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I’ll be the first to admit it, I used to be a pretty awful person.

There was a time in my life when I was between being naive and unaware. The (more) awakened person I am now can admit I was just an absolute wreck. I grew to be flaky, and couldn’t explain myself. I was mean to some people. I was trying to cover my tracks for things that weren’t entirely my fault. I was unmedicated and unaware of the damage I was causing. I rolled through peoples’ lives like a tornado. I was a mess, and because I couldn’t figure out what was going on in my own life, I made messes in other people’s lives. I didn’t mean to cause the damage I caused, but it was an unfortunate side effect of being me in a time I wasn’t my best self.

I’m ashamed. I don’t like who I was, but I had no idea I would cause as much damage. I hurt a lot of people I loved, and ruined a lot of (would have been) solid friendships. Granted, I also lost a lot of people who were really unhealthy for me as well, but I also let a few good ones slip out the cracks. I created mistrust in people. I was a loose canon. When I finally realized what I was doing, it was too late for most people — they were long gone. But over the years, I’ve worked hard to mend relationships and to make a better self-image.

I really like the person I’ve become. But that doesn’t mean people magically like me again.

It’s hard to understand that after a personal metamorphosis, people won’t see the change. There’s a point in people’s lives — or more specifically people’s mental journey — when we feel a lot better. We can feel like brand new people in this self-discovery. We want to share it with the world, but oftentimes our former world isn’t there anymore. They’ve moved on. You may have been unhealthy in someone’s life at a point in time, and although you put the work in to be better, it doesn’t change the fact you were unhealthy to someone else.

I didn’t like who I was being, especially without treatment. I wanted to be a better person, and I wanted to be in control of myself once again. I decided to isolate myself, temporarily, and get help so I could work on being a better person. It was the greatest decision of my life, and it helped me learn to love myself — even if it was only a little bit at a time. Change wasn’t easy, but it was at a point it was necessary. Getting help made me change into a person I always wanted to become.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the change has to be for you.

Sure, people can influence change. Losing someone who was once close could be the perfect catalyst to becoming a better version of you. People grow up, and people change. Bullies sometimes become kindhearted people, their victims sometimes become the bullies. But no matter what people do change. But I believe the change has to be for you. The change needs to be for making yourself happy. You can’t always fix the damage you cause, but you can make yourself feel better by becoming better, by getting help or even just by getting rid of negative external forces (even if you used to be one).

I am happy I got better, even if I’m sad over the ones I’ve hurt. Through the lessons I’ve learned, the damage I’ve caused and through the mistakes I’ve made I’ve turned out to be a better version of me.

Follow this journey on Taylor Nicole.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via marzacz.

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Mental illnesses can be so difficult to explain and understand — like how a “mental” illness can have physical symptoms; or when you’re dealing with multiple mental illnesses and you can’t pinpoint which one is causing what. On top of that, stigma can make us feel ashamed of what we’re going through, an unfair addition to what people with mental illness are already going through.

That is why we asked our Mighty mental health community to tell us the symptoms of mental illness people typically don’t talk about. Because by opening up the dialogue and making people aware of these difficult symptoms, we can continue to break the walls around shame and stigma, reminding one another we are not alone in this fight and resources are available if we need help.

Here is what they had to say: 

1. “Dissociating. Driving home from work and realizing you only know where you’re going because it’s routine. Looking in the mirror and not knowing when the last time you actually saw yourself was. Not knowing how long you’ve been out of it and not knowing when you’ll be back.” — Haylee M.

2. “Suicidal thoughts. Even if I’m not actually suicidal, I still have suicidal thoughts and feelings on a regular basis. People do not feel comfortable talking about suicide.” — Taylor B.

3. “The constant feeling of not knowing what is the truth and what is your head twisting you to believe.” — Lisa M.

4. “I completely turn into a hermit. I don’t want to be around a single person or technology for days when I’m normally the talker, cheerleader and extrovert of the social setting.” — Melisa W.

