MARCH 20: Celebrate Life.

You were born when Spring is about to start, and that’s not random:
as nature brings on its vitality, you brought vitality in so many lives.

You made us understand we weren’t alone, as we all felt at some point in our lives.

You made us understand we are sick, but that doesn’t make us weak: it makes us actually stronger, because every day is a struggle and we win that greater battle every time we reach the end of the day, in spite of all the pain we were put through.

You taught us that voice in our mind has a name and a diagnosis- depression – and can be defeated: WE CAN HEAL, and we should totally walk that path – whether it is made of therapy, medicines, music, nature, all of them, or whatever we, every and each one of us, need to feel better.

You shamelessly talked about it, you told us about your own struggles, you always spoke open heartedly, breaking the stigma with your unique honesty and that beautiful, even more unique smile.

I can’t even tell you the power of that smile, it was just as pure as your soul.

It was like a Spring blossom – it spread love for life all around.
YOU spread love for life. AND you made me understand the importance of fighting for myself, of loving myself. Because in the end it’s all about love.
(You also taught me there’s a huge difference between self-love and selfishness, and I will do my best to never cross that line – promised.)

I can’t even explain what happened inside my mind after the news back in July, but something definitely changed.
I stopped living my life passively and I took action.
I understood my scars are not something to be ashamed of: they’re my best dress, because every and each one of them shows my strength.
They represent my victories against the shit I was put through, despite my own will.
It wasn’t my fault, none of that shit.
It happened tho.
AND I’M STILL HERE.
And I wanna be here.
And I wanna raise awareness just like you did.
I want my pain to become a warn to everyone out there, I want to turn it into something positive, good, helpful for someone else.
Because it doesn’t really matter how low we fall (and I’m quoting you… once again):

It gets better.

It also gets worse from time to time – I wanna be completely honest – but you taught me ups and downs are the main part of the deal. It’s ok not to be ok.
We can still learn how our mind works and pick up the signs of a breakdown in time to stop the fall before touching our lowest point.

Man. I learnt so much more about my own life and mental health since last July 20, than in my 24 years of life.

I only wish I could thank you for that.
And since we can’t properly talk right now, I’m gonna try to thank you every day, through my every action.

This is your legacy.

You are still saving lives, I wish you could see that.
I wish you could see all the love, all the empathy, all the strength we’re sharing with each other down here.
Life doesn’t seem so bad when you’re surrounded by a family.
The World isn’t that scary place, when you have a place where you belong.
We all found it – thanks to you.

You saved us so many times, and you keep doing that everyday.

You are my lighthouse in the middle of every storm I have to face and you’re the comet to follow when the skies are clear upon me.

That’s why today I wanna CELEBRATE LIFE in every possible way I can: there’s no other way to honor you.

I gotta admit – I already admitted that a bunch of times before – I took you for granted and that’s my biggest regret forever.
So here’s another lesson learnt: I’m not taking anyone for granted anymore, whether they’re a friend, a relative, another star that brightens my days…

Are there any words to say “THANK YOU” for all of that?
I don’t think so.

We, people who struggle with mental health issues, are so sensible, we weigh every word, every act… everything.
That’s also why we feel so alone so often, we feel unheard, misunderstood, ashamed and we isolate or get isolated.
But I’m here. I’m here for anyone who feels alone and needs to talk.
I’m here: you are not alone.
And I’m not alone as well, because there are so many people out there who wanna listen to me!
And I’m learning to remember it when the black clouds come to take me.
I’m also learning to talk to myself gently(!!!), because depression makes us treat ourselves so bad, as if we are unworthy and we don’t matter: you taught us everyone of us matters.
I’m learning to tell myself such things I didn’t say before, because I didn’t see the main truth: depression lies.
It constantly lies to me, to us.
It’s not us, it’s not our voice: it’s DEPRESSION.
It’s like a boggart: it takes the shape of our fears and make them feel real, even if they’re not.
So I’m learning to communicate to my inner self, to tell myself: take the best of you and make it smash those demons!
I’m learning to call them with their real names: depression and anxiety.
I’m working on my own mind, to understand those feelings, to find a balance, to feel better.
And it’s working! I wanna live again!

I used to blame myself. No more now.
It’s an illness – not something I chose.
But I can choose to fight, and I choose to fight, every-single-day.

I’ve always chosen it without even knowing it!

I choose life.

And I’ll always choose life.
To honor you and everybody else we lost due to mental illnesses.

There’s a way out of that darkness and I’ll walk it with whoever I’ll meet through this messy, incredible path we call life.

I love life.

I love you.
For ever.

Stèd

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