My Battle With Depression *TRIGGER WARNING* A few years ago, my mom and I were cleaning out the attic when I came across an old diary of mine from 2005. I was seven at that time. Flipping through the pages, there was absolutely nothing but suicide notes. At age seven. I cried as I was looking through it, kind of remembering feeling that way at that time, but not very vividly. A few years after that was just a blur. At age ten, I knew I had depression. I was already on the computer all the time, and even that young, I was always very curious and looked everything up when I had questions. I had looked up some things that I was feeling—very sad all the time, thoughts of death, etc.—and came across depression. After doing some research on it, I knew I had it. I read that people would intentionally harm themselves to feel better. Not really thinking much of it, I tried it for myself to see what it was all about. I started off with just scratching my upper arm with a thumbtack, but that led to worse things. At age 11 was my first suicide attempt. When I was 12, my mom found another journal I had written in that, again, had graphic plans of how I would kill myself. That’s when I first went to the doctor and was put on antidepressants. Age 13 was my first hospitalization. I overdosed. Up until age 17, I had been hospitalized nine times due to overdosing and cutting. My tenth and last time was November 2015. Again, sparing you all the details, I’ll just say I intentionally crashed my mother’s car. I only ended up breaking my ankle, but was in a wheelchair for three months. I’m glad that’s all that happened. I can’t really explain it, but after my accident, something just clicked inside of me. After that day, everything was different. Suddenly, I had this will to live—something I never remembered ever having. I realized after surviving my countless suicide attempts that there was a purpose for me after all. Again, it’s hard to explain and I know it sounds kind of silly and too dramatic. But my accident changed my mindset completely and my outlook on life was so different. I wanted to get better. I wanted to know what my future held for me. The point I want you all to see is I went from not wanting to wake up in the morning, dreading every single day, cutting very often, being hospitalized at least once a year, thinking about death 24/7, feeling completely worthless and alone for ten years, to all of a sudden wanting to live life, wanting to make friends, wanting to get better, wanting to find my purpose—because after that, I definitely knew I had to have one. The thing is, you just never know what’s going to be in store for you. You don’t know if you could have this big breakthrough tomorrow or next week or next month. You don’t know if you could go ten years with severe depression for you to have a life changing event and you see life in a whole different way. That day, I knew there was a meaning for my existence—because I was still here. There’s a purpose for everybody. There’s a reason why everybody’s here. To anybody reading this, easier said than done. Trust me, I know. But please stay strong. Fight until the end. You are a warrior. You have come this far with your mental health condition and you’re not stopping now. Keep fighting until you find the light at the end of the tunnel. I found the light and it’s amazing. I’m glad I held on for this long to see it. You will see it one day too. How long it will take, I’m not sure. Everybody’s different. It took ten years for me. But it was so worth it. I wake up every day now with a purpose and wanting to make the most out of every minute. You will feel that too one day. I really hope you all found inspiration in my story and I hope you will stick it out until the end, because you all are amazing, you all have a purpose, you all are here for a reason and you all are strong. Keep staying strong and keep trying to find that light. Share your story, message, poem, quote, photo or video of hope, struggle or recovery. By sharing your experience, you can let others know that they are not alone.