This Side of My Skin

(Photo done by LG)

I’m not a whole person, and I don’t think I ever will be. Parts of me died in the house I grew up in. Parts of me died as I aged and life experiences wacked me in the face. Parts of me died as people continued to walk out of my life.

I visit these parts of me in my dreams, where I am whole again. Where I don’t stand out from people because of what I’ve been through, because in my dreams, I haven’t been through it. In my dreams, those people have not left. In my dreams, I see them, and we are happy, and we are laughing. In my dreams, everything is okay.

And then the morning comes, and I wake up to who I really am, with all of the broken, dead parts of me, still attached. Because even though they have died, they are still apart of me. And as pieces continue to chip away, they still fall behind like chains attached to me. They are still parts of me, even though they are no longer alive.

My first instinct is to feel ashamed. Of me. Of the skin that I breathe in, for everything I have been through and everyone who has ever graced it. I feel ashamed of myself because at times all I feel like I am is damaged goods, dragging along an endless and growing chain of dead pieces of myself. That this chain will just continue to grow until all that I am is a chain. All that I am is dead pieces.

Something happens though. It is small, and it is not fast. The whole in which a dead piece of yourself once was starts to rebuild. It is painful. It is hopeful. It is scary. There is laughter, and pain, and scar tissue. There are many tears.

Our scars make us who we are. Sometimes, we are ashamed of them. Sometimes, we are afraid. Sometimes, yes, we drag along the empty, fragile, dead, pieces of us. We all have them. Some, more than others. Some ignore them, while some, open heartedly accept them.

There is no reason to be ashamed of the chains you drag behind you, because it makes you who you are, in a sense. Without them, you wouldn’t be where you are today. And maybe you don’t exactly know where that is, yet. And that’s okay too. You don’t have to. You can cry, or scream. Or laugh. Or drive. But never feel ashamed for who you are.

I don’t think I will ever be whole again. I don’t believe in any knight in shining armor to come sweep me off my feet and save me. I’m the hero of my own story. I save myself. But still, I don’t think these pieces will ever be filled in completely.

And that’s okay.

That makes for some grand stories to tell.

Until next time,

TayπŸ’™

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Eating Disorder Hotline: 1-800-931-2237
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
Self-Injury Hotline: 1-800-DONT-CUT
For more hotlines that you or a loved one may need, visit http://www.pleaselive.org/hotlines/
Stay alive. πŸ’™

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I Visited the Columbine Memorial

Sometimes, I do things on a whim. I used to wander a lot, but have recently lost that part of me with events in my life.

This weekend, I had to drive to Denver for the first time alone for a March for Our Lives organizational meeting. As I made it to the 3/4 way mark, I realized my speech was not yet perfected, and I was stressing out just a little bit. So, in .4 seconds, I made a split decision to make a pit stop on my way to Denver. Besides, I had 2 hours to spare before I needed to be at the meeting.

In the midst of our day to day lives, we tend to forget what’s important. We start fighting for something, and then we forget why we started fighting for it in the first place. This is what happened to me.

Upon arriving in Littleton, Colorado this Saturday morning, I instantly felt the gravity of the town and everything in it. I had seen the news coverage from years ago, and I had been shown images of the town. I couldn’t help but wonder if these fences I was passing were the same fences the children of Columbine hopped over to escape the terror of their school.

The library was the site of the most casualties that day back in April of 1999. Now, it is torn down and replaced with a beautiful wall to memorialize it. I sat in the parking lot and looked at that school, unable to comprehend that something of that magnitude could have happened there. I imagined the boy hanging out of the library window, and Rachel Scott smiling just years before. I couldn’t handle sitting there with that on my mind.

Less than a mile from the school itself is a walking path that leads you back to the Columbine Memorial.

I found it beautiful that there was a sign to remind people of the etiquette that should be followed as they visit.

I wasn’t expecting many emotions, even though my mom told me to bring Kleenex before I hung up the phone with her. She specifically said “make sure you bring some tissues with her.” I’m still learning to listen to my mom at 19 years old.

The Wall of Healing is a stone wall in the shape of a semi-circle that includes quotes from students, teachers, and parents. This wall was touching to read, and even more touching to see. I will only include a couple of pictures, as a strongly encourage you to visit the memorial in person yourself.

