Hurt

Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity.  We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair.  Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble.

– Yehuda Berg

There is a saying that goes “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt”.  I was taught that saying by my parents and grandparents when I was a child.  When I was younger I would say that to myself every now and then when I was getting bullied.  Yeah, that saying did help me as a kid.  However, now that I finally tore down the wall that all of my emotions were trapped behind; I now know that those words can be just as powerful if not even more dangerous than those sticks and stones.

It took me a very long time to chisel away at those bricks that were supporting the wall that had been in the way of me feeling what I really needed to feel.  Occasionally a brick would come off here and there, but that wasn’t enough, and I knew that it wasn’t enough.  Something miraculous happened to me today and I demolished that wall completely.  Each and everyone of those bricks represented someone who had hurt me.  Every hurtful word or saying that was spoken to me was one of those bricks.  Guess what, those bricks are now nothing but a pile of dust that is getting blown away by the wind.

Now that the wall is finally gone, I can let out all of what I was feeling at every-moment of my life when I was getting hurt by those who bullied me.

“Hurt”

I don`t even know where to begin.

I am feeling all of these emotions at once.

These emotions are powerful.

Powerful because they have been disregarded for ten years.

*

I am not even sure what emotion is the most powerful.

Anger?

Sadness?

Rage?

Pain?

Hurt!

*

You hurt me to the point where I couldn’t`t breathe.

I couldn’t inhale to speak words of defense.

I couldn’t catch my breath.

When I tried to speak I would choke on air.

I gave up.

*

You hurt me to the point that I would cry.

I would cry because I felt helpless.

I started to cry myself to sleep.

I would cry when I woke up in the morning.

I would cry to the point that my eyes were sore.

I eventually ran out of tears.

*

You hurt me to the point where I couldn’t move.

I walked away from you more than once.

I tried to run the opposite direction of you.

I started to see no point in just walking away.

I became a statute.

*

You hurt me to the point where I couldn’t smile.

The smile that I once knew vanished.

Vanished because I didn’t see a point in keeping it.

I didn’t recognize myself anymore.

I became a blank face.

*

You hurt me in so many ways.

Ways that I can’t find the words to express.

You hurt me to the point where I almost hurt myself.

You caused me so much hurt that I almost ended my life.

*

I am no longer hurt.

I am now stronger than I was then.

You will no longer hurt me.

Not because I don’t want you to.

Because I will no longer let you.

***

Goal: It took me a long time to finally express what I felt, and how I feel now; ten years to be exact.  What I am trying to get across is that change takes time and it does not necessarily  happen overnight.  I got tiered of letting that brick wall stop me and today I feel brand new and like a million pounds have been lifted off of my shoulders.  That weight can be lifted off of your shoulders as well.  The first of many steps is to realize that you need to make that change.  Once you take that step, you’re halfway there.

Insecurities, We All Have Them…But…

I have insecurities of course, but I don`t hang out with anyone who points them out to me.

– Adele

I think that one of the problems that I had was the fact that I originally surrounded myself with those who pointed out everything that I was insecure about.  Maybe that was not the best thing for me to do.  That being said, looking back, I realize that that was one of the safest options for me to have at the moment (or at least what I felt was the safest, because that`s what I was used to at that point in my life).  To this day I still have insecurities about myself, all of my friends and family members know that.  The only difference between what I used to  be insecure about at that point in my life and now is that I surrounded myself with those who love me and that don’t point out those insecurities to me.

Goal:  If there is anyone that is trying to bring you down about what you look like, even if it is a long time friend, coworker, etc, leave them behind you with all of you negative thoughts about yourself and surround yourself with those who you know will fill your life with nothing but love and support.

What is Normal?

“Being normal is vastly overrated.”

– Debbie Reynolds

Everyone wants to be a normal person, with a normal life, a normal job, and a normal family.  When no-one even knows what normal even is.  How can we live up to the expectation of normal when no one has any idea of what normal even is?  There is one thing that we can know for sure about Normal and that is the definition of itself.

