Today, I turned 24, and I am not who i thought i would be. I did not envision myself being so lost and unsure about life at 24. I realise I’m still a baby in the eyes of some (and in the grand scheme of things to some degree), and i have heaps of time to figure this whole “life” business out. But still: this is not the life i expected to be living at the age of 24.
I did not think i’d be “unemployed” and i did not anticipate that i’d be hopping between continents, unable to decide where the hell i belong at any given moment. I did not think i’d have a recent history of attempted suicide, psych ward visits and a body full of scars and necessary chemicals.
However, none of this means i am not entirely thrilled by, and proud of, the person i am today.
A year ago, i had my sincerest doubts that i’d live to celebrate another birthday. I thought i was terminally ill. I thought my schizo-affective disorder and depression were going to kill me, and the scariest part was knowing they would use my very own hands to get the job done.
But I fought. And i fought hard. But i did not fight alone.
In the last year, i have gone through a lot of changes. I have grown a lot. I have matured. I have gotten wiser with each and every day that has gone by, and with every conversation i have been a part of. This year has been the longest (and somehow also the shortest), most testing of my life. But also the best.
I want to say thank you to every single person in my life. I would not be the same without you. I would not be here without you. I would not be able to do what I do without your unending and unconditonally loving support.
One of the many things I have learned this year is that i can really help people. By simply speaking my mind and posting my rawest thoughts on the internet, I can help people.
And my will to do so has never been stronger.
To my friends, my family, my acquaintances – old and new alike – and even to the strangers I have yet to meet: thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul. I owe you my life and in return for that, i’ll do whatever I can to remind the world of the lessons I have learned with your help: a mental illness does not have to be a death sentence.
I’ve been on this road a while, and I’m certainly not cured. I’m sure as hell not perfect. I’m still fighting, and chances are I always will be. But i will never fight alone again. And if I can help it, neither will anyone else.
I love you all. Here’s to being 24, broke and happy!