“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
-Mahatma Gandhi


Last night, at around 9:30 PM, gunmen entered the Bataclan – a popular French music venue – and opened fire and began taking hostages. At this same time, two Parisian restaurants were attacked, killing 14 at one and 18 at another. Two explosions were also heard from the Stade du France, the nation’s most popular sports venue. There were hundreds of casualties, over half of them being deaths – and, it seems, the death toll could still be rising. The terrible acts were confirmed to be the responsibility of the Islamic extremist group ISIS and France has tightened their borders in an effort to keep any more potential terrorists out and find any gunmen that may still be at large. (To put this in perspective, the last time a nation shut its borders due to terrorism was the U.S. after the September 11th attacks.) Additionally, there were twin suicide bombings in Lebanon, claiming the lives of about 50 people with over 200 injuries. Severe earthquakes hit both Japan and Mexico, and a suicide bombing killed 21 and injured 46 at a funeral in Baghdad. More than 100 people were injured by mudslides in China.

Almost immediately after the Paris attacks, hashtags began popping up left and right, some offering shelter to those in the area, some offering condolences, and some simply informing people that the event had occurred. After the many other tragic events occurring globally reached social media, #PrayForParis turned into #PrayForTheWorld. Even people who do not pray or aren’t religious used the tag. This world is in pieces and we don’t know, as of right now, how we should go about piecing it back together.

Once again, man’s inherent cruelty to man has been made clear through the use of violence. This is not only affecting those in Paris; people all over the world are paying notice to these horrible acts. We all find ourselves tracing back to one question: why?

There are still facts emerging from the tragedy in Paris, and with each new bit of information comes a thousand new questions: How could this happen? Why did this happen here? Why did this happen now? Why did this happen at all? We’re still scraping and scratching for answers but finding none. We feel abandoned. We feel hopeless. And we are afraid. 

PFP2However, there’s one question bigger than all of this: How could someone do this to their own species? How could someone take hundreds of lives so easily? Events like these rattle us to the core and show just how dark man can be, and we as a species are left to pick up the broken pieces left behind.

The complete disrespect to human life is one that will change some people’s lives forever. Families and friends of victims of these vicious attacks will need all of the love they can get. All of these countries, struck by disaster, need love in order to move past this horrific event and pick up all of the pieces. Without love, we, as a species, will not progress. We will not change. Without a mentality based very firmly on love and coexistence, we will become stuck in this constant cycle of violence and tragedy.

Pray for the world in these next few weeks. Pray that we find peace. It will be a slow journey, but through the use of love and empathy, it is possible to achieve some sort of coexistence with each other. If you don’t pray, keep the world in your thoughts. Send good energy and don’t let this die down. We will not forget the lives stolen by all of Friday’s events. We must progress and help those struck by tragedy find light after suffering so immensely.

For change to truly happen, we must collectively want it with all of our being. In the coming weeks, consider all those whose lives were lost to violence and man’s savage nature. Spread love to those affected and try with all your might to be the change that you wish to see in the world.

50 Coping Strategies

Finding ways to successfully cope with any sort of emotional issue s a bigger deal than most people make it out to be. The way we deal with pain is fundamentally what makes or breaks us as human beings and, unfortunately, it ends up breaking many of us.

A lot of trial and error is involved in the search for skills that work with your personality and it can eventually become pretty discouraging. Below, we’ve included a list of 100 strategies to help you cope with any sort of emotional trouble. Be sure to let us know which ones work best for you and let us know if there are any additional skills that are helpful!