Normal: Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

Being Normal sounds like following even more rules from society as to how we are supposed to live our lives, how we are supposed to look, and how we are supposed to act around others.  Which is why I believe that being normal is vastly overrated.  Live your life with whatever type of normality that you want.  If you want to believe in something, then believe in it.  If you want to act like yourself in front of strangers, act like yourself.  If you want to be the person that`s known for always being happy, then be that person.  I guess what I am trying to say is that being normal is very boring, there are too many “rules” to follow just to be normal.

Goal:  Go out into the world and know that today is going to be a better day because you are going to be yourself.  You will stand out in the crowd because everyone else is too busy being normal.

Change the World…Who Me?!…

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.

– Robin Williams

We all have that “million dollar” idea that we believe will change the world.  The reason why I call it them the million dollar ideas is because if you were to recive a dollar for every time someone told you that the idea was stupid, dumb, and or impossible; you would have a million dollars by the time you made that idea (dream) into a reality. 

Those ideas could be something as simple as making every person that you meet smile. Or as simple as being the first link in the longest chain of paying it forward. The ideas could also be something as complex as world peace, making a difference in the world, or taking a stance and putting an end to bullying. To be honest, there is no difference in the simplicity of our million dollar ideas. Actually, the biggest obstacle that is stopping you/is from making a difference in the world is ourselves. 

Goal: No idea is worthless, they only become worthless when you make them that way. Go out there today and do what you have to in order to get one step closer to achieving your idea/goal. You never know, your idea could be the next million dollar idea. Your idea might even change the world. 

Just Breathe

I`ve learned that I can’t have a packed work schedule and a packed social schedule and a packed personal life; I need to just have time to myself to sit and breathe and unwind.

– Kim Cattrall

I think that it is safe to say that it has came to that time of year where we all need to remember to just breathe.  We all get drawn into the drama around us.  That adds on to the drama that we already have going on in our own lives.  In todays day and age, it is hard for people (us) to balance everything that life throws at us.  Mainly because of the daily requirements that we must meet in order to live a “functional” and “normal” life.  I am speaking from experience when I talk about having a packed schedule.  My work schedule consists of two jobs, my educational schedule consists of five classes; and my personal life consists of trying to do homework, housework, cooking, relationship (to the most amazing  girl ever), family, and friendships.  I am not saying that I am the busiest person in the world, because I know that I`m not.  Recently I have came to the point where I need to remind myself to just take a moment and to breathe.  Every now and again, its okay to take a moment to shut out the rest of the world and breathe.  That can get really hard nowadays because of the demands on all of our schedules.  I have found that taking a break from the world (every now and then) really helps me to collect my thoughts and to realize that I can get through all that I have going on in that moment.

Goal: When you come across times where you think that your problems are bigger than you, or that you don’t think that you can handle all that life puts on your plate.  Remember  to do something, that something is so simple that we actually do it without thinking on a daily basis (well in a normal fashion).   Take a moment to collect your thoughts and just breathe.

Go Out There…and be Different

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.

– Coco Chanel

I mentioned in a previous post that true beauty is when you love yourself for who you really are; along with embracing every  “imperfection” that you may have, as something that sets you apart from others.  Our world has fallen into a bottomless pit of always wanting to be liked and wanting someone else’s (or others) approval(s).   That`s one of the biggest misconceptions about life nowadays, we all need to have the same looks or personalities as the next person.  Not a single one of us (our population) should ever have to feel the need to be like someone else in order to even be glimpsed at.  If you really want to live your life happily and be known to others, you need to be yourself.  The only approval that you should ever look for in this world while you are being different (being yourself) is your approval and your approval only.

Goal: Go out there in the world and be yourself.  You don’t have to change anything about who you are as a person.  Show the world the you thats been locked behind closed doors.  You will feel a little weird at first, but eventually, you will feel like a better person because of the fact that you became one of the most irreplaceable things out there; you became you!

Five Years and Still Staying Strong!

I originally had no idea how I would write this post.  I did know that it had to be done.  Yesterday, the 17th, marked my five year anniversary since the day that I almost ended my life.  I was going to publish this post yesterday, but time just got out of my hands.

Wow, five years, I can’t believe it!  I seriously have no idea where to even begin to describe the amount of joy that this day is bringing me.  I have accomplished so much in those five years, more than I even thought that I would accomplish in my lifetime.  I achieved many accomplishments so far but I have also encountered a few setbacks along the way on my journey.   However, I always knew that I would encounter a few bumps in the road.

