Hello fellow friends and acquaintances, it is once again that time of year.

The holiday seasons: times of hope, thankfulness, family and spending time together.

For some people, this can also be equal to sadness, loneliness, depressive days and being really run down and tired.

It's me, I'm that person.

Unfortunately, I suffer from major depression and intense OCD at all times of the year. It gets especially bad when I am in the middle of taking college exams, am choosing my classes and planning out my future, trying to budget and also have a life on top of classes and retail jobs. All of that aside, I am not here to talk about just myself but also those who feel that they sink into a low and deep hole this time of year when they know that it should be a time of happiness… but just isn't.

Photo by Sam Burriss

Now more than any other time of this year affects people with the side effects of seasonal depression. This can affect anyone so no one has to have a diagnosed mental illness to experience this. Even then, we all experience different levels of anxiety and depression and it's never easy to determine when we're going to feel good or bad; it's unfortunately not our personal decision to make.

For my friends that have friends who suffer, I ask that you please just reach out this holiday season to make sure that they're doing well. Check up on them, ask how their lives are going, what they've been up to, and if anything else, how you can help to make them feel a little bit better. This doesn't mean going out of your way to being their shoulder to cry on or buying them flowers, chocolates or gifts to cheer them up. It simply means being in their presence, whether that be physical or emotional, to let them know you love them and are there for them.

I personally have a huge support system that acts as a wall of bricks: tough and immovable. If anyone were or is lucky enough to have what I have, cherish it and don't take it for granted. Not everyone is granted a support system quite like mine, but it doesn't have to be a ton of people. If a few close friends and family members care for you and would drop what they're doing for you, then you know that you hold value and meaning to them.

Photo by Providence Doucet

Back to my people who are the friends of these people: all that we crave is happiness. It may not be obvious and might even seem like we're always unhappy because that's how we choose to live. I can't even begin to tell you how far from accurate this is, and it really stinks because being unhappy conditionally throughout the year isn't within our control as humans, unless there are legitimate reasons.

As a side note, we aren't asking for anyone to specifically point fingers and think of us immediately as you read this, but instead to remember us as your friends and to just think of us as people who love you and appreciate you. We know we don't need special treatment and we don't expect it. We share as much value as anyone else, we just often forget that.

To all my loving friends and family, thank you for all that you do and have done for me. I'll never be able to thank you enough or ever repay you, and I certainly wouldn't be where I am right now if it weren't for you all.

Much love.

Photo by KaLisa Veer