There were many touching, heartfelt words. There were many deep, articulate quotes. These will all resonate in my mind and heart for the rest of eternity.

But none of these words will stick with me as much as what I actually saw at the memorial.

Flowers. Flowers beyond flowers. There were wilted rose petals blowing across my sandaled toes, and stiffened stems crushed on the ground. If you looked in crevices, you could see the residue of past flowers. Years worth of roses sat on this memorial.

Something even more heart wrenching for me was seeing the fresh ones. The fresh bouquets, and the fresh letters that will forever be left unread. Someone has been missing their loved one. Someone has been here recently, wishing they could hear their voices just one more time. All of these lives were lost in such a senseless act.

That’s when it dawned on me, and I started uncontrollably weeping right in the middle of a graveyard of roses.

Everyone is so busy arguing about their guns vs mental health vs abortions vs bullying they’ve forgotten the mass sadness of it all. These lives have been lost. These beautiful, beautiful lives are gone.

Some of these children weren’t even old enough to get behind a car, and they were taken. They never got to graduate. They never got to walk down the aisle. They never got to see the world. And now, some of us are too scared to even go to school. Why would we want to go see the world?

These beautiful lives will forever be stuck at 17, 18, 19. They will never get to go through a midlife crisis, or feel their laugh change when they hit 27 and have their first child. They are forever stuck at the age their life was taken from them.

That is what is truly important here. Their lives. Our lives. The fact that children are losing their lives by getting an education. Something has to change, and you can’t deny that.

It could be me. It could be your child. It could be your grandchild, your niece, your nephew.

This is what hit me so hard as I read through their individual memorials on stone.

This is what I’m fighting for. This is what is truly important.

After I left the memorial, I sat in my car and wrote the best draft of my speech I had ever written, tears and all.

I deeply encourage you to take the time to visit Columbine High School and the memorial attached to it. It is a sobering experience, and one I will hold with me for the rest of my life. If I ever decide to have any children, I will see that they know of this as soon as they’re old enough to understand.

Remember to take the time to remember what it is that keeps the blood pumping in your veins, and what makes the fight worth fighting.

Until next time,

TayπŸ’™

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Eating Disorder Hotline: 1-800-931-2237
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
Self-Injury Hotline: 1-800-DONT-CUT
For more hotlines that you or a loved one may need, visit http://www.pleaselive.org/hotlines/
Stay alive. πŸ’™

Love. Love. Love.

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known. Nothing you can see that isn’t shown. There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be. It’s easy
All you need is love

.”

-The Beatles

My heart is heavy, but my heart is determined. It’s a constant battle between the two sides, on which one will outweigh the other. I’ve decided to let them be equals, because to suppress one would just do more damage than good.

I’ve come to the realization that there is not enough love in our world anymore. There is so much fear, hatred, and war. But the love has all but slipped away from us. We’ve forgotten, it seems. That, or we have just been so blindsided to give it.

We get so caught up. So caught up in making sure we look good, or are doing the “right things” we don’t make time to love one another. We don’t stop to wave hello. We don’t do things out of the kindness of our hearts anymore. We don’t love.

School has been cancelled two days in a row for my town because of someone’s inability to love. They have so much hatred in their hearts, so much damage that they had to inflict fear and suffering into the minds of the people around them. Because of that, we couldn’t get an education. I couldn’t smile at people in the hallways, or laugh with my friends. I couldn’t see the people that I love, because of someone and their hate.

In America, now is the time for change. Almost everyone has stated that. “We need change. / It’s time for a change. / etc. Etc.” The truth is, that change doesn’t all rely on guns. It doesn’t all rely on metal detectors in every school entrance. It doesn’t rely on our president and his decision to play golf in the midst of a tragedy. Change relies on you and me.

If we want change, it starts with us. While we wait for laws to start, that’s our time to start. Why do we consistently attack each other on Facebook for a difference in opinion? Why do teenagers think it’s okay to start anonymous Instagram accounts to slander each other until they’re nothing but dirt? “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

We are the change.

When we go back to school, think of how you treat other people. Are you loving? Are you kind? Or are you too busy worrying about how you look to other people? Are you taking the time to talk to people? Are you listening?

