1. It’s ok. You’re ok.
2. It’s comforting to know that your behavior in the past however many years of your life can be explained by a dopamine defect.
3. There are some people who react and behave exactly as you worried they would. They’ll tell you to exercise more, to eat more greens. They’ll advise that you simply should get over it—that these ~*~blue feelings~*~ will pass.
4. You’ll learn not to listen to them.
5. There are some people (unfortunately the population of which is incredibly minute) who really, really understand.
6. You don’t want to be an emotional burden on anybody, but these people who *get it* should be featured in your life for forever.
7. You’ll learn what’s really important to keep in mind is that people will still love you.
8. Medication doesn’t mean you’re one breakdown away from being sent to an American Horror Story-style asylum. It helps. It’s supposed to help.
9. And you’re not weak. You definitely feel that way, but you’re not.
10. You’re allowed to stay a full day in bed without feeling like a failure. Even if you don’t brush your teeth.
11. A hot shower doesn’t permanently fix anything, but it’s a necessary comfort.
12. Food is not a permanent solution or escape.
13. Meticulous lists will save your head from imploding. Even if the list consists of “Get out of bed” or “Wash hair,” you’ll learn how powerful the feeling of physically crossing things off is to your mental state.
14. Good days are really good days. But sometimes you’ll spend a little too much time stressing over when the good feelings will end. It takes a while to overcome that mindset and just accept what’s happening here and now.
15. You’ll eventually find something that helps you cope. You’ll fill every minute of the day with activity so you can’t stop and think. You’ll accept (and actually go to) every social event invitation you receive on Facebook. You’ll go to the gym every other day. You figure it out.
16. After accepting yourself as someone with a “mental illness,” it’s freeing. You’re no longer in denial. You know and understand the way you are and now you can work with it.
17. A year can change a lot.