After nearly a decade of suffering from mental illness, my road to recovery has led me to hiking from Mexico to Canada. As I have been hiking the Pacific Crest Trail these past few weeks, a great sense of purpose has gradually surfaced. I want to encourage more discussion about and awareness of mental illness and addiction. I hope I can make use of my hiking adventure to fundraise for Mental Health research, because I believe there is still a lot left to be discovered. To me, recovering from depression, anxiety, PTSD and self-harm has been a journey of cognitive shaping and self love. We need to tune out the stigma and normalize discussion. Too often, we fail to offer those with mental health conditions the same concern and compassion we would show someone with a physical condition. Here I am, trying to take a step towards change.