don’t ever let anyone make you feel ashamed for not going down a conventional path (e.g. not finishing college or starting college later in life, doing an internship in your late 20s, not having a "career” by a certain age). do not create a life that aims to satisfy everyone but yourself. you worked hard as fuck to get to where you are. don’t you dare let others including yourself diminish those efforts. you do not deserve that. especially if you did it all while battling mental illness.
A lot of times we are quicker to accept others than we are to accept ourselves - so if you're feeling like you're not valid, just pretend that you're talking to a friend who feels the same way, and then have that conversation with yourself. Because you are valid, loved, and deserve to be happy.