Worth Living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchley Q


Worth Living Top 10 Countdown – Family
I hold my family close, we have a strong bond. Family is a wonderful thing to have. My family has been there for me through thick and thin to say the least. I also like to classify my close friends as family. This week’s countdown involves family. All these songs in this week’s countdown are about family. Enjoy – Scratchley Q

10. Dance with My Father by Luther Vandross

9. Daughters by John Mayer

8. Who Says You Can’t Go Home by Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles

7. Hey Brother by Avicii

6. Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own – U2

5. Family Portrait – Pink

4. Family Is Family – Kacey Musgraves

3. Mom – Meghan Trainor

2. Father to Son – Queen

1.Somebody’s Hero” by Jamie O’Neal


Worth Living Ambassador Katherine Anne McCain


My name is Katherine Anne McCain, and I was born with one arm. I am a freelance model and a
student getting my degree in Psychology. When I was 16, I started my ongoing battle with
Anorexia and my constant battle with poor self-destructive tendencies. When I was about 19
(I’m 21 now,) I made the decision to go into therapy and to begin my journey of finding health
and to loving myself again. Throughout my recovery I’ve learned a lot more about myself and
my passions, and have found a deep love for helping others and spending time with my friends,
family, and sorority sisters.

How I Feel at 108
*TRIGGER WARNING*

108 pounds is the most I’ve weighed in over 5 years. The least amount has been 89 pounds. A
person not considered underweight at my height of 5’ 5” is at least 115 at minimum. I reached
108 during the summer of 2016. It had been a good summer that year. I stayed at my parents’
house in the Chicago suburbs and spent a lot of time with my family.

When I’m at my highest weight, I notice at least 10 positive differences about myself. These are
positive differences I try to remind myself of when I find myself slipping. When I’m there, my
mood improves significantly. I have more energy or a normal amount of energy that you have
when you’re healthy I guess I should say. I look less pale, fragile, and sad. I have thicker hair
which is honestly my favorite thing (besides having color in my face) because with anorexia, for
me at least, comes losing ridiculous amounts of hair to the shower drain. It’s normal to have hair
fall out but mine is way thinner and it’s very annoying and a tell-tale sign that I’m not at my best
right now. The most important difference that most people wouldn’t even think of is my ability
to be present where I am. Without food, protein specifically, your overall cognition is affected by
a lot. Sometimes when I eat very little, I find it 10 times harder to pay attention and absorb
what’s being taught in the classroom. The only reason I do well in school is because I value my
life enough to maintain my weight most of the time rather than lose and therefore I haven’t been
hospitalized. I’m lucky that I’m someone that learns content very quickly because for so long
now I’ve lacked the ability to focus on anything in my classes because of eating so little. It’s like
feeling as if you’re constantly hungover yet I didn’t need to drink to feel that way. I can be
sitting in a classroom and I’ll be in a constant state where the lights in the room are so bright and
where I feel like I’m on the brink of fainting.

When I’m at 108, I feel aware of my surroundings and love being around people and being social
just like everyone else. I love when it’s easy to do this. I went back down from 108 to 100 in
August of that same summer and stayed around 100 for a long while. I also haven’t seen that
number (108) since. It’s shitty luck that I had really because in August of that year my disorder
spiked because I caught stomach flu for the first time and for 7 days the only thing I could hold
down was a few popsicles a day. As you can imagine the weight loss was very triggering for me.
Anytime I lose weight it reminds me how easy it is to lose. I honestly can’t remember the last
time I felt the feeling of hunger itself. Most people have their stomach growl and they feel
hungry and that reminds them to eat. I’ve had my disorder for so long that I don’t feel anything if
I don’t eat. Every single day I have to force myself to eat and most of the time I’m successful at
that. Successful in the sense of eating in general because although I’ve seen a nutritionist, I really
can’t grasp eating all of the food groups or reaching X amount of calories a day; I already have
to spend the majority of the day deciding to eat or not, I really don’t like to stress about what
exactly it is that I’m eating. It’s funny, honestly, because most of the time I know what triggers
me. I know myself very well because I study psychology. When I drink too much I know exactly
why I do it. Last week I drank almost every day because something was bothering me. A friend
of mine tried to force himself on me, and while he failed to do so it was pretty scary almost
getting raped.

