Mental Health

Loving My Life Lately…I’m Proof That It Can Get Better.

I was walking outside yesterday, enjoying the beautiful weather and listening to music. I like to do this a lot when the weather is nice. It gives me time to think freely, without being distracted about my big to do list or a Facebook notification. I smiled as I thought of all the amazing things in my life right now.

It’s crazy to think of how far I’ve come. It’s hard to imagine the days where I was struggling to stay above water. I spent many, many days in deep dark depression, feeling like there was no way out. I used to self-mutilate. There were many things I didn’t like about my life and myself. It’s weird to even think about, and write about, these dark days because I feel like a completely different person lately.

 Two years ago, whenever I walked across this bridge (or any bridge), I felt triggered. My mind would play the image of me jumping off of it. Lately, when I walk across this bridge, I’m smiling while listening to music. I feel a sense of freedom. Sometimes I will pause to reflect.

Similarly, when I passed the hospital last week, an old song from those dark days played on my ipod. It made me realize it has been about a year and a half since I was last there due to mental health issues. I felt a sense of joy and relief. I am no longer hopeless. I am no longer scared of myself, and that is an amazing feeling.

A lot has changed. I am done school. I love learning but I think being alone in a room full of people was hard on me. School was also very stressful and draining.

I love what I do now. I don’t have a paying job, but I do speeches, write and special projects with special people. It seems whenever I start to feel like I might be wasting my time, I get rewarded with a sign that I’m not. Sometimes it’s somebody telling me that I helped them. Or yesterday I got nominated for an award for the first time, an UNITY Award.

I have also met some amazing people in the past year. My new friends, as well as my best friend of almost 4 years, motivate and encourage me to try new things. In the past little bit, I started speaking, doing stand-up comedy, and made a music video. None of that would’ve happened if it wasn’t for my friends. They support me through everything. And they bring the most joy to my life.

I get amazing opportunities. When I don’t, I go out and find some. Having goals and keeping busy helps keep me motivated and fulfilled.

Life is going pretty smooth for me right now. I’m happy most of the time. I still have bad days but that’s expected. On Saturday, I was depressed and overwhelmed and I almost had to cancel a photoshoot. But the next day, I was back to myself.

I’m glad I’m still here. I’m glad I fought.

Jessica Victoria
<p>Jessica Victoria, 24, is a writer and advocate for mental health, disability and LGBTQ+. She uses her personal experiences and knowledge to help and educate others.</p>

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