Tag Suicide

Finding Strength in Loss

My dad was ridiculously determined to make me into a golfer (for real 😂). For years, I was so ashamed because when I thought about memories of him, our stupid fights about golf were often the first thing that came to my mind. I didn’t realize until recently just how important these moments were in shaping me into the [business]woman I’ve become today. Our conflicts taught me how to stand up for myself, to search for reasoning behind things I “had to do”, and how to negotiate (sure, I’ll suck it up and go golfing today if you take me to the mall tomorrow 😝). I’m now grateful for the resistance he challenged me with and I love him even more for it. 8 years ago today he took his life. I’ve spent a long time running from our memories out of fear they would only bring up pain. I can’t help

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From Self-Harm to Superbands: How I’m Saving Lives Through Music

My name is Jessica Villa and I’m the Founder/CEO of a nonprofit organization called Superbands. Having been known as the ‘quiet girl’ for most of my life, never did I envision taking on something that is so beyond my comfort zone, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision to jump into pushing Superbands forward, which has undoubtedly been the most rewarding experience of my life. At age 13, I moved from a small town to a bustling new community where I struggled to fit in and make friends. Afraid to speak up in class and too anxious to approach my peers, I found myself slipping into a dark place, soon suffering from depression, self-harm, and anxiety. I refused to speak out about my mental illness out of fear of being bullied, judged, or mistreated. This soon escalated to suicide attempts at the young age of 17. I felt so

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12 Reads to Help You Understand the Importance of Mental Health as a Creative

There are two secrets to success: 1) hard work and 2) a strong mindset. The first one takes a long time no matter who you are, no matter what you do. However, there are always those people who seem to skyrocket to success, but I’m realizing this isn’t the case. The people who seem to succeed faster, with less “effort” have simply just learned to master their mindset earlier than the rest of us, which allows them to be fulfilled within each step of the journey. And by mindset, I don’t mean this fluffy space in your head that only has room for positivity where visualizing a rainbow magically zaps away any problematic struggle or situation. By mindset, I mean the strength of your mental space and developing mental toughness and emotional intelligence. [convertkit form=4915104] Today is World Mental Health Day, and because there is no cause out there that I

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The Mental Cost of Owning a Business That We Need to Talk About

It’s the perfect formula to happiness – setting your own hours, creating something new, being the boss, calling the shots, being idolized for your unstoppable success, living a life of freedom… In theory, the concept of entrepreneurship just sounds so sexy (at least I can feel kind of sexy working from the couch in my favorite dreamy kimono robe). But there’s a dark side. Reaping the benefits of this romanticized career choice requires risks. Gambling with something far more precious than money, time, and security… mental health. The expectations of starting a business are brutal. Everyone around you tells you it’s not going to happen or that leaving your 9-5 to pursue your idea isn’t worth it. You want to prove them wrong. You neglect their forewarnings. Talk yourself up. Read every inspirational article out there on making shit up. You keep telling yourself “you got this”, but slowly, the balls start dropping. You’re

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The Impact My Dad’s Suicide Still Has on Me

7 years ago today, I came home from school to the most devastating news that my dad committed suicide (more on that moment here). Some days, I look back and have no idea how it’s been 7 years and how I’ve manage to make it so far since then. Other days, it feels like it was yesterday and I still cry myself to sleep (not baby tears, like bawling my eye out because it still hurts so bad). I didn’t have the best relationship with my dad. He wasn’t my best friend or the most incredible role model a daughter could hope for. But, he was still my dad and I loved him with my entire heart. He tried to teach me about things like money, how people think, and how the world works and I was too naive to listen. Now I’d give anything to replay those conversations and to

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How Are You Doing Today?

When was the last time you said, “How are you doing today” to a best friend, family member or random stranger and actually meant it? Never ask this question if you do not want their honest response. Every day people are struggling to find balance in his or her life. This can cause pain, heartache, and honestly change the very soul inside of us that you thought you knew so well. There are thousands of stories I could tell you to give an example of how being mindful towards people will make life better, but the only story I truly know is my own. So here it goes: One night, on February 28th to be exact, I go to sleep in my college apartment with a horrific feeling inside my body. I do not understand why this is happening, and then suddenly it is tomorrow, and I wake up to a

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