I cannot, however, for the life of me, find the underlying reason as to why I don’t love myself
enough to not self- harm. I mean yes, it’s all the normal reasons that someone is anorexic they
have other underlying issues like mine is being bullied and feeling disabled and feeling like I’m
completely out of control because I graduate in two months exactly and from there have very little
idea of what to do and where to go but I cannot figure out what need of mine isn’t being met that
is causing my disorder to take over. I say take over because again, it’s not me. Mentally I know
that I’m not fat and need to eat and am not beautiful when my bones protrude, but my disorder
tells me the exact opposite. It’s almost like I’m back in high school and feeling better when I can
see my bones more and more. It’s honestly funny because when you’re anorexic there are so
many strange ways to accomplish easy weight loss. One is sometimes when I feel cold I ignore it
because being cold burns calories. It’s all so stupid to me that I let this rule my life but that’s
why it’s a disorder which I can’t just shut it off overnight. I have to work on it. I will work on it.
I will state though that the one good thing I’m doing is not going on my tumblr. That website
will completely destroy your mental health if you (very easily) end up on the wrong page. Hell I
almost started a thinspo page when I was seventeen to be cool and I’m thankful I’m not that
unstable now because teaching others to be anorexic or anything is fucked up and there’s a huge
community that does that.

The most important thing for me is the community I have built. It really means a lot to have
people be there for you that actually know what you’re going through. I always feel alone but
there are things that help. One is a girl that I went to high school with reached out to me and I
find a lot of comfort knowing she actually understands what an ED is. The difference between us
is that she’s gotten help and I’m honestly so jealous of that. I want to get help and for now I’m
just glad I found someone to connect with, it was really nice of her to reach out. I’ve probably
shared more with her than any of my best friends, either because I have intimacy issues or
because she actually gets me. I really think it’s because she gets me.

My other comfort is very controversial. I absolutely love the Netflix movie “To The Bone”
starring Lily Collins. It’s controversial because, like “13 Reasons Why” it is a movie about a
taboo subject. I saw the movie in July when it came out and I found so much comfort in it. It has
parts that depict some of my biggest fears but it makes me feel like I’m not crazy. It’s something
that finally validates me. And for me it wasn’t triggering, it just made me feel an overwhelming
sense of joy to see so much about her that I could relate to. I think everyone wants to find
something they can relate to. My favorite part of the movie is when Keanu Reeves (the doctor in
the movie) tells the group of inpatients “every time you hear that voice I want you to tell it to
fuck off.” That was the best thing ever because most days I do have to do that. After all, food is
what gets you places. It’s what gives you energy to accomplish all your goals. I have no idea
when I’ll stop being obsessed with the way that I look but I’m trying my best to focus on the
good.

Last week went from amazing to shit in the span of 24 hours because I allowed myself to sit in
my self- pity following my almost rape and self-hatred and feed off of it. The weekend after was
amazing, my sorority sisters and I went on a retreat where we stayed in cabins and had no cell
reception. We did activities where we wrote each other notes that were anonymous to share how
much we love and admire each other. I was genuinely happy at the retreat. I felt alive, I felt like
myself. It even happened that it was easy to eat. I even got seconds. It’s a rarity that I don’t have
a panic attack before eating in public but I guess I felt safe because I know my sisters don’t judge
and I was in comfy clothes. And I know they want me to get better. Following that came
Monday, the first day I started drinking and starving myself more so than usual. I actually threw
up after having two margaritas that night because I didn’t eat all day. I haven’t thrown up since
sophomore year because I only throw up when I eat absolutely nothing.

