The cognitive ability to express complex emotions and experience deep feelings is something very unique to human beings and can be considered what sets us apart from not only other organisms on Earth but also technological artificial intelligence. With such a concept that is inherently and definitively human, one would think this fact could help others understand how confusing, frustrating, and downright polarizing it can be to live with a mental illness—except there wouldn’t even be a stigma around mental health if this were really true.
Even right now, speaking as someone who lives with both depression and anxiety, it’s almost impossible to put into words how much mental work is needed 24/7 to constantly be in combat against your own thoughts just to appear “normal” or “sane.” Perhaps if everyone who has gone through something similar were able to find the words to describe the exact feeling, more people would understand and the mental health stigma could actually be squashed—or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.
If you’ve gone through something similar, or even if what you’re trying so hard to understand about yourself just doesn’t make any sense to the point where you start rationalizing it by putting yourself down, questioning your worth, your intellect, or your humanity, please know these things setting you back right now are direct pieces of evidence that you do have the strength needed to overcome your inner battles, despite it feeling completely out of reach. Remember that strength cannot exist without enduring discomfort first. When it seems like it’s so easy for others to keep a clear head on their shoulders, know that their capabilities do not make them more worthy than those who function differently for whatever reason.
Remember that you are just as valuable as those who appear stronger, smarter, or more capable than yourself.
You are just as valuable despite convincing yourself you’re not.
I’m not sure if I, or anyone else for that matter, will ever be able to shake off the harmfully intrusive thoughts that depression or anxiety so graciously craft up on the daily—there are only so many methods that act as treatments to these particular symptoms already. The fact that these illnesses cause us to struggle where others don’t does not make us weak or less worthy. The fact that we are able to fight these battles within our own minds and not completely lose ourselves to the negativity every single day is a perfect example of just how strong and capable we truly are—we just have to do more mental strength training than others to make our inner demons more manageable. It’s a brutal, silent fight that only the person living through it can even begin to explain, if they’re able to at all.
We are still worthy, even though our minds are dark at times.
We are still worthy, no matter what we may be going through.
We are still worthy, especially when we believe we aren’t.