Around age 9, I noticed that I didn’t process thoughts and ideas the same way that my peers did. I was labeled as “overly-emotional”. I knew that mental illness was a “thing” even at that young age. However, the level of ignorance and unawareness, especially in the black community, made things markedly more difficult throughout my formative years. My worst was two years ago. I was in the wrong place and surrounded by the wrong people. I was literally dying and wasting away, but thankfully, members of my family and loved ones were able to help me in recovery.

I knew I had to clean up my mental and emotional diet. Gone were the days of watching the news and morbid shows and associating with the wrong crowd. I now find out about the world by venturing out into it. I also, relocated from Memphis to Dallas, which is arguably the greatest thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’ve had to overcome self-doubt, disloyalty, being obsessed with my condition, and the fear of making that one huge step toward healing and recovery. I am continuing to pursue my goals and establish positive, beneficial relationships with those from my past.

I’ve learned that I’m not perfect and that I do have my “unpleasant moments”, but I have learned to be humble and listen. I’m continuing to learn to adapt to the ebbs and flows of my family and friends in order to live a productive, loving, and happy life. I stay on the path to wellness, participating in therapy and remaining medicinally compliant. I volunteer with the homeless and mentally ill (www.mettaassociation.org). I am active in church. Mainly, I have long term plans for my family and myself, but just go one day at a time, moment by moment.

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