I wanted to recap on all, well, most of what has happened in these five years.

  1. This all started on the day that I almost ended my life, I was a sophomore in high school .  Which I wrote about in the blog post Skyscraper (click that link to refresh your memory of that post).
  2. After that day, I started to stand up for myself against those who had hurt me.  Eventually I would start to take a stand for others that were being bullied as well.
  3. The fall of my senior year in high school is when I started to post daily quotes from a quote book of mine onto my personal Facebook account.  (The reason as to why mosts of my blog posts start off with a quote).
  4. I was silent about my struggles with bullying for two years.  During my senior year of high school, I spoke to a group of middle schoolers about some of what I went through.  A middle schooler came up to me after that presentation and told me how much she related to what I shared with them.  Which really made me realize that I do have the potential to make a difference in others lives.
  5. I didn’t really know how I was going to make that difference, so I didn’t do much with my experience until I was a freshman in college.  I knew that I wanted to reach a wider audience and there was only one way that I knew would make it possible.  I ended up creating a blog, this blog.  It took me a day to come up with the name for this blog.  After a lot of thought and consideration about what the purpose of the blog would be for; I finally came up with the perfect name!  The name was inspired by two things that link back to one person.  Stay Strong, was a tattoo that pop artist Demi Lovato had tattooed on her wrist and it is also one of the messages that she passes on to her fans.  For those of you who are wondering what Demi Lovato has to do with me, the explanation is in the Skyscraper blog post.  Warrior is another song that was written and performed by Demi Lovato.  The song literally says “Now I’m a warriorNow I’ve got thicker skin.  I’m a warrior.  I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.  And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in.  I’m a warrior.  And you can never hurt me again.” So I guess that it made perfect since at the time to name this blog what I did, and it still makes perfect since to this day.  I named this blog Staying Strong: The Warrior Project. Two, almost three years later the blog is still serving it`s purpose!
  6. Last fall I wanted to make my story and my blog more known to the public.  So I created my very first video that shared my story.  Here is that video.
  7. Since my senior year in high school I have now spoken to a public audience eight times!  It was nerve-wracking at first because I had stage fright.  Now I am nervous the first five minutes of my presentations and the rest of my presentations go by smoothly.
  8. At the start of this year I thought that it would be a good idea to create a Youtube channel to reach more people.
  9. It has not always been sunshine and rainbows.  Occasionally I would go back into an eating disorder or two.  The rare suicidal thought that made me question why I choose to not end my life that day.  However, I decided to Stay Strong and fight through all of those obstacles that were thrown in my direction.
  10. I have also created various social media platforms for others to reach this blog.  I created a Facebook page, twitter account, Instagram account, Youtube channel, and a Google+ page.

Those are just some of all that I have accomplished in five years, I am proud of all of it.  I can’t wait to see what year six will bring with it!

Below are a few links for your references along with the two songs that really inspired me along my journey, especially at the beginning of my journey.

Facebook Page: Click here

Twitter: Click Here 

Instagram: Click Here 

Google+: Click Here

Youtube: Click Here

Skyscraper Music Video:

 

Warrior Music Video:

My very first video:

Goal: Always remember to Stay Strong and to love yourself for who you are. You are always enough! You are always worth it! You are so much more than you think that you are!  Also I want to thank all of you for all of your love and support!  You have no idea how much it means to me.  Your support is what keeps me going! You are all Skyscrapers, you are all Warriors, but most importantly you are all important.  Until next time, Stay Strong!

Selfish?…Only to Those Who Don’t Understand

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.

– Nido Qubein

Recently (today)  I overheard a conversation between a few classmates of mine.  I couldn’t help but listen to their conversation, mainly because it had something to do with depression and suicide.  This conversation included words like selfish, unthoughtful, sinful, hell,stupid, etc.  It took a lot out of me to not join in on their conversation and share just what a person is thinking while they are on the brinks of suicide.  You never know what a person is going through until you go through it yourself.  NEVER judge someone because they are a cutter, or because they are going through depression!!!  Depression is an issue of mental health and its not something that people can just put in the back of their mind and forget that it is there.  There are so many different reasons suicide and depression tie together and I can give you ten reasons right off the top of my head, but I don’t have enough time before class tonight.  So I am going to get my point across with the best example that I can think of.  My story with depression and suicide.

