Dear Anyone: An Open Letter of Encouragement

A guest post by Melissa Amarante

If you find yourself reading this right now,

I want to remind you to look up. Look up when you feel consumed. Look up when you’re just not sure what tomorrow will look like. Look up and wonder. Look up and gaze. Look up and think. Look up and admire. I’m writing this as a reminder to stay in bed all day if that’s what you need. A reminder to cry if you need to cry. Laugh when you feel like laughing. Laugh so hard it hurts. Laugh for all the times you felt like you couldn’t. 

You see, mental illness lives. Anxiety lives. OCD lives. Addiction lives. Depression lives. Imagine millions of people around the universe waking up with the same dark, aching places you promised you’d never talk about. I’ve noticed how quick we are, as human beings, to push aside the most meaningful parts of our lives. So what if we created this discussion? This discussion based on real feelings. Real illness. Real people. 

Let’s not push aside the things that need to be talked about. Let’s bring mental illness to the light. The worst thing we can do is ignore it. It exists and it easily consumes. So if you’re struggling right now, let someone help. Let someone in. Set up a counseling appointment. Go to therapy. Asking for help does not show weakness. When saying yes to counseling feels like a failure, please remember that you are more. You are more than the pain you feel. Recognize that your feelings are valid, but know that they do not have to control you. Getting help should be a celebration, and it should never be quiet.