The thing besides graduating and relocating that triggered me is date night. It was on the Friday
of the week I started drinking more. Date night is always my favorite event because we pre-game
and do a really cool activity with our sisters and their dates. Seeing everyone with someone
though that’s what screws me up. In the past I’ve brought guy friends or have been set up but
right now I’m trying to date seriously again but I hate talking about myself. Who even wants to
date a mess? Sure no one’s perfect but it’s hard for me to feel beautiful and it’s hard to talk about
how I want to advocate for mental health because of all that I struggle with. This leads to
starving and drinking alcohol. For some odd reason I can drink 10 times my bodyweight in
alcohol and not get sick. Not a good thing but I’m kind of proud of that. Another thing- I don’t
even know if I’m restaurant ready either. The last date I really went on I wanted to eat so bad but
even with a drink I could barely eat one hot dog. I think he commented on that too. Not eating
that much is embarrassing, eating more slowly than everyone is embarrassing, and people
commenting on my lack of eating is embarrassing. I really don’t know how to win with that one.
I also don’t know what it is I’m “supposed” to look like. Society is too weird….first thin was the
ideal but now women are expected to have an ass with their too thin waist? I think my problem is
that my disorder tells me that extreme dieting and exercising (to be thick or whatever it is that’s
expected now) will make me look and feel beautiful.

Despite all of this surfacing right now for me, I do see hope for myself. Hope of bettering myself
I mean. I think it’s an important step to be very self- aware. I know that starving myself and
exercising more won’t make me more attractive or successful…I just have to shut out my
disorder telling me otherwise.

This week had been especially challenging but after seeing my therapist she reminded me how I
felt at retreat. She reminded me of all the good in my life right now and that I have so much I am
grateful for. And even if I forget that, I have hope that I can keep bettering my thoughts about
myself and celebrate all my accomplishments. I’ve come a long way these past 3.5 years in
college. I really like centering myself in things that are healthy coping mechanisms like reading.
My friend Alexis recommended I read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. She’s someone I don’t
talk to often but that I know is there for me and I really appreciate her. I like the book so far. I also
really like “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson, it’s hilarious, witty, and
insanely true. Definitely an amazing read if you’re finding yourself stressed.

My favorite author though who’s written several books that I’ve loved is Colleen Hoover. In her
Books, there’s always something “wrong” with her characters. I put wrong in quotes because
there isn’t something wrong with the character, I just mean that the main character always has
some sort of thing going on with them. Her books are romance- my favorite oddly enough but in
each there is hope and triumph. In one book titled “November 9” a girl is a burn victim and she
thinks she’s not beautiful because of this but finds love anyway. I can relate to that because of
my arm. In another, titled “It Ends With Us” she has the strength to get out of an abusive
relationship that mimicked that of her own parents when she was a child. In “Maybe Someday”,
the guy in the book is deaf and it’s beautiful to read about how he expresses his love to the main
character. She has so many relatable books I’m so lucky to have found her. Books, movies, and
friends really give me hope and strength.

Instagram: @katherineeanne
Twitter: @katherineeanne_
Facebook: Katherine McCain


Worth Living Ambassador Ashley Wunsch


Hello, my name is Ashley Wunsch and I am a first-year student studying International Development and Globalization at the University of Ottawa. I always had a desire to change the world. Sometime last year, I realized that changing the world isn’t only digging wells and building schools, but also taking care of yourself and your mental health, so I started to get involved with organizations surrounding mental health like Worth Living.

Fear of Judgement

Although this is my first actual blog post here, there are about 10 drafts saved on my laptop. Even as I sit here writing this, when the whole idea of this blog is structured in my brain, I worry that this will mark number 11. When I applied to be an ambassador in May, I told myself I was going to be an amazing ambassador and write these posts frequently-evidentially that never happened. Every time I would start to type down the thoughts in my head, after a few lines, I would save the word document and close it, pretending the idea never popped into my head. The thought that my feelings would be public and all my friends could read them terrified me. I wanted to relieve the weight off my shoulders but I also didn’t want to give others that power to judge.

