Something I Am Proud Of:
For years I thought if I tried harder I could be different, normal. I was diagnosed in my 20s and finally found hope. I now know there is a name for what I experience and that there is treatment. I’ve tried to give positive meaning to my experiences. I self harmed for 10 years and I have had 3 suicide attempts. I survived all of it and began volunteering at a crisis helpline. I am now a trainer and supervisor there. I also started speaking up about my experiences. I am now a public speaker and advocate for mental health, I speak in schools, at events and I did a TEDx talk on 2019.
Advice For Newly Diagnosed:
I want to tell people who are newly diagnosed to let go of the stigma. Do not judge yourself or shame yourself for your diagnosis; do not let it define you. You are a whole, valuable and worthy person and you are strong for persevering with this illness. Remember you are your best advocate and you know your mental health best. Be expressive about what is best for you and seek treatment that works for you, while trusting the professionals helping you. There is hope, there is help. Seeking support is a sign of great strength.