Self-Love and Community During My Mental Health Struggles

Where would I be in this world if not for my incredible support systems and all the love they’ve shown me?


Even when I could not show compassion to myself, I still had people there for me: my family, my friends, my therapist, my professors, and so many more.


Where would I be if I didn’t have this during my deepest mental health struggles?


🔹Would I still have grown into the strong, confident human I am today?


🔹Would I have discovered my sexuality and gender identity?


🔹Would I have learned to set boundaries and assert myself?


🔹Would I have grown comfortable sitting with my emotions and not need to dull them out?


I can’t answer these questions because they’re part of a timeline that doesn’t exist. I did (and still do!) have a support system that’s made a world of a difference.


But I’ve also realized that the other thing I had is *me* — even when I didn’t believe in myself, I still chose life and therapy and recovery. And I continue to choose it.


I’ve come to understand how much of a defining factor that is. Someone could have the best support network but still not choose to work on getting better.


(Truly, it’s the individual’s choice whether to pursue that — and it’s often a difficult choice to make.)


So I hope today (and every day) you show both yourself and your community compassion and kindness 💙


In these photos, I'm wearing my bracelet from Needs for Beads, which is an organization dedicated to destigmatizing mental health and raising funds for Mental Health America. If you want to support this wonderful initiative, I highly encourage you to purchase a bracelet!

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© Zoe Stoller, 2021.

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