5. “Personal hygiene is not talked about enough. And people get so judgmental about that aspect, but it needs to be talked about more. In one particularly bad depressive episode I had, I didn’t shower or brush my teeth for 10 days, but I didn’t know how to talk to my therapist about that struggle without sounding disgusting and subhuman (which I already felt).” — Kaity

6. “For me, it’s the numbness. Not so much from my mental illnesses, but from the medications I take for them. Without them I would have extremely low lows, but now I feel like I can’t feel true happiness anymore either. It’s like being in limbo.” — Karina W.

7. “Panic attacks seemingly out of nowhere are the worst. It feels like you are in one life threatening situation after another, over and over again. The body was not made to go through this much fight or flight. It is soul crushing.” — Nancy S.

8. “Aggression, because it’s an intimidating and confrontational aspect people don’t understand. It’s comes out in facial expressions and tones that people don’t want to know about and to explain it means most run away scared.” — Tracy R.

9. “The daily exhaustion. It’s exhausting just living. Having to fight intrusive thoughts, fighting sensible thoughts, fighting anger and rage. Every day is a struggle just to make it through the day, and the side effects of medication do not help.” — Walter C.

10. “Instead of telling others how you really feel, you say ‘I’m just tired.’ Wiped out, fatigued or drained would be better words. It’s easier to say your tired than the truth because you feel most really don’t care to hear about your emotional pain.” — Gregg A.

11. “The decrease in my cognitive functioning and the memory loss. I always had a great memory and was sharp as a tack. Now some days I feel like I can’t remember my own name or how to formulate a complete thought. It is heartbreaking.” — Holly M.

12. “The feeling of being trapped. There is a bright, funny, vivacious young woman inside me and she is screaming to be free; but she is caged by phobias, anxiety, depression, bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorder.” — Shannon D.

13. “My mood swings and my emotions — one minute I’m fine the next I’m crying.” — Pip H.

14. “The physical symptoms like stomach problems. When you are having to run to the restroom while you feel worthless and are crying.” — Amy S.

15. “The guilt. Guilt of knowing you should be doing your chores, work, taking a shower, brushing your hair; and knowing those around you expect you and need you to do those things, except you just can’t. And the guilt basically crushes you.” — Bailey G.

16. “Wanting to hurt yourself. Not feeling safe because of your thoughts. Being so scared that you actually will hurt yourself this time. Isolating, pushing everyone away. Loneliness. Constant numbness.” — Stefanie L.

17. “Not feeling human, feeling like you’re nothing and mean nothing to everyone even family and friends. Depression for me is what the eye cannot see, but the pain is there” — Cara H.

18. “Feeling alone even when you’re hanging out with close family and friends and actively participating. I still often feel like they just put up with me and would have a better time when I’m not around.” — Anna G.

19. “Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy. I used to love making things. I was an artsy person — crafty and creative. I loved Halloween, dressing up and making my own costumes. I’m slowly starting to rebuild those passions.” — Anna Marie G.

20. “Racing thoughts are hard to understand and even harder to stop. Sometimes I’ll have to ignore or even distract myself in order to get them under control.” — David M.

21. “The physical pain that comes from emotions influenced by bipolar depression. When something hurts or upsets you, it feels like your chest is being ripped open. And you sit there clutching it as if you’re hands might be able to hold it together.” — Morgan T.

22. “The insidious delusions. Certain things, phrases or gestures become something else to the point that you are living a different story than other unknowing people in the same setting or even family.” — Jay B.

23. “Lack of motivation. Being stuck in a mood/situation/downward spiral and most times not knowing how to get out of it. Even worse, when you do know how to get out of it because it’s a reachable goal, but the motivation isn’t there, therefore nothing gets done and then the mood/situation/spiral gets worse and the motivation gets less and less. Everything is so close, yet so far. It’s a toxic cycle.” — Jaida-Louise K.

24. “Uncontrollable blackout rage. One minute I’m here and an hour later I’m exhausted with bleeding knuckles from punching a wall. Trying to explain to people that I don’t recall why I reacted the way I did or that I don’t specifically remember what happened is frustrating. They think I’m a liar. It’s not something I have ever enjoyed.” — Desi C.

