Mental Health Warrior by Maddie

I am a 22 year old female who battles with depression and self-harm. Talk about a loaded sentence, am I right?

For 5 ½ years I have been living with depression and battling an addiction to self-harm. There was a time in my life when I believed that I would never see another tomorrow. Mental illness has been my toughest battle. I have suffered through immense emotional, physical, and mental pain.

Getting help  for my depression and self-harm was the single most challenging thing I have ever done. Depression changed my thoughts and told me that I didn’t need help, that it wasn’t worth it. But eventually I began to heal. Slowly I received the help I needed.

During the early years of my depression I constantly mourned the loss of the girl who I used to be. You see, depression changes people. My depression overtook my life, it swallowed me up and refused to spit me back out. I wanted her back, I wanted to be the old me again. I had become someone who I couldn’t recognize.

Today I am proud of who I am. I have grown and emerged into a beautiful soul. I have taken my struggles and have used them to fuel my life and my passions. Now I plan for my tomorrows, I get excited for my tomorrows, I live for my tomorrows.I have become an empowered and poised female through some of the worst experiences of my life. But all of it has led me to who I am today, and I am proud of who I am, what I have done, and what I will do in the future. And while I still think back to the girl who I used to be before my depression, I no longer mourn her. I still deal with relapse and I still deal with dark days. But now I know how to handle them. I know that I am strong enough to get through my struggles and that I am not alone.

Mental health is a topic that needs to be talked about. I am no longer afraid to talk about my battles with self-harm and depression. I openly speak about these subjects and how they have impacted my life. My wish is that everyone could feel comfortable talking about their issues. But unfortunately we live in a world where people are afraid to because of the stigma that is attached to mental health. And that is where I want to make a difference. I want to help people realize that they are not alone, that they are loved, and that they have a story to tell. I want to help erase the stigma that is attached to mental health.

In the midst of my struggles I decided to get a semi colon tattooed on my wrist. Why a semi colon? An author uses a semi colon where he/she can choose to end a sentence, but they choose not to. At one point in my life I thought it was time for me to end my sentence, but I chose not to. My tattoo serves as a constant reminder that I am still a living and breathing story.

And so my story continues on…..

Currently, I am writing a book about my struggle with depression and self-harm in hopes that it will help other people who battle with the same issues. I have decided to tell my story, I hope you will too.