GUEST POST (*Trigger Warning* Child Abuse)

A little while after I started this blog I started talking with another blogger, Zion. I consider him to be a very good friend now, and after exchanging emails for a while I discovered that, although he is only 15 years old, he had a very challenging upbringing. A couple of days ago Zion asked me if he could write a summary of his experiences growing up, and if he could publish them here. The following is just an overview of his childhood and he chose not to talk about some aspects. I would be extremely grateful if you could show some love for this wonderful guy, I know it wasn’t easy for him to do this, so if you could give him all your support it would mean the world. Thank you.

I was born into an abusive household, the abuse wasn’t towards me, but my mom and 5 aunts. Before I was 8 months old my mom left and I was homeless for about 3 years of my life being in and out of motels, or someone’s room for rent that we would be kicked out of for not being able to pay. My mom started staying with “friends” of hers from when she was younger when I was almost 4. They were really controlling and mean to her making her do things because it was “the best choice” when it was really because they wanted her to. My biological dad wasn’t around my life until around then when I spent a grand total of 1 hour with him before he dropped off the face of the earth again.

During this time my mom met her first husband she would marry. His name was Steve. The guy was really creepy and I had just a bad feeling about him. My mom and Him would have sex all the time when I was in the room with them, and they would tell me to just look at the TV. Thankfully I did just that and didn’t see them do anything. They got married about 3 weeks before Christmas  and during their honeymoon my mom got pregnant with my sister.

Now that my they were married they moved into a apartment and that’s where my abuse started. When ever my mom wasn’t home (which was a lot because she was going to school) he would beat me for doing just about anything. I couldn’t breath without the fear of being punched or slapped or kicked. Once my sister was born it got worse, my mom started getting into the abuse. She would lock me in the bedroom for hours and only let me out to eat or for school (I was in 1st grade at this point) or when someone came over to the house. If I had to go to the bathroom I would be hit and yelled at for it and wouldn’t be allowed out for a meal, or something like that.

After less than a year they got a divorce because he cheated, so my mom, sister, and I went to a city a few hours away with her friends.  I was really far behind in school because they tried to “homeschool” me after the school questioned the bruises I was getting. The “homeschool” was really just them keeping me home all day cleaning and getting beaten. While we were living there, the abuse stopped, and her friends took really great care of me. I didn’t get locked in a room, or have the crap beat out of me, or have to do ridiculous amounts of work.

I started 2nd grade there and sadly had to leave only a few weeks into school because my mom moved on with my sisters grandparents. There I started getting treated like crap again. My sisters grandparents treated her as if she was God and me like I was the scum of the earth. After her grandpa had a crazy melt down and got super drunk, my mom moved out and we started staying with the person names heather and her hell spawn of a daughter. Her daughter was 8, and would bite, scratch, kick, yell, cuss out, and just about anything else you can think of on a daily basis. Her mom would just make excuses for her being crazy. At school (I’m now in 3rd grade) some kids would call her the Devil’s daughter because of how she would act.

I had to say with them about a year before we moved into a house with just my mom sister and I. She let her friend from when she was younger move in and his name was Brett, and he started cheating on his girlfriend with my mom. He slowly but surely started making my mom do things for him, making her parent different, and telling her the different things she was and wasn’t allowed to do. We ended up moving from that house to an apartment where Brett moved in a little later, and this is where things went downhill again. Because they were a “couple” he decided to start making the rules for is all. What would happen in a day is: he goes to work my sister and I go to school, I come home get yelled at from my mom because of her mess, she goes and smokes weed (because he also had a drug issue that he passed on to my mom), I clean the entire apartment make dinner and do my homework, do my night chores ( the entire apartment because they made it a mess again), and then stay up until 3 in the morning to finish my homework. Mind you I’m only on 5th grade at the time. Now this goes on and on for years, but ever so slowly getting worse and worse.

