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To the Army Who Supports Me Through the Battle of Mental Illness

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To my army,

Thank you. Thank you for accepting me from the bottom of your heart. Thank you for looking after me when I’m not able to look after myself. Thank you for loving me no matter how I act. Thank you for being my entire support system, because without you, I guarantee I would collapse.

Mental illness isn’t a battle that should be fought alone. My mental illness has made my own mind and body my biggest enemy. When you’re battling yourself in a war, you don’t stand a chance alone. When you can build up an army that is on your side and ready to fight anything that stands ahead, you can make an attempt to conquer the world. Whether it’s people who have known you your entire life or someone you’ve only just met, the people who support you — your army and cheerleaders — are the type of people you need to surround yourself with.

I get distant. I can be mean. I can be so unbelievably hard to love. But you are still there. Thank you. Thank you for not giving up on me when all I want to do is give up on myself.

When I lock myself in my room, you don’t get hurt. When I bail on plans we had set up a month ago, you don’t get angry. When you notice I’ve picked my sores, you don’t stare. You understand that it is part of who I am and you still love me through it.

I am exhausted. And sometimes I am weak. But with your support, I can be strong and build myself up again. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about the important people who impact my life every day, but I might not express that enough. I am sorry if it seems like I am not grateful for you, but just know that there aren’t possibly enough “thank you’s” that can be said to reflect how I feel for each and every person who supports me and loves me.

I especially want to thank those who have been able to stick it out with me from the beginning. To my parents and childhood friends who I am lucky enough to have by my side, thank you for beginning this fight with me before we even knew what it was going to turn out to be. Thank you for pushing me to get help when I wouldn’t do it for myself. Thank you for not giving up on me.

To those who have been unable to stay by my side, I still want to say thank you. Thank you for trying. Thank you for pushing me away and allowing me to realize that there are others out there who can support me with every part of their being. I would like to tell you to never stop trying. 

Lastly, thank you for letting me be me without judging me or losing faith in me. I wouldn’t stand a chance in this battle if it weren’t for all of you. I would have met my demise long ago. But with all of you lifting me up, I have been able to grow, learn, fight and most importantly, survive. Thank you.


The warrior battling a mental illness

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Thinkstock photo via molchanovdmitry

Originally published: September 11, 2017
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