Now most of you, my readers have already read my story about the day that I almost ended my life and it has been referenced many times before, specifically in two of my other posts.  Those two posts can be found on this blog, but to make it easier for you, I am going to include them in links in this post.  In order for you to read those posts you will have to click on the names of the posts in the next sentence.  Those posts are titled Skyscraper and Warrior, like I said, just click on those links and they will take you directly to those posts.  If you are not aware of my past, I believe that it would befit you to read those posts before you finish reading this one; that way you will be less confused with what I am about to write, or with what you are about to read.

I believe that the major problem with depression is that not a lot of people are clearly aware of what depression can do to a person and how a person gets to the point in their  life when they want to commit suicide.

This is what I was going through that day.

I felt alone in a world that hated me.  I felt alone because I thought that there was no one that would be able to help me.  There is nothing more terrible in this world than that feeling of being alone in helpless.  I hated myself in a world full of those who hated me.  I felt like everyone hated me because that was the message that I was getting from those who bullied me.  I felt as if my life was a book on the bookshelf with everyone else’s lives.  Although I felt as if my book needed to be discarded and put in a pile of books that won’t even be touched because I felt like I was a waste of space on that shelf.   I felt as if the world would be a better place without me in it.  I mean, I know that I felt ending my life would make it a better place because there would be one less person like me on it.  Did I think about my family at all in that moment of my life?  Yes, but after I decided not to end my life.  In fact, my family was one of the many things that I thought about while I was laying on my bathroom floor that day. I began to think about how they might feel and what they might say and how they would possibly think it was their faults.  It never was their fault and it never will be.  That is something that people need to understand, families of suicide victims need to know that, because most of the time the blame is put on the families because they were the ones that were the closest to the victim. I felt sick and tired of going home everyday and crying because I didn’t belong.  I had thought about committing suicide before.  You don’t really think about heaven or hell when you get to that point in your life, you just hope that whatever is waiting for you on the other side is better than the hell that you’re living in at that moment.   I also

Those are just some of the examples of what was going through my mind on the day that I almost ended my life.  Was it a selfish choice for me to consider committing suicide?  No! In fact those that are the most selfish are the ones who judge those that committed suicide; especially if they have no knowledge to the prior circumstances that lead to that suicide.

There is help out there for those who are considering to commit suicide.  There is even a help line for those that are family,friends, etc. of those that went through with committing suicide.  For those of you who need more information on this topic, I am including the number to the suicide hotline and a few links to other pages.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:

1-800-273-8255

Links:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline Webpage

Suicide Helpline

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide 

Mental Health Webpage

Goal: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER judge someone because they have attempted to commit suicide and or had thoughts about committing suicide in their past!!!  Never call a victim of suicide selfish!  For those of you who need help, help is out there.  Its just a click of your mouse, or a few dials away.   You won’t regret taking that step, I know that it is hard; however Staying Strong for yourself and being selfish to get help is one of the best decisions that you can make in your life.

 

Second Wind

Why do we build up all these idols just to watch them fall?  You’re wearing the crown, toast of the town.  Then no one takes your call.  Yeah maybe I been down, down, down, down.  But I always come back around, round, round, round, yeah.

– Kelly Clarkson, Second Wind 

 Lets face it, we all get knocked down in life.  We get knocked down a lot, and sometimes when we get knocked down we hit the ground really hard and get the wind knocked out of us.  I should probably broaden this to say that it can happen to us literally and metaphorically.  I am sure that most of you (my readers) has had this happen to them at least once this year already.  I can recall two times in the past six months.  There are two types of people in the world when it comes to them being knocked down.  The first type is the one that just lays there and milks out the pain to make it noticeable for others to view.    The second type of person is the one who picks him/herself up, dusts off their knees, wipes the tears from their eyes, and keeps moving forward with their life; all the while carrying that experience that they just went through to make them a better person. It`s what we choose to do when we get knocked down that defines who we really are.

I am not saying that its not okay to kneel briefly wherever it was that you fell and cry about.  I am just saying that you will learn more about yourself as a person if you decided to continue and to try again at whatever that goal was that you were trying to accomplish for your life.

