It's time.

Sometimes I sit here, always in this spot, and I think. I think about how amazing it is that I've written these stories and you've read them. It's amazing that I still, over a year after I finished my latest, get messages from people who say they like it, they love it, they want more, they care about it and they care about me and I think about how amazing it is that a little girl like me in a little corner in a little country over here could have an impact, maybe even a big impact, on someone over there. I'm honored to have been given that opportunity.

I think about everything the writing has given me. How it made my days fly by, how it made me happy - genuinly happy, how it helped me find myself and how it forced me to deal with something and I had previously just pushed away. I'm honored to have been given that opportunity.

But everything has changed. Maybe it's that those stories drained me of everything I had. Maybe it's that I need to see more things. Do more things. Maybe it's that I'm happy now. I don't know. I just know that I will not be returning as an active author on this site anymore. I keep wanting it. I keep waiting for it but I know it's not gonna happen. I thank you, each and every one of you, for reading, reviewing, messaging, caring, loving. I don't think you'll ever know the huge impact you had on my life. From all the way over there to all the way over here. Thank you.

It's time to say goodbye.

To all of you wondering how Santana fought the battle.

It was the way everyone around her was forced to open their eyes.

Her father decided to spend less time at work and more time at home. He still didn't say much but his presence did so much in itself. He started hugging her. Telling her how much he cares. That he cares regardless of success or shortcomings. It was the way Santana didn't have to constantly crave his attention anymore.

Her mother struggled. In struggling with Santana, Elena realized how many internal battles she was also fighting. She stopped drinking, she divorced Santana's father and she quit her job. When more at ease with herself it became easier for mother and daughter to let each other in. They found strength in each other.

Santana couldn't be at her graduating ceremony. She missed it because she was still in the hospital. She didn't care much because there wasn't much at that school she cared for. No longer being forced to return to the same place and face the same people every single day, Santana found it easier not to care so much about what everyone thought about her. She could surround herself with unconditional love.

Quinn helped. Quinn would come over to Santana's house and talk about things differently. From an inside perspective. She could talk about all the horrible crap without having to say things like "I can only imagine" or "I've read that...". Santana would seldom talk back and she would never admit to seeing herself in all the things Quinn talked about. But she did. She did and she was thankful. Secretly.

It was the way Brittany would hold Santana's hair when she threw up and say that it was okay. It was okay because she wasn't hiding, she wasn't sneaking away, she wasn't throwing up in secret. She wasn't giving up.

It was the way Brittany's whole face lit up from something as simple as the two of them having ice cream together. Just a spoonful was enough to see that smile and those sparkling eyes warm the entire room. It didn't make it easier, but it did make it feel better.

It was the way Brittany held Santana every sleepless night and let her cry for as long as she needed. Then, when she had been strong for Santana, Brittany could be the one to cry and say that she was scared too.

It was the way Santana could tell Brittany everything but also not have to say anything. It was the way Brittany made her see things clearly and make her forget they ever existed in the first place all the same time.

It was the way Brittany held her hand. At any given moment, in any given situation, Brittany's hand was always Santana's to hold.

It was the way Santana finally saw things. What she was doing to her friends and family. What she was doing to her Brittany and what she was doing to herself. She faced her fears. Once Santana said it out loud she could never take it back. Never make it unsaid. When things become real like that it's hard to hide them away. It doesn't make it easy. Not even a little bit. They don't just go away. Maybe they'll never go away completely. Maybe there'll always be that little voice.

It's the way she doesn't listen to it.

It's the way she doesn't let it win.

Mostly, it's the way Santana learned to love herself again.