If you're reading this, and even if it doesn't feel like it, I promise life goes on.
Life goes on. That was my senior quote. I submitted those three simple words to be included below my picture in the yearbook at a time when there was nothing I could do to get myself to believe them. Nevertheless, those three words were everything I needed to get through the worst time of my life, and I firmly believe that, even when life seems unbearable, it will go on.
Sometimes, when I look back at my senior year, even though it was only a handful of months ago, I have a hard time believing it actually happened. Calling it a nightmare would be an understatement. When my friends went to go support our basketball team at states, I was trying to find a therapist that fit in my schedule and met my needs. I exchanged prom dress fittings for making sure my clothes didn't break any rules at the psychiatric hospital I stayed at. Daydreaming about perfect summer days turned into yearning for a day when I didn't think about hurting myself.
I guess I'm sharing this because, as hellacious as my depression and anxiety got, my life still went on. And while I still have days that are far from perfect, I'm doing so much better. I know it's cliché, but it really does get better. Each person's journey and struggles with mental illness are different. Maybe it'll take connecting with new people that bring out your best self. Maybe the answer is a new hobby or a passion that makes getting up in the morning worth it. Maybe it's going on a trip that completely changes your perspective on the world. And maybe it's getting professional help. No matter what the answer, it is all so okay.
Fight for your life. And if you are not comfortable fighting (which is so valid), then let someone else fight for you. Because when (and I mean when) your life keeps going on, I promise it is so beyond worth it.
Annie F., University of Virginia