Throughout my life, I have been left with the feeling that I’ve never really measured up. All through school, I tried so hard but always fell short, and the adults in my life would just say “ you need to try harder “ and it was the most discouraging feeling ever. In one or two subjects, I excelled - in the others, I couldn’t begin to comprehend, no matter how hard I tried. I didn’t understand why I found it so difficult to manage, until I was diagnosed. Mental illness makes life so challenging. It’s hard to measure up to people without mental illness, people who aren’t disabled, or chronically ill. Sometimes I feel like I work tooth and nail , but the work remains average at best, because I struggle with being ill. Like some days, I don’t sleep for more than an hour because of insomnia, struggle to get dressed and ready for work because of my anxiety or depression, completely zone out and get distracted at work, being stuck in a crowed places between strangers bodies causes me to disassociate because of ptsd. Then I can’t fall asleep again because I’m anxious about it repeating it all again the next day. If I was just a healthy person, 90% of my everyday problems would not exist. I would be able to be more productive and balanced. Trying to function daily with mental illness is hard. And it’s also hard to feel like all the work you do to function normally is invisible. Sometimes I wish people could see how hard I try to be the best version of myself, because I think they’d be proud of me. I am proud of me for staying relatively productive, and more importantly, staying alive through all the years of trying, trying, trying. If you struggle like me, I see you, I feel you and I believe in you.