The Quote That Reminds Me of My Strength Over Mental Illness

My mental illnesses lie to me. They tell me I am weak, I am helpless, I am not in control. They tell me my disorders define who I am; they dictate my choices, my actions and my ability to succeed. Especially on the not so good days, I have to continuously remind myself that this is not the case. I am not my mental illnesses. I am not the anxiety, or the depression, or the obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Sure, these illnesses are a part of who I am. But they do not define me.

The other morning, as I was scrolling through Facebook and drinking my coffee, I came across this quote:

“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” — Mark Anthony

I had never read or heard it before, but I was immediately struck by it’s power and beauty. As someone who has struggled with both a generalized anxiety disorder and purely obsessional OCD, anxiety and fear have often taken control of my life, keeping me from doing things that I love and am passionate about. I used to believe I could never be stronger than my fears, because that was the lie my illnesses kept telling me. But with each day, I continue to realize that’s not the case. The truth is, I am strong. I am fierce. I am full of fire. Fear and anxiety do not have to control what I do or the choices I make. Fear and anxiety do not have to control who I am.

Reading this quote was a pleasant and simple reminder to continue to have faith in myself — in my ability to succeed and thrive despite my mental illnesses. It reminded me that my passion can and will burn brighter than my fears, and I don’t have to let my mental illnesses hold me back. Because each day that I continue to work toward overcoming my fear and anxiety, I take away a little bit of the power they have held over me for far too long. Each day, I become stronger. Each day, I become more fierce. Each day, the fire inside of me burns a little bit brighter than it did the day before.

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