It's okay to have a mental illness... ...to need medication, even more than one, to manage it.
....to see a therapist for it.
.....to feel weak for having such shitty brain chemistry.
....to hate it for the impact it has on you, your relationships, your quality of life, your self-esteem, your perception of yourself and your worth.
....to be grateful for it for what it has taught you about yourself, your limits, your capabilities, your strengths...and for how it's changed you.
.....to be scared because you have it, and to worry about everything that comes with it from the stigma it carries to the side effects of the medications you take.
....to be a parent with one. To want to have children, and have one, or many, despite living with one.
.....to take the safest medications possible for it during pregnancy and breastfeeding if that's a choice you and your psychiatrist make.
....to be jealous of those who don't have one, of their "normal" states.
.....to be resentful of your spouse because they don't understand what it's like for you to live with it daily.
.....to hurt for your spouse or loved one because you know what it's like to live with it daily and you wish you could shield them from that part of you, spare them from seeing how deep your darkness can go or how high your brain can fly, and spare them the hurt the difficulty and weight of how heavy and distressing it can be to witness.
.....to love your spouse or loved one for standing by you as you manage the ups and downs, the nuances, the cracks and crevices of it.
....to be honest with your kids about it.
....to be yourself, to live your life fully, to create the life you want to live despite having it.
......to not let it define you.
......to embrace the parts of it that can help you grow, and learn, and empathize.
.......to feel strong because of it.
......to love yourself in spite of it.
It's okay to have a mental illness. Don't let anyone shame you for it. Don't let stigma keep you silent and held hostage by it. It's okay. As hard as it is, as dark as it can get, it doesn't diminish who you are or what you're capable of. It's okay. It's not your fault. Ever.
So take a deep, full breath, and say it out loud: "It's okay."