It shouldn’t take a mass school shooting at our school to bring us together. We should already be together. The small things, the drama, whatever has torn you apart, it shouldn’t matter anymore. If someone were to come in tomorrow and take that person away, would you regret the last thing you ever said to them? Would you want to go back and change it? Your frenemy. Your ex girlfriend. If someone came and took their life tomorrow, would all of that drama be worth it if you never got to say what you really wish you could have said?? Love, people. Love.

Now is your chance.

I can’t stress this enough. I try with every fiber of my being to live by this motto, and it is to love. Love with all of your heart, and then love with another organ. Forgive, and love. Love and love and love.

Today is March 1st, which is also #selfharmawarenessday. The picture above is my battle scars, and a tattoo that means the absolute world to me. Self harm comes in all different forms. All too often, we suffer alone. We suffer in silence. You never know what someone may be going through, or what demons they are battling inside. This is another reason why love is so damn important.

You are not alone. You are lovely. You are worth it. You are brave. You are loved. You will always be all of those things and more. And I am always here for you.

I believe that love is a powerful thing. If we had more love in our hearts, it would do wonders for us all.

You can be the change.

I can be the change.

We can be the change.

Love. Love. Love.

Until next time,

TayπŸ’™

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Eating Disorder Hotline: 1-800-931-2237
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
Self-Injury Hotline: 1-800-DONT-CUT
For more hotlines that you or a loved one may need, visit http://www.pleaselive.org/hotlines/
Stay alive. πŸ’™

PS.

March 24th, I will be attending the March for Our Lives in Colorado. I have readers from all over, so I encourage you to find a march in your state and attend as well!

PPS.

A great deal of stress has impacted my community this week. I’m posting this here, in case anyone who reads this knows any information. Stay safe, and stay strong Woodland Park.

I’m Terrified.

It is 11:26 pm. Sunday, February 25th.

I’m supposed to be sleeping, but instead I’m wide awake. I’m so exhausted. I’m filled to the brim with overwhelming anxiety, so much that I can feel my bed shaking beneath me.

I’ve done everything that Google tells you to do. I’ve listened to calm music. I’ve taken a warm shower, and brushed through the tangles in my hair. I washed my face. I lathered on lavender lotion. I put on warm clothes.

But nothing is helping, because I’m still here and anxious.

Events at my school and in our world lately have taken a toll on me that I can’t seem to shake. When does it stop? When does it get better?

This weekend, our principal sent out an email regarding a threat made at our school this past Friday. Keep in mind, threats and allegations have been coming in for a few weeks now already. I heard rumors about it, but didn’t think it was a real thing until police force showed up and wouldn’t let anyone into the bathrooms.

It doesn’t make sense to me why things like this are happening.

I shouldn’t have to be afraid to walk into school every day. I should be focusing on graduation in 3 months. Who thinks “This is so funny, let me write a threat to 1,000+ students and staff and get away with it”?? It’s not funny. It’s not a joke anymore. Whether you wrote it on a piece of paper for someone to find, wrote it on a bathroom stall, or posted it on Instagram for the world to see, I want you to realize it is not funny.

By making these “threats” you have taken away the security of education from us. Despite whether or not you like school, you are supposed to feel safe there. You aren’t supposed to feel like at any moment someone could come and cause harm to you and your friends.

I spent a long time tonight trying to decide on going to school or not. Let that sink in for a moment. I thought staying home in my bed was better than going for an education. Because now, in order to do that, I feel like I am risking my life. Everything sets of feelings of fear inside me. Everything.

Anytime someone screams.

Anytime the PA system goes off.

Banging sounds.

Books dropping.

Loud noises.

Crowds of people.

Assemblies.

Phones ringing.

Lunch time.

Too much talking at one time.

Not enough talking at one time.

Fire alarms.

ALICE training.

Locked doors.

Unlocked doors.

Windows without screens.

Rooms with too many windows.

Rooms with no windows.

Armed SRO’s.

Police cars outside.

Adults whispering.

Too many people standing at one time.

Opened lockers.

The list goes on and on and the anxiety just piles up. I just want it to stop. I want my school to be safe again. I want to feel as if when I leave for school, I will make it back to my bed that night.

Should I write letters to my family in case something happens while I’m at school? So they know I love them?

Why is sending us to public school starting to sound more like sending us to war?

I said it once, and I will say it again. I shouldn’t have to be afraid to go to school.

It is to the point now that I’ve checked into animal therapy sessions just to ease my nerves on things. These feelings don’t just go away, no matter how well our school handles these situations.

