“Be your true self and seek your own approval and acceptance above anyone else’s…Growing up, I experienced a lot of negativity which prompted me to form negative views of myself and the world. While trying to find how I fit in and searching for acceptance from peers, I pursued substances which led me to feeling like I had to hide certain parts of myself or supress and push them away. This led to pushing loved ones away in the process, feeling very poorly about everything and coming very near to losing my life. I realized my vast reserves of personal strength, courage, and positivity when I committed to changing my reality into something I would be proud of and happy with. Today I work on continuing this positive self talk, self acceptance, and love towards others to keep myself looking up and towards a bright future. Always searching for acceptance outside of myself and being hurt in the process, it wasn’t until I started to accept and love myself that I overcame the negativity that I thought doomed me.”