September is Suicide Prevention Month across the U.S., and around the world Suicide Prevention Day is observed on Sept. 10.
I almost didn't make it for one of the greatest eras of my life. Right at this very moment, no career has been more rewarding, new friendships have never been so promising, and most importantly: I love someone more fiercely, more openly and honestly than I ever have before.
And it almost never happened. If I'd had my way 15 years ago I wouldn't be here. In the years since I've worked hard on self-esteem and lifting myself up and yet the humor in all of it is that none of the work I've done would be possible if it weren't because of one really important thing I couldn't do right.
Failing to end my life all those years ago was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and I wish -- I hope -- in my fumbling, nervous, occasionally (always) awkward way that I can somehow express to everyone that's struggling right now that it really does get better if you work at it.
So I work at it -- always. And you know what? I still struggle with anger. Fifteen years of a new life and I still occasionally have to convince myself that I'm not inadequate. I'm in the happiest, most fulfilling time of my life. And the people who love me still wonder why, after everything that I've accomplished, do I still struggle sometimes with depression?
And there's no answer to that. Because mental illness doesn't really have an answer. There's no real explanation or rhyme or reason to it. Inside me, there's just the desire to overcome it. And that's what I keep fighting for --- I keep fighting so all of us have the strength to fight this.
And that's the real point to this somewhat rambling mess of a post: we have to ALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING -- but we're not alone, and we can do this together.
We can have everything we've ever wanted -- success, love, even happiness -- and for people who struggle with depression, sometimes it's still a battle to keep your head up. Because the struggle isn't there at our jobs, the struggle isn't with our friends, our families, or our lovers. The struggle is there inside us -- and it's not going away without a little grit.
So we'll keep fighting together, moving forward together. Because all I can do, all any of us can do, is keep striving to be that Better Me -- that Better You. The Me that feels the weight of my own thoughts but keeps going anyway, keeps pushing my whole self towards a Better Self.
No matter how long that struggle takes, if we can devote our lives to striving to be Better Selves, it's never going to be a wasted life. And the alternative? The alternative is untimely death - and I'm Better Than That. We Are Better Than That. Together.
So please -- please keep fighting. I'm (literally) living proof that this will get better if you want it to. We're together in this, no matter how far away you are, I'm with you, a lot of people are with you. There's no such thing as Alone anymore.
If you -- or someone you know -- need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.
If you have a story about living with mental illness that you'd like to share with HuffPost readers, email us at email@example.com. Please be sure to include your name and phone number.
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