The Letter I Need to Read When I'm in a Dark Place

Dear Nathalie,

I’m writing this letter to you because I know you need something to read when you’re in a bad place. You are always going back through your old journals when you’re depressed or just in a bad place. That kind of thinking can really hurt you. I know right now you feel so lost and alone. You feel like you have no purpose in the world and everyone would be much better off without you, but you cannot be more wrong.

Right now, you’re feeling like life will not let up on you. You’re feeling like you’re the worst person on the planet. You’re feeling like you are completely alone in this dark journey. You’re feeling like, “maybe this medication isn’t working” or “maybe therapy isn’t working.” You’re feeling scared. And more than anything, you’re feeling worthless.

I am here to tell you that none of that is true. I am here to tell you, to remind you, it is going to get better. It always does. I know when you’re in a dark place, your vision is clouded. There is suddenly no light at the end of the tunnel. It feels like you’re just drowning in gray clouds. Everything is void of color, and it seems like it is going to stay that way. But you’re wrong.

Just stop and breathe. Do the 5-7-8 breathing. Close your eyes and think of someone who loves you. Then think of someone else who loves you. And someone else. Did you notice you came up with three people who love you? I’m sure you could come up with many more, too. You are not alone, not in any way.

I know it seems like some people don’t understand, and truthfully, they don’t. No one can completely understand how you feel. You’re you and you’re unique, just like your mind. People will tell you they’ve had similar experiences and you should listen to their stories. You can always learn something from other’s lives. But stop expecting yourself to be able to explain how you feel. It’s impossible. There are no words you can piece together to exactly describe how you feel. Sure, there are words (hopeless, alone, worthless, etc.) that can help people understand better. But you have got to stop expecting people to understand. No matter how much you want them to. That only hurts you more.

I’m telling you this because I know how much time you can waste trying to explain yourself to people. When you dwell on ways to describe your feelings, you’re dwelling on terrible thoughts that just are not true. You will of course be reminded by people that you’re loved, brilliant, never alone and worth more than gold, but you need to remind yourself, too. When you believe that is when things start to change. It’s so funny how many times you will hear those words describing you and you just laugh. Well, I’m here to tell you to stop laughing. Start smiling and be gracious. Start accepting compliments because you deserve them.

When someone tells you how beautiful you are, how amazing you are, how life-changing you are — look that person in the eyes. Cry if you have to, but accept these things are true. That person was always right about you. You are an incredible person who deserves to believe in herself. You deserve and need to know you’re not alone.

You are loved.

Don’t ever forget that. No matter how much it might feel true, it’s not. None of those terrible things you think about yourself are even remotely true.

Most of all, don’t be afraid to speak up. Don’t be scared to tell someone how you feel. Don’t let anyone push you around. Don’t let anyone try to change you for any reason.

Love yourself.

I hope — I know — life is going to get better. I know you’re crying right now because you’re reading these things you don’t want to believe. But believe them. You are every ounce as amazing as I told you, plus about a billion ounces more. You are never alone. You are never not loved. You are never worthless.

You are incredible. You are amazing. You’re going to change the world. You’re going to change lives. You’re going to leave a mark on the world, whether it’s on the kids you teach or someone else, people will know you were there. People will remember you long after you’re gone.

You are so incredibly important. So stop reading, close your computer, turn on some good music and smile at yourself. Don’t stop until you realize how beautiful you are. Look around and I can guarantee someone you love is right outside your closed door.


If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 

Follow this journey on Nathalie’s Darling Blog.

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