Mindy, 22, Florida, US

12115643_503972009777327_6023181895276600632_n“I was diagnosed with ADD and clinical depression when I was 13 and earlier this year I was diagnosed with a manic bipolar disorder. I am also a mom to a very energetic boy. He will be two years old in December and consumes 1,000% of my time.

Each day is different than the last, but my mental illness affects me daily. I have had to train myself to constantly move forward. Getting out of bed is a struggle, leaving the house is difficult, and regular day to day activities take a lot of self-convincing.

I was neglected and abused as a young child, put through the system, and adopted when I was six years old. Six months after my adoption my forever family split up. My parents got divorced and it tore me apart. I thought I would finally have a family and at the ripe age of six years old, I decided that I wouldn’t ever deserve to have anything good happen to me. I grew up going back and forth from my mom’s house to my dad’s house.

As soon as I turned 18 I immediately moved into my boyfriend’s house with his family. Not only was he physically and emotionally abusive, his entire family constantly put me down. When he finally broke up with me I turned to alcohol. I don’t remember much from that time period. I just know that I was homeless and drunk.

Then I met Joey. He pulled me out of my slump, helped me get sober, and after two years of being sober I found out I was pregnant. This was a turning point in my life. I had something to live for, someone. My baby boy. The day he was born was and always will be the best day of my life.

Life isn’t a walk in the park now, I go through really bad spells of depression and mania. I try to take it one day at a time, though, and remember what I am working so hard for.”

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