My friends and I choose to stick together through all of this chaos, and for that I am eternally grateful. We are all coping in our own ways, but to have each other is something we all definitely need right now.

If you’re struggling with these same fears because you go to Woodland, or go to public school in general I want you to know you’re not alone. It is a scary world we are living in today where we focus more on living at school than getting our diplomas. I think one of the best things for us all to do is stick together. I hope with every fiber in my being that things will start looking up.

Until then, I was wondering if my readers would help some of us out. Share something that makes you smile, laugh, or just feel good. Maybe it’s a song, a YouTube video, or a picture of your dog. Comment your happy thoughts on this so that anyone feeling these same issues can see it, and have their mind clear for a few minutes. There’s too much negativity anywhere you look in this world today. Having just a moment of positivity could do a lot of us some good.

Until next time,

TayπŸ’™

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Eating Disorder Hotline: 1-800-931-2237
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
Self-Injury Hotline: 1-800-DONT-CUT
For more hotlines that you or a loved one may need, visit http://www.pleaselive.org/hotlines/
Stay alive. πŸ’™

What It is Like to Live in the Land of Guns with a Mental Illness

**This blog contains sensitive topics that may trigger certain readers. Please take caution when reading.**

You have to live under a rock if you haven’t seen the arguments regarding the recent events over the past few days.

“Guns vs people”

“Mental illness vs guns”

“People vs parenting skills”

“Guns vs abortion” (..what?)

In my opinion, you can have whatever standing you want on the argument. I’m not going to block you on Facebook or shun you if I walk past you in the meat section of Wal-Mart on a Tuesday evening. The truth is, there’s more than one factor that goes into all of this. It’s not just one solid problem to fix and then everything will be solved. You fix mental illness (however that may be) and you still have guns. You fix the gun problem and you still have the mental health issue. We rally up parents to “discipline their children better,” but we still miss a few.

People are sitting back on Facebook and Twitter and attacking each other due to their different opinions on what our country needs to fix. Let me just throw this out there: that’s not helping anything. You, going off on Brenda for 8 days straight in the comments section of a post isn’t going to help what you’re standing for.

Here is my take on things.

Growing up, I didn’t see a lot of guns unless it was on TV. Even then, I didn’t watch much that had anything to do with guns or violence to begin with. If my parents had guns, I didn’t know about it. Guns were out of sight, and out of mind.

As most of you know, things got really tough for me as years went on. (If you don’t know you can read about that here. ) I was diagnosed with PTSD, severe dysthymia, and depression. At the time, I didn’t like the thought of it. I didn’t want to talk about it or even address it, but now I’m open to conversing about my struggles.

I was in a constant state of wanting to harm myself. I wanted to get out of this world, one way or another. It was too hard to take anymore. So, I thought, why not? They make it seem so easy to do on TV. You take a gun and you just pull the trigger. You’re done, right?

But, my house didn’t have any guns.

I remember clearly one night as I was sitting on a couch with my best friend, watching TV. Nothing was different. Nothing was off. We were just watching TV. Her dad came home from work, talking on his cell phone. I caught a glimpse of him just as he set a gun down on the counter. It was one he carried with him at all times, I later found out.

Being in the state I was, my first thought was that this was the place I could do it. If I could get ahold of that gun, that’s the one I could use.

I never tried to hurt myself with a gun, but I always thought about it. I always knew that if I wanted to enough, the option was there. And that’s scary to think about.

It’s scary to know that anyone could go out and buy a gun without anyone knowing anything about them.

My brother’s uncle is another example. A few years ago, he was in a really bad place. He took a gun and locked himself in the bathroom. As his wife listened in through the bathroom door, he fatally shot himself. I always wonder what would have happened had he not had access to that gun. Maybe he could have gotten help. Maybe he would still be here to hold his children and see how tall and smart they’ve become.

I would gladly give up my right to go out and buy a gun any day, if it meant the safety and security of my classmates and future generations to come. My little brother should be able to go to school and feel safe when he walks in. He should have to worry about what’s for lunch that day and what game he will play at recess, not if he will ever make it home.

