How are you doing? I hope you are still trying to hang in there while reading this letter. If so, I’m proud of you – because I’m you, in eight years’ time. It means a lot to know you are hanging in there. I feel that this gives us a special connection. Together, we will not be alone in this journey.
Life felt like a mess when I look back. It felt distant, to a certain extent, because going through depression and anxiety wasn’t a pleasant one to recall. It can be a very lonely place. It’s so easy for other people, even loved ones, to put their thoughts on you, saying “cheer up”, “but you are such a happy person”, “you are too weak”, or “you’re worrying too much”, that’s inconsiderate. The stigma of mental health challenges was still very high back then. Sharing feelings felt like a “burden” to loved ones and a sign of “being weak” at work. The last thing you want is to create more negative impressions. It was hard to speak up for yourself at that time. It is normal to doubt your value and existence in this environment. I can also relate to feelings of discouragement after trying so many doctors and therapies, yet nothing happened. I, too, was very reluctant to put those antidepressants in my mouth. After all, what’s the point?
If there were a time travel machine, I would want to come back and give you a hug. Grab a coffee, go for a walk and talk. I want to thank you for not giving up on us. Because of that, I’m here to write this letter and experience a better world where it’s more OKAY to talk about feelings. Because you didn’t give up, I finally met two doctors who truly helped me to feel better. So yes – I didn’t run away from my doctor appointments and skip my medication anymore. I enjoyed seeing them; they taught me so much more than healing me. Because of you, dad is more willing to listen to my feelings with an open mind – I think this is our big win :) It all happened because you chose to stay in this fight. I finally learnt that recovery from mental health challenges means more than the absence of symptoms but building a coping mechanism within ourselves. When it comes back (and it will), I know I can manage it, I will get better at it through constant practice. So, thank you, my dear friend. Thanks to you – I get to live all over again. In case you wonder if we have any friends now, WE DO, and they are all PRETTY AMAZING. Trust me – you won’t be alone :) Enough spoilers alert for now – I will let you share your experience when we meet in person.
I really love this quote “the tiny seed knew that in order to grow, it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.” – thought this is a good one to keep in mind when you feel like you are in the dark.
Promise me that you will not give up? Your inner voice is a pretty good guidance in case you feel lost. Remember to check in with yourself every day. Reconnecting your body and mind is the very first step to healing. I’ll be here waiting for you. Let’s walk to meet our future self together. Three makes an even better party☺
I love you girl, and thank you for being you.