Dear Whoever Needs to Read This,
I want you to know you are not alone. No matter how alone in this world you may feel sometimes, or how much you might have convinced yourself that no one cares, you have people who care about you.
I want you to know that you will make it through this. Even through the times that you feel like you’re drowning in a never ending hole of darkness. You will see the light again, and when you do, you will appreciate the light more than you did before.
I want you to know that you will find someone who loves you one day. You might have to go through a few to find someone who really appreciates you as you are, but when you do, it will be worth the wait.
I want you to know that all the hard work will pay off. Keep pushing. Never give up on yourself. And never let anyone tell you your dreams are too big.
I want you to know that the mistakes you make, we’ve all made. Learn from them and move past them. Don’t let the past ruin your future.
And lastly, I want you to know you are perfectly perfect the way you are. All the little things that make you different, the little things that you might not like about yourself, are the things that make you, you. Please make sure you surround yourself with people that never let you forget this.
**UnderstandUs‘s newest campaign will be launching in May. This year’s campaign is called ‘Letters To No One’. I can’t wait for you all to see it!
A lot of people don’t know about the mental struggle I have battled in my past (and still do in my present). I suffered from an eating disorder for many years, it is not something I have made very public because it is something that I will never let define me. From this struggle, I learnt a lot about myself, but most importantly about my strength and resilience that I never believed I had. I treat my body with so much respect now. Food is fuel. I listen to my body. If it’s over-worked, I rest it. If I’m hungry, I eat. Overcoming this mental illness wasn’t easy and it wasn’t done overnight, in fact, it will probably be something I always have to deal with. The most important thing I’ve learnt is that I’m not alone in this struggle, I’ve met and became close with so many amazing people who have helped me fight off my demons.
A friend of mine started a nonprofit organization called Understand Us. It is about bringing awareness to mental illness and helping stop the stigma around mental illness. For so long people have looked at mental illness as something to be embarrassed about, and something to hide, but it’s an illness just like having the flu or a cold. Understand Us has a new initiative called “Take a Minute”. It is a pledge you can make to take a minute out of your day and write down or think of three things that you appreciate and love in that moment. With doing this you train your brain to think of positive things instead of negative things.
In this moment I am thankful for:
1) My beautiful friends that I am surrounded by, who inspire me every day to be the best person I can be.
2) This beautiful weather we have been blessed with this week, that is brightening my mood during spring classes.
3) My education because even though I wish I could be doing a million other things, I have to remember that there are people who would die for the opportunity to go to university.
If you have a minute take the pledge, and see how fast your mood is brightened! Also, make sure to check out Understand Us and the other initiatives they’ve done!
Understand Us website!
UPDATE: Understand Us shared this post on their site! Within only a few short hours their site had over 500 views and I got so many amazing messages and kind words. Even though vulnerability is such a scary thing, I hope by speaking out and sharing my message I inspire at least one person! 🙂
Take A Minute: Ashley Bernstein