I’m Riley. I’m 20 years old and I live in New Zealand.

I’ve loved writing – ever since I was little. As I’ve gone through life, I’ve seen, felt, and heard things that have formed me into someone that takes information to heart. I am an all or nothing (mostly all) person and this has made me take writing as an outlet for all these hardships I experience or watch as others experience. I am by no means “good” and this is not a place for me to show off any writing talent or skill. This is a place for me to write my feelings, to let out some pain or happiness or any emotion at all. I’ve been carrying around these things for too long and it’s been weighing me down. These thoughts and feelings have found themselves clouding my head daily and it’s not been an easy way to live. So I’m going to let them go. Let them out into the big bad world. And hopefully it will lift a weight I’ve felt on my shoulders since I was little.

I have been diagnosed, misdiagnosed, rediagnosed, misdiagnosed, and rediagnosed too many times to count. I can’t accurately tell you what I have with 100% certainty, what I can tell you is what I feel, what the doctors think it is, and that I am mentally ill. Maybe I have an unknown mental illness that will one day be discovered, for now I’m a walking unknown and guesses and shoulder shrugs. It’s okay, I try to view my mental illness as a blessing. It allows me to see the world on a more deeper and heartfelt scale. It’s a part of me but it is not me. I am not my mental illness.