Dear male or female who is currently struggling with some form of mental illness,

First of all, let me just say thank you. Thank you for continuing to live your life every single day, even though that may be the most difficult task for you to do. Thank you for not giving up and continuing to battle life every day like the warrior you are. Thank you for being amazing.

Dealing with a mental illness can be exhausting, especially when no one around you seems to understand what you are going through on a personal level and what kind of crazy thoughts are running through your mind constantly. With that being said, it's okay to not to be okay sometimes and it's okay to struggle.

You should not feel ashamed of yourself because you suffer from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or anything else for that matter. You are still a human being at the end of the day and your feelings are valid and no one has the right to tell you any difference.

As someone who has struggled with mental health issues in the past, I know how exhausting it can be to keep moving forward. However, let me just tell you that it is perfectly okay to have those days where you feel like doing nothing and focusing on yourself. Why? Because, at the end of the day, you are the only person who can make sure that you feel okay, and that should be your number one priority.

Stop worrying about those you care about and love for one day and start to put yourself first for a change. You owe it to yourself to put your mental health before anything else. You have to take care of YOU and you alone.

I know how annoying it can be when others try to tell you to "just smile" or "don't worry," but you and I both know that it isn't as simple as that. Some days just getting out of bed is an event all on its own, and you know what? That is OKAY.

The thing is, most people just stigmatize mental illness because they are not educated enough about it, and that needs to change. Your mental health and well-being should always come first and no one should ever feel ashamed for striving to improve themselves.

So, this is my ode to you, whoever is reading this right now. You are one of the strongest people I know and you inspire me because of how empathetic you truly are.

You probably feel like you have no one to turn to talk to sometimes because you think no one will understand or take the time to understand, and you end up feeling alone. But that is actually false because people do care, believe it or not.

There are people in your life who love and appreciate you and want you to feel better because they care so much about you. So, the next time you start to feel like you are battling your mental illness alone, stop those thoughts. You are never alone and someone is always going to be there for you, including me.

“Ignore those who say just get over it. Healing is a process.” -Unknown