#MentalStories – Understanding Myself


EYMH activist Linda shares with us her story of finding hope from feeling like it was an end

Linda is 25 and from Germany.

As far as I remember I always felt this deep sadness within me. I never had an explanation why I am so sad and no one else either. During my school years everything got worse. I did not only feel sad anymore, I felt desperate and not strong enough to live my life, I started thinking about ending my life. I felt so lonely with these overwhelming emotions that the ended up in an abusive relationship. I felt so far away from this world that I did not see the abusiveness of this relationship and still did not understand why I was feeling so terrible. At some point I had a completely emotional break down. I remember myself sitting on the floor, crying and shaking for hours. Looking back this was one of the worst moments of my life but also a key moment as I realised that I need help. I remember my first appointment at a psychological counselling office, telling the woman that I feel absolutely desperate but do not know why. She said that this is fine, and that she is happy that I reached out to her. With her support I was able to find a psychotherapist, who helped me finding my way back into life and starting to enjoy life again.

Now this key moment is about 8 years ago, and I am again doing therapy. But as the first therapy helped me to stabilise, this second therapy is finally helping me to understand why I have this deep sadness in me, why I have these periods of depression and why I am sometimes feeling overwhelmed of my own emotions. With my therapist I am working through my whole past, reflecting on the relationships I had and experiences I made, that all lead to my mental health problems. Just now the puzzle is slowly pieced together, and I start to understand my own story. And with the understanding I start feeling released and able to let go of my past. I still feel sad about everything I had to go through and angry about all the bad things happening in this world, but much stronger to find my own way of living. Looking back, I am also very thankful for all the people around me that supported me with every step I took – I do not think I would have managed without them.

I would wish that everyone has the chance to reach out to other people, to find words for his or her feelings and the thoughts that may circle round in our head. So that we can all be understood by other people and are able to understand our own story. I would wish that we all grow more together and support each other with the difficulties that will always come up in life. Let us all contribute to a world like this!

If you or anyone you know needs help or support, please check our crisis hotlines for young people across Europe page

Published by Euro Youth Mental Health

I'm a champion for youth mental health - Co-Director of Euro Youth Mental Health - Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor - Mental Health Participation Expert - Facilitator & Podcaster - Youth Wellbeing giver.

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