I try to be positive in regards to progress but I’m still struggling with various aspects of mental illness. I’m not officially diagnosed with anything but autism. However, I feel like my experiences have left me with an underlying mental illness. I don’t sleep much. I go through periods of abusing painkillers. I also find that even just existing on a daily basis is like a chore. I probably am heading for a nervous breakdown because I feel run down. It’s taken all my efforts to avoid one so far. People say I’m brave for sharing my story. I don’t see it as brave though. I see it as a duty because if I don’t share my story then there will be no changes implemented to prevent others suffering the same fate. Future generations of autistics are depending on our generation to speak out and push for changes to a whole system that isn’t fit for purpose. I still live in the shadows of much darkness on a daily basis due to my experiences of being autistic in an ignorant society. I don’t think that I will ever be truly over depression, anxiety etc. I just have to make the most of what life I have left. The glass is half empty but it still has something left even if this existence can feel like a chore. I put a brave face on while I’m suffering because I learnt that people don’t like unhappy negative vibes around them.