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The most helpful emails in health
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A woman writes a letter of encouragement to anyone struggling with depression, anxiety or chronic pain.


Dear you,

I know it’s hard right now.

Unspeakably, unimaginably hard.

You might be hurting, physically, emotionally.

You may feel alone, misunderstood.

You might question whether this chaotic, painful life is worth pursuing.

But I’m here to tell you that you matter, so inexpressibly much.

I may not know you, but you matter to me.

I’ve been there.

Feeling so isolated, so scared.

Feeling like nobody, not even expert doctors know what to think of me.

Peers questioning the legitimacy of my struggles.

Tears shed over pain of missing out, pain of being misunderstood.

Pain in my joints and pain in my soul.

I want you to know that you are not alone.

There are millions of people fighting this common enemy.

And we are strong as heck.

As long as we have hope, we have the upper hand.

Hope that we can find a way to transform the pain from an adversary to a teacher.

Hope that our struggles will teach us to see new beauties in life.

I have discovered that illness can either steal my joy or fuel it.

It’s an active choice we all have to make.

Once I learned that I could choose, illness ceased to control my life.

Once I catch myself spiraling down the rabbit hole of anger and self-pity,

I try to force myself to look around the room and find things to be grateful for.

The sunlight streaming through my window.

My dog’s goofy smile when I scratch his belly.

The fact that chocolate exists.

There is so much good in this world that pain can’t steal.

We just have to learn how to look for it.

That doesn’t mean that our struggle isn’t real or that the pain doesn’t hurt.

Some days a dark cloud lingers over me, and I can’t feel hope.

But the beauties of the world don’t disappear because I shut my eyes to them.

They’re always waiting for me should I choose to look.

You may feel broken today, but you are one of this world’s true masterpieces.

Nothing – not illness, not pain, not depression, not anxiety – can change that truth.

The fact that you choose to push through the suffering and keep investing in life is an act of pure valor.

I may not know you, but I’m grateful for you, exactly how you are.

Keep fighting the good fight.

I believe that you can win.

Originally published: August 24, 2018
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