My name is Lea and all of my life, people viewed me as the “happy-go-lucky” and cheerful friend. I was always there to talk when people needed shelter from their storm. Unfortunately, others liked to pick on me, and would call me terrible names, and would ruin my homework, books, clothes, ect. My self esteem plummeted and I spiraled into some dark depression and anxiety. I felt so alone, because Mental health is always displayed as the more brighter side, so I never got to read or see peoples sad sides. As i got older, I heard stories of kids taking their own lives, and while the reasons were all different, the pattern was the same. Kids would feel like there was no escape, or no other people like them. It makes you feel “broken”. I too felt that darkness, and didn't know how to handle it. It became obvious what I was carrying on my shoulders. As I started my freshman year, I heard of project Reasons, and the brilliant Idea to write down your reasons to stay alive. I jotted down my best friends name, my family, and a goal I wanted to achieve. I quickly joined to board, eager and starved for information on how I could heal. As I talked to more kids that where in the same spots as I was, my door suddenly opened and I felt like hundreds of people were holding my hand, and I had a new family that knew what I was going through, and were fighting to break that stigma of brokenness and loneliness. Today, I stand with hundreds of others, holding out my hand to those who need a lift out of their ocean. I stay alive everyday so I can see others come out from their darkness, and watch as they help too, creating a domino effect of kindness and love.