Dear Zoey,

This is a letter for you for the days when you feel sad, and don’t know why. Or do know why, but they don’t make sense. Or you feel out of your mind. Or not like yourself.

There will be days like this. A lot of them.

There will be days when you look at your life and it is so good and so right, which makes you feel guilty for being sad.

Don’t. Try not to feel guilty for the emotions that make up your every day life. That’s a lot easier said than done. In fact, if you figure out how to do that, fill me in.

Allow yourself to stay in a hot shower for 30 minutes, just so you can cry. Allow yourself to lie down in the fetal position and find your breath. Don’t call yourself crazy or psychotic. You may feel that way, but you are are not those things. You are an amazingly flawed human being comprised of life and dreams, grandeur and sadness — and sometimes all those things crash together and you have to piece together what to keep and what to breathe away.

Some days will be tough. And you won’t know why or how to fix it, and so the best thing you can do is breathe. Some days you’ll feel strong enough to get up and put one foot in front of the other. Other days you’ll know that life isn’t something you can wrap your head around. Stay in your sweat pants on those days. It’s okay.

The thing about having tough days is they build empathy. They grow your compassion. Hopefully, you’ll allow them to make you kinder because life is tough…and there are so many of us paddling like hell to keep afloat.

Breathe. And keep on keepin’ on, my love.