25. “I have ‘high-functioning’ anxiety but I don’t feel anxious 100 percent of the time. I got told for years that I didn’t have anxiety because it wasn’t 100 percent of the time and ‘everyone gets anxious.’ My worst symptom is that it isn’t even around all the time for people to care about me.” — Teesha W.

26. “The weird ideas that suddenly pop up in your head and the fear of your own thoughts. Refusing the society around you and yourself included.” — Nahla Z.

27. “When everything just feels wrong. You don’t feel exactly anxious or depressed or sick — but everything feels wrong. You can’t sleep, everything that you normally find fun or that normally distracts you is just too boring. It’s like all you want to do is do something but you don’t seem to have the energy to do anything.” — Anastasia O.

28. “Constant, stubborn thoughts of suicide or self0harm that I won’t act on but that won’t go away. Usually that is a signal I am headed into a mixed manic episode. I am afraid to tell others or even talk about it out of fear others will freak out or try to commit me, or worse, abandon me.” — Lauren Q.

29. Insomnia. I was exhausted after working my eight hour shift. Twenty-six hair cuts. I thought I was going to pass out the moment I got into bed. Two hours later and I’m wide awake and have to work at 8 a.m.” — Shelba M.

30. “The battle between wanting to remember and being terrified to remember, because terror is the essence of the memories and I’ve kept them locked away for so very long. I’ll get through this though.” — Janice D.

31. “Disconnecting from people. You lose friends, wind up looking rude or flaky for not hanging out or reaching out. Not being able to be there for others in times of need because you feel empty.” — Catherine W.

32. “Shame. I blame myself for my problems and that I deserve it. The fact that I need help makes me feel guilty because I don’t think I’m worthy of it.” — Mira K.

If you experience any of these symptoms, please know you are not alone and help is out there. You should not feel shamed or stigmatized for struggling. You deserve help and happiness.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Unsplash photo via @gambler_94


Sometimes the news isn’t as straightforward as it’s made to seem. Sarah Schuster, The Mighty’s Mental Health Editor, explains what to keep in mind if you see this topic or similar stories in your newsfeed. This is The Mighty Takeaway. 

I’m not a frequent (or objective) viewer of Dr. Phil’s show, and I won’t pretend to be, but when I saw Sinead O’Connor was going to appear on the premiere this Tuesday, I was curious. The Irish singer made headlines in August after posting a heartbreaking video on Facebook revealing that she was alone and suicidal.

I was interested to learn more about O’Connor’s story, but I didn’t have high hopes for how the interview would go.

But, damn, it really wasn’t that bad. It also wasn’t great either. Here’s what I found to be OK, but also what annoyed me, about how this interview went down.

The good:

1. It’s important for us to hear the voices of adult survivors of childhood abuse. 

For me, the most important part of the segment was when O’Connor discussed the sexual, emotional and physical abuse she endured from her mother as a child. Although the show spends an unnecessary time going into the horrid details, because you know, TV (they cut to commercial just after Dr. Phil asks, “Tell me what happened, what did she do?…), the mental health of those who experience emotional abuse is a topic that does need more attention. 

Child abuse and mental health go hand in hand. About 80 percent of young people who were abused as children meet the criteria for at least one psychological disorder. Even those who don’t meet the criteria for a mental illness, like post-traumatic stress disorder, should feel like they’re able to get help for any emotional scars they still have. Also, when adults like O’Connor speak up about the abuse they endured during childhood, it assures other adults that even when there are many years between you and what happened — it’s OK if you still struggle. No one simply “gets over” abuse.

2. The interview did a great job highlighting the complicated relationship between those who experience abuse and their abusers.

O’Connor says she experienced abuse from when she was born until she was 13 years old, when she left her mother’s home. Later, when she returned home, she said her relationship with her mother improved until she died suddenly in a car crash when O’Connor was around 19.

