My name is Alexander Gaston Osorio, and I’m here to share the story of my struggle with mental health. I hope that by talking about these issues we can show other people out there that it’s okay to talk about your issues. People should be able to speak freely about mental illness, and I’m going to do that here to show that there is no shame in it. In fact I am proud to say that I have beaten my illness, and I don’t let it control me anymore.

“The first time I ever had a visual hallucination was in 9th grade. It was of a girl laying dead on my bed, and I started panicking as soon as I saw her. I realized afterwards that she wasn’t there though, and I told my family. After that day moving forward, my anxiety manifested itself in auditory and visual hallucinations. I would hear screaming in my head, I felt like wasps were always following me, I saw people that scare me morph into monsters, I heard my name being whispered constantly. I had never touched a drug in my life at the time, and it was the most intense struggle I have ever had. Losing my sanity was something I could only compare to losing my physical health in its entirety. I ended up baker acted twice, I was harming myself, and I was having a hard time deciphering reality and the things in my head apart. For 4 years I took almost every combination of medication available to try and handle my severe mental disability. I went to daily therapy as well and sought out help in any way that I could. I wanted to get better. I wanted to be normal again. At one point though, I heard a song by Senses Fail that made me realize I wasn’t alone. It was called Still Searching, and the words said:

“My best friend is a man
With a lab coat and a grin
I hold my shaking hand
And he gives me medicine
It almost makes me feel at home
But they slowly steal my soul
I tell him I still feel alone
Don’t worry someday I promise you will feel whole.”

Oh my god I’ve lost control, of the only thing In life I had a hold of. That is what it feels like to be mentally ill. Like the only safe thing in your world was you, but now you are against yourself. After years of torture though, and after dropping out of college to focus on my health, I finally found some medications that slightly dulled my agony, and over time I tried much harder to relax and feel free, and find some way to express myself. I eventually realized that making music is the only thing that will make me happy and so I put all my effort into writing with my band Orphans, which became Be Brave, and from there I slowly healed and made friends. Building a support group, and finding a reason to keep surviving is what will help you immensely. No one can do it for you, but if you can give yourself a reason to move forward you will get better. You’ll be better than ever. A year after I started writing in my band Be Brave I stopped taking medications for good, and I’ve felt much stronger ever since. I made my friends and used my music to share my story. I released an EP on my own, a single, and did a few collabs that I’m really proud of. Unfortunately right now I’m battling Crohn’s disease without health insurance, but because of my past with mental disability, I know that once I get past this, I’ll be able to inspire even more people with my music.”

You can always make a difference for someone out there and when you’re in the dark, the best medicine is when you find a purpose to live for.

Thank you for reading. Please share this and encourage others!

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