This semester, I have endured numerous internal struggles regarding my mental health. Approximately three months ago, I took the initiative to make an appointment with a professional therapist on my campus in order to receive guidance and support during a time of unravelling instability.
The beginning of my journey was certainly difficult. I had to confront detrimental thoughts within myself and adopt effective strategies for which to cope with anxiety, among other issues. Each session, my therapist pushed me to a level of reflection that I had never previously been capable of reaching. I left each discussion feeling full and content. It was not until my most recent session that I have begun to feel a consistent state of genuine happiness.
This is why I have elected to share this letter with you. I realize that mental health poses different challenges for each of us. No one illness or situation looks the same for any individual. However, I wanted to share a few reminders of unity, purpose, worth and love, because every human being is deserving of those things and so much more!
Each day brings new endeavors. Some days are incredible adventures where we grow in knowledge or experience itself can yield positive emotional fulfillment; however, there are also days in which we endure sadness and utter defeat. Each impacts the soul in a different light. I consider it to be more of a spectrum than a black-and-white strict categorization. However, the journey of life is an experience that we all deserve to actively partake in, despite the various obstacles we might face, including mental health for example.
Having an unbalanced chemical makeup should never inhibit someone from living their life to the greatest possible extent. If you have depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or any other (or combination of), you still deserve the right to life. In fact, you deserve the right to a beautiful life, filled with rich experiences of genuine peace and happiness. The stigma surrounding mental health may never be eradicated, but by having uncomfortable discussions and by lifting one another up, we can begin to bridge the gap of ignorance and misunderstanding.
As we continue to advocate for change, please remember how loved and treasured you truly are. Your existence on this earth is priceless to so many people. If ever feel that that love is no longer present, please reach out to a compassionate person that you trust. It can be a friend, parent, significant other, counselor or any individual that you feel comfortable confiding in. Seek the help that you need. Take advantage of the resources around you. Your life is important. YOU are important!
I wish you all the best in your journey of life. May your strength and courage never cease, and may your soul only continue to grow in richness.
Your fellow warrior,