Maddie (Fullerton, CA)

“For the majority of my life, it has been extremely easy for me to put up a facade to everyone, including my family, friends, teachers, and counselors. I convinced myself that if everyone else thought that I was okay, then it would be the truth. I did not want to admit that I needed help, and I did not want to feel weak or out of control. I went to therapy from a young age, but I never even really let my therapist in on what was really going on.

It was not until the COVID-19 pandemic that I realized how much I had been trying to get out of the things I was feeling, instead of getting through them. It took me so long to realize that almost everyone struggles with anxiety and depression, in some way. It does not make you weak to ask for help, or to admit that you do not feel okay. I started taking therapy more seriously at the beginning of 2020, when being at home alone with my thoughts was rough. I started to tell my therapist everything, and the relief was not only mental but also physical. I think that it is really healthy to be able to talk about how you feel and get everything out. I think something that my generation has done well with is being able to openly talk about mental health.

Everyone struggles on different levels, and no matter how perfect one may present themselves, you never really know what they could be dealing with.”