Last week a good friend asked me to write a few words of encouragement for her friend. You see, her friend will be attending the 12 week therapy program at Cambridge Memorial Hospital that I attended in February. My friend asked if there was anything I could offer this girl on her journey.
I wrote her the following letter.
You are braver than you think and stronger than you know. You’ve probably heard that 100 times by now, but people keep saying it because it’s true.
It is not easy to live in a brain that tries to sabotage your every happiness. A brain that drains you of your energy and makes you sleep all day. A brain that causes you to cry until your eyes hurt and your face is raw.
I’m going to ask a favour of you: please give this program everything you have. Every ounce of energy left in your body, every benefit of every doubt you think of, because this program saved my life.
There is no magic pill. All the medications, all the money, all the time in the world cannot heal you. Only you can heal you. It’s hard work and takes balance but it’s worth it. Take advantage of the therapists. Do the homework. Pay attention in lectures. Practice your newly learned skills. They are worth more than gold.
Exercise. Eat healthy. Cut negative people out of your life and surround yourself with positivity. Find a hobby that is not watching tv or drinking alcohol. Go to coffee shops. Tell someone you love them. Wake up every morning and say out loud five things you are grateful for and do the same thing before you go to bed. Look in the mirror, say out loud one thing you love about yourself. Do this every day. Set goals, start small. Make your bed every morning. Celebrate your achievements.
Healing is beautiful. Just when you think your life is over, you transform. Embrace it. It’s scary as hell, but 12 weeks from now you won’t recognize the person who started this journey.
Fall in love with yourself.
Above all, know that you are not alone. I am here. Another wounded human scarred but hopeful. And guess what? There are more of us out there than we know.
Your mental health journey does not define who you are, but it will help shape who you become.
Soak it all in.
Love the journey.
It all starts here, with you.
I wanted to share this letter because it is not just for one person. This letter is for EVERYONE – whether or not you struggle with mental health. Maybe not the part about the 12 week program, but everything else applies to YOU.
Life is hard. Days are long, things get messy, and sometimes it just takes everything inside of us to make it until bed time. But that is okay. Take time for yourself, and keep going.
Start with gratitude.
I am grateful for every single one of you taking the time to read this post.
Love and Light,