I always chose the latter, letting my thoughts pile up instead of letting them out simply out of fear of what people will say. I felt like most people wouldn’t believe me and to some extent, I still do. It’s battling what I feel inside, versus what other people expect. I think expectations are the biggest part of my struggle and why opening up seems so terrifying.

How am I, the girl who got a 95% average in high school, supposed to admit I got a 30% on my first university midterm? Every time someone has asked me how it went, I shrugged it off and pretend it never happened because I’m terrified of how they will react. How am I supposed to be honest and tell people I am so overwhelmed and lost when people back home ask “how’s school going?” when they expect me to be great and loving it? The truth is, I wasn’t perfectly together back home either, but that’s what everyone expects. They think that if I can help other’s deal with their problems, that means that I am 100% put together. However, I’m not and haven’t been for a few years.

It got to the point where I wouldn’t even bother trying to open up anymore apart from a few people. I knew that if I were to try and explain my thoughts, the answers I would receive would be “that’s not that bad”, “you’ll be okay”, or the person totally going on about a situation that is worse in their lives. As much as I knew I would be okay or how people have things worse off, those are not the sort of replies I needed in those moments. I feel another part of me was always panicked to share my thoughts on this blog out of the fear that my friends would read it and feel like I am pinpointing them and that it is their fault. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, so I just shrugged it off and never dedicated myself to write it out. Yet I want my friends to know that if they are reading it, it’s not your fault and I don’t blame you. Sometimes, I even catch myself answering to your problems with a reply along those lines and I apologize for every time I did.

Unfortunately, the fear of judgement has stopped me from doing a lot of things and telling people how I honestly feel. It has even made me lie or cover the truth, such as the time a teacher asked me if I enjoyed a trip, when in reality, I had no true emotions. Did I hate it? Did I love it? I wasn’t so sure and still am not 100% sure. Did I feel anxious yes, but did I also have fun, yes. Would I have chosen to not go at all? I am not too sure. Yet how am I supposed to describe all this to the teacher? I don’t remember exactly how I worded it, but I remember saying how it was fun but I was worried for my valedictorian speech the next day and that clouded my feelings over the trip. Yet, I also remember being terrified to go white water rafting and zip lining, and wanting to return home the second we left that Tim Hortons.

Just because I look ‘perfectly okay’ on the outside, doesn’t mean I am ‘perfectly okay’ on the inside. As I look ahead to my overwhelming week of four mid-terms, I remember the wise words of two of my favourite people: “doing your best is the best you can do” and this week, (and every week), I will focus on being my best instead of the best, and not worrying about the expectations of people back home or even my new friends here in Ottawa.

I now see that I can’t be perfect in every way and I am going to have flaws. I know I am going to feel worried about things and things aren’t always going to be smooth sailing. I know that I am going to struggle some days with things that could be super simple or super complicated. I know that it is okay to be afraid and to do it anyways. I want to start living by the mantra of ‘doing one thing a day that scares you’, and hopefully, help me grow as a person. I want to change the world, and I will one day change the world, but first, I need to start with myself.
For that reason, I will talk about my mental health and how it is not perfect and how I am struggling. I will wear that shirt saying it’s okay not to be okay in public and not only in my room where no one can see it. I will make my mental health a priority and although part of me will always be scared of the outcomes, from now on,


Worth Living Ambassador Sarah Gobeil


Hi world, I’m Sarah.  I’m a slightly crazy, energetic ball of dancing wonders. I love to make others happy and to influence the world in the most positive way I can. I also really like to smile.  Smiles are contagious, please show me yours

Let me tell you a story:

As a young child, I always had many friends. I never doubted my ability to make or keep friends. I thought I was funny, smart, and caring, which in my head, were perfect characteristics for a friend. I must have been about 13 when I realized that not all friends are forever, no matter how much you loved them.

