IN MARCH OF 2020, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorder. While I’ve been experiencing the symptoms since I was only seventeen, I had always refrained from giving myself a diagnosis. My initial thought was that I could finally get the help I needed. After I was sent home from being in the psychiatric facility for that rather short but seemingly extensive period, I kept that experience and my diagnosis to myself. I was scared — and for some reason — ashamed.
When I finally decided to tell someone, I was relieved. But my heart did indeed feel heavy. I was finally asked by someone I knew: How does it feel? How do you feel? For me, sometimes I feel like a shell of myself. When I’m feeling a little more lively, I fear that these feelings of euphoria and excitement are only temporary. Since my diagnosis, I have seen improvements in my mood and behavior. I often think back to the times where I was at my lowest and I live with the fear that I can — and maybe will — hit a similar or new low someday. Although I do have these sometimes invasive thoughts, I also live with the comfort that, I, myself, am alive. I am here. I am loved. I am worthy of living a fulfilling life. Recently I told myself — after being diagnosed — that I will not give up on myself. I am turning on every single avenue there is on the way to find what and who makes my heart content.
These things have taken me a rather long time to say and realize — and there are things that I still need to work on — but I have recognized these truths to be self-evident. For this, I am forever proud. And finally, to all you beautiful individuals who may struggle with similar issues: I hope and wish that you find your comfort. That the rest of your days are filled with the sounds of your own laughter. And that the sun shines on you.
I love you. I am here for you.
—Harlie Montez
Harlie is a full-time student. Aside from attending University, she works part time as a social media assistant. She enjoys taking and editing pictures on her phone, painting small landscapes, singing, listening to music, watching TV shows, trying new foods, and always learning more about anything she can. Add Harlie on Instagram.

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