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Our Stories

Check out stories from young people across the state. We've been there-and look how far we've come!

Marco’s Story of Mental Illness, Therapy, Support, and Acceptance, Age: 21

"I became aware of my possible depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder in high school...Once I allowed myself to be vulnerable with the universe, and more specifically my therapist, I noticed gradual changes in my psyche...

What have you struggled with? When did it become too much?

Many hardships have plagued my life when I think about my existence. Some souls just seem to be predisposed for misfortune. Despite having a happy and loving childhood, this is also the time where my struggles started. I could talk easily speak upon the terrible things that derailed my life at such a young age, but I’d much rather begin with where these things truly began effecting me. I became aware of my possible depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder in high school. A slight identity crisis came over me and it ripped me away from the person I was or wanted to be. I questioned my worth and felt misunderstood in a world that I knew deep in my heart, had the potential to be beautiful. Due to my lack of understanding, acceptance, and most importantly self-love, I allowed my emotions to skew this potential vision. It became too much when I finally tried to take my life at the age of 15. It saddens me to think that I contemplated death before I genuinely realized I needed help, but that’s the truth.

 

What kind of support did you get at first? Did it work?

Throughout the years, I’ve been lucky enough to have received a multitude of outlets for support. It all began with talk therapy. For the first few months worth of sessions, I stayed silent. I had yet to make the realization that if I were to feel any better, I had to be willing to accept the help I was being offered. Once I allowed myself to be vulnerable with the universe, and more specifically my therapist, I noticed gradual changes in my psyche. I was also introduced to a psychiatrist and placed on a few different anti-depressants and mood stabilizers. After doing my own research on mental illness, I came to the conclusion that I knew what was best for me and medication was out of the question. I knew that If were to truly be better, I had to master my emotions and learn to cope with them. Of course there’s more to my support system but that’s how it all began! Looking back, I can truly say that I am grateful for everyone and everything that supported me when I wasn’t very lovable.

Were there any turning points where things really started to change for the better?

Most definitely! Talk therapy did that for me. I was not used to someone sitting down with me and just talking about everything I had experienced and felt the week prior. Besides simply speaking upon my emotions, she gave me tons of techniques to implement and practice in my waking life to be a better, stronger, and more kind human being. It took quite a bit of time and energy to create comfortable state of mind for myself but I can honestly say I feel like a master piece and a work in progress at the same time.

What’s your life like now? What have you been able to accomplish, and what are you working towards?

Life feels peaceful. I realize now that all of the pain, struggles, mistakes, abandonment, disappointments, losses, failures and so on that I have experienced has meaning. These things helped me to learn an extremely vital key to my existence: There’s beauty to be found in everything! Some days it’s harder to see than other but I promise you, the world is round for a reason. If you continue to radiate positive energy, kindness, appreciation, gratitude, and love, it will reciprocate in your life. It’s just the way the universe works!

What would you say to people who are having a tough time? What’s helped you that you wish you had known earlier

Healing starts within! No one in this world can force you to change. You must first have the desire to be better then be willing to seek out whatever it is that will benefit you and your journey. If you do not have an unconditional love, a whole-hearted acceptance, and a true understanding for your own mind body and soul, how can you expect to love, accept, and trust anyone else? Please take the time to prioritize your life to make your energy, your passions, your dreams, your happiness, and especially your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health come first. When you are loving, kind, and gentle with yourself, you are able to perceive the world around you in similar manner. Everything that you could ever want in life is waiting for you. So be accepting of change, embrace the unknown! Fear should have no place in your life. The journey is the destination. Just please believe in the power of peace, love, and positivity. Don’t wait for a better tomorrow, create it!

 

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