When I was in 7th grade they moved to a new house, and things got worse. They started drinking really hard alcohol and drugs so the screaming got worse, the fighting between them got worse, my punishments got bigger (if the stove wasn’t perfect then I would have everything I owned taken from my room and usually only half of it would get back to me), and the workload even bigger. This new house had an acre of land now so I had to take care of all of it myself, on top of the massive size of the house (4500 sq feet) and school all made life impossible. After being in the house about a year Brett started to shove me and threaten to beat me. I told people about that and when my mom and Brett found out said I lied and made this huge thing of none of that happened, then threatened that if anyone else heard of it I would be put into a  juvenile facility.

My mom left Brett and I went and stayed with my aunt and uncle (who I am now with permanently). My mom went back to him a couple of times, but I never went back. She is now homeless because he threatens to kill her and so she left, and she has a “boyfriend” from the mental hospital she went to in the last couple months because of her bipolar and other mental health issues. My sister is with her grandparents, and I haven’t seen or talked to them in almost 3 months. My sister because I don’t have a way to talk to her, and my mom because I want nothing to do with her.

I’m currently in 10th grade (for America not sure of its different around the world), and have been with my aunt and uncle for almost 6 months. They are helping me with all that in processing and dealing with like my nightmares and aggression. I’m also with my 2 cousins (5 and 1.5 years old) who are the main reasons that I work through what I went through. So as of now I’m finally out of the 15 years of abuse and in a place that is safe.

I know this is a tough read, but Zion is such an amazing person and is now starting to deal with his past. If anyone reading this wants to talk to me about this post, or if you just want to have a chat, please email me. Or if you would like to speak to Zion about his experiences, or if you have been through something similar please feel free to get in touch with him (ziondutro@gmail.com). Thank you for reading.

GUEST POST: Have Faith In The Universe – by Sean

I’ve been in touch with a lovely blogger, Sean, and I want to say a big thank you to him for allowing me to post this wonderful piece.

Hello everyone…

Let’s discuss Depression today. I’ve been in that dark place before and it’s not something I ever want to go back to, actually I’ve been there twice. Once when my mother passed away then in my Sophomore year in High school. These would have to be the hardest times in my life and I’m thankful I was able to come out of the dark cave. Let me dive deeper.

I was nine years old when I lost my Mom to Breast Cancer. It was horrific and sad, but the thing that depressed me was that, neither of my parents would be around. My father, I can only guess what he’s doing right now but anyway, I didn’t have either of my parents. I ended up living with my older sister who is great but the thing was, my mother was gone as well as my father. I fell into a depression because I felt like a burden on my older sisters. One was working and the other already had a family of her own so what was a Sean suppose to do? I remained depressed for the next two years. I never thought about killing myself but I didn’t want to be alive. I was 11 now and I was more mature. I had to grow up and come to the harsh realization that the world did not owe me anything. The universe took my mother and I had to deal with that. Once I came to terms with my mother’s passing, I got better. Things got better. For a while I had to fake my own happiness until I eventually was happy and it wasn’t until I was 13 when I realized I was finally better and my laughter and smiles were actually genuine.

It was my Sophomore year in High school and it felt like I was losing my mind. Not only were my grades sub par but I felt as if I wasn’t sleeping or enjoying myself. No matter what I did I was not happy. (Again with the theme of happiness.) I felt this way until the summer going into my junior year. During the summer I lived on a college campus as part of this program I am involved in, isolated from everything I knew was troubling me. My friends within the program helped me through this tough time. They believed they were just being my friends but little did they know, they helped me through and out of my depressed phase. Along with coming out of my depressed phase, I also grew into my own body. I used to always say I was a 9 year old in a 22 year old’s body, (I have the body of a 22 year old college football player) but I finally grew into myself. My personality evolved, I became the Sean I was born to be.

Depression can be tricky. Depending on if the issue is internal or external there are different ways of handling it. The depression with my Mom was dealt with internally, it just happened that I molded into being happy. The depression during my 10th grade year was dealt with externally. My friends helped me through it. If you’re depressed or someone you know, tell them that it gets better. TRUST ME. It does. Have faith in the universe.

