It's pretty easy to sit in the shadows and disappear into darkness. Where no one will find us and where we can be alone. The dark is where we feel most comfortable, because no one can see the darkness we hide within ourselves. Sure every so often we peer into the light, emerging when we are finally brave enough to interact with others. However our visits are often cut short by the piercing blade of that same darkness we hide in the shadows with. This darkness has a name. I call it anxiety and depressing And hypomania. Some call it bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, or postpartum. We each have our own name for it and feel at some point ashamed because of it. Today we stand in the light and face that darkness by sharing our stories and talking with those we love, those we work with and those who we aimlessly pass by wondering about in our lives. Today is our day to rise from the shadows and take back our lives. Today we go to war with stigmatism, the adverted looks, the hushed whispers as we walk by, and the sympathetic actions. I am not my mental illness. I am just a normal guy who happens to have a mental illness. Sure there are days when I can't always explain why I feel so sad or why all of the sudden, my lungs are collapsing from the weight of the world. There are days where I can't bare the thought of having to interact with another person but those are just days and tomorrow brings a new one. I can't stand by anymore knowing that myself, along with those like me are put into this category of pitty, and treated differently because we battle mental illness. Today I stand up for mental health and I reject the all of the stigmatizim and demoralizing looks I have felt since opening up about my illness. I stand with my friends and family and everyone who has ever felt rejected due to our mental health. We are not our illness and we never will be! I encourage all those who are feeling alone, lost, frustrated and scared to speak out today. Share your story, speak your mind, be strong and know that I am always here for you.