Two boats side by side in the water

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

I still remember that lonely walk home. I was in college, and it was the height of my struggle with my mental health. I had quickly walked out of the bright building into the dark evening so no one could see me cry. I was struggling silently, as so many of us have.

On that dark walk home, I felt the weight of it all as hopelessness settled like a boulder on my chest. My loneliness was coalescing, and the fear that I would never feel better made each step heavier.

What I didn’t know then is that help is often one conversation away. My own shame and embarrassment about what I was dealing with kept me from reaching out. Certainly what you are facing will not be fixed in one conversation, but we are not meant to struggle alone. 

What I didn’t know then that I know now, is that it isn’t just the struggle. It is the loneliness and the hopelessness in the struggle that often make it feel so unbearable. What I know now is that it is brave to ask for help, not embarrassing.

It is brave to ask for help, not embarrassing.

Today, I am a therapist, and it is my life’s work to prevent as many lonely walk homes as I can. I wish I could come beside you if you are on a lonely walk and slide my hand into yours. If you are reading this letter, I hope it is a small reminder that you are not alone. 

There is help. There is hope to be found. There are people who want to help. Every time you reach out for help from a professional or friend, you are lighting up the path with courage for the rest of us, so that no one has to walk in the dark alone.

With hope,
Monica DiCristina, the Darling family

There is help. There is hope to be found.

Have you ever been afraid to ask for help when you are struggling? How can we let go of the shame attached to asking for help?

Image via Judith Pavón Sayrach

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