A Letter to Every Person Struggling in Silence


Image Credit:Volkan Olmez (@volkanolmez) on Unsplash


I want to begin by saying that I’m not going to give you the whole “Things get better” speech, nor am I here to tell you what to do or what not to do when you’re faced with a mental illness; I’ve been told that so many times that it now sounds like a broken record. Quite frankly, I do not think that people understand how annoying it is to hear words that you’re expected to believe just because you hear them repeatedly.

Instead, I’m here to tell you that I completely understand what you’re going through because I find myself in the same situation many, many times. I know that it’s hard to open up, despite how many times people around you reassure you that it’s okay to do so. I know what it’s like to feel trapped in your own mind when you feel like you should be enjoying these years of your life- the “best years of your life” as they’re called. I know what it’s like to just feel so lost and confused, even when things in your life seem to be going smoothly. I know that there is no beauty to this pain. And I know that struggling to stay alive every day is never easy, but I commend you for staying alive.

I cannot tell you the endless nights I’ve spent thinking and overthinking just about everything in my life and questioning it all. I cannot count the number of nights I’ve gone to bed angry or in tears because of the frustration of having to deal with my emotions in such a secluded manner. I cannot count the number of sad things I’ve written down and the amount of coping strategies that I’ve created for myself in hopes of temporary relief. I know it’s hard, and believe me when I tell you that there have been endless times where I’ve fallen so terribly that I felt like I was constantly hitting rock bottom.

I, like you, know how hard it is to struggle in silence. I know that it often gets hard to keep your head up, and I’m not going to sugarcoat it and tell you the cliche things that I’ve been told- “it all gets better”, “time heals”, etc., because I know that it’s so hard to believe that. I know it’s hard to believe that things will get better when everything in your life seems to appear otherwise.

Honestly, reader, I find myself to be quite a hypocritical person as I tell you all this. I’m openly an advocate for mental health and the reduction of the stigma around it, yet I have never sought professional help for my situation. However, I do think that if I had opened up to someone earlier, I definitely would not be as deep in this as I am now. Learn from my mistakes, reader. Do not let more time pass by before you ask for help. Open up to someone- a family member, a teacher, a friend. (I am eternally grateful to have friends that I trust and love that support me when things get tough.) Act now before you get worse in the future. I wish someone had told me earlier that holding things in is so much more harmful. I wish someone had taught me that there is no shame in opening up to people about this.

Every single day that you get out of bed and come to school, every time you remind yourself of a reason to stay alive, every single day that you are alive- you are making progress. There’ll be some days that are darker than others, I know, but thunderstorms do not last forever. The road to recovery is so hard, and that’s something no one really talks about. There’ll be days where you feel like you’re on top of the world and other days where you just want to crawl in bed and never leave. Everyone’s road to recovery is different; it’s not a straight path nor is it an easy one.
However, I believe in each and every single person reading this. I believe that you can and will overcome whatever you are going through. Keep your head up, you got this.