“Everybody told me that college would be the best time of my life and while I can’t deny it’s been fun, it’s also been one of the hardest times of my life. Trying to go to class, maintain a social life, get enough sleep, and have some much need me-time, all while battling the long-unaccepted fact that I was suffering from both anxiety and depression, really took its toll on me in the worst way. My depression wanted me to stay in my bed all day, to hide from school and social activities, but my anxiety wouldn’t give me any solace. The guilt and nervousness of falling farther and farther behind were crushing. Ultimately, I couldn’t relax, no matter what I did. My boyfriend leaving me back in September was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I snapped from the stress and ended up having to spend a few days in the mental ward at the hospital. I felt worthless and lifeless, but it’s what lead to me finally getting the help I needed. I went to see a doctor and a therapist and they both told me the same thing: everything is about balance. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I just needed to find the right balance for my life.
For a long time, my scales were tipped too far in one direction, when really they needed to be evened out. That’s all life is after all—a ‘balance of tolerance.’ I choose those words and choose to have them tattooed on my arm so that I could see them every day as I went about my life. They are there as a constant reminder of how I want my life to be. I’m so glad that I choose to be a part of this project because in my darkest time it has made me feel like I am a part of something bigger—a piece of a puzzle. It’s made me realize that I am a living, breathing work of art. I still have a long way to go until I’m where I want to be in life, but I believe in my future and I’m thankful to everyone who made this project possible.”