Shannon's Story

Mental health struggles have been at the forefront of my life experience since I was a young girl. I grew up around my father, who was one of the most lovable, charismatic and excitable human beings. Regardless of how he came across to others, he struggled immensely on and off with depression throughout his entire adult life. Ultimately the depression got the best of him, and he decided it was best for him to take his own life. I was 12 years old at the time and my younger brother was 8. This was a huge turning point in our family’s life, and many things started to change. My own mental health struggles began to take on a life of their own, and burdened me throughout my middle school and high school experience. I managed to put on the “social-light” and “happy” façade like my dad did, however those who were close to me could tell there was something going on. I battled with depression, heightened anxiety levels, body image issues, insomnia and an unhealthy relationship with food. All of these issues continued to compound and get worse, until I had no choice but to get better. I hit my own version of rock bottom as my physical health began to decline along with my mental health. 99% of me wanted to succumb to the darkness that had so much power over me, but there was still 1% of me that wanted a second chance to turn everything around. At the time, I didn’t have the strength to do it for myself, so I decided to do it for my dad. I chose to commit to life because even though my dad was gone, I still had a chance to live a healthy, happy and fulfilled life for the both of us. It took many years, but I eventually began to overcome many of my demons through healthy lifestyle changes, nutrition/supplementation, mindset shifts, self-reflection, self-development, medication, therapy, and building a positive support network consisting of family and friends. Today I am so glad I listened to that 1% inside my head. It knew that my time on this earth was far from over, and damn was it right

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