"Drugs and alcohol were common place and I was constantly moving around. That’s not to say that my parents were using in front of me, just that it was fairly obvious as to what was going on. Because of this, I actually grew up attending AA meetings and was introduced to “recovery” pretty early on. Even so, I would go on to spend 16 years in an alcohol and drug-induced nightmare that almost consumed my life. Irony at its finest."
"When I got home, I was burnt out and severely depressed. I couldn’t get out of bed for a long time. My fiance took me for walks, helped me bathe, and brought me bland foods. With the help of my psychiatrist and therapist, I was able to get on a course of therapy and medication that finally helped to bring me out of my major depressive episode. I wasn’t truly fully functional again until some time in 2011."
"What therapists would label as "mental health" issues—as I've aged and grown perspective in my life, I would have to disagree wholeheartedly. Unstable environments and adults that failed to protect me from predators were the sole contributors to my unstable years."
"The pregnancy ended up being even more high risk than my prior ones and I was placed in the hospital for six weeks. Depression and anxiety returned as my young daughter bounced between family and friends during my absence. I missed her terribly and my body ached without her presence, but I pushed forward knowing that each day I stayed pregnant brought us one day closer to our baby."
"After a very emotionally taxing month for me and my fiance, I had an actual mental breakdown. Unable to stop crying, I voluntarily admitted myself to my local psych ward and stayed for a couple of days, ultimately being released after assessment. I realized that I didn’t want to die, I just didn’t want to feel the way I was feeling."
"Considering the duration of my struggle, anxiety, and depression have been constants in my life. Over the years, I had tried numerous medications and visited countless therapists, but nothing seemed to offer lasting relief. It wasn't until I discovered these resources, particularly the "DARE" book, that I finally started to see a glimmer of hope and progress toward overcoming my challenges."
"Healing just doesn’t come without suffering. When I failed for the first time academically, it hurt. I cried… a lot. And was down for a while until I felt I needed to know myself better. I started meditating and thinking about who I am. What’s my purpose? What am I doing with my life?"
"Do you know how hard it is to be friends with a person who wants to kill themselves then 5 minutes later they're ok? It's draining. Well, I am that person. The struggle impacts me daily, however, last Saturday I had an epiphany that I've been working on and the days seem to be getting better."
"The best thing my divorced parents ever did for ~9-year-old me was send me to weekly therapy sessions which I’ve kept up most of my life (minus ~2 years in high school). Thanks to growing up with a profound mental health awareness, I promised myself that I was going to commit to a healthier lifestyle by focusing on my emotional well-being first and foremost. Deep inside me, I knew that was how I’d improve everything else."
"I responded to dangerous incidents with no fear. That’s not to say I was courageous, rather, I didn’t care if anything happened to me. I didn’t think anyone would miss me if I was killed on duty. I didn’t wish for it, but it was a possibility in my line of work and it didn’t scare me."