Quality of Life: Will Summers


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Grant Carter

“Bring joy to as many people as possible and be there for those who can’t feel it.

 “If you see me around campus, you probably see me with a smile. If you follow me on social media, you know me as WesHappy. I come from a great family and great upbringing, no reason to be upset. Come May 2017, depression started eating away at me. But how would anybody notice? In February 2018, I finally accepted that the things that bring me joy — my favorite artists, roller coasters, the love of my family and friends —   didn’t do that anymore. Realistically, nothing could make me ‘feel’.

What set me off was a perfect storm. My sister was diagnosed with cancer, my dad was being treated for cancer, I was increasingly bothered by the things I had control over. I felt guilty about my problems. What hit me the worst were the things I couldn’t control. I realized that a life plan was useless if I wasn’t strong enough to handle the plan failing. I decided to leave school. 

“My first day back home, my sister, stage four, held my hand and said ‘Will, I need you to give me purpose through this. You will be here for me. I will be here for you.’ I began to realize that I wasn’t the only one going through this. I wasn’t the only one whose life was taken over by mental illness. I wasn’t the only one who understood.

“In the last year my life took a 180. My family’s health improved. I have the strongest friendships I’ve had in life to this point, and I’m so happy with the person I have become. I’m proud of who I am, even with my mental illness, because it has allowed me to see the world and myself in a different way.

“The proudest moment of my life was when I released a video containing an original poem and visuals that reflected how I was feeling when my depression was at its worst. The reaction was beyond anything I could have imagined as people started to reach out to me with their own stories. While every story was different, much of the feelings associated with the circumstances were the same.

Depression and anxiety are non-discriminatory. They don’t care about your circumstances. They affect people everywhere and aren’t talked about enough. Every day I try to bring joy to as many people as possible and be there for those who can’t feel it. I try to make the world aware. I can’t lose another person to this. WE can’t. It shouldn’t take somebody dying for people to start caring about mental health.”