  1. Write! Don’t think hard about it. Just set a timer and write as much as you can and everything you’re feeling with no filter. If you want, you can keep a journal or a blog of your writing as well.
  2. Exercise – Sometimes physical exhaustion can help you tune out any kind of mental exhaustion. Plus, it’s good for you, so it’s a win-win!
  3. Try grounding – Look around the room and become aware of your surroundings. Find five things you see, four things you can touch, three you can hear, two you can smell, and one you can taste. Repeat this until you feel calm.
  4. Meditation – While you can find guided meditations online, it’s also very simply done through processes very similar to grounding and becoming increasingly aware of your surroundings. Feel the ground beneath your feet. Take note of how your feet feel in your shoes, wiggle your fingers, and take note at how it feels to bend each one. It may sound weird, but it’s an easy way to reconnect!
  5. Yoga – Like meditation, many guides are available online on how to complete a successful yoga session, but you can also just freestyle it!
  6. Dance – Speaking of freestyling … turn on one of your favorite songs of any mood and just get it all out. Stomp, jump, twirl – do whatever it takes to get rid of the negative vibes.
  7. Play a musical instrument/sing – Sometimes putting all of your focus into something or perfecting a song can help you mend especially well.
  8. Paint! – It doesn’t matter how artistically inclined you are. There’s something very comforting about gliding the brush along the page.
  9. Create a calm jar – This basically is a jar filled with glitter that you can shake up and watch settle to help clear your mind. You can find directions to make them online, and they’re very simple.
  10. Write a letter to someone you admire – You don’t have to send it to or give it to them. It can even be to your favorite singer/actor/athlete/etc.
  11. Watch your favorite TV show – Being able to escape to the land of television is sometimes a good thing and you can have a quick breka from reality.
  12. Call a friend – You don’t even have to talk about what’s bothering you; even hearing a friend’s voice or listening to them talk or tell some kind of story can be comforting in itself.
  13. Use a marker to draw in favorite lyrics/quotes/doodles where you want to self-harm. The more detailed, the better!
  14. Play with a pet – Even petting an animal can be helpful.
  15. Try aromatherapy – Get scented candles, bath bombs, incense, or make your very own potpourri; the options are limitless. Many smells can create a calming atmosphere without you even noticing.
  16. Contact a hotline – Of course, this is one that’s strongly recommended; people at hotlines are usually trained counselors who are the best at helping out people going through things similar to you. You can find various hotlines’ numbers on our website.
  17. Play the “15 Minute” game – If you feel like doing something relating to self-injury, set a timer for 15 minutes and tell yourself, “I’ll do it when the timer is up.” When the timer is up, set it for another 15 minutes and repeat the same phrase to yourself until the urge mostly or completely disappears.
  18. Buy a few plants – Especially for people with depression issues, it’s very helpful to own plants, whether they be outdoors or indoors. They offer encouragement to get out bed because, well, they have to be taken care of.
  19. Purchase a fidget. –  Fidgets are small toys, usually able to fit into the palm your  hand, that you can use to occupy your hands. There are many available online, but my personal favorite is the Twiddle. It’s fairly inexpensive and comes in several colors.
  20. Coloring – Mandala coloring books have become very popular as of late and are very time consuming.
  21. Pray – If you are spiritual, talking to your higher power can be extremely comforting and a good way to get things off of your chest!
  22. Take a warm bath – Bubbles optional.
  23. Play with play-dough.
  24. Squeeze an ice cube very tightly – This is especially good for wanting to feel pain or sensation and is good for clearing your mind as well.
  25. Deep breathing – Practice doing focused breathing, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  26. Suck on a peppermint or chew gum.
  27. Get a very cold drink (like ice water) or a very hot drink (like tea) and drink it very slowly.
  28. Write yourself a nice note and carry it in your pocket – Sometimes you are your worst enemy. So when it feels like the world is stacked against you, take out your note of encouragement for a smile.
  29. Do the dishes – Any sort of cleaning is very time consuming and occupies the mind very well.
  30. Organize your CDs – Get all of them out and organize them however you want:  by color, alphabetically, your favorite to least favorite, etc.
  31. Go for a brisk walk – This one can work anywhere, even school or in public. Separate yourself from your surroundings briefly and take a break if there’s a specific trigger in your immediate environment.
  32. Write positive affirmations on notecards and doodle on them – Bonus points if you carry them with you or stick them up on your walls.
  33. Ask a few friends to write out something nice or draw you a picture that you can hang up on your wall.
  34. Ask friends to make bracelets for you to wear on your wrist.
  35. Make a collage with pictures of your favorite things. – This can very easily remind you of all the positive things in your life.
  36. Count backwards from 500 (or any other number you choose) – No stopping until you get to the end! If you’re still having negative thoughts when you finish, do it again.
  37. Think of three foods for each letter in the alphabet without skipping any.
  38. Draw a picture outside with sidewalk chalk – You get to get outside for a little and enjoy the fresh air along with making something!
  39. Go on a walk and take pictures of pretty things you see – Create some sort of challenge for yourself like photographing 10 sorts of creatures you see or 10 different flowers.
  40. Get a magazine and read it front to back.
  41. Look at a picture and create a story using all of its elements.
  42. Go somewhere and people watch. – Create personalities or stories about them (ex: Where are they going? What’s their family like? What’s their name?)
  43. Sew, knit, or crochet – If you don’t know how, it’s always a good time to learn!
  44. Go to the library – Pick out a few books and sit in silence while you read them.
  45. Use a stress ball.
  46. Watch positive or funny videos on YouTube.
  47. Go window-shopping.
  48. Work on a puzzle.
  49. Create a list of 10 more coping skills not on this list! If some of these weren’t helpful, try creating a list of what is most helpful to you when you’re feeling low.
  50. Text Holding of Wrist’s text line! – iMessage info@holdingofwrist.com (iOS devices only. Txt&data rates may apply.)