I would like to clarify that mental illness doesn’t always mean that you’re going to shoot up a school, or kill people while they’re at a concert, or even yourself. I was never in the thought process of wanting to hurt anyone but myself. End of the line- guns shouldn’t be as easy to access. They should not be out for children. They should not be out for teenagers. They should not be out for people who may or may not harm themselves.

Have you read the news stories of 5 year olds who are playing pretend when they find a gun and accidentally shoot themselves??

This shouldn’t happen.

We have taken advantage of our right to bear arms. Enough is enough.

A 19 year old kid, reported to the FBI for posting that he was “going to be a professional school shooter one day” should never have had the opportunity to get an AR-15 in his possession. Never. This could have been prevented.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are standing up for what they believe in. Instead of being another number, or another pinpoint on a map, they’re rising against the odds. They are protesting. They are rallying. They are becoming.

On March 24th of this year, they have put together an event called March of Our Lives. They will be marching for reform, so that this doesn’t have to happen ever again. I hope to be lucky enough to attend one of these marches. I stand with you.

This has to end. But it won’t end until we do something about it. Attend walk outs and sit ins. March. Contact your representatives. Write to everyone you possibly can.

We are the change we wish to see in our world. It starts with us.

Until next time,

TayπŸ’™

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Eating Disorder Hotline: 1-800-931-2237
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
Self-Injury Hotline: 1-800-DONT-CUT
For more hotlines that you or a loved one may need, visit http://www.pleaselive.org/hotlines/
Stay alive. πŸ’™

Being a Teen in the Age of School Shooting Normalization

It’s my #1 worst recurring nightmare. I walk into school on a seemingly regular day. I’m with my friends. We’re talking as we usually do, cracking a joke every now and again. I smile at the people who seem far away.

On this day in the nightmare, it is Wednesday, which means every student at Woodland Park High School arrives to school at a later time. It’s always on a Wednesday. We all pile into the Commons or stagger about the student parking lot before the bell rings and we go our seperate ways to begin our days. However, in this nightmare I constantly have, none of us get to make it that far.

It always happens differently, but suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, gunshots are fired. Someone here has a gun. We all know what the sound is instantly. We grew up watching movies with it, playing video games with it, and hearing them in all kinds of ways. But none of us were prepared for them to go off there, in our own school.

Chaos breaks lose. People are screaming, dropping to the floor. Some are running in all different directions. It all happens so fast, its hard to distinguish what is really going on.

From there, many different scenarios happen. My friend next to me is shot. Or we all duck under cafeteria tables. Or I run off with someone I haven’t been close with in ages, and spend hours hiding with them. Or I’m held at gunpoint in front of the entire school. Or I cower in a corner as I watch everyone I know be shot right in front of my eyes.

This nightmare has become so common for me that I think about it anytime I walk into school. I think about it as I walk through the halls. The staff at school has told us what to do in case of an active shooter in whatever class we may be in. They have answered whatever questions we may have. But at any given moment, it could happen, and absolutely no one would be prepared.

(Please note that Colorado is not lit up at all. And that scares me. A lot.) Added Feb. 15

It is 43 days into our calendar year and there have been 18 school shootings. 18. And after the Parkland shooting today, three of the 10 deadliest mass shootings have happened in the last 5 months.

What have we done about it?? Absolutely nothing. We do the same cycle anytime a senseless tragedy like this happens.

“Oh no this is terrible, let me write about how terrible I think this is. I’ll post it on Facebook. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims. While I’m at it, let me change my profile picture to a filter someone created so that it looks like I’m doing something, when in actuality I’m going to go and forget all about this tragedy in a few days until the next one hits. Also while I’m at it, #TragedyStrong to show people I support the cause. And in a few days, I’ll go back to sharing stupid quotes with my followers.”

Nothing changes. No laws are passed. We learn to accept it as the “norm.” We scroll through the Trending Topics on social media, see the name of a town, and instantly assume it’s a mass casualty. It happens all the time. No need to freak out, right??

THERE ARE PEOPLE KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE.

What is sending your thoughts and prayers going to do?? How is that going to stop the next person from open firing at another school? At another concert??

We should have learned in 1999 when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris pulled off the biggest school shooting America had ever seen. We should have stopped it then. But we didn’t.

And then innocent 6 year olds who didn’t even know how to tie their shoes or sing on key lost their lives. And we still didn’t learn.

We still haven’t learned.

We learned to adapt instead of change the ways. We learned the easiest escape routes from our math class to the back hallway door. We learned to build barricades on the doors.

