In my 19 Years of life, I have become my own worst enemy. I am my toughest critic, and my most faithful hater. I am the person who breaks myself down the most, and I am the person who sees every flaw that I have as a failure.

Looks can be deceiving and almost all of the time, things are not what they seem. From the outside, my life looks as if I have everything going for me. I am in a great sorority with sisters who mean the world to me, I am doing well in school and I have a great family. I volunteer regularly and I give back to others as much as I can. I am one person who believes in serving others because that's what Christ wants us to do. From the outside, I am a happy and servant hearted girl. In reality, I can't even stand to look at myself 50 percent of the time.

Life tends to sneak up on people and sometimes we aren't ready for it. I remember being little and I had more friends than I knew what to do with, but as I got older my friends got slimmer. I remember being in middle school when I told myself for the first time that maybe I just wasn't good enough to be their friend. I went on with that mentality for the rest of my middle and high school career, thinking that I had to earn my worth in the eyes of others. I left myself extremely vulnerable but most importantly I was breaking my own heart. I believed that everything had a limit, and no one was truly going to see what I had to offer.

I was tearing myself down because I didn't feel worthy of anyone's attention or love. I would look in the mirror and point out everything I believed needed to be fixed. I was hurting on the inside but from the outside I put on my best fake smile and fooled everyone.

I struggled with this feeling for a long time, and I can't remember the last time anyone asked me if I was genuinely okay. I can't blame them, because from the outside I looked fine. But the truth was that I was hurting and I was broken and I continued to be broken. I was losing a war against myself and I was In need of back up.

The only way I can describe the way I felt, is to imagine being in the bottom of a pool having a competition to see who can hold their breath the longest. From the outside you look as if you are having fun, and maybe even you are winning. But that feeling of losing oxygen quickly and needing to go above water to get air is becoming overwhelming. While you are being consumed with the idea of how to get the air, you are trapped and have no way to get to it.

I knew what was wrong, but the problem was not being able to achieve what I ultimately needed in order to be able to "breathe" again.

I worried a lot about the way others saw me, I worried about my future, and I worried about how I was going to get to where I needed to be. I wanted to run and hide, I didn't want to be messed with. I wanted to sit and wallow in my thoughts and for a very long time that is just what I did. It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I realized I was not okay and I needed to reach out. Often times I was met with the words,

"you are worrying for nothing, you'll be fine."

while I was glad someone took the time to talk to me, I just wanted to scream. I wanted them to understand that it wasn't nothing and I wasn't okay. They didn't take the time to understand that I was broken and while my life looked put together, I was truly falling apart on the inside.

Next time you encounter someone that is hurting or worrying, please remember that while you may think its nothing... To them it is everything. It took everything in them to come to you for help and by belittling their problems you are not only disregarding everything they're trying to do, but you are sending them back into the hole they are so desperately trying to crawl out of.

To anyone who is broken and in need of a glimpse of hope, I have stood where you stand and I support you. You have every right to be hurting, and it will never be "nothing." Your feelings and state of mind matter to me and they always will. Please reach out and seek the help that you need. I am enclosing a link that truly put things into perspective for myself.