Sean (forever hopeful)

Thanks again, Sean, and if anyone reading this would like to talk or would like to write a guest post please get in touch!

GUEST POST: Book Review of ‘Looking For JJ’ by Anne Cassidy- by The Teenage Bookaholic

I have always wanted to do book reviews on my site, but I just don’t have the time to consistently read so the wonderful Teenage Bookaholic offered to write one for me! This is a review of Looking for JJ, by Anne Cassidy…

“She should have died on that day. Perhaps, in a way, she had.”
Anne Cassidy ,Looking for JJ

Looking for JJ is an inspiring novel about a young girl called Jennifer who is given the chance to start again. Jennifer Jones has dark and violent past, but when she gets the chance to become Alice Tully she is determined to start again. She gets a job, a boyfriend and a new home. However JJ soon discovers that you can never escape your past. This book taught me that everyone deserves a second chance no matter what they have done or who they are.

Anne Cassidy is a very talented writer, I thought that the way she flipped between Jennifer’s past and her new life was clever and complex. I loved the fact that Jennifer’s new life was no different to anyone else’s and yet she had so many skeletons in her closet. All of the characters in this book were complex and extremely well thought out. Anne Cassidy made all of these characters real and 3D. What I loved most about this book was definitely the fact that this kind of thing really does happen, young children are constantly being rehomed and renamed because of their past. This story is one that stays with you for a long time, and one that is remarkably dark yet uplifting in a way that no other book is.

Looking for JJ is part of a sequel along with Finding Jennifer Jones, I would recommend both but Looking for JJ is definitely my favourite out of the two. I would recommend Looking for JJ for people over the age of 12, this is because if you are any younger you may not understand some of the terms used in the book. This book is by no means inappropriate but if you don’t like crime books, even though this one is mild I wouldn’t recommend you read it.

Looking for JJ is one of the most hard hitting books I’ve ever read. Before I read this book I thought that people who had done bad things should be punished, but this book taught me that people make mistakes that they regret and that living with the grief of what they have done is punishment enough.
Thank you so much for doing this review for me, and thank you for reading this 🙂 If anyone reading this would like to do a guest post please email me at: aleve44@hotmail.com.

GUEST POST: Love you! Like a fat kid loves cake… – By Shaye

I want to give a massive thank you to Shaye for being a guest writer. I know how difficult it was for her to write this, so thank you so much.

…Why can’t it be like a fat kid likes green beans, or like a fat kid likes sushi. There are lots of things fat kids like to eat, other than cake. I should know, I have been one most of my life. In fact a lot of skinny people I know LOVE cake, and soda, waaaay more than the fat kids do. This saying has always had a double edged sword protruding out of it and there is no way to get rid of it until the positive body image movement happens, which in reality I don’t see happening anytime soon.

a7402414288091b18f9a5b198eac66a3 371617475441242205_1377050829 I-love-cupcakes-like-a-fat-kid-loves-cupcakes

As I type this I have just finished a rather large meal of gorgeous steak with a rather large loaded potato and now am watch my songbird and my charming bake boozy cupcakes whilst I diddle away at the keys. I am not to blame when it comes to using inappropriate terms, nor am I one to turn around and say “Well, since I am a chubby gal I can say it and you can’t”. I’m not THAT kind of narcissist. I keep calling this my “last fat kid weekend”, my final fiesta before I head back on the path toward my weight-loss journey that I started so many years ago. But why don’t we start at the beginning. Before the neurosis and binge eating disorder, before the surgeries and body dysmorphia. There was a little girl. And I do mean little girl.

