Managing My Mental Health Journey

Managing My Mental Health Journey

by Daniel Michael Schooner Jr

Hey everyone, I wanted to share my mental health journey with you all. I hope that by sharing my story, I can inspire and give hope to those who may be struggling with similar issues.

I was always a quiet and observant kid with a deep mind. I had trouble talking to strangers because of my social anxiety. It was hard for me to be my authentic self around others because I was constantly afraid of being judged. This fear started early on in my childhood and continued all the way into my early twenties.

My sensitivity to critique was so bad that it led me to isolate myself, fall into major depression, and eventually experience constant suicidal ideation. I tried everything under the sun to get better - therapy, over 10 antidepressants, and even psych ward stays. I felt like I had no hope.

But then, I discovered my purpose here. I was running away from my mission due to fear. I started thinking of fear as opportunities for the life I desired. Whenever I found myself getting anxious in social situations, I started thinking about what the real me would do if fear was invisible. This helped me become more comfortable with myself and I feel like this is the best I've ever felt.

Now, I can actually say that I enjoy my job working as a youth peer support specialist because it's my passion to mentor. I want to help those who need the hope I needed in my darkest times.
I reached out to ADAA because I want more exposure of my story of mental illness to help others. If you're struggling with mental health, know that you're not alone. There is help available, and it's okay to ask for it. Remember that healing takes time, but it is possible. With the right tools and support, you can overcome your struggles and live a happy and fulfilling life.

I hope that by sharing my story, I've been able to inspire and give hope to those who may be going through similar situations.

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