Stopping the Stigma

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Julissa Tapia, 20

Years Battling: 5

Posted November 02, 2018

"I'm in a place in my life where my mental illness is still very "present" (it always will be), but it no longer controls in the choke hold it used to. My battle became known to me after my constant years of struggling with internalized homophobia. I never knew that being 'me' was ok because I was always taught the opposite, and I was I never exposed to the LGBT community growing up. I thought I was alone. I thought I would immediately be rejected in disgust by everyone, not only if I came out to them, but if I so much as admitted it to myself, quietly. Around the time I started figuring out my sexuality, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It was a lot for little 15year-old me. Back then, I used to think that my sexuality was an outcome of what I perceived to be my very toxic brain. I thought I had been poisoned and could be fixed. It was so traumatic, and it took me a long time to learn to love myself and learn to make some VERY important distinctions about who I was. I've been diagnosed, put on medication for my BD, some which did much more harm than good, I've been suicidal, I've been interned in the psychiatric ward. I've been through it... However, I've come out the other side. As I stand today, I am proud of who I am. I remind myself to live for ME, and while I continue my journey for those I love as well, I want my happiness and wellness to come from a place of self-love, not co-dependence. Keep fighting, friends. I believe in you. Thank for reading my bit."