Holly Simpson stands in front of the Oklahoma state capitol

Holly Simpson at Oklahoma Capitol

There was a time in my life that I wished I was never born. A time where I would dread waking up in the morning just because the pain of the depression was so bad. In fact, I would pray that God would take me in my sleep just so the pain could stop. Sounds pretty sad doesn’t it? Heartbreaking actually.

Well, those times are over now. Because I have OCARTA. What’s OCARTA you ask? Well if you ask me, it is the place of dreams. A place where you could escape your misery and finally have some happiness. OCARTA has provided me with a place where I can get out of the house and hang out with other people. A place where it’s ok to jump up and down and run around the room without anybody judging me or making fun of me.

I feel very accepted at OCARTA. And there is a very special person at OCARTA that started it all. That person is Donna Woods, aka DW. Donna is the kind of person that once you get to know her and love her, she makes life worth living. And take it from me, as a 28-year-old autistic woman who has struggled with severe depression for 10 years, I know what I am talking about.

In the past, I have entered many contests and drawings thinking about how cool it would be to win that special prize. Well, based on experience, you don’t get everything you want in your life. But if I had only a few things to live for it’d be OCARTA and having friends like DW. I was never picked to win the prize in those contests, but I don’t care.

Why? Because I have won something worth much more than money or trips or material things. I have won my battle with depression. And let me tell you that is not an easy thing to battle. Some people are not so lucky. But really you have to open your eyes and realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Had that light for me is, you guessed it — OCARTA.

Holly Simpson, OCARTA Participant