Finding My Hope by Ryn Thurmond In fall of 2013, I was at my lowest point. In fact, I can hardly remember anything from 2013 because of how bad my mental health was. I was pushing away all my friends and ended up dropping out of college. One night, I had a moment of clarity. I vividly remember telling my mom not to leave me alone or I was going to kill myself. She got my dad and they took me to the hospital. There I received the help I needed to get through the worst. I am sure that had I stayed in school, I wouldn’t be alive today. I remember when I got out of the hospital, my mom and I went to visit my aunt and my younger cousins. I played with the kids outside in some leaves and started crying because I couldn’t believe that I’d thought about taking my life. I love those kids so much, and I couldn’t bear the thought of someone having to explain to them why I wasn’t around anymore. Things haven’t been sunshine and roses since then. I’ve been hospitalized a few other times when things have gotten bad. But each time, my family, and my friends, are there to support me. Knowing that I am loved and that I am wanted is always enough to keep me here. Finding a good support system is not always easy, but once you have them, they’ll be there for you no matter what. They remind me that I’m not alone. Three little kids playing in some fall leaves gave me hope. And anytime my symptoms get bad, I just think of them and my little niece and nephew, and how someone would have to explain to them why I’m not there anymore. And that gives me just enough push to keep going.