Since I was nine years old, I have struggled with anxiety. Since I was 13, I have struggled with depression. I was raised in a home where my father was physically and emotionally abusive to me and my three younger siblings, but nobody knew. In fact, everyone on the outside thought we were the definition of a picture perfect family.
I struggled to find a purpose and was searching for some sort of feeling. I couldn't find it. On April 30, 2019, I was 19 years old and attempted to take my own life. A couple months later, I was open about my story and decided to share so if anyone had felt like I had, they would know they are not alone. I received a card from a woman my Mother went to high school with. In it, she explained that she has also struggled with similar things as a young adult and bought this bracelet to remind herself that she had love, even if it was just for herself. She inspired me to keep going and reassured me that things would get better. I have only met this woman but twice in my life, and she said she has been holding onto this bracelet until she felt that someone could benefit from it like she did. She gave it to me and told me to never forget to look for the love in the little things in life and to pass it along when I found someone who needed it more than me.
I wore that bracelet everyday for 19 months as a reminder for me, and it has helped every day. Unfortunately, during the Christmas holiday, I was in another state visiting family and I looked down at my wrist to find that the bracelet was gone. I searched for hours with the help of my cousins but it was nowhere to be found. Even without the physical bracelet though, I am reminded often by this woman's kind gesture and words. She doesn't know it but she inspires me to keep growing and love myself and others every single day.