Meet My Boyfriend

As I mentioned when I first came back, a lot has happened over my spicy COVID summer. One of those things being meeting my boyfriend and my better half, Colt. And ever since we met, we’ve been inseparable. It’s pretty cool.

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I was hesitant on writing about our relationship just yet because of what usually happens whenever I share too much of my personal life too soon (hint: it goes to shit), but I think that now more than ever, we have to be over the moon about every victory. And Colt is definitely one of my biggest victories.

Colt is the sweetest man I have ever met, let alone dated. He cares so much for other people and is always willing to go out of his way to make sure others have what they need. I was immediately shocked (and impressed) by how selfless this man is. It was one of the first things that got me hooked.

He was the first man to actually take me out on a first date, open every door for me, and treat me with unwavering respect. I’m amazed that someone like him exists. I don’t believe that I deserve him in the slightest, but I won’t complain.

Something extra special about our relationship is that it is my first long distance relationship. I mean, it’s not super long distance, but it’s still a whole new ball game for me. We’re nearly four hours apart, which can be daunting at times, but we’ve learned to make the best of it. Plus that saying, “distance makes the heart grow fonder,” has proven itself to be very, very true.

I know that Colt and I will be going on several adventures together, so you’ll be hearing a lot about him in the future. Be ready!

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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!

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