Searching For Purpose

“The beginning of purpose is found in creating something only you understand.”

-Tyler Joseph


“What’s the point?”

This simple question, over the years, has easily claimed the lives of thousands of people worldwide. It’s among a lot of people’s last thoughts before they tragically take their own lives, and it’s often that people choose to leave this world because they can’t find an answer to this question. These three simple words can lead to very complicated and dark thoughts, and it’s  easy to become imprisoned. These thirteen letters can send you into a downward spiral, and climbing back up is not so easily done.

Clearly, purpose is not an easy concept for people. If you were to ask anyone (especially a young person) “What’s your purpose?”, they’d more than likely freeze up. The word instills a sense of fear inside all of us because, most of the time, we don’t know. We become so stuck in our routines and who the world wants us to be that when we’re asked who we really are, we freeze. We were taught formulas, vocabulary, and how to pass standardized testing in school, but we weren’t taught how to answer this one vital question. We’re all taking a test we were never told to study for.

So…how do we find purpose? I believe the search is best summed up by Tyler Joseph, vocalist of Twenty One Pilots: “The meaning of purpose, for me, is creating something…if it be by writing lyrics, painting a picture, by expressing yourself through art, if it’s photography, or music, or theater, or whatever it is. It doesn’t have to be artistic, but if you create something and only you know the meaning of it, that’s the beginning of purpose for you. When you’re in your room by yourself trying to decide if you should stay alive, you can tell yourself, ‘I should probably stay alive because I’m the only one who knows the meaning of that thing.’”  

As a strong believer in the use of art as a coping strategy, this quote especially hits home and sums up what I believe the search for purpose is. While I still find myself searching for my own purpose, I use painting, drawing, writing, and playing/listening to music to find it. My art is an outward expression of myself without actually having to explain myself unless I decide to. It’s a form of catharsis and infinitely comforting to pour yourself into a form of art and know that you’re the only one in the world who truly knows what it means. People can look at your outward expression and appreciate it, but they will never know you unless you decide to let them.

When you find yourself trapped in these thirteen letters, expand and pour yourself onto paper. Let your feelings flow through watercolor, release your anger in the staccato taptaptaps of your keyboard or the pressure on your pencil. Play guitar until you create canyons of callouses on your fingers and turn up your speakers just a little louder when you’re feeling alone. When you’re low, you’ll never be alone as long as you have art.

The next time you’re feeling low, take out a piece of paper. Start writing or drawing…anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s “good” – art is subjective, anyway. Make your feelings loud and clear in something that only you understand. Your art is your own language, and you can leave it lost in translation if that’s what you choose. Find yourself through the freedom the paintbrush offers you.

If purpose is the buried treasure, then art  is the map and the key to unlocking it. You have a reason for being here and endless value and potential, and you have the means of finding purpose, so what are you waiting for? It may be hard and some days you’ll be discouraged, but when those days come, just sharpen your pencil a little more and buy new paints. Your purpose is waiting; don’t let your life be lost in the search for it. Many have lost their lives in looking for it, but we have a chance to break the cycle. Find yours and help others on their journeys through offering love and support.