Throughout the interview, we can see O’Connor’s complicated and conflicting feelings towards her mother, who she said ran a “torture chamber.” She repeatedly expresses how much she misses and loves her mother, but also says she’s thankful that her mother is dead, and describes how she seemed to get joy out of abusing O’Connor and her siblings. O’Connor actually shows a lot of empathy for her mother, explaining that she knew her mother was sick and needed help. According to O’Connor, her mother never changed her clothes, didn’t clean the house and stayed in bed for long stretches of time.

These conflicting and c0-existing emotions might be confusing to an outsider looking in — but it’s OK for people who have experienced this kind of abuse, especially from a parent, to feel these kinds of mixed emotions. Bringing that to the forefront might make other abuse survivors know they’re not alone.

Now, for the parts I didn’t like….

3. Dr. Phil completely dismisses her “edgy” critique of religion.

Dr. Phil went Freudian on O’Connor’s now infamous “Saturday Night Live” moment when she ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II during her live performance.

He asked her, rather condescendingly in my opinion, “When you tore the Pope’s picture up on Saturday Night Live, whose picture were you tearing up?”

“Uh, the Pope’s,” O’Connor responded.

O’Connor then went on to explain she ripped up the photo in protest of the sexual abuse covered up by the Catholic church. But Dr. Phil pushed, and O’Connor finally admitted that well, the picture may have represented her father.

On some subconscious level, sure, the picture of The Pope she tore up could have represented her father. Who knows? It does appear she came to her own conclusion.

But besides finding an excuse to bring up a controversial moment in O’Connor’s life, why does her act of deviance need to be the result of some deep-rooted childhood issue? Childhood abuse is something she was personally affected by, so it makes sense that she would protest against the Catholic church during this time. Why must we question that just because she has a mental illness?

I think O’Connor has every right to psychoanalyze her own motivations, but this line of questioning implies to me that when people with mental illnesses do extreme acts of advocacy or make strong statements (no matter how controversial they may be), it somehow has to be a result of their mental illness.

O’Connor said after the SNL incident, that’s when people started treating her like she was “insane.” But that’s not what she needed help for. I think it was unfair of Dr. Phil to make that moment defined by her history of abuse.

4. Dr. Phil as mansplaining “savior.”

Dr. Phil gives himself a lot of props for “taking Sinead in,” and at the beginning of the interview, reads messages from his viewers who said things like, “I know Dr. Phil won’t give up on her,” and, “Dr. Phil, I know you can help her out.” At one point, the doctor says, “I’m really sorry it took me this long to find you.” Gag. (Is my bias coming out?)

But despite such the big build up, Dr. Phil himself doesn’t offer much insight.

Towards the beginning of the segment, O’Connor explains that she really started feeling suicidal two years ago after getting a hysterectomy. She said the hormonal changes, the triggering procedure (her mother’s abuse often targeted areas close to her womb) and the fact that she wasn’t able to see her children, all contributed to her being suicidal.

Dr. Phil, towards the end in his final analysis, basically repeats this information back to O’Connor, as if he had figured it out himself.

“Yes,” she said, agreeing with him. “Exactly.” She gives him a high-five.

We’re meant to believe that Dr. Phil provided this ah-ha moment, but O’Connor, rightfully, doesn’t seem phased by it at all, despite what the music cue would have you believe. This is because she knew all this already. That power, and that knowledge, was already inside of her. Instead of mansplaining something O’Connor already knows, Dr. Phil could have used his “ah-ha” moment to provide some insight into what might help her heal.

And that — I think — is one of the core issues with this show. It was good to see child abuse get a platform. It was important that O’Connor got to tell more of her story, and that now she’s getting help, but I wish there was more of a takeaway. I wish the lesson wasn’t, “child abuse happens, and let’s all give a round of applause for Dr. Phil.” This was an opportunity to give people more information about abuse. But no resources were provided, not even a hotline. It’s as if the only path to healing is to find a “savior” doctor who will put you on TV and place you in a nice treatment center.

Not everyone has that access, not everything works that way, and you don’t need a Dr. Phil to save you.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Lead photo via The Dr. Phil Show


Sometimes the news isn’t as straightforward as it’s made to seem. Juliette Virzi, The Mighty’s Associate Mental Health Editor, explains what to keep in mind if you see this topic or similar stories in your newsfeed. This is The Mighty Takeaway. 

