#10: I never let them define me.

Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

Words by Kim | Age 24 

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

Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Binge Eating Disorder.

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

 Though at one time these all made me feel like they were controlling me, I am able to control them now. I am impacted by the effects of these disorders every single day, but I (try to) never let them consume or define me.

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

 I wish I could unlearn the stigma around them all individually. Just because I have mental illnesses doesn’t mean that I am lesser of a person and unable to do “normal” things like everyone else.

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 and be willing to listen. If we had all the answers, we wouldn’t be where we are. It’ll take us time to make sense of mental illnesses and how they affect us, so be patient with us while we learn how to cope with it. When we need a listening ear, do just that. We don’t need advice or a fix (sometimes), that’s what our therapist is for; we need a friend who wants to be supportive.

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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. 

About The Author

Sinclair P Ceasar III

Sinclair Ceasar is a Christian mental health speaker, writer, and facilitator.

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