I started high school and within the year, I found myself without a friend-group. I was not hated by anyone in particular, I was just not anyone’s first choice; which I will admit was a very hard pill to swallow. Luckily for me, I was fortunate enough to find someone very soon after that I thought would be around forever.

Everything in the social aspect of my life was perfect, I didn’t even need to spend time grieving  from the loss of my other friends because I had hit the best-friend jackpot.  We began doing everything together, known as each other’s side-kicks. I will tell you…
There is a subtle falsehood in friendship and it’s hard to identify that while in the friendship. But within my own very best friendship, I failed to see what was on the other end of the horizon.

I am a clingy person and I take full responsibility in that. So, when my best friend started to not talk to me as often, I got a little worried but I didn’t sweat it too much. It wasn’t until I was almost completely excluded from all of the social gatherings of which I was once a part that I realized there was a problem.

Within a few days of this realization, I confronted my best-friend, and my best-friend left me. To my best-friend, I had not been myself and it was not manageable to be my friend any longer. No apologies, no regrets.

I found myself back in the position I was in a few years back, but this time I had time to grieve.

Now, let me give you a lesson:

I have learned so much about myself without the presence of many friends. There is something liberating about being able to accept yourself and who you are without having a ‘best-friend’.

1.If someone is making you feel bad about yourself for having emotions and feelings; let them go.
2.If you allow others to control your emotions, you will never be happy.
3.You have to know who you are before you can let anyone else know who you are.
4.As a friend, it is incredibly important to stick around during the tough times.
5.You WILL survive the thought of no-one being there for you.
6.Someone in your life will be there for you when you call out.
7.Your life is worth living


Worth Living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchley Q

After being under the weather and struggling with a serious ear infection (I’m still waiting to get my hearing back in my left ear), I’m overdue for some good music. Something that will lift my spirits and make me feel a little better. For this week’s countdown it’s all Major Lazer tunes. These are just of few of my current favourites from Major Lazer. Enjoy. -Scratchley Q

Worth Living Top 10 Countdown – Major Lazer
10. Sua Cara – ft. Anitta &Pabllo Vittar

9. Believer – ft. Showtek

8. Powerful – ft. Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley

7. Cold Water – ft. Justin Bieber & MO

6. Get Free – ft. Amber of the Dirty Projectors

5. Watch Out For This (Bumaye) – ft. Busy Signal, The Flexican & FS Green


4. Light It Up – ft. Nyla & Fuse ODG (Remix)

3. Leg Over – Mr Eazi  ft. French Montana & Ty Dolla Sign

2. Know No Better – ft. Travis Scott, Camila Cabello & Quavo (Afrojack Freemix)

1. Particula – ft Nasty C, Ice Prince, Patoranking & Jidenna


Worth Living Ambassador Kimber-Lee Iacona


Hi, my name is Kimber-Lee. I’m 19 years old and a student at St. Bonaventure University. I just recently switched my major from Spanish to English. I am excited to see what comes next. In the meantime, here’s a self-care video. I’ve always struggled with having confidence in myself and I felt open to share this with all of you.

 


Worth Living Ambassador Beth Allen

Beth Allen is a Mental Health Advocate, and an active video blogger who aims to be informative, fun and truthful whilst showing life with Mental Illness. Having suffered in silence for 10 years with GAD, Emetophobia, Anorexia and Depression, Beth is 100% committed to showing the world that it’s okay to not be okay. In this video, Beth discusses GAD in the hope of raising awareness. Please subscribe to Beth’s Youtube channel. Proud to have her on the WL Team of Advocates!

