My mental health has always been impacted in some way, ever since I can remember. From a young age, I did not have my mother or father present and that’s where it all started. My mom came to the USA looking for a better life, and looking to provide for me, at the age of 21. My dad just didn’t really care for me, wasn’t really bothered by the fact he had a daughter. I grew up with my grandparents in Brazil. My grandpa worked a lot, My grandma was really sick all time, so I had to step up and take care of my family and the house. I have always gotten comments like “you are so mature for your age” or “you look so much older”, and I’m used to it now. But there was a point, where I got those comments and it really bugged me. People don’t know why I’m so mature or why I act so much older, and nobody really cares to ask. My grandma struggled with depression before she passed away, my mom still suffers from it, and naturally the gene passed on to me. I came to America at the age of 9 to live with my mom, thinking I was coming to vacation for 3 months, but that was a lie. On our plane ride here, my mom told me it was not a vacation, but in fact I was coming to live here with her forever. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I cried so much everyday. A 9 year old trying to deal with depression alone, in a machista household where family members do not believe in mental illnesses. Trying to adapt to a new country, not speaking the language, not knowing anyone, with a horrible step dad and a mom I only knew through talking on the phone…I missed Brazil. I missed my home, my family, my grandma. I only found out I actually suffered from chronic depression and borderline personality disorder years later when I became an adult and sought counseling. I many times have thought and tried to end my life. I have tried to run away. I started using drugs and alcohol in 8th grade. The pain just never ended. There’s so much that I could write about. There are so many bad memories, so many traumas that I have lived through. I’m now 23 years old, and Have found a light. I have an amazing therapist who I love. I never think about taking my life, in fact, I love the way I live even if it’s in the most twisted way. I have friends who support me and are always ready to listen. I chose to help myself. I chose to forgive people who hurt me even if I never got an apology.Giving yourself more than one chance is what really makes you change, grow, develop and see things differently. Life is so beautiful, and so short. A combination of therapy, good friends, good conversations and forgiveness makes life worth living. Give YOURSELF the love you deserve.