I Walked to End Suicide.

Earlier today I joined family, friends, and members of my community in walking to end the stigma around mental health and reduce the suicide rate by 25% by 2025. Roughly 1600 people were in attendance in Cleveland as we heard stories from survivors and families of those who lost their battle.

Suicide has impacted my life in so many different ways and I felt that this year I was ready to attend a walk and expose myself to others who come from similar experiences. When we arrived, I was amazed. I didn’t expect to feel so much overwhelming support and solidarity from everyone there.

Prior to walk day, those registered (and even some who had not registered) collected donations for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Together, we raised over $146,000 which was more than our targeted amount for the walk! One team alone collected $8,000 in donations!

At the walk, participants wore different colored beaded necklaces to represent why they walked. I did not originally plan on representing myself at this walk, but after walking around and seeing others doing the same, I gathered the courage to don a green beaded necklace. This symbolized my personal struggle with suicidal thoughts and mental health. I’m not one who likes to broadcast my struggles- especially in a society where it’s taken as a plea for attention. However, today felt like a day where I could be open about my struggles with mental health and not be judged or ashamed.

My team and I also sported buttons with the names of those we walked for. I was proud to carry the names of my loved ones close to my heart as I walked. Writing the several names down on the buttons and seeing the different names each person had on theirs was chilling. It was hard to process that so many people know of more than one person who lost their life to suicide.

Before we began walking throughout Cleveland, we heard the story of a widow who had lost her husband only a few short years ago. She talked about the time leading up to her husband’s passing as well as her adjustment afterward. Hearing her story was sobering.

I can list several people whose lives crossed paths with mine that have taken their own lives- friends, relatives, classmates, members of my community. It’s a painful reality that we are hoping to change each and every day.

Today I walked for those I knew.

Today I walked for myself.

Today I walked for anybody who needed or needs help getting out of the darkness.

I look forward to doing this walk again in the future and sharing more memories with the community of survivors and loved ones of those who have passed on.

I am still collecting donations to go toward the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention! If you would like to donate, click here!

I’m Better Now | Yet Another Update

As most of you probably know by now, I’ve really been going through it this past month or so. Lots has gone on that’s forced me to make massive changes in my life and ultimately turn into a completely different version of myself. I went through a break-up, a move, health concerns, friend drama, my first week of classes, and a lot of little things that started adding up.

Through all of those changes and bumps in the road, there was one thing that kept me grounded. One thing that stayed no matter who/what left- me. Out of all of the mantras of love and happiness that were preached to me through it all, the hugs and open hearts, knowing that I was still here for me was what kept me going.

I had to prove to myself that I have what it takes to make changes in my life that can be beneficial for me. I relied so heavily on other people to give me what I wanted and needed. At the time I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I felt comfortable and secure with where I was at. But now, looking back at who I was even a month ago disgusts me. I wasn’t doing anything for myself. I didn’t want to better myself unless someone else took that first step for me.

A part of me hates admitting that… especially online to people who build their opinions of me on what I say and do on this website. But admitting it is liberating in a way too. Being able to say that that’s who I was and not who I am feels really good. I know a lot of close friends and family were genuinely concerned about me. That added pressure dragged me down a lot. However, I knew that doing what I needed to do for myself would serve as reassurance for both myself and those around me. Since I started hitting my roadbumps, I’ve accomplished a lot. I reserve the right to brag a little since I was able to escape the rut I was in for so long.

I’ve been MIA for a while on here and so I haven’t been able to share my successes with you guys and it’s sucked. I’ve wanted so badly to hop on here and tell you all what I’ve been up to, but I feared that the second I shared it, it would all go away. But now I’m fairly confident that the work I’ve put in so far has put me in a safe spot.

I’m doing really well in my classes and I’ve already made a few of those “we’re-in-the-same-class-so-we’ll-be-friends-for-the-semester” friends. My instructors are alright, I suppose. One of them is already the kind of instructor I wish all of them were- relatable. He likes the same types of music as me and makes my kinds of jokes. I expect a lot of great things from his classes I’m taking.

In the love life department, I’m just doing me. I love myself more than I have ever loved myself. I feel confident and independent, and I’ve been trusting myself to make the best decisions possible. I have definitely met a few guys who have drawn my interest, but I’m not ready to devote myself to anyone other than me right now. I’m so happy with my life the way it is. If I do, however, find someone that I feel I cannot live without, I’ll be careful. Then again, I may not have to be. Now I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. I’ve learned what I love about love and what I don’t care for. I guess you could say I narrowed down the search. But again, this will all be in due time.

I have some big things in the works that I’m not ready to announce yet, but as soon as things are set in stone, I’ll be announcing it everywhere like it’s my job (I guess it sort of is)!

Finally, thank you to everyone for the support on my last post. I miss you guys and I might just be ready to come back!

If you missed it, I made a Facebook page! It’s where I’ll be sharing behind the scenes work, life updates, and other fun things you won’t see here! Check it out and drop a like!

https://www.facebook.com/MegannLouiseDotCom/