Something Really Personal: A Dark Time

The pictures in this post come from a project I started with a mental health worker of mine. After over a year of working together and making progress in my mental health journey I asked if we could amalgamate the time together in a letter and include all the struggles I had overcome, how to identify maladaptive and effective coping mechanisms,  and how to carry on without one another. She had been a support to me through huge events in my life and was a big reason I got as far as I did in my recovery. I wanted this letter in case something bad happened and I began to spiral: something I could grab hold of and turn to in a time when everything seemed out of control. I forgot about this letter for over a year and a half, including during a leukemia relapse and heart-wrenching breakup which I really didn’t think I would ever bounce back from. The result was an eight page homage to everything I have survived: weeks I couldn’t bring myself to leave my apartment or even get out of bed, days I couldn’t bring myself to shower, and hours that seemed so pénible and désagréable that I didn’t think the pain and torment would ever end. What stayed with me was what a tremendous victory all my efforts have and continue to be. I have met and since surrounded myself with people who champion my healing and wellness: pioneers in my emotional and psychological well-being whom I am so grateful and forever indebted to. The relationships I have personally cultivated to support me are a testament of the equal effort I put into them, and the mutual respect between us. This is how I survived the darkest time in my life.

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xo

Ashlinn

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