I'm sure you think about the person you could have been today. You could have been at a better school, had real hobbies, made more friends.

You could have been someone great.

Instead, you spent your childhood locked in your room because you couldn't handle being out of it. The fear that someone will find out you're struggling sits deep in your bones and makes you immobile. There's a part of you that's missing, a part of you that you were never able to develop fully, a part of you that will never get to experience it all again.

You could have been a sports star who started out by playing baseball with the neighborhood kids. But instead, you became depressed at a young age and lost interest in everything normal kids would love.

Instead, you had panic attacks before you were 10-years-old and struggled to make friends because you couldn't even look someone in the eye.

Instead, you couldn't go to birthday parties because crowds scared you and it would be more embarrassing to leave because your mom had to come to pick you up.

Instead of having fun outside, you found other things to comfort you, to make you feel something on the outside rather than the inside.

You found yourself making dangerous decisions to cope—overeating, cutting, starving yourself—because you didn't have people to relate to since you were so young. You didn't have anyone to help you because no one could.

You lost your childhood to mental illness and you feel like it's bound to repeat yourself. How much are you going to continue to miss? Are you going to be too anxious to go out on the date with the guy you've been eyeing at the coffee shop, or too depressed to get out of bed for your final exam or too manic and crash your car driving on the freeway too fast? You sit in fear that your life will be consumed again by your demons that still follow you. You lost your childhood, now you pray you don't lose your future.