Instead of taking measures to stop the possibility of school shootings, we taught kids from the time they were potty trained how to survive one.

“Welcome to the place where you should feel the most safe. Know that you have the chance every time you step through those doors that you may never go home again. Enjoy the next 12 years.”

What kind of BS is that? We sit back and we let this happen. We let people with semi-automatic guns walk into schools and kill children.

I shouldn’t have to feel panic whenever there is mass huddles of kids in the hallways, or whenever assemblies are called. Whenever the fire alarm is called, is it real? Or is it a set up? When do we decide enough is enough??

Open your eyes.

I’d love to hear your opinion on this down below.

Until next time,

TayπŸ’™

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Eating Disorder Hotline: 1-800-931-2237
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
Self-Injury Hotline: 1-800-DONT-CUT
For more hotlines that you or a loved one may need, visit http://www.pleaselive.org/hotlines/
Stay alive. πŸ’™

Reasons to Live Wall

“Sometimes there’s beauty in the tough words. It’s all in how you read them.”

-Jennifer Niven

Let’s be real honest here. Living. It’s not always the easiest thing to do. I mean, sure. Physically getting up and breathing seems to be something you do on autopilot every day. But everything else doesn’t come as easy as just simply “breathing.” And for those of you with asthma, even that is difficult for you.

There are the days you lay in bed and don’t think you can stand to walk through the halls, knowing people are judging you the way they do. Or the days you wake up and that pain you thought was long gone suddenly hits you in the chest again.

I’ve been through some rough patches in my life, and some of them have been harder than others. Some last a few days, and some last years. I never know when this said “rough patch” is going to be over, so the most I can do is buckle up and hold on tight.

I first came up with this idea for my wall when I was in a very bad mental state. In the bedroom that I had been staying in, I took a sharpie to the wall and wrote horrible things about myself. I was in the midst of a breakdown and just took to this wall about all of the things I thought was worthless about me. With black, liquid eyeliner, I drew a giant black heart in the middle of this chaos with a jagged line in the middle, symbolizing my brokeness. I was mess. The next morning, that’s what I had to wake up to. The writings on the wall. My mom was so angry when she saw the room.

Some time later, I found this book which I have now read 12 times. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven gave me the idea of a wall of ideas. I started to take sticky notes and just write things down, but it turned into things that made me happy, or words or phrases. Soon enough, I had tons of sticky notes, and I started to put them over the harsh words I originally had on my wall. Thus began the basis of all of my reasons to live.

It’s been a few years now, and some of the sticky notes have disappeared or ripped up by me. (Aka they stopped being reasons to live, or I literally lost them moving from place to place.) The majority of the originals are still here, and I have added to them as I change.

They may be really stupid to most people. The reasons include things like strawberry lemonade, or “wanderlust”. The names Krys, Leslie, Amber, Ella, which no one will understand but me. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” Or Ataraxia: the tranquility of the mind.

When people enter into my room, it’s the first thing they see. I feel the urge to immediately defend myself, to send out the disclaimer of how stupid it is. But I’ve realized that it’s not stupid.

You don’t have to apologize for the way you fought to stay alive when you had every reason to give up. You don’t have to apologize for the scars on your wrist and thighs that will probably never go away, and you most certainly don’t have to apologize for the self assurance you give.

You’re here, despite all odds. Despite however many suicide attempts you may or may not have. Despite the loneliness. Despite the bullying, and the people who did you wrong. You are here.

You’re brave. I don’t care how you chose to keep yourself alive. Maybe you made a Reasons To Live Wall, or wrote to yourself in a journal everyday. Maybe you vlogged. Whatever you did, don’t feel like you have to be ashamed to show it off.

And if you’re going through something now, I encourage you to make your own list of Reasons to Live. It can be something as simple as your favorite TV show. Then, move on to your favorite quote, your favorite word, your favorite dream. Keep this list somewhere that you can see everyday, and remind yourself.

And no matter what, just keep on living. I’m proud of you.

Until next time,

TayπŸ’™

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Eating Disorder Hotline: 1-800-931-2237
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
Self-Injury Hotline: 1-800-DONT-CUT
For more hotlines that you or a loved one may need, visit http://www.pleaselive.org/hotlines/
Stay alive. πŸ’™