Every day you go to school, maybe an extracurricular or a sports practice, you come home and straight to your room.

This is where you coop up and hide from the rest of the world.

Constantly flaking on friends because you just don’t feel like you have the energy to be social today. Or any day.

You think, “They’ll have more fun if I’m not there anyway.”

Never feeling like anything you do is good enough no matter what anyone else says, you tell yourself that they don’t mean their praises, they just pity you.

You reject compliments because they aren’t true.

You did bad on a test? That’s right because you suck.

Ran a bad time in your last meet? You suck.

Didn’t live up to your insanely unrealistic expectations of yourself? You suck.

Your life isn’t picture perfect? You suck.

You suck.

You suck.

You suck.

Your friends stop asking you to hang out because they know you’ll say no. They don’t understand the sadness you feel.

Your parents aren’t sure what to say anymore because you refuse to accept that this is a problem.

You turn to eating to find some form of control over your life.

Well, that spiraled quickly.

You can’t remember the last time you felt truly happy, a time when you could go out and enjoy a night with your friends. A time when you could eat whatever you wanted, when you were the jokester of the family, always goofing around and making others feel good.

What happened to “smiley Kylie?"

You just needed somebody to show you the light.

Three years later, and I’m still recovering, but I see more and more of my old self every day.

The world puts mental illness in a box. You’re expected to shuffle along throughout your day without telling anyone you feel this way. You go to school, or to work, with no purpose and no enjoyment.

That’s not right. We should feel overjoyed to wake up every morning to go do what we love and see the people we care about.

I’m learning to love where I am more and more every day, and I couldn’t have made it to this point without all the help I’ve received from therapy, from my family, and from the people who love me.

I encourage you to make your happiness a priority. Talk to your friends and family, see a therapist, take a mental health day, do whatever you need to do to get the most out of your life and find your purpose.