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My Mental Health Journey

By: Lina Gensollen

Sometimes I feel hopeless, but I know that I must keep going. I want to use my story to inspire others. I have good and bad days, and some days are horrible, but I try to remember that I can persevere. We must learn to get along with our mental health. Many times, I want to be mad at my mental health diagnoses, but then I remember they are what made me who I am today. I remember that without my mental health, I wouldn’t be Lina. I remember that, without my struggles, I wouldn’t know how to be resilient. That is why I feel that mental health means, to me, learning to be resilient.
My understanding of resilience is to be able to spring back or endure something challenging or debilitating. Resilience can be reaching out for help or just taking time for ourselves. Mental health is resilience. It’s getting up every day and trying. It’s going to school or work when we don’t feel like it. It’s saying good morning to those around us when we feel like isolating ourselves. It’s taking self-care time for ourselves. It’s asking for support when we need it. Resilience seems like some superhuman thing when said out loud. Still, when we look at what resilience means and stop to observe a person who has mental health struggles, we realize that mental health is the definition of resilience. Resilience is what mental health means to me.
-Lina Jo

Honorable Mention · Adult Writing (2023)

I feel the weight of gravity

It tugs and pulls me down

I feel that I am sinking

I am about to drown


People all around me

Yet I always feel alone

Depression on the inside

Happiness still unknown


Anxiety screaming so very loud

Telling me to panic

My better judgment can’t be found

Daily fighting this dynamic


My PTSD keeps me weary

I feel it flow through my veins

Flashes of a younger me

Always seems to remain


The future really scares me

I get triggered every day

Nightmares in the day and night

Learning that crying is ok


It’s hard to even trust myself

And relationships never last

I’m scared that they may hurt me

Overtaken by my past


Outweighing better judgment

Struggling with BPD

Regulating through abandonment

Who am I and what is my identity


My moods are impossible

It’s always up and down

I never know what’s coming next

My emotions keep me bound


It always happens tried and true

Keeping control so the pain will subside

They hurt me, and I hurt them too

A hermit crab, soft on the inside.


A friend, an interpreter, a social cue

For autism is a beautiful thing

It will forever be a part of me

It’s the unique song that I sing


Saying the wrong thing is part of my history

Socially awkward and don’t understand

Sarcasm is really a mystery

Masking to fit in and find a helping hand


I will not let the diagnosis

Or, one or two or three,

Cause stigma or shame

But raise awareness for resiliency


With love, I can feel the depression lessen

With support, I can see PTSD subside

With help, I can feel my BPD fading

With a safe place, I can see my anxiety ease

With acceptance, I can feel that autism doesn’t define me


I may not find these from someone else

I find it within myself

Self-love, self-support, self-help,

my own safe place, and self-acceptance


This is called learning to cope

Even if I have no one to love or support me

I can love myself, this gives me hope

Self-love will help I guarantee


Mental health is a journey

With lots of different routes

We must realize we are worthy

We must learn to reach out


Reach out to embrace healing

To find in ourselves fulfillment

Mental health means to me

Learning to be resilient


-Lina Jo

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