A Paragraph of Stars

An Article About Mental Health

Written by Gabriella Leonardi

CW: mental illness, suicide

It goes without saying but we are in some very strange times and are currently living through a future history lesson. The younger generations and new generations will ask us about the time the world was attacked by the highly contagious virus COVID -19 and we will tell them a story. The story about how we were told to just stay at home. The story about how we were not asked to go to war and put our lives on the line but simply stay indoors in order to stop the spread of this virus and protect those that did fight in the war. The story about how we were protecting the vulnerable and the older generation. The story of what some may think is easy, you just had to stay at home, but really we were drowning in boredom and suffocating in our own intense dark thoughts. The story of where earth may have been punishing us for ruining our planet and so being grounded in our homes and only being able to be with nature for 30-60 minutes a day. The story about how all generations were getting caught up in our thoughts, feeling stuck, locked up, claustrophobic and the fear of debt and poverty creeping upon us, with all shops and businesses closed, unemployment sky- rocketing and there is absolutely nothing we can do... but stay at home. Stay at home and TRY and remain positive. Depression, anxiety and fear didn’t start with the virus for me, or many others, but it sure did heighten it.

Depression doesn’t really feel like sadness to me. It feels like exhaustion, irritability, no motivation, no desire to do the shit I love doing and more. Being depressed is much worse than just being “sad. Let me start by telling you something you already know. The world is NOT all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean, nasty, cruel place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, you, me, nobody is going to hit as hard as life, but it’s not about how hard you hit it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. As classic and cheesy as it is.... and I hate those shit motivational speeches, it’s the one line that I think.... fuck that’s actually true. It’s like saying no matter how broken and bruised you feel you still search for that version of sunshine and those rainbows you seek. I always loved Scooby doo When I was young. The other day I felt so down I didn’t want to leave my bedroom, so I turned on the tele and scooby doo was playing. When watching it I realised that it teaches us something valuable. Something important. It teaches us the darkest most dangerous of monsters are human. Now my advice to you is, don’t be that monster under any circumstance. No matter how much someone pisses you off and gets under your skin... don’t be a monster. Find another way to deal with the situation and also, don’t let a monster make you feel so low you don’t want to get out of bed, or continue that job, or continue chasing that dream of yours. Don’t let that monster make you feel as though you have no self-worth.

Although, personally, I’ve found the darkest most dangerous monster of all Is the one that’s inside your head. The monster of the dark I call it. Now, I never used to know why exactly but stars and planets and the moon are my all-time favourite things. I’ve always loved astrology and always been fascinated in the galaxy. I always loved laying on my trampoline staring at the stars. and it was one day when I was on the absolute edge and was sitting on west hill at night time feeling at my all time low that I thought to myself .... I need to find the stars and place them in my mind, and it is those stars that break that monster of the dark and overcome it.

I thought to myself maybe if I slowly find those stars, those things that add light to my soul and mind and add them to my mind eventually the light would overcome the dark. Of course, that’s easier said than done obviously. If only it was that easy right. I used to work at a coffee shop, and I was struggling a lot in those days and I was cleaning the table and I found a letter. It said for you on the front of the paper and that letter has stayed with me ever since and it’s stuck on my wall next to my mirror. I call it my Letter of stars. I will share that with! To you now.

For you, with the speed of the wind and force of the water you can go anywhere, stay dreaming, stay alive, stay free, we are one and you are loved. If you would like, bring peace into your life and share it with friends and strangers alike. You are loved. Fight the good fight. For you x

I still don’t know who wrote that. Now as I have acting background and I’m here talking about mental health I thought I’d quickly speak about Robin Williams. One of my favourite films of his is Jack and there is a monologue in it that is so beautiful. I can’t help when watch or read it to think about robin Williams himself & how he was so funny, entertaining, always seen with a smile and a laugh.... in public. I hurt for him knowing that behind all of that he was so alone and filled with darkness that he felt he had no other option but to take his own life. I’m sorry for you robin. I’m sorry for all those that took their lives and all those who have been affected by someone taking their life. I guess it’s true what they say, suicide doesn’t take the pain away it passes it onto someone else.... but I’m sorry for you, you who couldn’t find the help you needed and took your life. I’m sorry.

I’ll quote this monologue for you now. For all those that feel or have felt that life wasn’t worth living. I tell you it is. I hope you find your stars to break up the darkness.


I don't have very much time these days, so I'll make it quick -- like my life.

You know, as we come to the end of this phase of our life, we find ourselves trying to remember the good times and trying to forget the bad times.

And we find ourselves thinking about the future.

We start to worry, thinking, "What am I gonna do? Where am I gonna be in ten years?"

But I say to you, "Hey, look at me." Please, don't worry so much. because in the end none of us have very long on this earth.

Life is fleeting.

And if you're ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky, when the stars are strung across the velvety night, and when a shooting star streaks through the blackness turning night into day -- make a wish think of me. And make your life spectacular. I know I did. I made it, Mom. I'm a grown-up. Thank you.


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