Photo by Connor Siedow on Unsplash

Words by Kathie | Age 49

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

OCD and Anxiety

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

The one thing I would like others to know about my mental illness, is that I have come to see them as teachers, more than burdens. When I’m ready to change grades in my mental illness schooling, my teachers change or they stay. As in life, our learning continues till death. No matter what there are lessons, tests, homework, different levels and more qualified teachers to move us along or keep us in place (stuck) until we can test out. But, mental illness does not define you. It’s what we can best do with the teacher, for all higher purposes that define us.

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

That I am broken. The notion that because I don’t operate the same as others, is okay. I am unique. My personal purpose is unique. I just have to keep remembering that, and being okay with who I am

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, find humor in things, and keep things real. Keep your heart and mind open.

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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. 


Published by Sinclair P Ceasar III

Sinclair Ceasar is a speaker, podcaster, and higher ed professional committed to helping people live a better story, and be more hopeful. He sends weekly inspirational emails to over 1K readers each Monday. Email him at or connect with him via Twitter @Sinclair_Ceasar

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