I hear your crying and I feel your anger. I see the strength that you run with and I see the moments when your hope falters. I see it all and I feel it all with you. Know that I believe all that you are feeling is good and okay and rational and understandable.
Crying is not shameful in an adult. Getting angry is not a sin. Feeling devastated and frustrated is not a sign of weakness.
Love and understanding can help cushion the blow of those feelings, however. Perhaps this letter will help you to love yourself a little bit more on this difficult day. Maybe it will lighten the weight of the pain that you feel, brush a ray of sunshine over your life.
Your battle with your health seems to be taking over your entire being. You may feel completely lost right now, unsure of which feelings you have are symptoms and which are psychological. It seems like the race to find a diagnosis will never end, and the further this race goes on, the more it toys with your mind.
Know this: what you are feeling is real. You dread discovering that all of the “symptoms” you have been experiencing are not real but are simply products of your anxious, over-imaginative mind. You think that if that were the case then it would mean that you missed a year of school and had your entire life thrown upside down for something that didn’t even matter. But that is no honest way to view the situation. If what you are feeling is a physical symptom of a purely physical illness, it is real and it matters. If what you are feeling is a psychological creation of your mind, it is still real and it still matters. Feel is feel, and real is real.
Need some extra encouragement? Take a moment to breathe easy. Give yourself a physical and a mental hug. Take a moment to ponder these tidbits of truth: Your psychiatrist, who knows you very well, is absolutely certain that what you are going through is not a psychological problem; You are neither a dishonest person nor an attention-seeker; If (at a very small chance) this does happen to be psychological, you can defeat it! Think about all that you have already defeated as far as anxiety and depression go. If you can do that… Ain’t no mountain high enough, girl!
If the amount of character growth you have gained through your suffering could be depicted as a mountain, it would be higher than Everest. Of course, that statement has no logical basis but it does prove a very logical point: that the recent growth you’ve experienced should not be taken for granted. You have chosen to claim “optimist” as a title for yourself. You have come to be grateful for gifts in life that you never used to think about twice. You have come to learn more fully that this life is really not your life but rather a life that you and God are walking through together. You have a new appreciation for those who suffer from mental and physical illness. You have come to heavily embrace the power of your creative juices.
Would you trade any of these gains to win back what your suffering has caused you to lose? Let me clarify: would you trade your newfound perspective on life for perfect health and immediate graduation from college? For the chance to be back at school right now?
These gains, these struggles, they all hold too much beautiful meaning to just let go. Suffering, crying, anger, falling down, getting back up again, laughing, dancing, smiling. It all holds beautiful meaning. Do you remember when you would get depressed because you thought that your life had no meaning? Because you thought that your life had no purpose?
Although it is not as you once envisioned it to be, your life is full of meaning and purpose.
So, beautiful, take this letter as a sincere and meaningful and very well-deserved hug. I am not here to chastise you for having a bad day or for admitting that you are overwhelmed with pain. Just know that I am here with you through this nightmare and I know that you will make it through not just in one piece, but glittering with a new light. And know that I will be there, in that glittering light, to give you a hug once more.
With so much love and admiration for you,
You are building your magnificent palace here on earth with all of the silver linings and come-backs that you gather from your experiences. But, whatever happens to your palace, the Kingdom of God is already breathtaking in its glory and has carved out a place just for you. Isn’t it great to be reminded that there is something out there that is greater than ourselves?