As a young woman who has struggled with a mental disorder since a preteen, I have always hoped to see the day when people could openly discuss mental illness free of judgement and stigma. On the surface, I seem to be a “normal, happy” person, who completed school and has a decently successful career. However, I keep my illness hidden to keep from falling behind. So many times I have wanted to discuss with my boss or HR rep how my illness affects my performance and ideal accommodations that would make me a more productive employee. However, I haven’t, for fear of appearing “weak,” “unstable,” or “unable to handle pressure.” NONE of these describe me. If anything, this struggle has proved the opposite. I am STRONG and CAPABLE of handling the pressure of my harshest, meanest critic: myself. I hope that one day, people will not see my illness as something that makes me weak, but something that reflects how strong I truly am to come this far during this lifetime struggle.