Collage 1

I grew up in NYC for most of my life, raised by a Puerto Rican and a Scot. Now I have a HUGE family (of whom I spend more time with my PR side) and they love to eat. I grew up in a world full of food. I was a dancer, a softball player and as one of the ONLY girls in an apartment building I biked and climbed and ran and jumped and skinned my knees on concrete for at least an hour or two a day. Looking back on pictures of me as a child I would not in the least call me heavy, but I was always body conscious. My mother had made me that way from a young age, wearing tee-shirts over my swimsuits or shorts, always being “sure” I wanted to put that last bite of food in my mouth, blousing out my shirts so my non existent belly didn’t show. Things were always a bit too big than just fitting r a bit tight. It didn’t help that I developed a chest early and that it grew fast and furious to the point that my dance teacher told me I would never make it to professional when I was about 9.

collage2

I went to a private school, where if you weren’t popular you were treated like crap and since I went on scholarship I wasn’t popular. And they would tease me, for being ugly to fat to everything else they could think of. The funny part was a lot of them were bigger than I was was, but I still was not that body conscious I wasn’t prepared for the real world I guess. The real world started happening when I was about 9. When I was 9 years old, they thought I had cancer, after major testing and so forth they found out I had Graves Disease. Graves disease is a form of Hypothyroidism. Now for all you non-medical people out there, your thyroid controls your metabolism and all that good jazz, so when your thyroid is hypo you are under-producing the hormone needed to run that machine smoothly, leading to weight gain, fatigue and many other bothersome symptoms. I was to be put on medications and closely monitored. Well, I was fine for a bit, that year I started sleep away camp and found a best friend, who was skinnier that anything (naturally) and the only reason I was like was because of her, and the next year of school (sixth grade) went by so slowly because my medication seemed off. I started getting hives, swelling up for no reason…something was wrong. The doctors played with my meds and as an effort to kill the hives benadryll and prednisone were introduced to my body. And I blew up. Now if you have ever taken prednisone you know what will happen, if not just think about the hungriest you have ever been and multiple that by like Gremlin after midnight and there you go. I gained I can’t tell you how much weight on my small frame. It was not a good year for me.

As far as I remember it that was the year a few things happened, I put my hands and arms through one of those reinforced wired windows at school while trying to open it, my mom signed me up for therapy which she quickly pulled me out of (I still don’t know why she did either) and I started to binge. Now I never liked shopping for clothes unless I was with my GK. GK never picked at me, she let me go through clothes at my own pace and she just got me when it came to clothes. My mother liked terrible things on me and always made me feel huge in the dressing room. It was the year I was in sixth grade that I would wait until everyone was asleep and sneak into the kitchen and eat what I could, I snuck things into my bedroom, I would hide and eat everywhere I went (Even at camp that year I would trade things for snacks because they were rarely given to me). I was just hungry all the time and even if it was a healthy snack I would hide it and at dinner I would eat and eat until I was uncomfortable or until my mother gave me the look. That summer at camp was a lot harder for me, that awkward age between 10 and 11, boys just really noticing you, my best friend having too many boyfriends and me just wanting to be kissed I was by no means a blimp but I had put on the pounds. My asthma was not good and the hives still came back all the time. Constant infirmary visits.

collage 3

Between 11 and the summer I turned 13 I went through a lot. I was now in a public school, the same one my best friend went too. I was beginning to be aware of my own body and get very uncomfortable around it. I was realizing that I may not only be attracted to guys (which made the locker rooms a really odd place for me). My friends were all smaller. My hives were so bad I was on a constant stream of steroids and my mother would sit by my bed at night to make sure my throat didn’t close up. We would fight constantly because of my body or my clothes. That summer the doctor that made a decision that would change my whole life, a decision I wish I had more say in, that maybe that had gone about a different way or waited just a little bit longer because it wouldn’t be till soon after that that research would emerge about the side effects. That summer they removed my thyroid.

