I want people to know they’re not alone and that it gets better. Mental illness is not a death sentence, not anymore.

Things will probably be harder for you, but it doesn’t mean you don’t get to have a life just as good as anyone else. You will work hard, you will struggle, but you will persevere and it will make you a better, stronger person. Use that strength to help others.

That’s what I want. I want to write and talk to people who are suffering and let them know that they are not alone. They are not a freak. They did not ‘deserve’ this. They will be ok. Never stop trying, never give up.

I want to write things that help these people feel a sense of comfort, relief, and community. I want them to think “she gets it” and “if she made it through the storm, so can I.”

I want to write things that educate people so the stigma surrounding mental health with finally end, or at least not be as prevalent.

I’m sitting in the office of a tech start up on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. A few years ago I was at Four Winds contemplating suicide.

I have felt ugly, useless, and crazy, but I have also felt beautiful, accomplished, and proud. I fight every day to less the days I feel bad and increase the days I feel good. I know this will never go away, but I believe that it doesn’t have to be as bad as it was.

I know the signs and I know what to do when I see them. That’s one of the biggest parts; being self aware and knowing how to respond. I want my life’s work to revolve around this so that I can help people who need it but are afraid to ask. I want people to see me and see that people who fall can always get up. I strongly believe that I was put on this earth to help other people, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.