I wanted to make this blog post a letter to my family.
To my mom and dad, without your support I don’t think I would have made it through this. That is why I always fight for everyone experiencing a mental illness to have support, whether natural or unnatural. I would not have attended one appointment if it wasn’t for my parents, I wouldn’t have started to exercise or eat healthy and I wouldn’t be so confident in my choices today without them. I am grateful every day for my mom and dad and for the close relationship we developed because of my experience with my mental illness. And remember positive support can come from anywhere, friends, family, social media, coworkers, doctors, nurses, even people you encounter throughout the day, that is why I always stress to be kind to everyone around you because you never know what someone is going through.
To my mom, you did water aerobics with me in the middle of winter because it made me feel better, even though you froze and would have loved for me to go to the gym instead. When I couldn’t watch tv or movies for two months (I read magazines over and over for 5 to 6 hours each day) and wanted to see my first movie, you came with me, and was as happy as I was that I could focus for two hours straight. I know it might sound funny but being able to sit through a movie or watch a tv show was a task for me, sometimes I couldn’t focus for longer than 10 minutes. Thank you for your support and friendship, I am forever grateful for you each and every day because you fought for me and taught me to fight for myself.
To my dad, you made me work and motivated me to want to succeed in life and to always strive to be better. My dad showed me that if you work hard, you will succeed not only in a career but in life. My dad came to every appointment with my mom and I, even though he was running a business and did not have any time at all, he made the time for me and my recovery. I am blessed every day for his knowledge, his advice and am grateful that, like my mom, he made me fight for myself, he has always taught me to never give up, to keep going and to keep fighting.
To my sisters, my sisters are the people in my life that I look to for guidance, support and friendship. My sisters have always lived their lives in ways that mattered to me and they have taught me so much about the person I want to be and especially the woman I want to be. My sisters taught me what it was and is to be a strong, confident, empowered and intelligent woman. I always tell people my sisters drive me crazy (and I am sure I drive them crazy too), however my sisters were and still are my role models in life. I am so grateful to them for their continuing love and support, and their friendship. I want to be like them in every single way, I looked up to them when I was a kid and I still look up to them to this day and love the joy they have brought to my life, especially with the most loving and amazing nieces and nephews and their wonderful partners.
To my entire family, thank you for letting me be so open with my illness and encouraging me to speak up and do what is right. Thank you for trusting me, loving me and encouraging me in every way. I am forever grateful for the support and love of my family and for them understanding that being open about my illness is important to me and my recovery.
I am forever grateful.