A Message Of Hope

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 Author: Matt Raekelboom

Born with a neuro-divergent brain during a period where no one understood, no one wanted to understand, and no one cared, I grew up being told that I was stupid.

My entire life I was constantly being told that I was internally broken. Hearing things like, “you need to take your pills before you go outside.” This led me to believe that I was never going to fit in being my true self and it scared me into being a scared, quiet, and anxious kid.

I can’t keep you here with all of the details but this mindset and upbringing led me to cling on to anything that made me feel like a person. Naturally, I turned to drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and other things that I had a hard time mentioning to anyone.

After going from 160lbs in high school to 260lbs in a drug-induced daze and burning every bridge around me I started looking for my millionth diet. During this search, I came across a study on ADHD, explaining why it was a  “superpower.”

The podcast I listened to, allowed me to reflect on my pain. What I found next changed my life. The guy on the podcast talking sounded exactly like me. We related to similar emotions, and came to realize that I wasn’t alone.

After listening to the podcast that explained what it’s like to live with ADHD, I gained some insight. I realized that people with ADHD can be amazing people if they treat themselves properly. So, I started studying more about ADHD.

This led me to the greatest night of my life, as it was the first night that I could fall asleep sober for the first time in countless years.When I woke up, I looked in the mirror and couldn’t believe who I saw. All the scars, the acne, the shape of my face compared to who I remembered, I realized that I was living my life all wrong. At the time, I decided to leave my (then) fiancé, leaving my house with nowhere to go, and started my journey with ADHD.

Today, I am 80lbs down, happily sober, mentally stronger than anyone I have ever met in person. Most importantly, I am happy.

Remember, life isn’t easy. Life isn’t simple. But life is possible.
These were the words that no one ever told me, and moving forward I am going to spend the rest of my life telling people these words, and my story until we all understand that our MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS.
My life isn’t perfect by any possible means, however,  I dare you to try and find me hating myself or my life anymore because for the first time I know that my happiness is my choice.
Remember to love yourself, because it’s so important.
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