Ripping Your Heart Open – Thoughts from Therapy

I want to write about what's like to live with mental illness, to raise awareness - but it would be easier to just rip my heart open. Click through to read more, or repin to save for later!

*Do not try this at home. The title isn’t literal. Stay off the Internet if you take everything literally.

Thoughts from Therapy is a series where I talk honestly about my struggle with and recovery from depression and anxiety. My hope is to promote mental health awareness and to let anyone else struggling know they’re not alone. Read previous posts.

It’s a long time since I’ve written one of these Thoughts from Therapy posts. I’ve had lots of things to write about, like

  • The stress of exams during June
  • Finally feeling like I could breathe as vacation gave me a chance to relax in July
  • How well I’ve been doing and how proud I am for the progress I’ve made in July
  • The fear of relapse as a new semester is about to start in August
  • Not letting physical illness letting affect my mental health, which has a history of being very connected. This became very relevant when I recently got mono, which means I might feel unwell for a very long time.

But that’s not something I wrote about, nor am I going to today. Some of these posts were just headlines in my head, others were roughly dotted down on my phone.


I try to be very honest about my struggles, to show what it’s like (for me) to live with a mental illness, but there’s more to the story than you read.


It’s not because I don’t want to share. The response I get is so full of love, and it just confirms how important it is to have the courage to talk about mental health.

I try to be very honest about my struggles, to show what it’s like to live with a mental illness, but there’s more to the story than you read.

But here comes the but: it’s hard.

It’s hard to dig into those dark and sad feelings. It’s hard to rip your heart open and let them fester.

Right now I can choose to watch a nice TV show and have a snack, watch the puppy video my boyfriend just sent me – or I could take an hour to go deep inside my head, really explore how I’m feeling. I know there’s still shadows in there that I’d like to pretend doesn’t exist. I know I’m going to cry at some point because these thoughts aren’t exactly pleasant.

However, ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away. When I was very sick, writing was my main way of processing my feelings, making sense of my thoughts. It was just as painful then, but still somehow different – because simply being alive was in a way dark and painful.

Today I have an alternative – my “baseline mood” is much higher, and little moments of happiness are back in my life.

So most days I go with option 1. Not today. Because I really want to write about this – and I know that I need to continue to be aware of how I’m feeling and taking care of myself so I don’t fall back. Writing is my way of doing that.

I’d love to write even more about mental health awareness, but it takes a toll. That’s why it’s not something I write about every week – but not because I’m not passionate about it.

I want you to know something, know it deep in your heart:

You’re not alone.

You’re never alone.

Gif that says lots of love, Anne xx

Since you made it to the end, you may as well follow me on Instagram – but their algorithm is a bit of a mystery, so you can sign up to the newsletter to not miss out on the best posts! ✨

Ripping Your Heart Open - Thoughts from TherapyRipping Your Heart Open - Thoughts from Therapy
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  1. It’s definitely hard to go deep and explore those yucky feelings but its so important to do so. Clear out all that bad stuff and blockages so you can make room for bigger and better things – great work!

  2. says: Lexes

    Such a good post! Free writing into a journal just for yourself is a good thing to try! Its what I’ve been doing as well. You can always share that journal with people later, but writing just for yourself without worrying what you say can help so much. There will always be parts of us that we want to hide, so you have to make sure you spend time with yourself, unedited and raw, so that you can dig deep! <3

  3. says: Lucy

    I found this post so powerful. I really struggled with my mental health during my first year at university last year, and one blogpost I wrote about it was incredibly cathartic and important – both for my understanding of how I felt and also in my recovery. However, I agonised over that one post. I went through 6 different drafts and sent it to different friends for feedback. It totally consumed me. I needed to write it, but once it was finished I didn’t think I could write anything that strong again; just the idea of writing more about mental health was so draining, let alone actually doing it.

    Nowadays – particularly as university approaches again – I’m writing about my mental health in my diary rather than my blog. I think that writing about these things takes a lot of emotional effort and courage, and then posting it online for anyone and everyone to see doubles those efforts, and the idea of that is just too much for me. In my diary I can explore how I’m feeling without the added pressure of it having to be a good piece of writing and I know for sure that I’m only writing for me, not for anyone else.

    As always with mental health – and particularly while you’re also still physically unwell (I hope you’re starting to feel better now!) – the only thing you can do is put as much faith in yourself as you can and do what you feel is right for you. Let it change and fluctuate as you need. And you’re definitely not alone.

    Lx | Lightly We Go