I'm the type of person who believes in signs.
Not big, larger than life signs that flash before your eyes and let you know that every decision that you make is valid. I don't even see most of these signs while I'm walking down the street. They're usually messages, from movies and books, and the people that make them. Messages that have the power to resonate with me for a while.
Like when I first read The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I'm still not sure if it affected anyone the way it did me, but I always tell people that the book keeps me alive. The movie further reaffirmed the sign to me. The story, Charlie's letters, all were telling me that it was possible to get better. That I didn't have to be sad all of the time. That I'm infinite.
No one really tells you that in real life.
It was actually after I first saw the film adaptation of Perks that I first started seeing a therapist. I had been sinking, lower and lower, and that story made me realize that I needed to get help.
Could someone have told me that? Maybe. But I didn't really know how to articulate what I was feeling until I read that book. I didn't realize that what I was feeling was valid until I saw Logan Lerman in that movie. And I'll be forever glad that I did see it.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that movies and films can have effects that no one would think about. I doubt that the makers of the Les Mis soundtrack thought a girl would sing herself those songs to stay alive.
I wonder if Gillian Flynn or Ava DuVernay know that by inspiring me, they've given me another reason to look to the future.
Eddie Redmayne reminds me of everything that's bright and beautiful in this world. And whenever I feel like I can't make it anymore, I sing One Day More from Les Mis. I try to remind myself that, if I can stay one more day, I'll have the chance to be like Jane Villanueva.
Moreover, Graham Moore said that he tried to kill himself when he was 16 during his Oscar acceptance speech. When he made that speech, I was in the midst of struggling through a really rough time. When he looked into the camera and held his award, it felt like he was speaking to me. It felt like a sign.
Some people felt it was inappropriate of him to bring this up when he did, but I disagree. If Mr. Moore's speech gave me a sign, it probably helped at least a few other people out, too.
Now, I'm not saying that Eddie Redmayne climbed into my window and saved me from imminent death. That definitely didn't happen. The only reason why I've been getting better is because of my friends, family and doctors. If you're hurting the way I have I sincerely encourage you to tell an adult you trust about how you've been feeling. After all, only you and your family know what's best for you.
But on the other hand, depression is a difficult road to navigate. I don't think that people can tell you what you're supposed to live for. You have to come up with those things on your own.
Reading makes me happy. Watching movies makes me happy. Eddie Redmayne makes me happy. And no matter how childish or stupid these things may sound, they're all things that make me happy. They're some of the many reasons why I stay.
When I'm really low and am numb to feelings because they hurt me so much, I need things that I know will make me happy. When I'm low, I need things that remind me of how big and beautiful the world is, about all of the things I haven't seen and the people I haven't yet met.
Filmmakers do that. Musicians do that. Actors and artists, writers and photographers, they all remind me that I'm only 15. They remind me that there's so much for me to live for.
They remind me that I'm just getting started.
"And now I'm standing here, and so I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she's weird or she's different or she doesn't fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird. Stay different. And then when it's your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along."
-- Graham Moore
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
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