When dealing with any kind of mental disorder

A lot of people feel like they are being enslaved to the diagnosis that were given to them. Not starting the day they were diagnosed, but way before that. Before what they were going through had a name to it. Back to when they had no idea what the hell they were experiencing.

They might’ve felt sadness, numbness and brokenness packaged in one - still might be that way for them. Or It could be that they were fixed on losing weight, having an obsession over calories and being on a strict diet. Maybe it’s checking stuff over and over again to see if it’s locked or off despite already knowing the answer to whether that something is locked or turned off.

Perhaps it’s having flashbacks so vividly that person feels like they are having to relive that moment that forever changed their life.

Worrying so much about something that will never happen and might seem kind of crazy to even worry about... but still it affects the person daily to the point where it’s either paranoia all the time or shutting down which quickly transitions to a panic attack.

Losing touch with reality + having hallucinations.

These are just some of the mental disorders people go through on a everyday basis. There is more. And there’s not a mental disorder I’m aware of that isn’t daily. That isn’t something that requires attention and maintenance. And a hard fought battle. Yes, some days are easier but it does not go away. The fight is everyday.

When someone is having to fight everyday to maintain some kind of peace from within and whatever happiness they can get a grasp on.. and fighting everyday to not drown. But to stay afloat - It gets easy for that person to believe their mental disorder is controlling them and making their life its own. Possibly making that person believe they’ll never be free from it and won’t be able to rise above.

Living with any mental illness is a battle.

And that’s why I founded Free And Above
To help with reminding people whose story involves dealing with mental illness to know they can live a life Free (Free from mental illness) + Above (Above what mental illness may do to them mentally and physically. They will not be defeated)

If you are reading this and you have been diagnosed with some mental disorder or you think what you’re going through aligns with depression, anxiety, etc - you are strong enough to make it through the pain. Through the long days and dark nights. Freedom from mental illness isn’t something way ahead of you. It’s right now. It’s choosing to live your life the way you wish to despite the weight that mental illness brings. That’s freedom and with freedom comes flying. Using those wings you thought were broken and using them to fly again.

Free And Above is a lifestyle.
It’s how you live despite all of the brokenness in your life. Choose to fight.
Don’t give up.

Tony Cox II


  • End The Stigma surrounding mental health

  • Raise Awareness

  • Give hope to individuals dealing with mental illness.

  • Make people want to keep living

    (Also Free and Above aims to give hope to sexual assault + rape survivors)

Mental Health. Art. Community