A year ago I was in one of the darkest spaces I've ever been in. Getting out of bed was hard, eating was hard, and most days I felt like living was hard. It was absolutely terrifying and some days felt like i would never get out of it. Reflecting on how much I've grown in this past year reminds me to never give up. Last year around this time I spent most of my nights crying, questioning why life was so hard and if I really could keep living, honestly most days I didn't think I would be able to survive to make it to the next day. I now am spending most nights feeling accomplished and proud, happy and thankful, comfortable and driven. People don't talk about mental illness as much as we should, it's important to remember it's okay to not be okay and it's even more important to remember you don't know what anyone is going through. Depression doesn't have a face, sadness doesn't have a look, and even happiness doesn't always appear on the outside. Remember to be kind to everyone you encounter and be a shoulder for them to lean on, an ear to listen to them, and just a presence to let them know they are not alone.