United States

Diagnosed in 1987 in US Navy basic training at 22 years old, making me currently a 36 year survivor. Discharged with no benefits and already suffering from multiple previous traumas, I spent the next 35 years struggling to have the will to live and using abusive self-talk on myself. I finally received a referral to the most amazing mental health care professionals.

My desire to be free of the pain made me eager to utilize everything they offered to break the habits of self destruction. I had had enough and only needed to be shown a way to the other end of the spectrum to see that if I want to experience joy, the reality all along was realizing and believing... I am enough.

Why Stephanie wants to be part of A Girl Like Me: There have been so many years, so many friends lost, so many opportunities I had to maybe make a difference for someone's tomorrow, but I was buried deep within my own trauma. I have done so much research on all of the time I've experienced since my diagnosis; however, none of that can be changed. But where I might make a difference is just one moment, one hour, one day for another girl like me.