A Story by Emily, Age: 20

I want to share my story, the one that shaped me. When I was growing up, I struggled a lot with my mental health. I felt really sad most of the time and even thought about hurting myself. It all started when I was a kid and got bullied a lot by my classmates in elementary school. It was a tough time for me, and I didn’t tell my parents about it because I was scared.

As I got older, my mental health got worse. Every day felt like a big struggle, with lots of self-doubt and feeling really lonely. It was like being trapped in darkness, not knowing how to make it better. Keeping my pain to myself made it even harder to understand what was happening to me.

But then, I found an old journal in my room. I decided to write down all my feelings and let it all out. It was like a small ray of hope in the midst of the darkness.

Writing helped me realize that I had a voice. It felt good to express my feelings and it was the start of my healing journey. I finally gathered the courage to tell my parents about the bullying and my mental health struggles. They were really supportive and helped me find professional help. I started talking to therapists who knew how to help people like me.

Therapy became a safe place for me to talk about my fears, traumas, and negative thoughts. I learned ways to cope with my sadness and slowly started feeling stronger and more hopeful.

It wasn’t easy, and there were setbacks and times when I doubted myself. But with the love and support of my family, I kept going. I also found comfort in talking to others who had similar experiences. They understood me and gave me hope.

Today, I’m proof that we can overcome our struggles. I want to tell others about mental health, break the stigma, and help those who are silently suffering.

Remember, healing takes time, and it’s okay to ask for help. You’re not alone, and there’s hope for a better future.