To Anyone Who Is Currently Struggling

This week marks mental health awareness week, and I'm scrolling through various social media sites and being inundated with countless posts from brave, strong and inspiring people sharing their stories on the battles that they have faced/are currently going through. Some of these people are my friends, and some are strangers - yet I find myself hurting for all of them, regardless of whether I personally know them or not. I have this fixation on wanting to help every single person in the world, and the sheer inevitability that I can't genuinely destroys my soul. I find my happiness through making others happy, and whilst that's all well and good in my own circle, I unfortunately can't do that for every single person who is currently existing on this Earth.

Mental health is a topic which has always been regarded as taboo, yet lately there has been a massive shift in the way people have decided to communicate and share their personal experiences. I for one cannot begin to express my gratitude for this - firstly, for the general fact that the stigma surrounding the subject matter has ever so slightly started to ease and secondly, because I feel it gives me a better understanding of how to approach/talk to/attempt to help the people I love who are going through similar things.

Throughout the past year or so, I've had this fixation on writing letters - writing down the things I wish I could say to the people I wish I could converse with. Due to evident circumstances, I am unable to post them - instead leaving them lingering in various files on my laptop, or inking the pages of a notebook. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, there's a level of comfort I find from writing things down, that I am yet to find elsewhere - and whilst I will never get to send these letters, it sure as hell doesn't stop me from writing them. As human's we are filled with regret - always for the things we never got the chance to say - and I guess this helps ease this pain into something a bit more manageable.

I apologise for this waffling introduction, what I mean to say is that today I am going to write a letter that I will actually send, or publish, or however you want to interpret it. 'A letter to anyone who is currently struggling' - here goes.


You may be reading this with the toxic mindset that things won't get better. Whilst everyone around you seems to be thinking about the future, you're unsure as to whether you really have one. The emptiness fills you up, and you are unable to look beyond it. You are starting to lose focus on pretty much every aspect of your life, and the interests that you once had no longer exist. All you know is that things can't get much worse, and that they may not ever get better.

There's a constant feeling of loneliness which never seems to subside - no matter how many people you surround yourself with. Everything you thought you knew is no longer, and it's the scariest thing you will ever have to face. Simple things become a chore, and you will feel so far removed from reality that you begin to question pretty much everything in existence. You may start to look for distractions elsewhere, and at the time these may seem like a good idea - but ultimately, in the long run, they won't be. Allow yourself to feel, no matter how hard that may be. Everything that is happening to you is real, and raw, and painful but you have to allow yourself to feel it all before you can begin to conquer it.

Confide in people. I can't express the importance of this. Tell at least one person how you're feeling - no matter how scary this may be, it's the first baby step into making this all go away. It may seem easier to face it all on your own, because when you share it with someone then that's when it feels real. You can exist in your own mind, yet its once you begin to let others in which makes others worse. If you struggle to vocalise how you're feeling, and you feel that you may stumble and stutter upon your words - not being able to string together a sentence without messing it all up - then send a text. Use this as a starting point, and once you begin to gain courage you'll be able to talk about it. A sit down counselling session doesn't work for everyone - and it's not weird or pathetic if this doesn't work for you. Being in a room, one on one, with someone who you barely know and being expected to pour out your heart to them is especially terrifying, and giving up on that doesn't make you weak. Conversing with a friend, a parent, a family member, a teacher, a doctor (etc) can sometimes be just as helpful - I know that I always feel much better after a good cry and chat with one of my loved ones.

There are people who love you - please don't forget that. Whilst you may think you're worthless or that you don't matter to anyone, I promise you that you do. You may be the reason someone is currently smiling right now, the reason for someone's laugh, the reason that they are who they are. You have more power over people than you think, and your importance isn't something which is passing by unnoticed. Your loved ones will be hurting because they know that you are, and they would do anything possible to help you - but in order to do this you have to let them in. Your natural instinct may be to push them away, using the utterances 'I'm fine' or 'I'm just tired', yet if they care about you they won't leave your side. Here is where you will begin to find out who you really want in your life, who you know will stick by you through thick and thin - who will be there for you throughout the good times, yet also the bad. You will lose friends, yet the important ones will always remain by your side.

Things do get better. You just have to believe that they will. Persevere with it, telling yourself that with each passing day you are going to do one thing which makes you happy - and whilst this may be the longest journey you'll ever go on, I promise you that it will be worthwhile. Once you change your mindset, you will begin to look at things from a whole different perspective. You'll learn to focus on the good things, not letting your mind linger on the bad. You may begin to realise that certain things which once consumed your entire being no longer inhabit your mind - and that's okay. Change is a good thing, and sometimes its time for that.

You'll begin to feel the kind of happiness which you once believed only existed in fiction and other various forms of popular culture. You'll laugh until your stomach hurts with tears pouring down your face. You'll sit on a beach with the people who you love most, listening to the sounds of the waves and feeling the sand between your toes. You'll begin to see life as an experience instead of as a challenge. You'll wake up one day, and whilst things may not be as you imagined, they're better than the dull ache of sadness which is currently haunting you.

Hang on in there. It gets easier, I promise you.

Grace x


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