I was knocked down (physically, mentally, and metaphorically speaking) when I was dealing with the all of the bullying that I had went through when I was in school.  I used to just sit there after the fall whether it being a literal fall from being pushed down by someone or a mental blow by the words the were being said to me and about me.  I would sit there and cry, I have no idea what it was that I was expecting to get out of doing it, but I did.  Looking back at it I know that I made matters worse for myself because I painted a picture of myself for the bullies and others to see.  The picture the I painted was one of a big red target on my back.  Then it came to the day that I did both things in my life.  I had fallen when I went to slit my wrist with the razor blade.  But I fortunately decided that enough was enough, and that something needed to be done about all of the bullying and that if no one was going to do something then I should.  So I literally picked myself up off of the bathroom floor, wiped off the tears and started to make a change in my life for the good.  Not only a change in my life but in the life of others.

Every day I get a whiff of my Second Wind, and I inhale it in a deep breath and slowly release it as a new day, a new start, and a new step in my fight to helping others.

Goal:  What category do you fall under?  The one that just lies there and wait for someone to notice? Or, do you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on with your life?  I want to be honest with all of my readers,viewers, listeners, etc.  I am the one that used to just lay there.  However, I am now one of those that picks myself up no matter how far the drop and continue on with my life.  Yes, it can get hard, but who said life was easy.  Let me tell you something else, the things that we want in life will not come easy, we have to work at them or for them in order to receive them.  So go out there with the knowledge that you will fall and that you will have your Second Wind.  Just remember its what you do after that fall that determines who you are as a person and not what you did to fall.  I mean it`s very rare for a person to be known for their fall more than their rise after the fall.  Go out into the world and use that Second Wind to your advantage.

Friends are Something that We All Need

Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.

– Hellen Keller

 This past week has been quite an adventure for me.  As a college student it is very hard to keep the friends that you made in high school.  It`s even harder to keep those friendships going when your group of friends have jobs, homework, relationships, and classes that get in-between those friendships.  I mean sure, you stay in touch through social media and a text here and there, but thats it.  There is the occasional one to two hour meet up during spring and or winter break.  During summer break you really want to meet up with your friends and they want to meet up with you, however, you are always occupied with making money during the summer because you are able to work more hours during summer vacation.  When I was a freshman in high school, I remember being told by one of my teachers that you will only speak with a few of your friends after you graduate, and there will be not even a handful of your high school friends that you will actually stay friend with   for your whole life.  The first year of college proved just that for me.  However, this last week has proved the last part of that to be oh so real and heartwarming.

This week a friend of mine was and actually still is in the hospital.  I am not naming names, and or what lead the person to be in the hospital, in respect to my friend whom I don`t want to make his name known in this post.  I can say, that this friend had myself and a few of my other friends scared because of why he was admitted to the hospital.  I can also say that I have just received word that they believe they have figured out what is causing his condition.  Another friend of mine went up to the hospital the night before and stayed the night with our sick friend and our sick friends girlfriend.  The next day, another friend of mine, his girlfriend and I went up to visit at the hospital.  Our visit was originally planned as a three to five hour visit and due to circumstances which I will not discuss, we spent a total six and a half hours in the hospital that day.

We went through a lot yesterday in that short time period.  It felt like we were in that hospital for what was like a whole day, that is exactly how much happened in those six and  half hours.  I do not feel comfortable sharing any of the events that did happen in the hospital yesterday without my friends permissions.  I do know that I can say that we all had learned A LOT about each other yesterday and that we ALL became closer than we had been in the three years of our friendship. I can also speak on behalf of all us that we made memories that will last us a lifetime along with the fact that our friendships became permanent lifelong friendships.

Goal:  You will have friends that come and go out of your life and you might not even notice that they left.  Most of the times, those friendships ended for the best.  I learned something this week.  I learned to always make time to spend with your friends, even if it is for a thirty minute time period.  Communication is key when you are apart from each other.  Always stay in contact, make jokes about the stupid things you did when you were younger and open up more to each other every-time that you meet.

P.S. to my friends that I have seen and spent time with in the last forty-eight hours, this post is dedicated to you.

Ever wonder what happens to the victim of bullying? I was bullied a lot in school. I almost ended it all. But I decided to Stay Strong and help others.