collage 2.1

Now Thyroid surgery is a big deal, if they take out part of your thyroid you are usually better for the long term but since they had to remove all of mine (because they were convinced it was causing the hives…it wasn’t) my whole world changed. You see there has been a proven link between thyroid removal and the switch that keeps the circuit of mental illness at bay. It is like the thin sheet of plastic between the baking soda and vinegar in a homemade volcano, everything is peachy but pull the plastic and KABOOM!!!! I immediately lost all of the weight from the steroids because of the recovery int he hospital, got my first kiss (from my first crush since I was like a year old) and all was well….kinda. I walked back into school that year feeling like a new girl, I was in the 8th grade ready to take my tests for HS and on new meds and actually feeling better. But it didn’t matter, the kids hadn’t gotten any nicer (but I noticed it more, it hurt more), my mother got pickier (so I ate more, it hurt more) and I was getting bigger (everyone told me I was nuts, but I could see it in the mirror). That year, I lined up and took over 200 pills in plain sight of an entire cafeteria full of students during breakfast and no one noticed me. (But that is a whole other story in a whole other post). I couldn’t wait to get out of that school. I tried fad diets and all sorts of shit the teen magazines were peddling but at that point I was just me, and I figured hey this is what I am stuck with, better deal with it. (When I graduated JHS I was a size 12)

hs 1

Now we are going to speed through high school because high school was a very up and down point in my life, but that falls more on the mental side of things. I was still binge eating, only now it wouldn’t be hiding it just from my mother, it was from certain friends (like the ones you think are friends but put you down because they want to take your bf or are using you for something). When I started HS I was a size 10, I got called fat. I got told i should hide my *insert body part here*. When I graduated HS (After a year of being on bed rest and being in and out of the hospital) I was a size 16. The names never changed.

hs 2

Always yours,

Shaye

xoxo

*Authors Note* As I started to write this I didn’t realize how emotional I would get during it. I am going to piece this out if my darling girl will let me as a guest post or I will continue it on my own blog and my journey has not yet ended and there is so much more to write.

Thank you so much, Shaye, for sharing this. The next part of this post will be posted here soon so please keep an eye out for that. If anyone reading this wants to write a guest post for me please get in touch at: aleve44@hotmail.com. Thank you for reading x

GUEST POST: Apples by Asil

Hey guys, I have another post from a wonderful guest writer! I want to give a massive shout out to Redefining Random for allowing me to publish this post 🙂

Apples.

I know a definite fact about apples. They shape-shift.

You may say, that is physically impossible. I say, it is possible.

Apples may shape-shift into fruits having a waxy appearance. Sweet and juicy on the inside.

Apple may be the giant company that brought the Iphone, Ipad, Ipod and the Mac to our technology-craving hands.

Apples may be the nickname of the rapper Apple.de.ap from the Black Eyed Peas.

You see the point?

What’s more, apple, in fruit form, has some connections with literature too. For instance, the clichéd quote “An apple a day keeps the doctor away ”, the poisoned apple in Snow White and the alphabet favourite, A as in apple.

So why should you be an apple? Apples can do almost anything you can imagine. Be an apple.

Thank you again, Asil, for being a guest writer 🙂 And if anyone else wants to guest write for me they can get in touch at: aleve44@hotmail.com. Thank you!

GUEST POST: My thoughts on suicide- By Kate Byrne

I have been in touch with another amazing writer who wanted to write something for my site. I love that people want to share their stories and thoughts and experiences on here, and I want to give a massive shout out to Kate Byrne who wrote this post.

A previous post referenced, “suicide may just sound like something “cowards” or “weak” people do. You’ve probably cracked some jokes about it with your friends, playfully told people, “Just go kill yourself”[.]”

We’ll start with how flipping true this is: we’ve all heard the jokes and/or made them, then we’ll move on to how strong I feel when I don’t pick up the knife, don’t drive my car off the road, don’t throw myself off a cliff. Ultimately, though, the strongest I’ve felt in the last six months wasn’t the day I walked into AA, it was the day coworkers were making light of suicide and I asked them not to.

Now, it’s not like I’m cagey about my mental health issues. Even if I didn’t walk and sit shoulders and head hunched I write about my things online so publicly. I write about it on public blogs, public Twitter, heck, even on the Huffington Post. My family knows it’s not uncommon for me to feel suicidal. My friends know, the world knows. Yet standing up in a call center basement and saying, “Guys, please don’t joke about this,” was So. Flipping. Hard.

Thankfully they stopped joking about it. A number came up after and apologized. I’m fairly certain my face was flushed for the rest of my shift, but I just couldn’t say nothing.

