Rachel, 24, Ohio, USA

“All throughout high school I was always known for the smile on my face and my laugh that echoed the halls. Looking back, I never felt the way that I feel now. At least I don’t remember it being that way.

It wasn’t until I started college when I noticed my mental health deteriorating. I studied culinary arts and culinary school is super stressful, just like any other college. I stayed up countless nights studying and spent my days in the kitchen. I was always stressed, sad and lonely. I was away from my family and friends when I needed someone the most. I was broken and needed help but didn’t know how to ask.

I graduated college back in 2015, and started working at the same job I had all throughout college. I was promoted to manager while in college (which added more stress). I worked very long shifts and almost every day during the week. I dealt with rude customers, and rude employees. I took some major hits on my confidence.

I ended up taking the plunge and moving away from my college town & moving back to my hometown. I had a great job lined up and was actually excited to start a new journey. I was happy. Or so I thought. It was great in the beginning and some days it’s still great, but my depression makes my days long and tiring. My anxiety makes my days chaos. I wish so bad I can snap my fingers and it could just go away.

I feel like I deserve this. I deserve to be sad and lonely. I know those are just the demons trying to tear me down. But there’s always the same thoughts in my head. I’m not sure how to express my feelings to my friends and family. I’m not sure how to tell them I need help. What if they don’t believe me? What if they think this is for attention?

I’m living my life as best as i can and I’m trying to remind myself that I am loved, and worthy.

Most of my days are way harder than normal but I am trying and I’m living. and that’s really all that matters.

I know this will pass. I know this will get better. I will be okay.”

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