June 15, 2020

Sofia’s mental disorder may have held her back for many years of her life, and inhibited her from taking part in what her peers find joy in, but her passion for performing and her unapologetic way of living will always propel her forward with extreme persistence and determination. While she believes her anxiety will never disappear, Sofia is constantly developing her ability to manage the issues she faces and prevent anxiety from negatively impacting her life. Even in her darkest moments, the love and support of her close friends and family stand as her own beacon of light and pillar of hope.

As she anticipates her departure from home, Allison is preparing in case her anxiety gets worse. Before she goes to college, she will visit her psychiatrist to get a reevaluation of her mental health. She hopes that her anxiety will not limit her from new experiences, and despite once feeling daunted by new environments, Allison genuinely looks forward to her college life with overwhelming optimism and eagerness. She has full confidence in her power to manage any rough times either in her near or distant future. But the distant future would be preferred.

For the considerable population of people across the world who suffer from a form of anxiety, stories of recovery and perseverance akin to Sofia and Allison’s own are common, and establish the fact that no one is suffering alone. However, brave and inspiring stories of people living and surviving with crippling anxiety are not being shared openly enough. The mental health stigma takes away the voices of many strong individuals who have suffered and battled with their own minds. Fearful of being judged and misunderstood, people diagnosed with mental disorders often stay silent and alone. Their stories will not be heard until they feel welcomed and accepted. Because even though they have courageously fought against their illness, they should not be expected to have the courage of Sofia and Allison to subject themselves to the ridicule of unprepared and uneducated listeners.

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