Letting People In

“Bystander power”: it’s an axiom used by almost every anti-bullying campaign taught in schools across the nation. We’re taught from a young age that having a voice is something to be used in situations of injustice, especially bullying. We’re taught that having a voice is something to be used to our advantage, and that our opinions matter. These programs not only instituted empathy in us, but also a sense of self-worth.

Or did they?

They should have. With the constant implications of the inherent value in human life, it would be fair to expect that we would adopt some sort of self-worth. But this was not the case. We were so focused on the value of others that we didn’t stop to think about ourselves. We were so busy looking for the evil in everyone else that we didn’t realize that it often lives in ourselves. We were never taught that sometimes, we end up being our own worst enemies, and as a result, none of us knew how to put out some sort of fight when this happened (which, of course, it was bound to).

It is, for this reason, understandable that many kids would feel more comfortable reporting a bullying situation than talking to someone about something as personal as their innermost thoughts. It’s just how we were raised. It’s how we were taught, and we didn’t grow up knowing any better.

How did we, as a generation, get over this? Well, the simple answer is that we didn’t – at least not collectively. Some of us found the strength to verbalize these thoughts, either to an adult or peers, just like we’d been taught to when it happened to someone else. But what about the rest of us? What about those of us who could not find the strength to bury our pride and depend on another human? Why are we so eager to help a friend in need, but so hesitant to reach out to someone when we are the friend in need?

I wholeheartedly believe that we, as a species, are all connected in some beautiful way. Whether it be the matter that makes us up or the feelings we all simply share I’m not sure, but I know that we share some sort of inherent unity with one another. I believe a large part of finding purpose is through others.

You are all you will ever have. This is both terrifying and comforting in some way. While many times people leave because you’ve simply played your part in their journey, your human shell will always keep its grip on you. Until your soul slips through the cracks in your ribs, the pump in your chest, rivers up your wrists, the skyscraper crawling up your back, and tornado in your throat will belong to you and stay with you because they are you.

True happiness is, in part, found in the acceptance of the fact that sometimes the tornado in your throat will go silent. It is found when you accept that you will need to borrow other people’s words sometimes, and that’s okay. When the ripples in the rivers in your wrists feel like waves, you will need other people to take you by the hand and remind you that, no matter what they look like, they’re only ripples. When the skyscraper in your back wants nothing more than to collapse, you will need someone to help you stand up straight. And when the pump in your chest grows too tired to continue, listen to and imitate the sound of someone else’s pulse.

You are a work of Mother Nature, but nature is not always perfect. There are natural disasters. Nature can cause great trouble, even to itself. But with the help of rescue teams and cleanup crews, the results of this damage can be quickly reversed. If you want them to help, you must stop shaking the ground around them. Stop pouring down sheets of rain, throwing thunderous cries and brilliant lightning, and they will come. Help is real, but the first step to receiving it is wanting it.

Bracing the storm that your head subjects you to is a tough battle, but know that you don’t have to do it alone. You are a part of nature. When the going gets tough, just remember: no flower ever bloomed without a little sun and water. Seeking out help from a friend is a beautiful option, and with their help, you’ll one day blossom into what you’re meant to be. But until then…there’s no rush.

You have time to grow.

Hope Through Music

Growing up is an underrated task in terms of its difficulty.

