I’ve had this post saved in my drafts for some time, but I finally feel like I can dedicate the time it deserves. This post is a response to The Love Letter Project:
“Consider the greatest challenge you’ve overcome in life and write a love letter to help a perfect stranger overcome that same challenge. I’m asking you to write a love letter because your personal story will make a powerful difference in the lives of others. You could write a love letter to anyone: an entrepreneur who is struggling with her first business, a man who has lost his job, or a child who is being bullied at school. Write a love letter about a challenge you faced, and you will touch hearts, lift spirits, and show the world that no one is alone.”
My letter will be posted on TLLP’s website, but I wanted to post it here, too. It seems like the site hasn’t been updated in some time, but hopefully it will be soon. In the meantime, here’s my first letter – and I hope to write several more. This really seems like such a wonderful project, and reaching out to those who may be struggling with a challenge that you’ve overcome in your life is an absolutely wonderful way to help the world.
Without further ado, here’s my letter.
To the Anxious, the Sad, the Depressed,
I want you to know it’s okay. It’s okay if you need to see a counselor to get through everyday life, or take anxiety medications to deal with things. It’s okay if you don’t want to. It’s okay if some days, you can’t pull yourself out of bed because it’s just too much effort. It’s okay if you had to call in sick to work because you were dealing with a panic attack. It’s okay if you just need to curl up into a ball and cry.
It’s okay if you’re not okay all the time. You’re not weak. You’re the strongest person I’ve ever known, because you’re fighting a battle every day. And even if some days, you lose the fight, you can still win the war. You are not your anxiety. You are not your depression. Life is a vast and wonderful thing, and it can feel wonderful again someday. I know it’s hard to believe, and it’s hard to wait until that day, but trust me – it will come, and it will be worth it.
It’s okay if you don’t know how you got this way. Sometimes, life just happens. It’s okay if you do know what triggered this, too. It’s okay. You’re going to be okay. Life is not defined by one moment, one person or one choice. It’s not defined by our past. It’s okay if you think you should talk to someone. It’s okay if you don’t want to. It’s okay to be scared.
I know that everyone may not understand what you’re dealing with, and that’s okay. Maybe some people just won’t be able to cope with it. I know there will be days when you fall asleep to the darkest nightmares you’ve ever had; days when all you want to do is harm yourself, or drop off the face of the Earth. I know there will be days when it seems absolutely impossible to go on; those are the days when you need to go on.
Just know that I love you. Know that I would be sad if you weren’t here on this lovely Earth to grace us with your presence, and so would other people. Know that life can become good. Know that you are not alone. You are loved. You are strong, you are brave. You’re the bravest person I’ve ever met. Keep going. Just keep going.