Mental Health Warrior: Courtney Keesee

As a mother I often worry about my children in this day and age. I worry about the things that society would have them believe they should place their value on. I worry about the kind of role models they will have to look up to when all I see portrayed in the media are young women defining their self worth by the shape of their bodies and the length of their skirts. And then just when I think all hope is lost, I see a bright shining beacon of hope in a passionate, brave, bold young lady who at just 18 years old already has devoted her life to advocacy. Keep your eyes on this young lady, I promise you; she will help change the world.

The Lithium Chronicles’ Mental Health Warrior Blog Event is proud to recognize Courtney Keesee for all of her amazing work in mental health advocacy. Thank you, Courtney.

Proud Survivor
By Courtney Keese

I recently got a tattoo of a semicolon, used in English when a sentence could have ended but didn’t and to someone who is suicidal or has attempted, it represents when we could have ended our lives, but we didn’t. It represents strength.

And I have already been receiving questions about it. “Oh hey, what’s that for?”

I always explain, rather excitedly really. But I received a question I wasn’t so prepared for. “Ew, why would you want to advertise that like that? That’s permanent you know? Get it covered.”

Well, more of a statement I guess.

What surprised me most was my response that came without any real thought. “Well yes it is permanent, just as my past is. I can not erase the past; I can not erase how I was. I can’t undo what I felt. And I am a proud survivor. Because I got through something I thought I never would.”

It had never really occurred to me before though that I was proud. I guess not many people would necessarily be proud of that.

But I am.

That hardest thing I ever had to do was survive. I was at a point in my life where I felt completely alone in my battles. Death seemed my only option. Yet, no matter how many times I wanted to, no matter how many times I tried, I survived.

For that I am proud.

I survived.

I don’t care what any thinks about my pride. It’s not about being proud of being suicidal, that I am not greatly proud of, but I am not ashamed of it either. No, it’s about being proud of the fact that I survived something I thought would kill me.

My point is that we all go through things we never thought we would be able to get through. And we get through. We are survivors. We are warriors. And for that we should be proud.

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Courtney is an 18 year old writer, blogger, YouTuber, and most importantly, mental health advocate. She suffers from PTSD and depression. But found her voice in the world, and tries to use it to inspire others as well as educate about mental illnesses. And she is also the Content Manager for Stigma Fighters Teen. Find Courtney at Courtney’s Voice on Twitter and subscribe to her YouTube Channel.