it's not safe to keep this a secret.


I started a company to help people feel better.  I do what I do because I believe in the purpose and the value of a wearable reminder. I wear messages to myself each day that serve me in my mental health self-care journey.  I need help and reminders, and I’m not ashamed of that.  In fact, I’m proud of where I continue to arrive each day, knowing the work and mental gymnastics I’ve put in to get here.  

 

I’m inspired by every human I connect with through the extended happiesbetter community. By sharing my story and hearing yours, we are working together to support mental health awareness, break down shame, and fight stigmas.  I’m proud of all of you, and I thank you.

 

But as I advocate, raise awareness, and sell products to raise money for non-profits, I’m still fighting my own mental health fight. I don’t pretend to have it all figured out.  I’m not a life coach or a self-proclaimed lifestyle guru.  I’m a vessel for sharing inspiration and tools, but I’m not positive and optimistic at every turn.  

 

Sometimes I’m angry and can’t figure out why.  Some days I’m ready for bed at 6pm.  Sometimes I see the worst in myself and others.  Much of the time I don’t, but sometimes I do, because I’m just like everyone else.  I’m a flawed human being with feelings, emotions, and thoughts

 

The thoughts are what I have to talk about.

 

In light of another tragic, high profile suicide, it’s my privilege and responsibility to share something that I had long intended to keep private.  

 

I have a history of suicidal thoughts.  In fact, I’ve had them in this year.  18 years ago, severe panic invaded my mind and I made a half-hearted suicide attempt that put me in the hospital. 

 

I’ve gone to each of the dark corners of my mind many times, considering and pondering putting an end to it all.  All of the work, all of the “overcoming”.  All of the endless gymnastics.  So many thoughts.

 

But I haven’t gone through with it.  I’ve fought them.  I fight them.  I won’t stop fighting them, and here is my why and how.

 

First, I’ve opened up to people I love and trust, and have help at my fingertips. Second, I have my tools and reminders.  I’ve never shared my specific protocol for dealing with my demons, but I share these with you now, knowing that either you could use the support, or that you might pass this on to a friend or loved one who does.  And maybe, just like I set out to do in the beginning, I’ll help people feel better. 

 

My Tools

Mindfulness: getting my mind out of the past and away from the future, and focusing on BEing in the present moment.  (Note the name of the current collection)

Exercise

Setting Intentions: give myself a purpose for the day

Gratitude: find a handful of things that I’m grateful for

Self-Compassion: meet myself with kindness and without judgement, like I would a friend.

Connecting: hugging my humans, calling a friend

Animal Love: floor snuggling Sammy & Ollie

Giving: doing something for someone else.

 

My Reminders

My thoughts as just things. Things that i can choose to accept or reject.  

I am free.

I can change the chemistry in my brain with my tools.

I am Loving and I am Loved.

The best is yet to come.

 

Who I call

my mentor

my therapist

my husband

my best friends

 

Help at my fingertips

To Write Love On Her Arms: https://twloha.com

National Suicide Prevention Line (24 hours): 1-800-273-8255

Mental Health America: www.mentalhealthamerica.net

National Alliance on Mental Health: www.nami.org

 

If you’re having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, it’s not safe to keep quiet.  Sharing is how we break down the barriers of shame, loneliness, and isolation of mental illness and suicidal thoughts. Sharing is one of the most powerful ways we begin and continue to heal.

 

Thoughts are things, they’re not YOU.  
You are not your thoughts.  
You are not your suicidal thoughts. 
You do not need to die because of thoughts.
don’t give up hope
don’t stop trying
don’t hide in shame
You are loving and loved.
You are worth life and living.
You can heal.
You can feel better.
happiesbetter.