Photo by Moses Vega on Unsplash

Words by Gailen | Age 55

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

Anxiety, Depression and mild OCD, with the occasional panic attack just for giggles

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

It’s only a fraction of who I am. It also is a wonderful piece of me. I am kinder, more thoughtful, more empathetic.

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

Believing the crap my inner critic tells me.

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, never tell to just relax, hold space for them and ask them what they need at that moment! Be non judgmental.

Follow Gailen on Instagram.


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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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