It's the moment that you look at yourself in the mirror, and you're only disappointed with everything you're doing now and who you've become. You wonder how this turned into that or how you went from always smiling, laughing, and joking around to struggling to smile even with your closest friends. You turn into a homebody and never want to be around anyone. You're so depressed that you don't even know why. Or was that just me.

They tell you that you are too young to be depressed and stressed. Often times I was told to "get over it" and "stop seeking attention." Yet that wasn't an option for me and I hated the attention. I was so upset because I didn't fully realize just how much I would miss not being with my mother and siblings all the time, I miss being around people who truly care about me, and I miss not having to stress over grades. Then I was hurting from losing a great person in my life, but I felt like it was too much..until I read the quote.

"You have to choose whether to love yourself or not." - James Taylor

That was it. I had not loved myself for a long time and I was only suffering from that slight decision. I gave up on myself and did not know how to recover from it. So, I knew that in the few months to follow, I had to find a way to fall in love with myself again...and I did. I stopped talking about my faith and started living it. I got closer to God and using His word to shape me for the life I want to live. I am much happier now than I have been in a while. Happier and healthier. I still have my bad days, but there are many more good days.

But here's my advice to anyone that is going through what I went through: just because you're hurting now doesn't mean you will always hurt. You don't need the approval of others to do what YOU want to do. And if you ever need someone to talk to, look for the person who is constantly trying to make everyone else smile... she's more than likely in the same shoes as you. Don't give up on yourself — you are worth the life you were given. Live it to the fullest.