Living with GAD


Worth Living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchley Q 

Unity is this week’s countdown. Unity… The state of being united or joined as a whole. Unity is important as a community. In any community, we need people to be united as one. Especially in the mental health community. Enjoy this week’s countdown. – Scratchley Q
10. We Are One (Ole Ola) – Pitbull

9. Come Together – Beatles

8. Everybody- Logic

7. Join Together – The Who

6. One Vision – Queen

5. Unity – Shinedown

4. Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson

3. Oh! Gravity – Switchfoot

2. One Nation Under A Groove – Funkadelic

1. Get Together – The Youngbloods


Worth Living Ambassador Felicia Singh


Hello, my name is Felicia. I am a 25 year old healthcare professional and
counseling / psychology student with anxiety. As well as someone with an unexplainable
yearning to understand mental health disorders. The who, what, where, when, and whys of it all.

As the colors change …

For those of us that are lucky enough to experience all of the seasons, fall can be an amazing
time of year. The leaves are changing colors. The weather is cooler. And for me, the fashion trends
are so much better. Not to mention holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. However for
some of us (including myself), the shift in seasons can take a toll on our mental health.
Seasonal Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder are mental health disorders that occur the
same time every year.

I LOVE the sun. I mean that literally. For me the sun is more than light. It
represents the beginning of a new day. A fresh start. Fall changes bring with it less sun and
more darkness. The days are shorter and the nights seem so much longer. I personally have a
difficult time adjusting to waking up when it’s still dark outside. I find myself not being as
motivated to do the things I usually enjoy doing.

I am a firm believer in learning from my past and planning for the future based on what it is that I learned. Dealing with a mental health illness should not be any different. Learning our triggers and how to deal with and prevent them is very important to our overall wellbeing. So with that being said here are some tips for getting and staying ahead of the seasonal blues.

1. Stick to your routine. If you work out, meditate, read, or start your day with a morning
coffee, then do that. Just because the weather is different it doesn’t mean you should
stop doing the things you usually do.

2. Have a conversation with the people in your life. Make them aware that this time of year
causes you to be irritable, or maybe you’re not as optimistic and willing to do the things
you would usually do. Keeping the people around us in the loop is beneficial for us all. It
allows them to gain understanding and perspective on the mental health issue you may
be experiencing.

3. Counseling. If you don’t already see a counselor or therapist, then consider doing so
around this time of year. A lot of the time just discussing what’s bothering us and how we
are feeling makes things a lot easier. Support groups are awesome as well. Connecting
with others who are experiencing the same things you are helps to promote a certain
amount of normalcy. And there is nothing abnormal about human emotions.

4. Find activities that are specific to the season. You may not be able to run outdoors or go
to the beach with your friends but you can go on a color tour, visit your local farmer’s
market, go skiing, visit an orchard or a pumpkin patch. Take advantage of indoor
activities as well. Paint, join a book club, get a gym membership, or take a pottery class.

5. You may also benefit from speaking to your healthcare provider about medication options. Making sure you are getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients can make a huge difference. No sun equals low vitamin d and low vitamin d equals low energy levels.

However you choose to shake off the seasonal blues, make sure that you’re doing it in a healthy
and productive way. Remember if you’re here then you have a life worth living.


Worth Living Ambassador Anna Palazzi


Anna is an avid, lover of life. She lives for adventures and enjoys challenging herself. She is the creator of the  __Simply__Human__ Instagram account  ( https://www.instagram.com/__simply__human__/ ) , and dedicates her free time to advocating for the mental health community.

More Than Words

I want to share with you all the moment I “exposed” my mental illness to those around me. Prior to the post below, (originally featured on my Facebook), I had not discussed my journey with mental illness with others. I was self-conscious and frankly embarrassed, but at the moment I posted this, I was ready to let it all go.

So, here I am again, sharing what I know best, my story:

“Well it’s currently 4:45 a.m. And I can’t sleep even if I tried. Like most college students, I’m suffering from pulling all nighters ( shout out to finals ), and my brain is racked with thoughts.