Hope Through Music
I say this mainly because It was during my adolescent years that I found myself in the rut that many do during this transitional period. I was still young enough to be considered a child but still searching for the pride found in claiming the title of “teenager.” I was still young enough to order off of the kids’ menu without a stray look from the waitress but old enough to be expected to have an idea of what I wanted to do with my life.
It’s a strange time for every kid, so it’s no surprise that several of us end up going astray. Most, if not all, fall victim to the faulty path that’s been paved for us by our own minds. This betrayal is worse than the loss of any middle-school friendship; in anyone’s ideal world, their mind would be their greatest ally, not their opponent. For these reasons and several other contributing factors, I found myself terribly lost in territory that was seemingly supposed to be perfectly navigable.
Help was offered in several different sources, of course, but instead I found myself mindlessly building stone walls … Something about being offered help made me feel vulnerable. I’ve always been independent and having to emotionally depend on someone else seemed like a daunting task, and it’s still one that I’m trying to convince myself is something cathartic.
My focus has always been an internal one. All of my energy, especially the negative, is kept deep inside for the fear of codependence. Oversharing was never a battle I found myself fighting. I didn’t say enough in a day to even be considered as someone who shared too much. When trouble struck, I characterized myself as heat lightning – only letting out bursts of warning here and there, but never releasing any rain from my swollen, metaphorical black cloud.
And, of course, the pressure built up. I found myself searching for comfort in impossible places – in the wrong people, the wrong approaches, and incredibly wrong ways of doing things. My coping mechanisms were incredibly flawed and this caused things to become even worse. I was reaching out, grabbing onto anything that seemed like it would give me a purpose, or at least a reason for all of the hurt. My malformed coping mechanisms and horrible approaches to seeking out hope led me to constantly come up empty-handed. I wasn’t the only one who grew up this way; depression is highly prevalent in adolescents because of major hormonal changes. Many, like me, feel this same fear of codependency.
It was in music that I found my ammunition for the war, an escape, and, most importantly, a friend – the longest friendship I’ve ever had.
Music described and continues to describe every word I was unable to verbalize. The sound from my speakers gave me an inner sense of equanimity as I felt the comfort of knowing I was not the only one who felt the way that I did. There are no words to describe the feelings I felt as I heard Dan “Soupy” Campbell of pop-punk band The Wonder Years scream out, “I’m sorry I don’t laugh at the right times” for the first time. It boggled my mind that someone else, even if it was just one person out of billions, felt the feelings that I’d earlier deemed as isolated events.
Through this universal language, I found my own voice. I found myself walking into my teen years through sweaty venue doors and yelling lyrics at the top of my lungs with hundreds of strangers. These strangers knew me better than kids I went to school with for years ever will. They know me through the cracks in my voice, the constant bopping of my head, and the passion in my eyes. I communicated with many of these people who I’ve never met and never spoke a single word to. I screamed out all the things I’d been holding back with a crowd of people who felt exactly the same (or had at some point in their life). I, the girl who couldn’t successfully verbalize her feelings, opinions, or thoughts without fear of judgement, found myself squished with hundreds of others and telling them all of my innermost thoughts. I was saying something and I was allowed complete expression of myself for a few hours with zero judgement. Through this act, it was soon that I came to the realization that, when expressing myself, the words that I spoke were no longer lyrics, but my own. While my words weren’t perfect, they were my own. My God, were they my own.
There are still days when I feel like the entire weight of the world is on my back. There are days when I feel like the sky was designed to fall onto my shoulders and stay balanced there until I crack under the pressure. However, I find extreme comfort knowing that in times of trouble, the records on my shelf will always be able to say the things that I can’t. I can listen to my disordered thoughts sung with perfect harmony and realize that maybe I’m not as alone as I’d originally thought. Maybe, just maybe, one day I will be able to achieve this same harmony.
We are not isolated events.
We are not the voices in our heads.
And we refuse to be defined by our heads.
Purpose is found in gaining some sort of inner peace with these fears that we, as humans, all (secretly) face.
You are not the only one who feels the way you do.
Coming to this realization is a daunting task, and rightfully so. Using things such as music helps this process become less scary. Earbuds that yell back at you what you’re feeling will convince you that you are not the only one.
You are not the only one.
You are not the only one.
You are not the only one.

The Future

The future is – and has always been – an abstract and terrifying concept.

As humans, we often find ourselves drifting back to the strange notion of the future and this is simply because, collectively, we fear what we can not control or understand. We find ways to attempt to gain some sort of control. Often, this control seems to be found in the idea of terrifying ourselves into believing the current situation will end up being the final destination. We live in fear of what tomorrow may look like. We are afraid of our own imagination. The impossibilities become the definites and the irrational becomes the only truth we know.

Being talked out of this inevitable fear isn’t a simple task, of course. Several are often caught up in this notion that the future is hopeless…that there’s no worth in our numbered days…that living to see tomorrow is just not worth it. It’s easy to fall into the prison of the human mind – that’s undeniable. However, the transcendence of this horrible fear is found in realizing that the only thing holding you back from the future and the endless potential of it is you.

And that shouldn’t be regarded as a bad thing. That’s okay. Arguably, it is a necessary part of the human experience to feel this doubt; to feel that this simply can’t be all there is. Finding the strength to be able to transcend this fear and false belief of a hopeless future, however, is not a task simply completed individually. It’s an effort that requires the help of others, and, unfortunately, when one is under the belief that there are no resources available, this tends to become a contributing factor to suicide.

