With the holidays upon us, we would like to focus on the importance of mental health.  Edwin is someone who has personally dealt with mental illness and wanted to share his story as an inspiration for others.

“I lost the fear to ask for help. When I found the courage to seek the help, I knew I was doing the right thing. I was able to speak about what was going on with me around people. I felt like it became a tool that I could use to help other people that are going through depression. Whether it was with an individual or in a group setting, I think it opened up the door to want to know more about the mental illness world. And when that happened, I found out that it’s world-wide. So me finding out that it’s a world-wide thing, it made me want to become an advocate, because I noticed there are people that are afraid to speak because of the stereotype and how people will look at them and perceive them.

But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Success to me is not measured by how fast your healing process is. Success is how you heal your wounds and how you heal them to a point that they don’t re-open. Success is how you could show other people that even though they have mental illness, that they are not bad people, that they are important people. Success is how can you change not only your situation but somebody else’s situation. Being able to climb out from the darkest pits and being able to see at least a little bit of light. Being able to change your life goals from wanting not to be here to wanting to be here and make a change.

It’s an ongoing battle, but it’s a battle in which people will fight beside you. You’re not alone, and as much as you feel that things will never get better, they will. Building an “I will” mentality (i.e. “I will succeed. I will prosper. I will do. I will be.) can be the hardest thing but could also be the best thing you can do for yourself.

For me, what helps is writing a lot of positivity around my home, so I can see how great of a person I am, so I can see how important I am to people around me. Showing myself that I have worth in this world, and I’m not just nothing. This has been a lifelong battle, but I know at the end, I will be successful beating the beast that is mental illness.”