You’re right: it was difficult. My traumatic experiences inside the mental health system kept me a part of it for much too long. I stayed quiet for so long I lost myself. I believed what they said of me, and so I became what they expected. And then one day I met a pair of amazing, beautiful, feisty survivors. They taught me that there is nothing wrong with me. They taught me that I am worth loving. That sounds so simple and cliche, but it is more powerful than any medication or treatment. I can never repay those first survivors I met because they truly led me back into life- into actually being *glad* I’m alive. It has been almost 10 years since I met them, and I still marvel at the very basic and profound impact they’ve had on my life. I can only hope that one day I have the opportunity to show someone else that they are also beautiful. Reading your story and the following comments make it clear you’ve impacted other survivors in similarly powerful ways. I hope that you realize how amazing you are and how much you are appreciated.