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To Those Struggling in Silence With Mental Illness

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This one’s for the hopeless, the hopeful and everyone struggling in silence with mental illness.

I know you’re hurting. I know how hard you’re fighting just to keep your head above water. I know how hard it is to fight a battle where your opponent is your own mind. I know you feel damaged and worthless every so often, but you’re not; you are strong, courageous and worthy – worthy of happiness, success and so much more.

Unfortunately, the stigma attached to mental illness is very real and it’s probably the reason why you’re struggling in silence. I, personally, struggled in silence for a very long time. But honestly, my life completely changed for the better when I finally opened up and admitted I needed help. I didn’t have to hide who I really was anymore; I was finally free. I felt so alone for a very long time, but opening up about my struggle with mental illness allowed me to realize I’m not alone. Despite all of the stigma surrounding mental illness in our society, there are a lot of people who truly care and want to help.

Acknowledging you need help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength and courage. Mental illnesses have absolutely nothing to do with “not being good enough” or “not being strong enough.” They have nothing to do with your character. They are illnesses, and they definitely do not define you. Trust me, you are so much more than your illness.

I completely understand that overcoming a mental illness isn’t easy; it’s a daily struggle and it takes time and a lot of effort, but I promise you, you will get there. We just need to choose recovery first. Some days will be more difficult than others, but that’s normal. I know it’s cliché, but it’s true: you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain. Don’t give up, my friend. Better days are on their way.

And most importantly, you do not need to stay strong all the time; you just need to stay because you deserve to be here.

So, please reach out for help. You are not alone. I have mental illnesses, too. I am with you 100 percent of the way.

Be brave, be strong, and always be courageous. You’ve got this!

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

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via Jenn Richardson

Originally published: April 21, 2017
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