Currently, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States for all ages. Additionally, it is the second leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds. Every day, approximately 105 people in the U.S. lose their lives to suicide. Expanding to a more global view, over 800,000 people commit suicide every year. One suicide is successfully carried out every 40 seconds. (source)
Awareness is the first step to prevention and potentially lowering these numbers. Organizations such as Holding of Wrist (we celebrated our 7th birthday on Tuesday the 6th!), To Write Love On Her Arms, and The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention work to spread awareness and hope to those struggling with suicidal thoughts. While many lives in the past few years have been saved through curing pain with love, some others have not been so lucky. A prime example of this lies in a recent tragedy in the YouTube community.

The passing of Daniel Kyre was shaking to the YouTube community for viewers and creators alike. Daniel was a member of the channel Cyndago, a group of three friends that created skits and original music. in September of this year, Daniel took his own life. It came as a shock, as most of these situations do, but it should be an event that we now use to learn how to treat content creating, and Youtube as a whole. We will never know exactly what Daniel was facing, but we do know that a lot of mental health is stigmatized. Content Creators do not want to open up, for fear that it may affect the viewers, or stray them away. In the future, we hope to rid the world of this stigma. We hope to be able to openly express these feelings without fear of judgement or misinterpretation. It is in Daniel’s tragic passing that we learn to grow as a community, and treat mental health differently as a result. Rest in Peace, Daniel Kyre, and the thoughts and respect of us here at Holding of Wrist go out to his family and friends during this trying time.

-Sam Sweeney (Chief Vibe Protector at Holding of Wrist)

The stigma surrounding mental illness, as stated by Sam, is one that greatly affects our society’s collective ability to speak out in times of suffering. In the future, we hope to greatly decrease the stigma associated with mental illness as a whole and reduce rates of suicide – not only in the U.S., but worldwide. Changes to these statistics in the future are greatly possible, but it must be a group effort. In the same way that people need other people to overcome pain, we need you in order to carry out this mission successfully. We can and will change the world, and we hope you’ll join us. Throughout the past seven years, we’ve always had the same mission and intentions, and plan to continue to carry out our message for as long as possible. We need you now, more than ever.

“I know tomorrow is going to come because I’ve seen it. Sunrise is going to come, all you have to do is wake up. The future has been at war, but it’s coming home so soon. The future looks like a child in a cape. The future is the map and the treasure. The future looks just like gravity: everyone is slowly drifting toward everyone else. We are all going to be part of each other one day. The future is a blue sky and a full tank of gas. I saw the future. I did. And in it, I was alive.”

The Future by Neil Hilborn

Three Words.

Those three words (You are Beautiful) have so much power and meaning. My belief is that everyone is beautiful. We all have that picture of the perfect body image in our heads. But the truth is, you will never become that person that is inside your mind. That is a perfect person, but no one is perfect. Most of society has been conditioned to think ‘beautiful’ as a pretty skinny girl , an athletic guy with muscles, designer clothing, pretty much within the norm of society. I find that to be really sad.
I know it’s not easy to think you’re beautiful. It takes time, but anyone can change their thoughts. Please don’t make yourself throw up anymore. You ARE skinny enough, you ARE beautiful. Please don’t change yourself to fit in with the ‘norm’ because you are unique, which is beautiful. Beauty is what the heart is. If you have a heart full of love than you’re beautiful.

When you wake up tomorrow, when you’re at the toilet throwing up because you don’t feel skinny, when you are cutting yourself to take away that emotional pain, look into the mirror and say “I AM BEAUTIFUL.” I seriously want you to do that. Comment here when you did! Why I want you to do that is because I learned something in my Psychology course. It’s called ‘cognitive thinking’ which basically means “you are what you think you are”. If you think and say your beautiful, than you’ll feel beautiful for example. If you say to yourself “I am happy” then your mindset will change to a happier and more positive outlook.

Your past, and your scars tell a story which is beautiful. Your pain has a purpose. Your story is meant to be heard. You have the power to change lives and the world! Do it! Feel beautiful! Be proud of who you are today!

