I've been dealing with Mental Illness for as long as I can remember. I have been called every name in the book. Weirdo. Annoyance. Idiot. Oddball. Even that treaded r-word, Retard. As a kid I was diagnosed with ADHD, and it never really phased me. I took a medication so I can focus and just went on with my daily routine. It wasn't until High School when it really started to be detrimental. I was bullied when I started to speak out about Mental Health. I was called the names I mentioned above. But instead of just ignoring it, I let it get to me. I let it fester inside of me like some sort of infectious bacteria. I watched it eat away at my soul until I was a shell of my former self. I watched the rest of the world distance itself from me as if they didn't want to catch when I had. At my worst, I was a suicidal husk of who I once was. I felt as if there was nowhere else to turn. Until one day, one person, my mother, decided enough is enough. She was tired of watching her bright, beautiful baby boy wither away. She rescued me at the darkest time in my life. She, along with a therapist I started seeing my senior year, taught me that it's okay to be mentally ill. They told me mental illness doesn't make me any less of a person, it just makes you different. And after all, being different isn’t something you should hide, it's something you should celebrate. I celebrate my ADHD, my depression and my social anxiety disorder. It makes me, me.