Written by Annabelle Tang
Artwork by Madeline Blake
Dear mental ill health,
Here you are again. You don’t visit me as much as you used to, and I must say it feels nice.
For as long as I remember you have been a part of my life in some way, shape or form. You were there when I started school, and you made me feel so afraid. You were there when I overheard those comments, and you led me to quit swimming. You were there when I stood up for my class presentation. You were there when friends gave up on me. You were there when school became difficult. You were there when he left. You were there when I moved away from home. You were there through it all.
You have always taken.
You have taken days, weeks, months, and even years, but you will never take me.
As much as you’re a part of my life, you don’t define me.
I am still the me who accidentally kills all my house plants except for the basil, cries during movies, is awful at public speaking but will do it anyway, keeps every Christmas card (even ones written on gift tag and wrapping paper), laughs way too easily in serious moments, gets really competitive about Mario and Sonic and the London Olympic Games on the Wii, and sings way too loud any Conan Gray song.
I am intelligent.
I am beautiful.
I am compassionate.
I am strong.
I am brave.
I am everything you ever said I couldn’t be.
I know I will never truly get rid of you and that circumstances such as this global pandemic will undoubtedly bring you back into my life, but that’s okay. That’s okay because I know now that I will fight, that I will bounce back and be stronger than ever. And even though sometimes you make that hard to believe, history speaks for itself, it shows that I’m on a winning streak and I have everyone rooting for me.
You have never and will never stop me from achieving everything I want to achieve.
So watch me, mental ill health.
Watch me change the world.