How I Learned to Live With My Mental Illness and Love Myself

I’ll never forget the day I was ready to end it all. June 5th, 2012. The bullying didn’t stop and neither did the pain the came with it. I felt like the only way out was to literally take myself out.

I remember lying in the middle of my room with a knife in front of me, debating whether or not I would do it. I remember yelling at my mom to run me over with her car. Anything to make me not feel the pain anymore – that’s what I was willing to do.

No one knew when I would do it or why I wanted to do it. My clock was ticking, and sooner or later, it would stop ticking.

I have spent a lot of my life pretending to be someone that I’m not. Because I grew up with low self-esteem and little to no confidence, people walked all over me. My kindness was taken as a weakness and I was too afraid to stand up for myself.

Not a day went by that I didn’t wish I weighed less than 200 pounds. When I looked in the mirror, I felt completely disgusted with the fact that my stomach hung down. Or that my thighs shook in an unpleasant way.

That’s when things got serious. I started binge-eating and purging and went to an extremely dark place. My relationship with my mother started to turn for the worse and it seemed as if life was just crashing down on me. In fifth grade, I was diagnosed as being Bipolar. I would have these random episodes and be “back to normal” 15 minutes later. I spent a few nights in a crisis center. I had to leave school early on Mondays and Thursdays to go to behavioral school, but I never told anyone because I didn’t want people to judge me. I started having suicidal thoughts and had at least three attempts.

I was ready to end it all.

I don’t remember when or how, but somehow, I made it through. I realized that there was so much more that life has to offer me. I still struggle with self-love and body image to this day, especially as a female college student. But I know that God has a greater plan for me that doesn’t involve me purging or thinking about suicide.

When I got to college, I left my small town, middle-child syndrome mindset at the main gate. From there, I stopped existing and started living. I joined a bunch of organizations and slowly started to see myself transform. I watched the old me disappear as I blossomed into a new woman. For years, I tried to achieve self-love and figure out my identity but I was too busy living in the shadows of others.

Over the course of a year, I learned that some opportunities are truly worth the wait. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for me to go away, live on my own and be the person God created me to be. He gave me the tools I needed to realize that there is no better time than now. So how did I attain my true identity to live my best life? I use my struggles to help others. I am very open about telling my story of battling depression. People have told me how inspired they feel after they hear me talk about it.

I tell them to stay focused on their goals and priorities. Life is too short to fixate on the past and be afraid to be yourself. Love your current body and work for the one you want. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t see results quick, it takes time. Trust the process and you’ll do just fine! Lastly, watch your language. Everything you say has a harvest. Your mouth is so powerful; it can hinder God’s plan because the power of your tongue creates your reality.

I never thought I would make it to this day. Yes, this day right now. Being a journalism
and Italian major at a private university in hopes of becoming a reporter for CNN in the
future. I started living for me instead of for others and I watched myself transform into the woman God created me to be. I have more self-love now than I did on June 5th, 2012. I am a lot more confident now than I was on June 5th, 2012. When I look in the mirror, I don’t think about binging, purging, or dying. I think about grinding, thriving, and shining.

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