Tuesday Tunesday: Somewhere I Belong

Since starting this blog, one of my main goals was to address mental health, and I’ve been really candid about sharing my own ups and downs, much of which started, unsurprisingly, when I began my freshman year of high school (what is it about that age???). I was experiencing so much and wasn’t quite sure how to cope until I found unhealthy strategies that weren’t really helping me properly cope or heal, namely self-harming. Thankfully, I didn’t stay there long, and to this day, I firmly believe music is one of the things that pulled me from this darkness. It was one band, in particular, that helped me put into words what I was feeling inside, helped me know that I was not alone, helped me find somewhere I belong.

Last week, Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, succumbed to the demons that plagued him for so long, the very same demons he helped save me from. I’m still processing and mourning such a deep loss, and as an adult who largely grew up with him and his bandmates, I know I can never listen to those albums the same. Chester left this world without a suicide note because, if you listen closely to those lyrics, every painful and angst-filled song was one. We found peace, understanding, and even hope within each album. And while I’m so thankful for what Linkin Park did for me and so many others, I only wish Chester had, too, been saved. I don’t know what support systems Chester had, but I hope you know that if you ever find yourself in the darkness, please look for the light. Seek help. Tell me. Tell someone you trust. You don’t have to walk this road alone. I promise.

In case you or someone you know needs support, here are some resources:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line, the free, nationwide, 24/7 text message service for people in crisis, is here to support. For support in the United States, text HELLO to 741741 or message at facebook.com/CrisisTextLine.
For support outside the US, find resources at http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

Now, to honor his work and legacy, here are five (plus two LIVE bonuses) of my favorite and most meaningful Linkin Park songs from their earlier albums. #RIPChester

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Wellness Wednesday: BoosterBuddy

 

 

Happy Wednesday, friends! On this edition of Wellness Wendesday, we’re once again looking at the intersection between technology and wellness, this time at an iPhone and Android-friendly app called BoosterBuddy, a free app dedicated to improving young people’s mental health. BoosterBuddy first made its appearance in 2014, and has since garnered 31 MILLION Facebook likes! In fact, 95% of people who’ve tested the app found it to be very helpful, fun, and easy to use. So, what does it do, exactly?

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Kermit Says: Stop the Stigma

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Image Source: http://bit.ly/1X2zQKL

A little over a year ago, I was traveling in Brazil with a great group of sophomores. While debriefing about the day’s events, I received a text from a student in the States who asked if I’d spoken to another student to whom I was and still am quite close. At that point I hadn’t, and was unsure of the nature of that forthcoming conversation, though it seemed serious. To my surprise and horror, it was much more serious and unnerving than I’d imagined: one of my students committed suicide.

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Kermit Says: Step Out of the Darkness *Trigger Warning*

When I was in high school, I used to cut myself. Sad. Angry. Bored. Blasting Brand New, The Used, My Chemical Romance, or another popular screamo band, I’d take the blade I kept hidden in a little tin box and press it firmly against my right wrist or thigh until streams of blood appeared. This was more than a call for attention or a bonding activity between me and my friends. This was an outward expression of some serious internal pain—a pain I could not quite understand, but certainly recognized. I didn’t know where this pain originated or why, but I knew what I felt was real, and I hated anyone who invalidated those feelings. No one understood: not my parents, not my sisters, and not even some of my best friends at the time. I felt lost. I felt alone. And that pain became more and more unbearable.

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Kermit Says: I’m Here For You

I love the holiday season! It’s a time when folks can go home, reconnect with family and friends, and reflect on both the challenges and blessings of the season.

But with so much happening in the world, it’s also pretty easy to see how and why the holidays can be a time filled with great sadness and pain. It can be a time when people don’t feel cared for or loved. A time when people feel lonely, poor, discouraged, inadequate, and depressed. We get so bogged down by the negatives and the crazy cards that life can often present that we lose sight of what really matters, we lose hope and faith in ourselves and the world around us. We forget about our own well-being and the well-being of others. Don’t.

You may not feel loved, but you are because I love you.

You may not feel wealthy, but you are wealthy with the riches money can’t buy.

You may feel lonely, but you’re not for He is always with you.

You may feel inadequate, but you were made in His image and are destined for greatness.

Don’t give up or let this holiday season get you down– let it build you up instead.

And if you ever feel like you’re by yourself and need someone to talk to, someone to bring you good tidings or give you peace, comfort, and love, I’m here for you.

Love, 

Kermit