Courtney

I knew something was wrong when I was in 4th grade. The only way I knew how to describe how I felt was “I don’t feel good”. Through high school I found out that I had an anxiety disorder, suffered from depression, and it took over my life. But I was determined to take my life back. The anxiety and depression took its toll on my eating habits, and I quickly became 90lbs at age 17 at 5’3. I told myself I would challenge myself and would prove anxiety and the stigma around it wrong. I moved 800 miles away to go to a great college, quickly became involved in the dance team, and although I still suffered greatly, I was determined to show others that life was possible. No one knew that behind my smile, and behind the TV appearances and Championship games I was involved in, was a scared and anxious person who dealt with anxiety and depression every minute of every day. I graduated, became a 4-year letterman athlete, and now work in the healthcare industry in a great city. I am living proof that young adults can fight anxiety and depression, and that there is hope. I still suffer, but consider myself a survivor and have decided to dedicate my life to helping others and bringing change to minds that negatively view mental illness. There is no normal, and there is no right or wrong. I am proud of who I am, and want to help others who were or are in my position. I thought I was alone, and I never want anyone to have to feel that way. We are survivors.

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