This week, as I began to brainstorm ideas for my weekly article, I was almost decided on a topic when, out of the literal thin air, it came to me.

A few weeks back, I wrote what many would call a https://www.theodysseyonline.com/35-questions-have-for-southern-miss"controversial" article. I didn't mean for it to cause controversy, it just kind of happened. I don't like being a disappointment, and reading the mean things made me feel like my existence at Southern Miss was not worth it.

I suffer with anxiety and depression. I promise you, that is a foul mix that is not so fun. It is a daily struggle of not wanting to get up and overanalyzing conversations. I love writing, and as a matter of fact, it literally saved my life. My freshman year of college was extremely hard. Small things would send me into depressive moods and I would be unable to pull myself out.

For my first semester of college, I was suicidal. There, I said it. I was your stereotypical college freshman who was unused to being away and I thought about killing myself on a daily basis. While many are shocked at this revelation, it is okay because now I am okay, I just wasn't then. I hid it then, but I am ready to be open about that time and talk about my struggles to help people.

That was a time in my life when I was unaware of who or what to do. I had to first find myself before trudging on to do greater things. Where I was most comfortable and where I found myself was when I immersed myself in my characters and wrote. I tried to tie my struggles into their lives and do what a better version of me would do. In reality, there is no real "better" version of myself, only the one that finds solace in the fact that I live naturally in a plasticized world. There can be no artificial me, only the one that is constantly present.

I am past my days of suicidal thoughts now, but depression is still a daily struggle that can be hard to overcome. When it gets bad, I turn to my countless journals that I have put in my life to ensure that whenever an idea comes, I can write it down. Seeing a not so clear idea become a core concept of some of my stories makes my heart soar. I love finding a love so pure when I can overcome my own depressive thoughts make everything worth it.

So back to the controversial article. I understand that many of my peers were quite upset over its contents. However, at the end of the day, we need to unite in kindness. I love Southern Miss, and I even love it when it is not so kind to me back. Reading the somewhat harsh criticism when I was simply trying to provide some comic relief in this difficult transition of power we are facing right now was brutal. While I wasn't brought back to where I used to be, it still cut deep. At the end of the day, I am a student, just like many of you. I have feelings, too.

I'm lucky because I got the help I needed. Now, I face the challenges that life throws at me with sincerity and optimism. My writing played the central role in my literal existence of being here today. I may "just be a writer." However, I am a writer who will change the world, one word at a time.