Dear Depression,

We’ve come a long way. You crept in shortly after dad died, taking away every ounce of hope I had left. Every day seemed like a struggle I did not want to fight. Every morning was a battle to get out of bed, get dressed, and live my life. It was almost as though I was just a shell of my former self, and you did the talking for me. For as truly agonizing as you were, I am glad you came for a ride with me. You taught me a lot about myself, and for that, I am thankful.

I remember the first time I was prescribed medication for you. I was so angry at myself, I thought it was my fault. If I could just be happy, I wouldn’t need to swallow pills daily. But, it didn’t work like that. I couldn’t just be happy. Inside, I was crippling. I knew if I didn’t shove medication down my throat, I wouldn’t last much longer. Zoloft turned into Busparone, and Trazodone, and eventually Prozac. It all seemed ridiculous, and I hated myself for having to rely on a pill to maintain stable. It was necessary but not at all fun.

Just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore, I did. I did it well. Every time I thought I had enough, I took one more step. Each step led to a new accomplishment. Every day I didn’t want to live, I did, and I am so proud of myself. I could have easily taken my life like my father did, but there was no way I was taking the easy way out. I was no fool. The feeling of actually living and not JUST existing is so amazing. It was like after all these years I was finally able to breathe clearly, and the fresh air changed me. I wouldn’t wish the darkness of you on my worst enemy.

I will never forget how you made me feel. The emptiness is something that I will never forget. You made me feel like I had no purpose, no reason, and worst of all no chance. I contemplated all of these years what my purpose is in life. I couldn’t quite figure it out until just recently. Every time I write an article about something that I’ve learned or the tragedy that I’ve faced, I’m reaching out to someone. If I could just help one person, then my work is complete. I couldn’t ask for a better purpose in life.

I am not cured. I have my days where I feel totally useless, but they’re just days. To those of you reading, I hope you don’t suffer from the darkness of depression. However, if you do, I want you to know everything will be okay. I know it’s the most cliche thing anyone could say, but it is true. If you haven’t gotten help yet, please do so. Change your life around before it’s too late. I wish my dad would have done the same.

To those who are suffering: Stay strong. You are loved.

Depression, I thank you for making me stronger but I do not want you back into my life in full swing. College already makes me lose sleep, I don’t need you lurking around.



Leah Koneski



Social Media vs. Confidence

Ladies, we have all done it. You spend hours perfecting your image in hopes of taking a selfie worthy enough to be posted on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. You sit back, grasp ahold of each ‘like’, and suddenly you are reassured of everyone’s approval. But why?

Why do we have to look a certain way, dress a certain way, or act a certain way in order to feel that we are complete? Why must we spend hours on social media in an attempt to find new ways to soak up attention? The harsh truth is that these ‘likes’ or ‘favorites’ will not determine your worth. They will not make a difference on your death bed. Honestly, they are not worth shit.

I am no stranger to this topic. I, just like everyone else my age, post selfies and statuses and try to make myself look cooler than I am. In all reality, I am just a 19 year old college freshman. I work at a gas station and I sleep a lot. But to my hundreds of followers across the web, I’m sure I look much more appealing than that.

Tonight, somewhere between self-loathing and enjoying my one (wo)man pity party, I have come to the realization that this is all just really exhausting. I am tired of crying because my body does not look the same of every other girl on the Internet. I am tired of comparing myself to everyone else. I am especially tired of thinking that social media makes one person better than the other. 

Confidence needs to come from within and not by people on your Facebook friend list. It is not easy. Confidence is an everyday battle. I surely haven’t gotten it nailed down just right yet. However, I am trying, and I hope you are too.

So before you post that selfie and spend your whole day counting the amount of ‘likes’ you receive on it, please remember you are beautiful with or without them.

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