I don’t know if this is my tired self just not caring about what others think anymore or if I genuinely have just accepted that there’s no shame in what I’m about to share with everyone.

Let’s flash back to about two years ago. I was a senior in high school. I was homecoming queen, a soccer player, an A+ student, and accepted into college by the time December came around.

Life was good, right? You would never think that I was actually struggling so much.

Hell, I didn’t even know.

One day in April, I woke up and I had a panic attack. I remember texting one of my friends because I was so confused. I hadn’t had one since I was about 10, so I was scared.

As time progressed, things got worse. May came. Everyone was excited about prom, graduation, and parties.

I couldn’t be. I woke up every day with panic and confusion. Every second of my life was me struggling with my thoughts, and not understanding what was happening to me.

Then one day, I heard that my friends were concerned with my weight. I reached out to them and I asked, why?

They said that they noticed I hadn’t been eating and that I had dropped A LOT of weight. They said they thought I was anorexic.

My stomach dropped when I heard this. Yes, I wasn’t eating like normal, and yes, I was working out A LOT, but it wasn’t because I thought I was fat.

So how was I anorexic?

My weight loss stemmed from my stress and my need for control in my life. I controlled my diet, my exercise, and anything else I could.

The more weight I lost, the worse my mental state got.

I was miserable. My summer was absolutely horrible. I didn’t have fun. I couldn’t function like a normal person. My emotions disappeared.

I was depressed.

To this day, my close friends and family still don’t know how bad this was for me.

I was “faking it” till I “made it.”

Every day, I thought about killing myself. I would cry about this thought. I knew I didn’t want to actually do it, but I didn’t trust myself enough to believe that.

I wanted the pain and insanity to end. My dreams were better than reality (not being dramatic).

This insanity continued until about October of my freshman year of college.

I came to school a mess, but no one knew unless I told them what was going on.

I tried to push through the pain, but it was getting worse.

That’s when I decided to get help. I reached out to my school’s counseling center, was referred to a psychiatrist, and I was prescribed medication.

Please note: I HATED the idea of being on meds. I thought of myself as a failure. I thought people would classify me as “crazy.”

Turns out, medication was exactly what I needed to be on. I was prescribed Abilify and Zoloft.

After a couple weeks, I was feeling better. Eventually, I was able to have fun again, and enjoy my life.

I am now off of Abilify, and they are beginning to decrease my Zoloft prescription.

I feel like myself. I’m happy, and my depression has been gone for a while.

I’m a successful Honors student, RA, sorority sister, bookseller, friend and so much more.

I wish I could tell you exactly why and how this happened to me, but I can’t.

I don’t have any answers, and I don’t need them.

I’ve accepted that the mind is powerful. I’ve accepted that things like this happen all the time.

So, why was I so alarmed by this happening to me?

It’s because mental illness is almost “taboo” in our society.

Before I went through this, I didn’t understand suicide.

I didn’t understand depression.

I didn’t understand anything.

I’m happy to have had his terrifying and miserable experience. I have learned so much, and now I am able to share with others the knowledge I’ve gained.

Sharing my story has saved people.

I don’t care what others think about me or if they tell me I’m insane.

If my experience can help others, then whatever.

So…

It’s now 5 a.m. And I’m finally tired.

Before I pass out, I want to thank all those in my life who have helped me through this.

To those who were with me my senior year and to those that are now in my life: thank you. Know that I think about how lucky I am to have you all, each and every day.

I hope my long preaching session finds you healthy and well.

Blessed is an understatement. Much love to all and good night.”

This was one of the most rewarding things I could have done for myself. Through this seemingly simple action, I validated my feelings and my experience. The comments and the love I received from those around me was overwhelming and inspired me to continue to be a mental health advocate. With this being said, I cannot stress enough how giving a little bit of yourself does not only help others in need, but inspires them to live another day.