If you're reading this, know that happiness is worth the fight.
Help yourself by reaching out to others and asking for what you need. It can be tough because it seems as if most people can't possibly begin to understand what you are feeling inside. It may seem irrational and unjustified to an average person, but be your own advocate and never let anyone tell you what you are going through is not important or significant. I promise that those moments of joy and belonging that come from true support and discovering people who can empathize are worth it. Take care of yourself and let go of the fear that you are a burden to the people around you.
I had to admit to myself and to others what I was going through if I wanted to feel better. I realized that it is exhausting to feel like no one understands you, especially while never giving anyone the chance to have that understanding. Some will never get it, but those who do will help lift an enormous weight off of your shoulders that is way too heavy for you to lift yourself. Then, take a moment to appreciate these people in your life because they are everything.
Keep fighting and find your people.
I am also so excited to be the new President of Active Minds at UVA, an organization dedicated to eliminating the stigma around mental health, providing mental health resources, and supporting those in the UVA community who may need it. Our first meeting will be this September!
Natalie S., University of Virginia ‘21