Editor’s Note: If you have experienced emotional abuse, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

On Monday, “DaddyOFive” YouTubers Heather and Michael Martin were sentenced to five years probation for child neglect after their video series “pranking” their children sparked near unanimous outrage.

Though the videos have now been deleted from their YouTube channel, BuzzFeed News reported “some of the videos depicted the Martins yelling at their children until they cried, screaming obscenities at their children and — in one instance — shoving a child who then got a bloody nose.”

One of the most chilling aspects of this story is that the videos consistently bore the label “prank.” But these videos aren’t pranks, and we need to call them what they are — emotional abuse.

According to PsychCental, a classic sign of emotional abuse is the use of humiliation and discounting. Not only have the Martins humiliated their children online in front of thousands of viewers, they have also used the word “prank” to discount the reality of their actions.

We need to talk about the way this kind of minimizing language can affect a child who has experienced very real emotional abuse and trauma. When a parent is at fault and says things like, “You should have known I wasn’t serious,” it unfairly shifts the blame to the child, effectively telling them: “You can’t feel the way you feel because you misinterpreted my intentions.”

By assigning the term “prank” to their actions, the Martins have controlled and minimized the narrative of their children’s experience — and the psychological effects of these actions may be lifelong. We need to take this seriously, because as many people who experienced emotional abuse as children know, the impact, unfortunately, isn’t confined to just childhood.

A study examining the effect of abusive experiences on adulthood found that adults who were abused as children were more likely to experience physical health problems, negative health-related behaviors and have impaired coping mechanisms.

Emotional abuse is serious, and parents who engage in abusive behavior should be prosecuted like the Martins were. According to BuzzFeed News, as a result of The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and Child Protective Services investigations, the Martin children have undergone psychological evaluations. Through the evaluations, two of the children were determined to have suffered “mental injury” because of the videos.

The parents’ probation includes no contact with those two children and they are barred from posting videos that feature them on social media.

If you’ve felt personally impacted by this news, know you are not alone. If you identify with having your story reframed by someone else, please reach out. Your experience is real, and your feelings matter.

If you or a loved one is affected by domestic violence or emotional abuse and need help, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Screenshot via YouTube.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of the post included the names of the Martin children. We’ve since removed their names to protect their privacy.


One of the kindest things I’ve been told this year was this: “Whether you stop feeling sad today or tomorrow or never, I liked the you I met in creative writing class last year, and I like the you you are now. With your illness, without it. And if you can’t make it to class, this week or ever, I will still be here.” 

When I initially heard those words from my dearest friend Emily, I teared up. Her words were so powerful and they were exactly what I needed to hear at the time. 

When I was sick, I felt like such a waste of space. I felt like no one wanted to be around me. I felt like a burden to my friends and family. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be alive, and believed everyone would be better off without me. I felt like nobody would even notice if I was gone, and I was convinced I wouldn’t be remembered.

To this day, her words resonate inside my head whenever I’m having a bad mental health day. They echo inside my mind and act as a reminder that no matter how depressed or irritated or sad I feel, my loved ones will never leave me.

So often in life, our first instinct to other people’s struggles are a desperate attempt to fix the problem for them. We want to alleviate the pain, but the truth is, sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we can’t “fix” the other person’s issues, even though we want to. Especially for parents, I can’t imagine how hard it must be for them to watch their child struggle and feeling powerless to do anything about it. It must be a horrible feeling.

I was lucky. In the midst of my illness, I had friends like Emily. I had friends who valued vulnerability and empathy. They told me over and over again I wasn’t a burden to anyone even though my brain kept trying to convince me otherwise.

People like my friend Emily are special, because they “get it.” They understand that listening usually does more good than talking, and they value the power of skilled and empathetic listening. I think some people in this world are simply gifted with the ability to read between the lines, and hear what isn’t being said.

