I don't suffer from clinically diagnosed depression. There are times when I wonder whether perhaps this is just because I've never sought out a diagnosis. Regardless, I do have depressive days. It's tied to hormones, to sleep, to work, family, and everything else. Perversely, the days I should be happiest (anniversaries, book releases, birthdays etc) is usually when these feelings are strongest. The last few days have been a down-cycle for me.
What I've decided to do though, rather than focus on that negative, is write myself a love letter. I think in this day and age, there is so much anti-ego press, so many messages constantly about how loving your self is vain and wrong. But I think there is a difference between loving yourself and being egotistical. I need to give myself more permission to find joy in myself. To find the things I like about myself and focus on those. So if you'll excuse the egotistical moment: this is my love letter to myself--things I would say if I was my own best friend.
You have a passion for words that people respond to. This shows through in the readers who love your work. Even though you still have more to learn that passion shows in the output. You never stop trying to learn though. You know that the moment you think you know everything about writing and publishing will be the day to pack it away because you've lost your passion.
You make mistakes, but you try to be gracious enough to fix them.
You are there for your friends whenever you can be. And even when you're seeming to ignore them because you're immersed in your own private worlds, they are always in your head. One phone call or DM and you'd have their back in any way you can. You have people all around the world you can rely on.
You have a family who can make you laugh. A husband who is still able to make you happy even after so many years. A daughter who is a free spirit and knows as one of her core values that oddness isn't wrong--that being unique isn't a crime. Even though you struggle with the timetable and wish you had more time to dedicate to that crazy little chick, she and you share a bond that is unbreakable. She'll always be your little girl and she loves you more than you'll probably ever fully understand--except that you love her the same way.
Your extended family and friends support you. They believe in this crazy idea that you could be an author as much, and maybe even more than, you do.
You don't always have to be happy. You can celebrate the sad. You can embrace the sorrow. But then you need to come back and read these words and pick yourself up.
And the most important thing that I need to say in this letter: Self, you are good enough.
In the words of the Skyhooks: Ego, it's not a dirty word.