I could go on for hours trying to fully tell someone about my ten day trip to the Gulf Coast. I could talk about all of the funny things that made me laugh so hard I actually cried. Or the service I did with others that brought me to tears for different reasons. Or how those ten days became one big therapy session for me where I got to release my demons and somehow step out of my depression.
They say that the best way to get through depression or even sadness is to help others. For months I thought my life was worthless. I was sad and could not imagine the day I would not feel this heavy sadness that consumed me. But since the first day on this adventure with fourteen other people I left that dark rain cloud in Philadelphia and got to be my free spirited and socially awkward old self again.
I got to see homelessness, or “residentially challenged” as they liked to call themselves in a whole new way. I got to stand in a part of the Lower Ninth Ward that was once twenty feet under water and remains as untouched as it did after Hurricane Katrina ten years ago. In Alabama, I saw firsthand the hunger that occurs in our country. I personally got to hand people who waited in line a bag of food that will need to last them a week for their basic survival. Solidarity is a concept that I always hear about and try to stress to do in any thing I do with people that may differ from me but during my Gulf Coast experience it was so easy to do.
I would give anything to go back with those fourteen amazing people. The Gulf Coast will always have a special place in my heart forever. My life has definitely been changed because of these life experiences. Not just because of my freedom from my depression but this new outlook on life.