Dear Stranger

Dear Stranger,
I am writing this to you to tell you that I care. You may have a reason as to why you have decided to read this post or maybe you don't and that's perfectly okay. Please know that you are not alone and that in time things will get better. Things will get easier but you've just got to get through the hard stuff first.

It's okay to ask for support I promise you. There is people out there who do care and will be there for you when you need them. You are needed in this world you are cared for and loved. Asking for support can be a massive step I understand that. When I first started struggling with debilitating low mood I remember feeling scared about asking for support. But I found someone to talk to who I'm forever grateful to and is like family to me and she was there for me every step of the way and is still there for me now even if I don't see her much. On my darkest days it's always been the support and love of my family, friends and my teachers who got me through them. Even if it was just sitting chatting and having a cup of tea the little things like that help and knowing that people do care. Silence is the enemy, keeping quiet months before about my struggles was the hardest it drained me of my energy and I let the negative thoughts control me. The people in my life loved me when I was at my lowest even if I wasn't very lovable and helped me to develop strategies in coping with depression. My thoughts told me over and over "You are a burden" I started to believe that and kept how I felt to myself until one day I thought "You aren't controlling me anymore, I AM in control" I sat down with my year head and told her how I was feeling she was understanding and I remember her words "You aren't a burden to me and our doors are always open if you need to talk" to hear those words in ways was rather comforting. By talking to others and writing about how I felt I could feel depression having less of a grip on me. The darkness would creep up on me but I tried to keep sharing how I felt even though at times I didn't want to talk. As much as my thoughts told me " I wasn't good enough" or " I was a burden and a failure" I tried to ignore them and replace with a positive but I know that can be difficult. Sometimes it's hard to see the light but always know that there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. I would never have got to where I am today without all the love and support everyone in my life has given me. Yes, I still do struggle but I have come so far I'm now able to recognise that. Before when things were bad I would think that I'd failed and I would be so hard on myself but I'm so proud of just how far and how much I've achieved and I know you can be too. You were the one who picked yourself up off the floor when the easiest option was to stay there and cry, you were the one who dragged yourself out of bed when all you wanted to do was hide under the covers and pretend all your problems don't exist, you were the one who was brave enough to stand up and say "I need help."

I want you to know that you've got nothing to be ashamed about. It's okay not to be okay. Always remember that progress is still progress no matter how small it may be. If you have to take this in baby steps that's allowed because it's still progress. A few months ago I didn't see the point and I didn't feel like I had a future but now I'm more determined than ever to make my future a positive one. You've got this and you will win this battle. It's okay to talk about your mental health, it's okay to take medication like antidepressants etc because these will help you and help you feel and stay well. I know that my struggles don't define who I am as a person. No matter how difficult things may be it will get better. Please know I'm here for you and I do care. I'm still recovering but I may not be there yet but I'm closer than I was yesterday and I'll be even closer tomorrow.

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