Mental Health - @emilie.reid.93

“My name is Emilie and I am 26 years old. I was born and raised in Queens, NYC, but I have lived in Hilton Head Island, South, Carolina since I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder in 2015. I was so excited to find out about A.W.A.R.E and their mission and couldn’t wait to join the movement. I live with an Invisible Illness but a very real illness. I believe that everyone should be AWARE of mental illnesses and those living with a mental illness shouldn’t be ashamed. That is why I am so open about my condition and share as much as I can. My illness sometimes torments me, but it has made me the person I am today. It has given me such a greater sense of self awareness, a new level of sympathy for others, and has proven my strength and ability to overcome my internal battles day after day. It is not an easy feeling to lose touch with reality. It is extremely difficult to fight my brain when it tells me life isn’t worth living. I strive to never give up that fight and continue to hold on to hope. Hope for my future, and the future of everyone that has a mental health condition. You cannot have health without mental health and that is something I learned the hard way. This necklace to me is a constant way to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness and to spread knowledge and awareness to anyone who will listen! It is a symbol of how far I have come from the day I was diagnosed in the hospital— a day that I believed nobody understood me and that they never would; to today— where I am a proud mental health advocate, a volunteer for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), helping others and helping myself.” @emilie.reid.93

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