"Hi friends. I released a new song called "Surface" as a part of Mental Health Awareness Week. You can check it out HERE.

There is a story behind why I wrote this this song and I want to share it with you guys. I am a little nervous to do so because not many people know about this struggle I have been through. However, I feel that even if I help just one person, it would be worth taking the risk of telling my story. I want people to know that everyone has struggles and it's okay to talk about them and get the help you need.

This song touches on a period of time where I was struggling with self-harm by cutting - here is the story:

When I was in the seventh grade, my English teacher Ms. Tzoumas gave us a homework assignment to ask our parents what their biggest fear for their child was. While we were going over them in class the next day, each of my classmates said their parents were worried about things like academic success. When I asked my mom, she said she was afraid I would never love myself. At the time I didn’t understand what that meant or why she would say that but later down the road, her fear became mine too.

After a series of events, my younger self felt a mix of emotions that made me never feel good enough for anybody or anything. But on the surface, I never showed that. To my friends and family, I think I always played the backbone role or a shoulder to cry on. If anyone ever needed anything, I always made myself available. I think it came off as strength, but at times I felt like crumbling. But I knew that if I crumbled, everyone else would too. I started to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.

I thought what I was feeling was normal – like I was supposed to feel that way. I never talked to anyone about it because I didn’t want to burden anyone with my thoughts and feelings. I just accepted everything and tried to make the best of it. There are a handful of times that I can remember getting out of the shower and just staring at myself, crying, because I was so upset I was me.

After years of suppressing my emotions, it was only a matter of time until things were going to boil over. When I was 20 I had my first panic attack. I had gotten this rush of emotion that I hadn’t felt before. I had pent-up energy and loads of pain I didn’t know how to deal with. Everything was coming out all at once before I had the chance to stop it. I was crying uncontrollably during this mental breakdown and I could feel myself becoming someone I didn’t recognize. At that point, my story with self-harm began.

The panic attack only lasted five minutes but those minutes felt like hours. Having that release of energy made the panic attack disappear quicker. In a dark way, I felt like it was punishment for myself for not being good enough. After all was said and done, all I could think was “what did I just do? This isn’t me.” I had never thought I would engage in that behavior in a million years. I was so mad at myself for doing it but at the same time I couldn’t stop. It became a vicious cycle for a few years every time I had a panic attack.

I was hurting and starting to fall apart, but I didn’t know how to tell anyone I needed help. The first and only time someone noticed was an old boyfriend I had. Instead of asking if I was okay, he told me what I was doing was “some middle school s***”. Because of that I wasn’t sure what people would think or if they would judge. I decided to keep up the façade of “happy ball of sunshine” so no one really knew what was going on. In reality, all I wanted was for someone to just hold me and tell me it was going to be okay.

Fast forward a few years, and I decided it was time for a change and this needed to be a habit of the past. One day when I was driving, Pepper’s “Sitting on the Curb” came on and I couldn’t help to think how it would be impossible to be sad and listen to that song. I told myself the next time I felt down, I would listen to that song instead. Eventually that day came and I would be crying, burying myself in my knees and squeezing them tight but I’d be breaking the cycle.

I wanted to write “Surface” to talk about my experience but also to use my platform to let people know they aren’t alone in what they are going through. I want it to be a catalyst to get people talking or to search for help if they haven’t. It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling but talk to someone about what’s going on. But if you aren’t going through anything, check up on your friends and make sure they feel loved. Sometimes the ones who are going through the most are those who you’d least expect it."