There are moments in time where I find media that speaks to me on a level that I do not understand the importance of it until much later. One might enjoy a film, a book, or an anime and just remember it fondly without much afterthought. What makes something truly special, to me, has always been if I find myself returning to thinking about messages or applying something in my life to what I watched/read. I know that sounds a little pretentious, but I think it is important for us to have lasting messages like that to help us through whatever it is we are going through.

Living with the affliction that tugs me down whenever it feels like I am finally starting to hit a good stretch without feeling like I am sinking is something I have dealt with for what is going on almost seven years now. It has been four years since I hit my rock bottom, and the lasting impact of that is still something I struggle to discuss within my relationships. Even now I still have bouts with depression that get me low. It is a mix of anger for not being able to do anything for others and some stubbornness to sit by that keeps me going and propels me out of there more times than not.

Spoilers for up through the fourth film in The Garden of Sinners series ahead as well as a trigger warning

When I made a “dream list” of anime to talk about, I always wanted to share what The Garden of Sinners meant to me. I wanted to more than anything, but I was afraid. I was afraid my writing was not good enough to do it justice and that my discussions about mental health would come off disingenuous if I wrote about it too much. The truth is, mental health advocacy is one of the defining features of who I am now. Defining who we are is something that has been a subject I struggle with. Our identity- the things we see ourselves in, and what we think makes up who we are- all of that vanished one day. Even now, four years later from my attempt, I am a 100% different person after that happened. I can’t begin…

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