I swear that I’m aware that making such a public statement is bold and possibly not the greatest of outlets, but I think I can cover a good majority of ground with what I want this article to be about, and I think it’s a prime example of where I’ve been in my recovery journey to where it’s coming to a close now. If you just so happen to be new: hello, welcome, this is my little corner and I hope you can make yourself at home. The semester is wrapping up, almost to a close now, and with that close a chapter of my story here has come to an end, in one of, if not the, best ways possible.

I’m going to actually graduate. Like, really. As I’ve been ducking my nose into textbooks and writing up final thoughts on paper, I’ve actually made it to the point where my wings unfold and I fly free, very, very soon. And it’s absolutely amazing.

And, it’s very weird. To not to be coming back to university at the end of January, but having time off from school (almost indefinitely) and having to get a job is equal parts both exhilarating and terrifying.

It’s taken a lot for me to make it all this way here (as you’ve likely read in other issues) and with an ending comes a new beginning. It’s important, I feel, to recognize the supports, the many faces, and the many people who’ve aided in my recovery and been like lighthouses in the dark skies I’ve had to overcome.

My therapist likened the process to that of grieving, and I have to agree. It feels quite a lot like that. I’m in a new transitional period where my old safety nets require being swapped out with new ones. And that, naturally, brings me to the subject of this article.

I want to publicly award my deepest and most sincere gratitude to the amazing work the Counseling Center on campus has provided me for the better part of four years, on and off.

If you didn’t already know, the Counseling Center is a fantastic resource for temporary individual counseling, an after-hours calling service (which I didn't have for my first few years at this university), and a drop-in for emergency appointments (you have to fill out this questionnaire first, but I swear if I can fill it out in full-blown Emotion Mind, anyone can).

I’ve gone in many a time for emergency crisis appointments, some in better states of mind than others, and I know, like any other group of therapists, that they’d downplay their efforts in helping me, and I’d somewhat agree because it is my responsibility and my gift to myself to help me and do right by me—because who else will? And I can still say with certainty that the Counseling Center genuinely helped me in more ways than one, and was probably one of my biggest, if not my biggest, supporters in getting through these six years at university. The compassion, the marks of humor (where appropriate), the breakthroughs, and the guidance were nothing short of miraculous, and left enough of an impact on me and my recovery journey that I’m publicly (and privately) thanking them for their services.

Because I really don’t know where I’d be today without them, without choosing to help myself by reaching out for their support. I’ve said before how the hardest thing to do is to choose to live, and the second hardest is to ask for help. If you’d have to ask for help from anybody without the fear of judgment and what it all means, the Counseling Center is there waiting for you. They are there to help you, and if you let them, they will. It’s a two-way street and an open dialogue.

Most of my emergency appointments landed me in the hospital, I’ll be honest, and none of them were unnecessary. Sometimes our wants aren’t matched up with our needs (think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs), and if you ever do require a hospitalization, it doesn’t make you weak in any way. It’s a sign of immense strength to ask for help. Because you matter, your life matters, you are important and you can’t ever be replaced.

Reach out, choose to live, ask for help, and receive it from some of the most amazing clinicians on our campus.

I will carry these memories between my ears. When things get tough, I’ll cherish them as a time I once had, while life gradually and naturally brightens up again. I will create new safety nets and stronger support networks. And I’ll move on, because that’s what we do. But I will never, ever forget.

Stay safe.

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