An Open Letter to Anyone Struggling Right Now

Dear beautiful soul,

These past few weeks have been packed with uncertainty, anxiety, change, isolation, and fear. They are like none we have ever known in our whole lives. No one could have known what the months of March and April held. No one knows how long this will last or the breadth of the damage this virus will do. College provides routine and consistency for everyone, and now that everything has translated to virtual learning, we do not know what to do with ourselves and our empty time. 

This empty time causes thoughts to stir and creep up on us. I know how hard it is for you to not be able to see the people who support you the most: friends, classmates, teachers, mentors, family members, therapists, co-workers, etc. Maybe you are out of a job and a steady income at the moment. Maybe you struggle with mental health issues, whatever your diagnosis is. You do not even have to be diagnosed with anything to be struggling mentally and emotionally right now. We are human beings; we are meant to have connection and belonging. When we are confined to the four walls of our houses, dorms, or apartments, the world seems so small and comes crashing down on us. Maybe you feel the four walls closing in on you some days.

It is so easy to see all of the damage and sadness this virus is spreading throughout the world and in your own life. Letting the negativity and fear consume you is a normal reaction to what is going on. Maybe someone you know and love is being affected by this virus, and maybe you have lost someone to it. Just know you are not alone in these hard times, and that other people are experiencing grief. They’re grieving the moments they will miss-- their graduation, a loved one’s wedding, a concert they were looking forward to, their final school dance… Nothing will be able to bring back these missed moments, but what you can do is look for any sort of hope in the midst of this.

Hope hides in secret places, if only you take time to look. My hope comes from knowing this has to come to an end at some point. It is only temporary. Nothing lasts forever. I find hope in seeing my friends smile when I’m FaceTiming them and hearing my mom laugh when we are being silly together. It comes from seeing my residents’ faces light up when I bring their meal to eat at the nursing home I work at and checking in with them every day. Hope hides in my passions I continue to pursue at home: singing, playing guitar, art, and creative writing. My hope is for you to do the same and find these glimmers of hope, wherever they are waiting to be discovered. 

If you are struggling mentally, we are all going through it together. I know how important support systems are, and having them be absent from your life right now is the exact opposite of what you need. This will end, and recovery and peace within yourself is always possible. Hang in there and start each day with a fresh mind and spirit. I’m praying for you and thinking of you.self-loveSending love your way during these trying times.

HCXO, Rachel