Aly. St. Augustine, FL

“I don’t think that I can remember a time in my life when I wasn’t “the artist”. I can remember my younger brother and I setting up our “workshop” and selling our masterpieces to our parents before he was even in school. I won a state wide art contest at the age of 7, and photographed my first wedding by 16. But I realized pretty young that I was quite different, and it wasn’t just because I was “creative”. I went through a few different diagnoses because I was under 18, but finally, just shy of my 21st birthday “borderline personality disorder” was thrown into the mix. It scared me to death, just because it had such a negative stigma around it. But do you want to know what BPD really is? It means that I get to feel everything to the fullest of its potential. I’ve felt love deeper than the cheesiest of rom-coms, pain and fear that paralyzed me, lows that physically hurt, and highs that made my head spin. I get to laugh louder and cry harder than most, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m 1 year and 5 months into complete recovery, and I’ve never been more in love with myself, life, or my art. #IAmNotMyLabel, I am an emotional, working artist who is here to tell you that it doesn’t matter how scary your label may seem: you are a beautiful, talented, and amazing person who can overcome anything.”