A Letter To My Friend Who Struggles With Mental Illness

Abo Ngalonkulu
Abo Ngalonkulu

I don’t always know what to say to you in the moment. Some days you tell me you’re okay, some days you tell me you need support, some days I have no idea how to help you. I hope this letter will be enough to compensate for all the times I didn’t know the right thing to say.

The first thing I want you to know is that I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I can’t always be there for you. I’m sorry that when I am there, I sometimes don’t know what to do. I promise you that I am doing my best. I like to think that I understand what you are going through, because I’ve been in similar situations myself, but I’m realizing that everyone’s battle is different. I will do everything I can to help you until the end of time, so please forgive me if I’m not always saying or doing the right thing.

The next thing I want you to know is that it gets better. I know that it’s cliché and I know you hear it all the time, and I know that some days it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel; but there is. Some days are cloudy, some days are rainy, and some days are sunny. Right now it seems like every day is a never ending storm, and that things will never stop piling up on you, but they will. There will come a day when the sun comes out, things start to get better, and you start to feel okay again. I can’t tell you when that day will come, but I promise I will be by your side on all of the stormy days, holding an umbrella over your head.

You’ve told me before that there have been times when you’ve felt like no one cares or that you’re not worth very much. I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. I’m here to tell you that you are loved beyond measure and cared for beyond words. You are worth more to me than all the happiness and joy and money in the world. I cannot even make a list of all of the ways that you have touched my life and my heart. If that’s true, just think about how many ways you have touched the lives of others, and the positive impacts you’ve had on them. I know it can be difficult to see at times, but you have meant so much to so many people, and I believe that the world would be a lesser place without you.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about your struggle. I’ve been thinking about how difficult it has been for you and what a rocky road you’ve had; but do you know what I’ve realized? I haven’t been watching you struggle; I’ve been watching you fight. You are a fighter. Despite everything that life has thrown at you, and despite how difficult it has been, you’ve never given up. You are strong. You have persevered and you have kept moving. I have never known someone as strong and brave as you. You are alive, and every day that you live and fight, is another day that I am proud of you, and another day that I admire you.

So yes, I am sorry that sometimes I don’t know how to help you. But you know what? Despite every roadblock that the world has hurled in your path, I could not feel luckier to have someone like you in my life. Someone who has shown me what it means to live and to love and to survive against all odds. So while there are a lot of times where I have been there for you, there are so many other times when you have taught me endless amounts about life and love and loyalty, and I am thankful for you everyday. TC mark

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