“Always find the light”
I’ve been living with mental illness for as long as I can remember and it has always been something that people shun. No one wants to deal with this real-life issue because it’s something they can’t physically see and it scares them, so instead of helping they make it worse by ignoring this pressing issue. So let’s talk about it for a second.
Living with depression and anxiety has been a constant battle. I’ve lied. I’ve harmed myself. I’ve covered up my scars. I’ve contemplated suicide countless times. I’ve felt infinitely alone. I’ve been harsh on myself. I’ve pushed countless people away even when I needed them the most. But I want to tell you that it’s possible to get better, to survive, and to thrive.
I’ve been self-harm free since October 8th, 2014. Three years and nine months. I still struggle with relapse years later because it’s never easy, life, in general, is never easy. My anxiety is always at an all-time high and I still have so many bad days. You can take so many steps forward, so many precautions but in the end, you will still have to fight tooth and nail for your progress. I got that tattoo to represent that even in my darkest of times, there will always be light if I search for it. I chose a moth because they are vigilant when it comes to following their path to light.
Books and poetry have been hugely helpful coping mechanisms for me. I’ve learned to escape reality through my creativity and through the work of others and for that I am so thankful for. My dogs have also been huge benefactors in my life, without them I would be lost. Self care days are a need for me even if it’s just a hot bath, a face mask or laying in bed all day. You have to remember to do things for yourself even if they’re little things. What I’m trying to say is, the little things in life are a place to start your growth. Those little things can keep you going even through the hardest times if you hold on tightly.
Your feelings are valid. What you are going through is real. And even though some days it may feel so impossible to survive, I want you to know that there is light waiting to break through your darkness. I want you to know that things in life do get better with time and self-progress. But most importantly, I want you to know that you’re not alone in your struggle, someone is there for you even if you feel like they aren’t. Please remember this.
To those who do not struggle with mental illness that are reading this. Please listen to us when we speak, and please be patient with us. And please don’t silence us. It’s all that we ask.