If you’re reading this, it’s not the end.
“Everything is okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.” If there is some struggle you are facing, some stress in your life, some situation that makes you feel beyond uncomfortable and gives you a sense of overwhelming dread at just the thought of it, it is not the end.
You will get through this, I promise.
Someone very close to me has struggled with anxiety and depression for the majority of her life. I’ve been there to see her through it all. Every good day, every bad day, every day that was worse even than the bad days.
I cannot say I know what you’re going through, even after watching her go through it. It is so completely personal, so exclusive to you, that no one can fully share your pain or anxiety or all of the emotions you feel.
I can, however, say that it does get better.
Not every day is a winner, but all of them are worth being there to see. All of them.
When I saw her in tears, which happened quite frequently in the beginning (and still happens often enough), I asked her to tell me one good thing that had happened to her during that day. Just one.
And she would tell me how it was sunny and warm, or that she had eaten a sandwich with the perfect ratio of peanut butter to jelly for lunch, or that someone had complimented her shoes.
And then I had asked for another. Just one more.
We continued this way for a while, until she had told me too many things for me to keep track of. Despite these days being some of her worst, she still was able to experience some joy, no matter how small. I cannot imagine not having her around, not able to share in those perfect sandwiches or the compliments or the sunshine that she loves so much.
There were days when I thought I would miss out on these things, that I would not be able to share another moment with her, because she didn’t want to be here anymore. Her pain was so great that she thought that any escape was better than what she felt right now.
If this is how you feel, I want to tell you that you are not alone. Many people have felt this way, are feeling this way. I guarantee that there is at least one person in your life that would go to the ends of the earth to help you, if you just say the word. Talk to someone. Anyone. A friend, a professor, a parent, a stranger. You do NOT have to go through anything alone.
She chose to stay, and I hope you do too.
This is not the end.
Camryn B., University of Virginia