I read a letter I wrote at one of the lowest points of my depression. I cried reading it. I then shared on Instagram and was amazed at the response.
Just last week, as I was writing blog posts, I got distracted and came across a letter I had written at one of the lowest points of my depression. Look back on how far I’ve come since then in my mental health journey, I cried and cried.
Then I decided to share this on social media, with my 1000 Instagram followers. The response blew me away as I received so many interactions, comments, messages.
This is what I shared
Today I cried. I cried long & hard.
I had stumbled across a letter I had written when I was at one of my lowest points in my depression. When I couldn’t convey my feelings, I found it so much easier to write, so that’s what I did. While reading this, the tears just welled up in my eyes, I could feel the pain I felt then, so familiar. As the tears started flowing down my cheeks, I had to take a break from reading, until I could see through the tears. As I finally got to the end of the letter, I continued to cry & cry & cry.
I cried because I was so overwhelmed that I was not in the same place now. I cried because this is what recovery looks like.
I think that recovery happens so so slowly, so gradually, that you don’t realise things are getting better until you turn around and see where you were before. Then you see how far you’ve come.
In the letter I wrote, “who knows where I’ll be in a year,” I also wrote, “I don’t care about my hopes & dreams.”
And here I am, 14 months later, watching my dreams come true as I work on my blog, which is launching at the end of the month. Never in my wildest dreams would I have dreamt that I could do this, let alone so soon. I was at my lowest, I was hopeless, I was unwilling and I felt so so trapped in my illness.
I’m not sharing this to say how far I’ve come, but I want you to know that things will get better. Wherever you are on your journey, whether you’re battling depression, anxiety, eating disorders, insecurity, burnout, insomnia, addiction and anything else, wherever you are and whatever you’re battling, this isn’t the end.
There is hope. Even though you may not see it, recovery can happen so slowly, little by little, so that you don’t even notice until you look back.
Hang in there, wait to see where you’ll be in a year, wait to see the way you accomplish all your goals
Much to my surprise, the response was huge – a much bigger response to the pictures I would usually share of beaches, bush walks, my adventures and travels.
Here are some of the things people said to me:
“I love the raw honesty, it’s so refreshing.”
“I’ll wait to see where I am in a year, thank you for the inspiration.”
“I love how real & honest you are! You are not alone.”
“We need to see more posts like this in order to normalise the conversation around mental health.”
“This resonates strongly with me. These moments are so heartbreakingly beautiful and are such a firm reminder that recovery is worth the fight. I don’t know you but I’m so so happy for you.”
“I’ve also experienced that, but exercising daily has helped me overcome.”
“Your own recovery journey has encouraged me with where I’m at in my own journey of healing.”
“I’m proud of you for being brave and strong and can’t wait to see where you are in a year’s time.”
“I remember a time when you deleted your instagram – seeing you back posting is a fantastic sign of recovery.”
And this isn’t even all of the messages I received.
That is when I realised how important it is to really speak out about mental health issues. The good, the bad, the ugly. It’s something that is not yet mainstream. While we are constantly bombarded with physical health programs – exercise schemes, diet advice, we don’t hear that mental health is just as important, if not even more important than physical health.
I want to continue to share my journey. While I’m not an expert, I’ve experienced the ups and downs of mental illness and can speak from that. Wherever you are on the sliding scale of mental health, I want to encourage you to share your experiences with those around you.
During my journey and illness, I’ve felt the stigma that surrounds this topic and that’s why I want to be open and honest with you, so that together we can get more comfortable talking about mental health and end the stigma.
If you need to speak to someone about how you’re feeling, please reach out to someone you trust. I am also here to be a listening ear, if you need it!