"When you don't get a miracle, you can still be a miracle for someone else." -Nick Vujicic

Not a day has passed when I haven't felt the effects of depression in my life. Sometimes I think that the worst has passed, but I always find myself circling back to the same low points. Sometimes I think that life could only get better, but I have still been knocked down lower. I try to convince myself of the cliche 'light at the end of the tunnel,' that I will someday find myself in a better place, but I have yet to find it. As a crisis counselor, I never lie to my clients and say: "I promise everything will get better and you'll be okay," because I cannot promise that.

Instead, I tell them the truth: "You can move forward from this point, and there will be ups and downs, but I believe in your ability to overcome these issues." In the future I want to become a therapist and support those with similar issues, but that's only possible because I understand the extent to which we suffer, I understand the constant voices that tell us I am not enough, Nothing will go well for me, Everything is doomed, I understand the hopelessness about being hopeless, I understand the pain and sadness and alarm that seemingly arise out of nowhere. I would not be able to best help clients unless I really understood what it means to be depressed or anxious--that can be a controversial topic, but I truly believe that this is where my talents lead me.

We all want to find a purpose, especially in our greatest struggles. This has been the primary struggle of my life: depression, that is. I have not been able to overcome my depression, but I have been able to manage it over time. I don't know if it's possible for me to completely put depression behind me always and forever, but I do know that it's possible for me to find happiness and well-being in the midst of mental illness. It is possible for me--and for you--to rise above all that life puts in your way, even if it has become such an integral part of myself.

You have to take it day by day. You have to keep reminding yourself of what's most important and hold onto that. You will continue to face immense pain, but as long as you're still here, you are able to experience all of the wonderful parts of life. You have no idea what the future holds for you, even if depression tries to convince you there is nothing. I think that once you've learned to separate depression from the other parts of yourself, you give yourself the best chance of fighting it.

Every day that I continue on is another battle won against depression--I keep living, I keep breathing, despite the constant weight on my soul. I continue to make decisions for my own happiness and wellbeing, moving forward on and on. I prove to myself every day that it's possible to live a good life with depression.