When I realized that this month was a month that made awareness to something so near and dear to my heart, I almost cried. My life has been significantly altered by suicide and its effects. Unfortunately, I have witnessed both suffering because of it, and felt it on a personal level. I have written a lot about suicide on Odyssey, but this is my outlet, and I choose to use it to pour my heart out.

I will never forget the first time that the thought of "I want to kill myself" popped into my head. I was 13, going through the unimaginable, and thought that my life was not worth saving. I thought that if someone could hurt me that much, that I needed to hurt myself. Luckily, I saw the effect of what suicide did before that happened. My freshman year of high school, a classmate committed suicide. I was in the midst of planning and getting ready to give my stuff away. But because I saw that, I felt compelled to stay, if not for me, for my friends.

So, high school came and went. Things got better. I only had a few times when I was actively thinking about killing myself. However, what stopped me was the "(insert life changing event) is about to happen." Or, "you have friends now! You have got this!" What people fail to realize is that when I am surrounded by people that I know love me, I am much happier.

Graduating from high school was euphoric. I felt like I was on top of the world, the stars, and more. I felt like nothing could stop me. Then, college came. What a lot of people fail to say about college is that even though it appears okay on the surface, a lot of the time, it's not. That was the exact case with me. I had a hard time adjusting. College is difficult to adjust to, but what was brewing was a "I need mental help" stew. I figured, at the beginning, that it was a phase that I would outgrow. However, a situation at home warranted my own emotional trauma. I thought, again, that I was not worth it.

This time, I had a plan. But you know what saved me? It's funny, but Gilmore Girls actually has an impact of why I am here. It was a personal connection with witty characters. It was something to look forward to each night and I knew that I could go to bed with a smile on my face. I had yet to get professional help, but just a few years later, I would have no choice.

They aren't kidding when they say that a lot can happen in a summer, and it did. I grew, and for the first time this past summer, I realized I was not alone. Plenty of people in college rely on others for help, and I am one of them now. Without that help, I would not be here today.

I write this to tell you that you are stronger than you realize. Just because you need a boost every now and that does not constitute weakness. You are stronger than they say, and you will surpass any expectations that you set for yourself. I am the living, breathing example of just that.

Sometimes, I think that I am not capable, I just have to remind myself that I am. It can be hard on some days, but I do it. How? I do my makeup. I write. I realize that everyone is going to have bad days, but they make it through them, so I can, too.

In Dear Evan Hansen, there is a line that says, "you will be found." It is so true. If not now, eventually. Don't lose your place on the map. You are on the right track

If you or a loved one is considering suicide, please contact 1-800-273-8255.