Please Live I have struggled with my thoughts for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I would think about suicide before I even knew what suicide was. I never planned my future or said what I wanted to be when I grew up because I didn’t think I would ever get there. In middle school, I found myself feeling hopeless, out of place and worthless, so I started to self-harm. Fast forward to my freshmen year of high school, and I was diagnosed with bipolar II and anxiety. I skipped class and neglected academics because I planned to be dead before high school ended. After multiple suicide attempts, one inpatient stay, two rounds of intensive outpatient therapy, I still felt hopeless. I tried 14 different medications. My senior year I missed 34 days due to being so depressed. The thoughts have always been the same throughout all this. “You’re worthless.” “Kill yourself, you don’t deserve life.” I thought I had given up, but slowly things changed during my last semester of senior year. I decided to try. I decided to live. Fast forward to today. I am 22 years old, and so thankful to be alive. I finally found medication that helps. I have surrounded myself with the best people and I am the president of NAMI On Campus at my college. I am pursing my bachelors in nursing and just applied to graduate school to be a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. I get to dedicate my life to helping people who struggle with mental health conditions and I couldn’t be happier. Most importantly, I am alive. Now I’m not going to lie, these past eight years of fighting my mind has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I still get those thoughts. I still have those days where I despise myself. Those nights that I cry myself to sleep still exist. It’s taken so much work, but it is worth it. It takes dedication, support and so much more to come out of that dark place. The journey is not easy, but it’s worth it. Living is worth it. My point in all this is that people care for you. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You can live. Yes, it takes hard work. There are really bad days, but there are also really good days. Just, please live. Someday, you won’t regret it. Share your story, message, poem, quote, photo or video of hope, struggle or recovery. By sharing your experience, you can let others know that they are not alone.