Thinking about the tragic loss of Kate Spade makes me realize and reflect on how mental illnesses can affect anyone and everyone. It does not discriminate or choose individuals based on life events, status, or presentation. It may not always look angry, unhappy, or stressful and it may not be occurring ALL the time. I loved that she was self made, a Kansas City native, fashion icon with the most lovely, whimsical, and bold brand. It really hit home for me as her brand was always so bright, happy, and full of inspiration. I have never shared this directly with anyone until a few years ago and I would have never thought I’d share this to social media and still not sure i will actually click share but if i can help someone, here it is..I have struggled so much with my own mind, mostly when i was growing up..my parents know better than anyone. In high school and college, i had more unwanted thoughts than i could count. I would have moments of hatefulness toward my mom and dad, i would have very unwelcome thoughts about taking my own life —although i knew i would never actually do that but something in me entertained the thought which is so scary—what was stemming all these things?? I grew up in the best family who gave me way more than i needed..even wanted for that matter. I had NO IDEA what was causing it and i hated it. I hated getting these thoughts. I remember in high school I hated to feel different or stand out from a crowd and it’s crazy to think now, i thrive on being different and standing out. My anxiety was so bad, i could not sit in a classroom my senior year because of what was going on in my head. I still don’t really like to remember that. I actually chose a bigger college to attend knowing the class sizes would be bigger so it wouldn’t be as noticeable if i had to walk out. I can’t really explain to you how a mental illness makes you feel and if you have suffered from this, I’m sure you know what I am talking about. I was prescribed antidepressants and I would sneakily (without knowledge to any of my friends) see a counselor in another small town a couple times a week..she was my savior! I know she will read this as we recently reconnected by ‘accident’ at the Kansas City airport. About a month ago, i saw her boarding the same flight as me. It was like God placed us both in this moment at the same time. When i saw her, i did all i could not to cry and then lost that control after i walked away toward my seat. The only thing i could tell her was “thank you, you changed my life so much.” I couldn’t get very many words out. I was shaking and it was like God was with me in that moment. She found me on Facebook immediately after the flight sending me a message saying, “that made my whole year.” I was thinking about just how far i had come since the last time i saw her, 11 years ago. It made me realize the power i have in me, my relationship with God, and the difference it makes surrounding myself with positivity and things that make me happy. My brother who is my best friend didn’t even know I saw a counselor until a couple years ago ( I think he knew I needed one tho lol ;) ) I DO still get anxiety from time to time. In fact, i have felt it the last couple of days. I really can’t pinpoint what triggers it. I know I speak so much positivity and sometimes the people around me (my mom and my brother lol) are like okay “miss positive” but I HAVE to keep my mind in this way of thinking and now, thankfully, it comes naturally. I am no longer on medicine (as of college) and I started reading and finding different ways to naturally treat anxiety and depression. I found that fish oil pills (I am a firm believer now) are a natural supplement that help with my every day feelings in general by helping with brain function. I have trained my mind to take each situation that may be uncomfortable, rejecting, dissatisfying, or just SAD and try to find the “good” in it and then reassure myself “everything happens for a reason.” I have realized and now understand we don’t have to know or try to guess the reason, but have faith and know that with god, it will be okay and it will come to light whether we get to see/realize it. I have learned that the way people treat you is a direct reflection of them—not you, and this goes a long way in any situation that can easily make you angry or get you ‘fired up.’ Anymore, upon waking each morning, my favorite thing to do is give thanks to the lord for every little thing I am thankful for..which is a huge long list andddd sometimes i find myself thanking him all day (i am ADD as well lol) but it makes me realize just how blessed I am to be made by God and truly handcrafted the way he wants me to be. If you can relate to any of this and feel like things can’t look up please please please know there are so many great things ahead for you. Things you can’t even place in your mind! I can’t imagine missing all of the life i have lived so far. I am truly grateful, happy, ecstatic, jazzed to be ALIVE and i am sending out positive vibes into the universe to all of you and to me..please let me help you if I can🏼 if there is anything in your life that affects you negatively, try and rid your life of it! Try to find ways to work around it! You have the power in you to create and live exactly the way you want! Everyone deserves to be HAPPY! And everyone deserves to undeniably be their own authentic self..thank you Kate Spade for making the world a more colorful, beautiful, and happy place to be. Your style and spirit of life will live on forever.