In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to highlight the strength of those who haven't been feeling like themselves lately. I have been there. Let me get transparent with you guys. When I was in college, I was lost. Not the lost like I didn't know my way around campus. I was lost going down a hole. I pushed away the boy I absolutely adored, I was angry, I was hurting. I would start the day with a shot of Vodka to get going. I would go to work in the morning, class late morning/afternoon, and back to work until the evening. My social life was immaculate; I hung around so many people, went to the club 3-5 days a week without a care in the world until I had a rude awakening. Typical weekend, my friends and I are getting ready to go to a party. We arrived by shuttle and the drinks immediately started flowing. I had maybe 2 drinks and I began feeling weird. The room started spinning and I woke up in my dorm room the next morning with barely any clothes on and a trashcan full of vomit. To this day, I have no idea what happened to me that night or how I got home. A couple days later, I went to the clinic to get tested, but still no one knew what happened. I kept it from my parents and my friends. I felt ashamed that I'd been "caught slippin." My drinking went from 0-100. There wasn't a day where I wasn't drinking to mask my feelings. I began sleeping with whomever showed me attention. I had no respect for myself anymore. I didn't value myself and I allowed my mental health to overcome my life. I was so depressed, but no one knew. No one checked on how I was really feeling. I could poker face the hell out of anything going on with me. I was so afraid to be judged for having these feelings; feelings I couldn't describe half the time. I still have to give myself grace and remember how far I've come with the help of my therapist and my belief in God. Without God's strength, I wouldn't have gotten this far. You do not have to suffer in silence. Something isn't wrong with you. You're not being dramatic. Your feelings are real. Don't ignore them. Don't mask them. You are not alone.