I Will Always Stand Up

Joined Journeys

a monthly Mental Health feature

by Maddie M. White

I Will Always Stand Up

with Charlotte Underwood

1. What mental illness do you suffer from?

I suffer from pretty chronic depression and anxiety (gad)

2. When was the first time you noticed it and how?

I don't remember a time I didn't feel this way but I didn't notice it really until I was 14 and became an alcoholic and self-harmed; It was like a compulsion I couldn't stop.

3. How does it affect your life as a whole?

It limits me every day. It affects my ability to work, clean, have a bath and sustain any

relationship. Nothing really feels simple, everything is scary and seemingly impossible.

4. What have you learned about it?

I've learned that I am not defined by my mental illness, I can live a full life and do the

things I love. I'm not a problem, I'm human and I'm just reacting from my traumas.

5. What has it taught you about yourself?

I am so resilient. I will always stand up and find my feet each time I fall. And I've also

realized how much empathy I have, which I think has a lot to do with my experiences with

mental illness.

6. Have you found anything helpful in coping with it?

I write a lot and that's my main therapy. As well as lots of cuddles with my dog. Finding

a healthy outlet where you can feel supported and let out those feelings is so important for


7. Describe a time in which you felt empowered after doing something in spite of

the disorder.

My dad died in 2014 to suicide and I got really ill, to the point I tried to take my own life.

The next few years were hard but eventually I wrote a short e-book where I talked about my

father and the affect his death had. I was so scared of what people thought, my anxiety told me I was too dumb to write and my depression said no one cares. But instead I found advocacy and I've been empowered ever since.

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