by Angelina Harpole

Guest Contributor

            Today is a new day. Another day to show up, and fight, and love and be loved. I thought my life was ending two nights ago, I believed I was going to die. But I did not. This is just what my health anxiety and OCD wanted me to believe. I’ve feared I was going to leave this world so many times. And sometimes I wished to leave this world behind. Yet I am here. For some reason, despite believing I was going to fade away and sometimes wishing for it, I am still here. To me that is powerful. I believe I am here for a reason. I believe you are here for a reason too. I believe my reasons are to love and be loved, to help others, to offer them hope and help and to remind them that it’s okay to struggle. You are not weak for struggling and you are not weak for needing help. It takes strength to recognize and acknowledge your struggles, your darkness. It takes courage to reach out for help.

            We must remember that the struggle is a part of the story. My struggle, my pain, has a purpose. I am overcoming it to one day help others learn to manage and overcome their struggles. This isn’t to say we won’t still struggle. We will have dark days and long nights, but our purpose, hope, strength, and perseverance will push us forward. I know this will continue to be a fight, a battle, but every step forward makes the fight a little easier. And this is the worthwhile fight.

            There is so much pain in this world yet there is endless beauty. This world truly is a dialectic. It’s not black and white, it’s shades of grey. There is pain and beauty, hurt and joy, hate and love, and sometimes there is hopelessness, but there is always hope. So long as I am alive, as my heart is beating, and I am breathing, I will have hope. Not only for myself but for others. If you’re reading this in the depths of despair and pain and you feel the struggle is too much, you feel the waves are getting stronger and soon will sweep you up, please know that I am holding onto hope for you. I promise you that healing is possible, recovery is possible, and help is available. This is not an easy battle by any means, but this is a battle we will choose to fight. We will show up, we will fight every day – some days just by getting out of bed and breathing. It’s okay if all you can do today is stay alive. It’s okay if all you can do is breathe. Try to be gentle with yourself, don’t judge yourself or compare yourself to others because everyone is on a different journey. Just keep fighting, keep showing up, keep breathing. Your life, your love, and your story matters. You matter very much and you are needed here. 

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