Nearly 1 in 5 Americans suffer from a mental illness, that's 42.5 million people in the US alone. It took a long time for me to be able to openly admit that I'm one of those people. I thought that just because I have a chemical imbalance in my brain, something in my genetic makeup that is completely out of my control, I was less of a person. I thought that, because that's what society tells us to believe. There's a stigma surrounding mental health causing many people to not seek help. I chose not to believe society or to listen to the stigma, I chose myself.
For years I fought the battle alone, I chose not to tell anyone about my struggles for fear of what they would think of me or say. Let me tell you, that was the hardest thing I've ever done. No one should have to fight alone.
I spent two years of my life choosing an eating disorder. I chose to believe that what I saw in the mirror defined who I was as a person, and that couldn't be further from the truth. The mirror can't show you how genuinely hard I love people or how I would do anything for a friend in need. All the mirror could show me was that, at my worst, I was skin and bones. It could show me that I was no longer the girl I had worked so hard to be. Because of that, I stopped choosing an eating disorder and I chose myself.
I didn't ask for this to be my life, no one that suffers from a mental illness did. I didn't ask to suffer from depression or bipolar disorder, but it's the life that God chose for me.