I completely agree with this, jokes should never be made about suicide or any mental health issue. You never know who may hear these “jokes” and how upsetting they may be for people who have been through things that no one should have to. I want to thank Kate again for writing for me, you are an amazing person that has been through so much. If anyone wants to talk to me about these issues, or if you want to write a guest post please get in touch at: aleve44@hotmail.com. Thank you for reading 🙂

GUEST POST: Suicidal Thoughts, Self-Harm, Depression: It’s Okay- By Matthew Tome

I’ve been wanting to include guest writers and posts on this site for a while now, and I am so glad that my first guest post is about something so close to my heart. As many of you know my best friend committed suicide when we were both very young. No body should have to feel like he did. I want to give a massive shout out to Matthew Tome at Exactlywhatyouneed.org for giving me permission to post this to help raise awareness of self-harm, suicide, and depression.

For many of you, suicide may just sound like something “cowards” or “weak” people do. You’ve probably cracked some jokes about it with your friends, playfully told people, “Just go kill yourself”, or maybe even looked down upon someone who actually attempted to kill themselves. The same goes for victims of cutting/self-harm and depression. These people seem to get rejected by society, even picked on for being vulnerable. I’m not trying to justify suicide or self-harm here. I don’t believe there is any justification in taking your own life or hurting yourself. What I’m trying to get at is, there is a major problem in our society. If someone is hurting themselves, thinking about taking their own life, or suffering from depression the LAST thing you should do is pick on them. It highlights a repulsiveflaw in your character, and is extremely detrimental to the person who is suffering. And, as for that suffering person, there is always hope.

On this blog, I search the world for things that inspire me. When I find one, I research it; study it better, so that I can find what exactly makes it so uplifting, and hopefully adopt those characteristics into my personality, and share it with you all. My goal is to encourage and help guide as many people as I can to the better lifestyles that they deserve. As someone who was formerly depressed for a period of two years (with a break in the middle of a few months), I can honestly say: Depression is no joke. 

For personal reasons, I won’t go into depth about the causes of, or specific events related to, my depression publicly. If you’re interested in learning more about me, my story, or even just need someone to talk to, you can contact me at exactlyceo@exactlywhatyouneed.org. I’ll be sure to respond to each of you, personally, as soon as I possibly can. Support is the most useful tool for overcoming depression, so don’t think you’re alone in this world. Some people honestly do care.

It’s not some momentary sadness that you can cure by buying a shiny new toy. It’s a disability that can last for extended periods of time, and in some cases, even for the rest of your life. It leaves you tired, weak, unable and unmotivated to go on. It deprives you of most, if not all, the joy in your life. I remember several occasions where I’d be hanging out with my friends, laughing and having lots of fun (or so it seemed on the outside). But, in the back of my mind, there was this lingering feeling. You could never seem to shake it. It’s like a little voice inside your head saying, “That smile isn’t real. Just wait till you’re alone. I’ll show you what you’re really feeling.” The instant you became isolated from other humans, it would all hit you at once. That nagging little voice turned into the ONLY voice. It was this overwhelming, debilitating emotion that completely and utterly consumed you. No matter what you tried, no matter how times you’ve experienced it before, no matter how badly you wanted it to stop; it just wouldn’t. That was definitely the hardest part of my life. No other hardship could even hold a candle to it-financial debt, wondering where I could find a job, not knowing what I was going to do with my life, broken relationships, divorce, family deaths. Depression was, and probably will continue to be, the biggest obstacle I ever faced in my life.

But, That’s the Beauty in All of This

It was just an obstacle. That’s not to lessen the traumatic experience of going through depression. It’s insanely difficult; seemingly impossible even. But, it can be overcome, just like any other obstacle. It will be hard, but you can make it. You will come out: stronger, more passionate, full of life, and full of love. It teaches you to appreciate every waking moment, because you never know when it might be your last.

