GENERAL HOSPITAL - ABC's "General Hospital" stars Tabyana Ali as Trina Robinson. (ABC/Ricky Middlesworth)
Credit: ABC

“I’m just now getting over this. This year, I feel like it’s the grace of God that I got this job.”

On paper, General Hospital‘s Tabyana Ali practically has it all. A loving family, an amazing job playing Trina and fans so devoted and smitten with ‘Sprina’ that they hired a plane to fly a banner over ABC studios to cheer on the pairing!

If all of that sounds amazing, that’s because it really, truly is, but as Ali noted on a recent episode of Maurice Benard’s (Sonny) State of Mind, the outside doesn’t always mirror the inside.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” Ali began of her struggles. “It was hard. Because on the outside, I felt like I was visibly fine.”

Inside, though, she admits that she feels she’s struggled with depression for most of her life. Let that sink in. Mental health struggles sadly don’t know boundaries. Tabyana Ali may only be 20, but she’s been through her share of struggles.

“Because of certain situations in my family life,” she explained, “I always struggled with inner turmoil. I could never figure out why because I always felt very blessed. I felt like I had a lot of stuff to be grateful for, even if there were things that were happening in my life that was kind of destructive. I had great siblings, I had a great mother, I had food, I had a house, I had this career. There was so much for me to be thankful for.”

But that didn’t mean that’s what she was feeling. But our minds can be our own worst enemies and it can be so difficult to hold onto the good when the bad always seems so present.

“One minute,” she added, “I was perfectly fine. The next minute, I just couldn’t get a grasp on anything.” She’d feel hurt if she was around people, hurt if she wasn’t, if she was taking on too much or too little — it was like she just couldn’t figure out what to do that wouldn’t cause pain.

“And then,” she added, “stuff from my past would haunt me. I could be washing dishes and I could be back to a moment to hurt me. It would make me have anxiety; it would make me have panic attacks.”

But that wasn’t the worst of it. Depression isn’t just being sad all the time. There’s so much more than that.

“There were moments,” Ali explained, “where I felt completely nothing. And that word is used lightly. The feeling of nothing. I felt the feeling of nothing. And it just would be in my chest and nothing felt like it could fill the hole in my chest.”

She dealt with it as best she could, and journaling and poetry were a big part of her journey. Looking back over what she wrote, she could see the pain, but she could also see glimmers of hope knowing that this was not going to be forever and she was destined for more. And in time, that flicker of hope turned into the bright light of an exit.

“All of that is starting to disappear,” she shared. “I can’t even feel it anymore. I feel like I’ve changed 17 times this year. And each time, I go against the person I saw myself becoming when I was depressed.”

“Eventually,” she mused, “something just clicked in my head where I was like, ‘It’s time to just let this go. You can’t be here forever, especially if you want what you really want. And the dreams that you really want and the dreams that you see happening, you’ve got to let go of the past. You’ve got to let go of the things that aren’t fulfilling you.’”

We’re incredibly thankful that the talented actress has made it to that point. And as Benard pointed out, to have gone through the darkness and figured your way out of it at such a young age is downright incredible.

Check out our photo gallery of daytime’s 45 greatest couples of all time. We have a feeling Spencer and Trina are well on their way to joining this list!