer | I am a mess, and here is where I share some of my mental confusion.