Love Always
-Jimmy Elliott
Founder, Holding of Wrist

Day of Silence Blog

It’s not for show. It’s not for cool points. It’s about equality.

This year, we have seen movements for equality around the United States and even the world. This month, millions of people put red “equal” signs as their profile pictures on Facebook to let the world know they believe in equality as people marched up to the United States Congress to fight for Gay Marriage. New Zealand became the 13th country to pass a law permitting gay marriage legal. This great world has not lost it’s humanity.

In the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings this week, I heard a quote that really changed me. Patton Oswalt, actor and comedian who has played in such films as Young Adult and Ratatouille, said this quote: “I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.”

Every day, we wake up to more bad news and more reasons to doubt humanity. Those who stop equality seem to out-shine those who do support and believe in. Last year, I told you the history of the National Day of Silence. It was founded in 1996 as a student-led actions towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, identity, or preference. The word that caught me off guard this year is the word “student.”

As a teacher, I boast about being an advocate for those who do not have a voice. I have gay students, friends, and family members. That does not change my feelings or attitude towards them. I love them. I need them in my life. I am so proud of them. Yet, it baffles me, when I look into their eyes, that they are denied the “rights” that I have. I have no idea if I want to get married. I have no idea if I want children or serve in the military. (The military is not my thing….) But, I am straight. So, why do I have the right and someone who is passionate about it and just happens to be gay cannot do what I have the right to do?

That is why I support the day of silence. Although I cannot be silent ALL day long as I have to teach, I will stand with all of you. You have the right to participate, regardless of race, creed, gender, and sexual orientation. And guess what? Public schools in AMERICA support this as, “Under the Constitution, public schools must respect students’ right to free speech. The right to speak includes the right not to speak, as well as the right to wear buttons or T-shirts expressing support for the cause.” You still have to answer when a teacher calls on you, but you have the right to remain silent during class.

If you have ever felt alone… and this week is sure full of lonely and isolating things, remember, we are here for you. We are standing with you. We understand you. Why? Because we love you. Being gay is not a choice. Love? Yeah. That’s a choice. And we choose to spread it around the world. We spread it thick! We LOVE you.

Remember. The world has bad guys… but humanity is not doomed. WE CAN CHANGE HISTORY. We can be the change. So, stand with me today and stand for those who cannot speak. Stand with me for those who are denied rights EVERY DAY. Stand for the person next to you or your future children. Stand.

Have a wonderful day.

Be blessed.

You are loved.

Self-Injury Awareness Month: Blog #8

During the month of March, Self-Injury Awareness Month, Holding of Wrist has been posting supporter-submitted self-harm stories every Monday and Friday. This is our last blog of the month, from Jennifer this time. We hope that you enjoyed this month and that it offered hope into your life.

Have A Great Easter

-Holding of Wrist

In middle school, I was the popular girl. In the second semester of 8th grade, that all changed. I did something, I don’t know what, and people just stopped talking to me. I took a blade to my wrist for the first time in march of my eighth grade year. Over summer, things got better an i stopped. In November of my freshman year, my boyfriend i had been with for a while left me, and my friends started calling me nasty names. I started cutting again, deeper and deeper. No one noticed. No one cared. I went on this way for months, being bullied daily and going home and cutting. I even tried overdosing once, only to wake up in the morning after passing out. I met this guy, who’s now my best friend, in January. We became close, and eventually he noticed my scars. He said, “you know, Jennifer, I have battle scars like those. It’s hard to stop, but you’re worth so much. Just know this: i still think you’re beautiful and I don’t ever wanna lose my bestfriend (side note, this pierce the veil song that those lyrics are from is my all time favorite). So promise me you’ll stop. For just a month. Start with just a month.” I promised him i would stop for a month. I did. It was so hard, but I kept to this promise. And I noticed, months later, when I hadn’t hurt myself for a long time, people care. My mom found out i cut and she was devastated. My dentist saw my scars and called my mom to make sure i was okay. A lady in the supermarket told me she was proud of me for making it this far. My brother said its okay to be sad. A teacher at my school got me into therapy. This showed me, it is all worth it. Really. Someday you’ll be so happy. Someday. So please stay. For me. Please don’t leave. For me. Hold on for a few more days, be good to yourself. For me.