This girl. I’ve known her since she was a preschooler with the most striking eyes I have ever seen. Now that she’s a teen I have seen beyond those eyes to the person inside who is so full of love and concern for the world around her. I see her speaking out for inclusivity, for justice and kindness. I see her celebrating the beauty in the world through the arts. I see her showing boundless love for her family which includes her cats. No matter what struggles she faces, they never keep her from checking in with her friends and their own challenges. Her words below are important for us all to read and they are accompanied by her photography:
I am more than my debilitating anxiety and depression. I am more than my suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
I am a tap dancer, a musician, a baker, a friend, and a cat lover. I am friendly, kind, funny, and caring. I love to see people happy, and to make people happy. I am not a “depressing” person although I struggle with my depression every day.
Most people know that I have been hospitalized many times. I am not proud of it. I also have struggled with going to school and staying in school, to the point where I’ve missed more than half of my 9th grade year. I wish I didn’t live with these illnesses. I wish more people understood what it is like for me. I have to try my best not to let my depression consume me.
If you asked any of my friends about me, they would say that I am caring. I try my best to help others. I want to spread understanding about mental illness, and educate people. Unfortunately, we live in a time where there is so much progress to be made. I am not weak. I am brave. My illness is not fake. I am not doing this for attention. I am human. I am trying my best. I am more.
If you would like to share how you are more than your depression, grief, addiction, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorder or OCD please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Writing Guide.
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