subject line: love rewards the brave. April 20, 2016 by Hannah Brencher boise, idaho With each day I feel like I’m slowly coming alive again, like I’m coming out of hibernation. I’ve been battling the dark for about eight months and I finally feel like I might be winning. My heart was broken, a future and a friendship were lost. I’ve never felt so alone or so disrespected and dismissed. I hunkered down to protect myself as I tried to understand the whys and figure out the what nows. I asked for help. I named my depression and looked it in the face. I cried and I prayed and I went to therapy. I’m still broken and it still hurts, but I’m doing the hard work of healing. I hate the clichés of being refined by fire and having greater appreciation for the light because of the darkness, because it all feels like bullshit on the days it takes all your power to pretend to be a functioning human, but it’s all true. We become better when we choose to learn from these experiences instead of letting them define us, which is a feat in itself. If I have any wisdom to offer it’s these words that I want to tie around your heart: Don’t lose hope. Don’t give up. You’re worth fighting for. You are strong. You are brave.