Hey there! My name is Karin, I’m a 21-year-old university student in Americaland (the United States) and I’ve come to realize that all I really want is to be happy. I’m not talking about cottoncandysugarhighpresentsonChristmasandcakeonyourbirthday happy, I’m talking about real happy. The kind that leaves you feeling warm inside like drinking hot chocolate by a fire in the dead of northeastern winter after a long day playing out in the snow. The kind of happiness that makes you smile and laugh with your whole heart not just your mouth. I started to realize„ very slowly, that I want to live my life, not just survive it. I want to be a real girl, no, a real woman, not an empty shell of a person, ever consumed by darkness, sadness, emptiness, and shame. I should probably explain what I’m talking about now, so you understand better. I have struggled with the way I think and feel about myself for a very long time, mostly in secret. I’ve struggled with self injury and a whole spectrum of eating disordered behaviors, which if needed a label would probably best fall under the nondescript term of EDNOS. I know what it’s like to absolutely hate yourself, I have lived in that reality for far too long, especially because I was born with a physical disability that makes me undeniably different from most “normal” people. I have struggled on and off with depression since I was 11 years old. Things aren’t radically different now, not in a tangible sense, as I sit here and write this. I’m not “better” not “cured”, I struggle everyday, but for the first time in a really long time, I want to be happy, I want to be alive! I don’t wade through the darkness alone. I don’t want to plaster fake smile on my face and tell everyone “I’m fine/better/perfect/oh so happy/etc. ” while I cry myself to sleep at night. I want to stop living a lie, hiding in the darkness, because the light makes all the bad things look so ugly. I want to be the person that I know God created me to be, imperfect for sure, but not self-destructive. So, what does any of that have to do with you? Join me on this journey, and I’ll try my best to help you out and answer any questions you have. I’m going to tell you right now, I’m human and I’m dealing with a lot of stuff, so I will make mistakes and have bad days. I’m trying to remind myself that that’s okay!