Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month. If you’ve read any of my posts, you know by now that this is a subject that’s really important and close to me. I am literally sitting here crying because all I want is to see people believe in themselves and know their worth. That’s literally what this all boils down to: you matter. I wish, with every single part of me, that I could hug every single person in the world and tell them they matter…and have them actually believe it.

If you are feeling anxious, depressed, alone: please know you are not alone. There is so much the world has to offer than what we see at face-value these days, which is hate and divide. More importantly, though, there is so much YOU have to offer this world. You are unique. You were given gifts no one else has. You were created for a reason. I know I say that all the time, but I mean it. I wish I could pop out of this page and throw my arms around you and tell you that face-to-face. There was a time when I was at my lowest point a couple years ago. I was depressed and felt so alone. I wanted to disappear, and at that moment, I needed someone to hug me and tell me it was all going to be OK. That person wasn’t there for me (in fact, I was left in a parking lot). One thing I can promise you is that it does get better. It always does. You will meet people who will make you feel worthy and you won’t be scared anymore. If you are offered help, take it. If you need help, ask for it. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. I say that all the time, too…because it’s true. Some people will make you think that it’s weak to need help, but IT’S NOT! You are worth more than rubies. Proverbs 3:15.

You are not alone. You will get through this. There will be better days. Happy days. You will see your dreams come true. I am living proof of that, as are so many others. Your story matters. Speak it. Share it. Your story could very well be someone else’s survival guide.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 800-273-8255.

I’ve got your back. Stay safe and healthy, friends. Look out for each other. My promise to you is that I will continue to be as open and vulnerable as I can. I truly believe that’s the way to breakdown stigmas and to create a safe space for you all to do the same. Maybe we can create a ripple effect.

Xoxo.

What I’m listening to:
“This Could Change Everything,” Francesca Battistelli
“Better Days,” OneRepublic (in case you need some encouragement, and you can’t go wrong with this band)
“the last great american dynasty,” Taylor Swift

Starting the School Year!

Hey friends! Someone I knew just passed away, so I’ve been a bit quiet lately. But, I’m back!

Doesn’t it seem like summer just started? Kids are already either back at school or will be soon. Or, should I say you’ll be virtual? In school? Hybrid? Whew, I’m not in school and it gives me a headache just hearing about all the school stuff going on right now. It’s times like this that make us all (whether we have kids in school or not) appreciate the teachers and parents. I have a couple friends who are teachers, and hearing what they have to do this year is mind-blowing. If that’s you—my hat’s off to you. If you’re a parent trying to navigate the demands that seem to keep changing–my hat’s off to you. There are so many factors that seem to play into this. I mean, it’s hard enough being a kid and having your first day at school…now, you have all of this other stuff going on. I am in no place to give any advice on how to navigate this, other than to say: give yourself grace! Whether you’re a teacher, parent, student, janitor at the school, we see you and hear you! You are all in our thoughts and prayers!

I love summer so much, so whenever I started back at school, I dreaded it. I had a break during summer from getting beat up, thrown down flights of stairs, teased, told to kill myself. I never knew what I would be in store for when I went back to school. Would the kids that bullied me before, still bully me? Would there maybe be a new kid in our class that maybe would want to be my friend? Would I be able to enjoy anything about school? I woke up feeling anxious, and I went to bed feeling anxious. For as long as I could remember, I had always wanted someone to stand up for me. I got so tired of doing it myself. Do you ever feel like that? Yes, it’s true that the most important thing is to be able to stand up for yourself, but sometimes we get tired. Sometimes we just want someone to step in and say “I got this. You can rest now.” I heard someone last week say something that hit me: “Be with people who stand up for you, not people you have to stand up to.” Now, that’s a word!

Since the school year is just starting, I wanted to encourage you kids to go easy on the others. Maybe go out of your way to include someone in a conversation or group. Initiate a welcome conversation with the new kid. Ask someone how they’re doing. You can make someone’s day or break someone’s day. It’s your choice.

This is a short post, but I hope you’re all doing well, staying safe and healthy. Reach out to me anytime you need, friends! Be kind.

 

Xoxo.

What I’m listening to:

“Who Am I To Say,” Justin Townes Earle
“Rogers Park,” Justin Townes Earle