You can be the ONE that helps

Do you ever just wonder how you got where you are in life? It's like you took a blink of an eye and all of a sudden there was a 180 in your entire life plan? I know that feeling all too well. If you would have asked me a year and half ago where I would be today, I wouldn't have an answer, and I absolutely would not believe I would hold the title for Miss North Dakota International, but everything happens for a reason and I have learned from my own mistakes that life can and will get better. 

Summer 2016 - I was living life in a way to just get by. I was drained, irritable, and I only wanted to sleep or go out for a night of drinking with my friends to get my mind off of my own pain. I remember getting off of work and heading straight to my room until I would cry myself to sleep, and wake up and do it all again. This summer was different for me. I felt completely alone, abandoned, and lost. I realized I was behind farther in school after I switched majors, I had moved towns, and recently ended a very long relationship. It was like life wanted to push me down on purpose to see how I would react. 
I had my own family worried, and whenever they would call I would laugh and say I was fine. I was living life recklessly. I was on several medications to prevent my blood from clotting, as that spring I had developed several clots in my heart and lungs, and other medications that definitely didn't mix well with alcohol. But, I did what I wanted and if it made me feel good for just one moment I was looking for my escape. I was on a fast track to disaster. 
Come end of June beginning of July, I met someone. I met a friend, someone who just lit this fire inside my soul. Someone who indirectly showed me that life could be more, and they would love me for all of my flaws. This person doesn't know that I owe my 180 to them, and maybe they never will. 
I visited my primary care physician and got serious about my depression, I told her how I was coping and she just giggled and said, "Sweetie, that isn't coping. You're a strong girl but sometimes we all need a little help." She gave me several natural methods to reduce stress and handle my depression but also prescribed and anti-depressant. 
I was embarrassed for the longest time of admitting I had to take a "happy" pill. I was always an upbeat soul and had a hard time getting down. It was a shock that I needed some thing to balance my own chemicals in my brain to help me function. It wasn't until I was asked during a seminar while visiting my own highschool sharing suicide prevention and awareness, I was asked, "do you struggle with depression?" I was taken back, no one had flat out asked me about my own mental health. My first reaction was to say reply with a no, but then I caught myself and I decided I was feeding into the stigma of mental health. I was going to be truthful and honest. I told that entire gym on how I met with my PCP and how she explained that depression is a chemical imbalance, and it's like when you're physically sick you take medication to get better, and sometimes your brain gets a cold and gets thrown off and needs to hit the reset button. 

So, still today with life going better than I could imagine. I struggle with depression. But instead of reaching for the bottle I talk to my friends and family about my struggles and they lift my spirits right back up. They let me know that I wasn't alone and I had a shoulder to lean on. 
For you who maybe trying to find an escape from your problems with an unhealthy behavior I urge you to talk to a friend or a family member and get the right help you deserve. I couldn't imagine where my life would be if I had continued down that strong path of disaster. 

Forever and Always,

Siam Simpfenderfer 
Miss North Dakota International 2017

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