Life is full of beauty and wonder. This goes unnoticed, overlooked, and unappreciated constantly, but it’s there. I promise you. Life is so worth living, it’s almost hard to understand how you didn’t think so before. I’ve been there; wanting to die, feeling like a complete waste, totally useless, and just wishing it would all end so you could stop feeling. It sounds horrible (and it is), but I’m actually glad it happened. It helped shape me into the person I am today; a person I am extremely proud of and happy to be.

To help drive my point, we should look at Thomas Edison. He had a fantastic outlook on life and I think we could all benefit from adopting this perspective. Ryan Holiday talks about it here on “The Tim Ferris Show”. (Lovely podcast, by the way)

At age 67, Thomas Edison returned home, one evening, from another day at the laboratory.Shortly after dinner, a man came rushing in his house to tell him some urgent news. A fire had broken out at Edison’s Research and Production Campus a few miles away. Fire engines from the eight nearby towns rushed to the scene, but they could not contain the blaze. Fueled by the strange chemicals in the various buildings, green and yellow flames shot up six and seven stories, threatening to destroy the empire Edison had spent his entire life building. Edison calmly but quickly made his way to the fire, through the now hundreds of onlookers and devastated employees, looking for his son.
“Go get your mother and all of your friends,” he told his son with child-like excitement. “They’ll never see a fire like this again.”
“What?”
“Don’t worry,” Edison calmed him. “It’s alright. We just got rid of a bunch of rubbish.”

This was, no doubt, a hefty loss for Edison. Years of hard work, millions of dollars, and tons of research/prototypes were lost in that fire. Edison knew he couldn’t let this stop him though. He lived by “Amor Fati”. It’s a Latin phrase that can be translated as “love of fate”. To put it even simpler, you have to “love everything that happens in life.” The good, the bad, the totally life-altering traumatic experiences. Love it all, and greet it with a cheerful smile. Edison knew this, Jack Johnson (first black heavyweight boxing champion) knew this, and Ryan Holiday knew this. All three of these people are/were very successful people. They all had this common belief and outlook on life, so there must be some power to it, right?. I’ve began to incorporate into my life, and it’s worked wonders. It helped drag me out of my two-year depression. Before, I was very grim about living. My life had no meaning, and I didn’t see the purpose in anything. Now, I’m well-driven. I chase after my dreams relentlessly, brushing off all opposition: the naysayers, rejections, and non believers. Of course, this doesn’t mean go running off without a plan, but that’s a whole other topic.

How to Find Help

For those of you who are struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, addiction and self-injury, you can find help from myself or loads of good people over at Heartsupport, or even check out this cool project: Project Semicolon.

At Heartsupport, you can find people, like yourself, struggling through things right now. They have a community forum where people can post and receive support from people all over the world. They also have lots of great bands/artists give personal life stories that are remarkably relatable. Heartsupport was created by Jake Luhrs (vocalist of August Burns Red, one of my personal favorite bands for many years now). If you like, you can support his band by buying their music, donating directly on Heartsupport, or even just participating with the community.

Then there’s this fantastic idea behind Project Semicolon. “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you, and the sentence is your life.” They use a semicolon to represent that your story is not over. You’re enduring through the tough parts. If you look back at any great story though, be it fiction or nonfiction, isn’t the part where the protagonist struggles the good part? Those are the juicy bits that build the story, strengthen the hero, and builds them into the wonderful champion who overcomes all obstacles presented before them. A story without struggle is boring. Who wants to read that? Not me. You’re just giving your life character; making it interesting by enduring the hardships, so that one day, you can tell others about what you’ve been through, and that YOU MADE IT. You’re still alive right now. You’ve made it through EVERYTHING life has thrown at you, so don’t give up hope. You’re stronger than you realize. Keep your chin up, and keep trying. Together, we can make it through this world (and as a pleasurable experience, at that).

I just want to say thank you again to Matthew Tome for allowing this beautiful post on my site. And if anyone reading this wants to speak to someone about their personal experiences with these subjects you can email Matthew at: exactlyceo@exactlywhatyouneed.org or you can come talk to me at: aleve44@hotmail.com.