International Suicide Survivor Day

All week I have been struggling to find the words to say to you all in regards to today being International Suicide Survivor Day.

Even now as I write this I find myself deleting and rewriting the same words in some effort to express what I am trying to say.

Overall, I feel proud.

I am proud of myself for taking the conscious effort to continue my own life.

I am proud of all of you who are continuing to fight for your own lives.

As I read through social media news feeds, I see so many people raising their voices and opening up about their own struggles. I read about your own experiences and how hard you fight every day to stay alive, and I am so proud of all of you for continuing to open up and share your personal battles. Not only can it be therapeutic, but by doing so, you are inspiring others. You are showing other people that they do not need to be okay all of the time; you are showing them that a fulfilling life is possible while living with a mental health condition; you are showing them that even if they struggle, recovery is possible and attainable.

At Dear Hope, whenever we read a submission or read your comments, we feel your pain and your joy. We are there with you in your highest and lowest points, and we are rooting for you each and every day.

At Dear Hope, you are always welcomed, needed, and loved.

I’m a fairly emotional person and all I want to do today is hug every single one of you and tell you that you’re doing such a great job. It’s hard, it really is, and fighting can be discouraging and exhausting, and there are days where you feel like all your strength is gone but you’re doing it. You’re living. You may not see the progress you’re making but we do.

On this International Suicide Survivor Day, we want to tell all of you — whether you have been battling with your mental health, have had or still are having harmful thoughts, and to those of you who may have attempted to take your own life — you are a survivor. You are a fighter, and no one can take that away from you.

Lastly, we want to take a moment of silence for everyone who is not here with us. You are missed, loved, and this world is not the same without you. Today shows that you are not alone — there are millions of other people out there that know what you’re feeling.

Today, and every day, we ask that you share your story. Share it with us and share it with those around you. Your story is important and it is valid. We are listening.

You are loved, always.

AC


Want to submit to Dear Hope and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com.

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A Year In Review: A Note From The Author

This post is a little late, but HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

My personal life has become hectic once again, and found myself beginning to neglect the website through the holiday season. But I wanted to take a look back and reflect before going forward into 2016.

In February of 2015 Dear Hope started out as a personal blog for a class I was enrolled in for college credit. By May, I had remodeled that blog into this website; one that I hoped would turn into a community of people sharing experiences about their relationships, struggles, and triumphs with mental illness and mental health.

That’s what I did.

But what did we do?

We started off the first year with over 31,000 hits on the website. We brought together people struggling as teenagers, to college students with eating disorders, to fathers finding new purpose after a suicide attempt, to mothers in their sixties with a bipolar diagnosis. We spanned the globe, connecting over 99 countries and 1,035 dedicated followers together through heart, honesty, and passion.

We gave hope.

We gave hope to so many people that we may never know. And for anyone who helped contribute to that, I am eternally grateful, and so are so many others.

But what’s next?

2016 will continue to expand in every way possible for Dear Hope. I currently have multiple submissions sitting in our inbox from new places around the world. The Consumed: Mental Illness Through Photography project will continue to be shot and is expected to be completed in April.

I plan on revamping the website again by summer, and have some new series I wish to start. The one in the forefront is Music Mondays where people discuss a song, album, or artist that has helped them through a tough time and why. (If this sounds interesting to you, shoot us an email!)

There’s also some more things I’m working on, and can’t wait to share them with you all.

I look forward to this journey together with all of you.

Always remember,

You are not alone.

PF

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Mental Health, Music, and Community: An Interview With Sounds and Tones Records

When I talk about my personal journey with mental health, music is something that is seldom left out. Music was one of the first ways I personified and expressed what I was feeling. It was a way to cope with my depression and anxieties, and a great way to feel like I belonged. It gave me my own microcosm of a community. One that I felt a part of. 

But the scene isn’t always a welcoming place (especially depending on the genre), and different labels and artists can often come under fire for the ways bands and artists portray themselves and what they preach.

Sounds and Tones Records is not one of those labels we have to worry about. 

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A (Big) Milestone: An Update From The Author

Hello everyone!

I apologize if things have seemed quiet as of late, I’ve been recovering from a surgery I had done on my dominate hand and have recently started my final year at my university. But I have some great news.

We have hit over 10,000 views on Dear Hope. 

WMMB2

Ten THOUSAND views in a little over half a year. If you had told me this was going to happen back in February I would have never believed you.

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Vacation Is Over: A Quick Update

Hello Everyone!

Sorry the site has gone dark the last few weeks.

I was recently on vacation in Europe visiting Dublin and Paris with my mother and a friend! I may write a separate post about it, as other cultures are always very eye opening and teach you so much.

But now it’s time to get back to work in the community. I have a few people I’m in contact with about pieces for the blog that I’m very excited about. If you been thinking about maybe contributing, send an email to wemustbebroken@gmail.com and we’ll chat! No harm done if we can’t work something out!

I plan on getting a few articles out myself. I recently saw the new pixar movie Inside Out and want to comment on it’s take on sadness/depression and the importance of them in relation to the emotional spectrum. I’m also in the beginning stages of working on a piece about depression and relationships. Be on the lookout for those. Maybe a creative piece too. It’s been a while since I wrote anything, so send some creative juices my way.

In other news the blog has passed 7500 views and has over 650 followers. 

This is incredible. Thanks to everyone who has joined our community and shares these posts. All the insight that has been added and all the people I have met has been heart-warming. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Lets get things going again!

Paul

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Where Are We Now? (New Logo!)

I’ve come this far with a different map in each of my hands.

They’re drawn completely from memory.

One takes me home, one takes me nowhere in particular.

I always seem to pick the path with all the shortcuts open

And the lines and the circles more steadily drawn.

But not this time.

Let me start by saying that I am incredibly thankful for everyone who has followed or checked out the blog so far. It’s been a little while since I last checked in with a non-creative post, so here we go.

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