#1: My mental illness will always be a part of me

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Words by Courtney | Age 24

What mental illness(es) are you currently living with?

Depression and anxiety.

What’s one thing you want others to know about your mental illness? 

My mental illness will always be a part of me and my life. I can go weeks, months and even years without the symptoms surfacing, but all it takes is for one situation to turn my world upside down. How far I spiral is different every time, and most importantly, the only person that can ever help me resurface to normality is myself. Patience is key in these situations.

What’s one thing you’re seeking to unlearn about the mental illness(es) you live with?

 I’m seeking to unlearn that it’s my fault. I always blame myself when my world gets out of control, when in reality, I can’t have control over every situation that I come in contact with. What I can control is my reaction, but I still need to remember that it’s okay to fall apart; it doesn’t make me weak, it just makes me human.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who loves a person living with a mental illness, and wants to support them?

Be patient. Always, always, always be patient. Know that you can’t fix it, but you can be there for them to lean on if that’s what they want. Adaptability is key if you really love someone living with a mental illness. I’ve lost so many people because they didn’t want to be there for me at my worst, but the people that stayed, even when I didn’t want them to, are the ones that still matter the most to me and always will.

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ABOUT THE SERIES

There’s someone that needs to hear that mental illness doesn’t define us. There’s a lot of noise out there about who we are and what we’re capable of. But, we get to speak for ourselves. That’s why this series exists. It’s a small but meaningful addition to Mental Health Awareness MonthStorytelling can break chains and make us feel less alone. Our truths can help others see the other side of a thing, of a person. Our stories can help someone feel a little more empowered, and a little more hopeful. Each series storyteller was brave enough to share a piece of their truth.

To view more stories from the series, visit the series homepage.