**This post was written by Alexa Levitt**
One year ago today, I lost my best friend. The man who I looked up to. Not only my best friend, but my partner in crime. This year has been a rollercoaster to say the least. I woke up one day with both parents and a happy family. The next, my dad passed away and I later found out that he suffered from depression. People are always asking me why I am as open as I am and I tell them this. In my life I have two options. One, I could go through life knowing that I will never get my dad back and the reason for that being is because he took his own life. Or, I go through life knowing there is no other option and yes he did take his own life, but I can use my story to help others. Life is not fair. It does not matter what you have or how much you have, that is never going to define your happiness. People assume that happiness is defined in designer items, the perfect body, and money. It took losing him to realize, the only thing that matters in life is mental health and a good support system. I want everyone who reads this to know that suicide is not the only option. There is help, resources and people who you can talk to. I believe that my dad thought there was no other option and I have accepted that questions will forever stay unanswered. I will not let depression, anxiety, and mental health be as unspoken about as it is. We need to normalize that these thoughts are extremely common and that you are never alone no matter what you are going through. If you need help, speak up; people are not mind readers. In my personal life, being open has allowed me to build stronger relationships and grow as a person. I thank my lucky stars that I got 14 ½ years with the most incredibly talented, hardworking, athletic, handsome, funny, and strong man. He taught me to love the ones close to me, how to be hardworking, and most importantly he taught me how to be the best version of myself. Dad, if you are reading this wherever you are, I want to thank you for everything you have provided for me. You are the strongest and most powerful human being I know. I will continue to keep your legacy alive. I am so lucky to call you my dad. No matter what, I will always forgive you! We are a team for infinity and beyond! I love you to the moon and back. I love you!