I was the most social and happy girl you could ever meet. I was teased a lot at school for my size but having good friends helped me through this.
But everything changed in middle school when I went from having groups of friends to almost none. By then I had insomnia, experienced 7 deaths within my close family lost a lot of self confidence.
At school, I could hear kids say things like "She's so weird! What is wrong with her!". I started feeling sad a lot for no apparent reason and also began self harming but I didn't know I had depression and social phobia until I was diagnosed.
By the time I was in college, my mom had been working in the mental health field for a while and exposed me to a self help plan that helps you stay on the road for recovery. Even though it took a bad relationship, a suicide attempt and a child to open my eyes to the hope of recovery, I eventually started to recover.
I wouldn't have recovered if my counsellor hadn't been so open with me, if people hadn't comforted me when I was at my worst and most importantly, my daughter. If my daughter hadn't been with me, I would've never decided to get help.
I now work for an awesome organisation that does amazing work in the field of mental health recovery, stigma elimination and advocacy.