Victoria's Story

I have battled with mental illness since I was around 11 but I didn’t know that at the time. After my grandfather passed away when I was 9, my life felt like it flipped upside down. Everything seemed so much more dark and gloomy than it used to be for me. It was like I changed completely and I had no idea why. For years, a lot of my nights were spend alone crying in my room. Most “good days” felt like I was just faking a smile. Real happiness seemed really hard to come by. Once I started high school, those feelings of total sadness came more frequently and sometimes lasted for days at a time. In my second semester of grade 11, I had my first panic attack and it was the most frightening experience of my life. I felt like I was drowning and I couldn’t catch my breath. I thought for sure I was going to pass out or worse. After that, I knew I couldn’t keep bottling all my emotions inside anymore. A few days later I finally broke down and told my mom about all the feeling I kept inside and I am so glad I did. I have been going to a therapist since September of 2018 and it has been the best decision of my life. It is so nice to be able to talk to someone who knows what I am going though and who can help me balance my emotions so they don’t negatively affect my life. Mental illnesses do not define you and I have been learning that. Yes they are a part of you but they are a part you have the power to control. You can control how they affect you and how you live your life with them. I know that I have a better handle on my anxiety and depression than I did 1 year ago and for that, I am so grateful! Yes I still have bad days but that will happen. The important thing is that I try to look for the good things in my life and be optimistic about the days ahead. I know I am a stronger person because I have had to battle through my mental illness and I hope this inspires others to battle theirs as well! Remember mental illnesses do not define you, they give you a chance to see life differently, to look for the good in the world

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