Growing up antisocial, bisexual, and kinda ugly, wasn't easy. My family life was in the dumpster, and bullies didn't help either. But, I wouldn't change any of it for the world. To those of you who stuck around from middle school until now, I can't express how grateful and loving I am for you. For dealing with my insecurities, bad habits, and all the other shit, too. To those of you who I got close to in High School, I apologize for fucking things up, and for not being a friend first.

I turn 21 in four months, and it's finally dawning on me that I no longer have the umbrella of childhood anymore. Relationship problems, self-image, school, and taxes are a real thing and they can change a person. It's been hard, meeting people, loving them, and watching helplessly as they drift away. Touch and go. There have been times when I sat in my room, at home, in my dorm, feeling so incredibly helpless and alone.

Times when the only thing that made me feel like I was living was tearing into my own skin and purging the contents of my stomach until I felt death (but at least I felt something). There are times where I went on binges, not being sober for weeks.

How stupid of me. But you were there and all I had to do was reach out.

But I didn't -- "What if I'm a burden", "They have their own problems too", I said to myself. But, I didn't realize that the best thing about being human is having not only the capacity to care for oneself but also for the people around you.

And you, you who's struggles and triumphs I watched from afar. Worried, happy, but incredibly jealous for all the people who had the privilege of experiencing those moments with you. I missed you. Should have texted, should have called. I'm doing it now, and you've accepted me back with open arms- so willing that it makes me cry even now, thinking about it.

It's a beautiful thing, growing. Bloody wounds fading into small scars, being broken and then pasted together again into something new, something better. To all of my friends, from my past, my present, and those who I will meet and are meeting now, know that I love you so much and that you deserve the world. Even if we don't talk anymore, I am always here for you because I know what its like to feel alone and unloved. But to that, I say no-fucking-more. It's a new year, a new day and life is an absolute bitch sometimes, but it does do something quite well- it moves on. For every valley, there will be a mountain, and I want to help you and I reach the summit -- until the dark memories are nothing but a faint image in the distance.

No matter who or where you are, you are not alone. I will never judge, shame, or discriminate. All I ask is that you do the same to me.

Love, Celine