It's not a secret that I value my close friends as much as I do my family. They keep me witty, they fill me with laughter, and they teach me new things every chance we hang out. Earlier today I got the joy to sit with my best friend to talk while eating, it was a simple day with relaxing activities. While I was leaving her home I felt immense happiness knowing that I was loved and safe in a place other than home. It's a true gift to be able to find acceptance outside of your inner family, it provides a certain type of emotional support that you could never find anywhere else. Sometimes when I'm questioning myself or doubting that things will work out in the end I look to my friends to bring me back to my senses. When my depression kicks in I always compare it to the ocean but a lot of the time when the tides are pushing me under that is when five pairs of hands plunged in to pull me out. From the death of my father to the several breakdowns that I've kept away from public eye, my friends have been there. There's times when they know they can't help and I need space, but there's also times they know I need love and encouragement. I've been fortunate to have those five people present in my life helping me through rough times and celebrating during the best of times, I'll never be able to express my gratitude and love for them enough. Today, I cheer on my friends for being loving, understanding, and loyal people.