When I was deeply depressed, I wasn’t looking for well-intended guidance. Emily understood that. All along, what I wanted and needed was for someone else to give me their full, undivided and caring attention. Emily did just that, because she understood that perhaps when we’re hurting, all we really want and need is to feel deeply seen.

I believe human relationships are the best medicine we’ve got, and I wish every single person on earth had their very own version of my friend Emily.

It took me a long time to understand, but I get it now. We are all worthy of love and belonging. When I was sick, I was blessed enough to have a  friend like Emily. And you, dear reader, wherever you are on your journey, you deserve a friend like her, too.

You deserve the kind of friend who will let you crash on their couch in a sleeping bag when you feel like a danger to yourself and can’t trust yourself to be left alone.

You deserve the kind of friend who will provide you with a safe space when you’re in crisis, and who will walk with you to the hospital then sing you “Happy Birthday” in the emergency room.

You deserve the kind of friend who will visit you in the hospital every day with their dog and who will bring red velvet cupcakes. 

You deserve the kind of friend who will cook you homemade meals when you don’t have enough energy to feed yourself, who will drag you out of the house despite your numerous complaints.

You deserve the kind of friend who will send you flowers and cards and balloons in the mail.

You deserve the kind of friend who will listen to you when you talk, and who will support you no matter what.

You deserve the kind of friend who will nod and empathize and validate your point of view.

You deserve the kind of friend who will respect and love you with or without your illness. 

You deserve the kind of friend who will fight for your health and your happiness even when you are unable to do so, and who will never give up on you.

I am blessed to have those kind of friends, and I hope you are too.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via Brook Cagle.


This week marks the one year milestone of the start of my therapy, and the blind plunge into a whole mess of emotions. It’s been a roller coaster of ups and downs with my therapist, but it’s thanks to her, I can confidently say I’m so different from the girl who walked into her office last year — in a good way.

However, I now begin to realize that on this roller coaster of life, each up and down comes with a new view and perspectives that differ from previous points. Personally, knowledge has been a tool I’ve been able to use to become more aware and invest in self-care. As a psychology major in college this past year, I was able to make leaps and bounds in my progress with the topics I was learning in my classes.

That is, until this week.

I began to take abnormal psychology, and by memorizing the DSM-V, I realized I had never asked my therapist for my diagnosis and it never came up. I think the part of me that denied my mental health struggles all these years found comfort in the lack of a label. But now, I can no longer live in ignorance. For my exams, I have to distinguish between different disorders by their symptoms. I know my symptoms.

So I brought it up with my therapist and for the first time, she began talking through my symptoms from a clinician’s viewpoint, and she began to explain my possible diagnosis. Given my life experiences, I can understand the complexity of this task. However, I think I always thought she had one diagnosis, and so hearing the possiblities, even when she told me to listen with “removed emotions,” left my mind tangled in a mass of pure confusion.

Anxiety? Depression? Bipolar II? Bulimia? PTSD?

It’s a gray confusion.

And I get it, it takes time to diagnose. It takes time to observe symptoms and coping behaviors. It’s not a linear process because people change. My therapist may not know either and I don’t blame her.

 

But that brings no comfort to the me that just wants to get better. I’m sure I’m not alone. Whether it’s the first few weeks into therapy, or a milestone calling for reflection on the way to recovery, it’s bound to come up.

Honestly, I hate it. I want to know what I’m fighting. It’s like swinging a sword into a fog, hoping to hit the enemy and desperately exasperating all your senses, squinting and intently listening, in hopes of finding clues that may reveal the hidden opponent. It especially sucks when the fog seems to be thinning, and then you realize it’s definitely not, and rather becoming more dense instead.

So I sat in this fog these past few days. Thoughts of “why keep fighting” and “I’m so messed up, let’s back out” made several disturbing visits into my mental processes. It’s been a rough few days.

But I now realize that this gray is  OK. The color gray itself is a transition phase that can be obtained by mixing a variety of different colors. Every individual is unique in the same way, and different disorders and the healing that follows appears differently, based on each person.

This gray may be ugly now, but it’s on its way to a new color, a changed shade of myself that is on its way to recovery.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Vladimir Arndt

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