Today, I got dressed. This may be a fairly ordinary event for some people, but to me it is like celebrating an antelope who was getting dressed worksheet answers day. It’s the first time I have put on clothes in over two months! My name is Kyle and I am 28 years old. For as long as I can remember, my body has been fighting against itself. The more stress that it undergoes (and believe me, there has been plenty of stress), the worse my symptoms get and the harder it becomes to function normally in society at all. All this time spent struggling with mental illness really takes its toll sometimes––I felt so hopeless most days that getting out of bed seemed like too big of an obstacle to overcome. My moods and energy levels were so unpredictable that it was really hard for me to maintain a job, or even leave my house some days. I tried medications (including antidepressants), therapy, acupuncture––all kinds of things! But nothing seemed to work consistently enough to help with the most difficult symptoms like depression, anxiety, paranoia… I have been hospitalized more times than you can imagine because suicide has always felt like an inevitable end for me at this point in time. And when you’re suicidal all the time there is no other option but trying your best every day just to survive until tomorrow somehow; self-care becomes virtually nonexistent. Unfortunately, in lieu of consistent treatment plans and treatments that actually made a difference in my life, I started to feel like the only thing left to do was give up. I am truly thankful for all of the friends and family who helped me realize that giving up is not an option when it comes to staying alive, especially since suicide has taken too many loved ones from us already! Suicide may be a permanent solution but with help anything can always become possible again… even getting dressed every day just because you love yourself enough (and have supportive people around you) means something big! It’s easy to say “why put clothes on at all? what’s the point?!” But we know why: because our bodies deserve respect, dignity and care regardless of how much pain they are

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