Fear is inevitable, fear could be the enemy. It could consume your life if you let it. I was afraid for too many years of my life living with my mental illness. Even to this day, when I meet someone new, it takes a minute to get the courage to say I have a mental illness. I guess there will always be traces of stigma within my life. Not only stigma from outsiders, but the stigmas I’ve built internally for so many years living with this mental illness. The only way of letting go of this fear I’ve found is constant acceptance. It’s an everyday battle to let people into my world. It’s easy to close myself off and ignore this fear like it doesn’t exist. But, that only leads to depression and despair. Being free isn’t an easy road either. I described being free as being open with my mental health to reduce stigma in society. Every time I stand up during a presentation and explain my story there is fear. It’s a brave step to educate about mental health. Mental illness is not for the weak hearted. We as a community need to be accepting of ourselves. It’s OK to be different, it’s OK to be afraid. What’s not OK is letting someone make you feel like you are unworthy. Life is worthy, everyone has something in their lives to conquer. In my life I’m conquering bipolar disorder type 1 and addiction. I’ve been living with this dual diagnosis for 21 years. Life is beautiful. Accept yourself. Accept your place in life. I once have heard that you only live once. That’s not true, you live every day, you only die once. Living life, One day at a time is freeing. It reduces stress and/or anxiety. It takes work. It’s accepting that in this day we are human with real feelings and hardships. Let go, let God. God will provide for you everything you need for your day. Focus on each day as a chance to be yourself. No labels, just people. We are all different, living with different problems. Don’t let yours consume your days. Live free.