I’m unsure if/how I should observe Lent this year. Since I’m no longer Catholic, I don’t know if it is appropriate. I want to be respectful of the purpose of fasting (not just for diet - I can’t stand that). I’m considering going vegan for the next 40 days, as this would be a sacrifice for me yet still mindful of the wellbeing of other people/animals/earth. Can anyone give me some advice? What should be the reason behind fasting?
“Changing the way we talk is not political correctness run amok. It reflects an admirable willingness to acknowledge others who once were barely visible to the dominant culture, and to recognize that something that may seem innocent to you may be painful to others.”—
I wrote a song today, and when I write songs I always feel weirdly guilty about not knowing music. Like, who gives a fuck if you only use four chords. It’s your fucking song. Do what you want.
It was really good and I started crying on the inside because I realized that there are people like her who will never share their work and just be quietly brilliant in their hidden lives. That is so sad. But I’m glad the talent exists, even if it lives in secret. Beautiful life.
I’m still learning a lot, which is why I don’t share. Not that I never would, I just don’t feel ready now.
As you may or may not know, I have been very involved in a variety of mental health awareness groups and clubs for over six years, when I first heard of To Write Love On Her Arms. Since then, I have done all I can to educate myself about mental health, and I have tried to spread what I learn and to engage in efforts to lower depression and suicide rates.
Last year, I served as the Outreach Coordinator for You Mean More, a mental health awareness and suicide prevention club at UC Berkeley. I spent eight months—from September to April—helping plan and organize the second annual UC Berkeley Suicide Prevention Walk. I even had the honor and privilege of emceeing the event with Jimmy, one of my dearest friends. The walk ended up raising over $30,000—a huge success—all of which benefits mental health efforts at Cal and through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
This year, while I was unable to remain involved in You Mean More, I will be participating in the third annual UC Berkeley Suicide Prevention Walk this Sunday (March 9). I will be doing so for many reasons. First, mental health awareness and education is a cause I have cared about for many years, and I am always eager to engage in helpful dialogue and action whenever possible. Second, this cause is very personal to me. While I have been incredibly fortunate to never experience depression or suicidal thoughts, I have seen friends watch their loved ones deteriorate, and I have seen my own friends break down. I have heard of far too many vibrant lives, lives full of potential, lost to suicide. A little over a year ago, I lost a good friend to suicide and saw not only how taxing such heartache was on me but how broken, hurt, and confused my friends were and often still find themselves. If I can be even a tiny part of a movement which addresses and helps mental health issues, if I can play even a minor role in the fight to reduce and eventually eradicate suicide, then I will do all I can for this cause.
A large part of this cause is spreading awareness and resources. But, as all such things go, money plays an important role, too. Not only will I be walking this Sunday to show support for the cause, but I am currently also fundraising. Last year, my goal was $200, and I was able to raise over double that! This year, I would like to match the amount I raised last year: $500. My fundraising page can be found here: http://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/leahromm2014. Anything truly and sincerely helps.
If you have any questions about any of the things I mentioned, if you would like to get involved in the walk, if you have any comments or concerns—please don’t hesitate to reach out. This is an issue I will never be silent about.
Thank you for reading this far! I appreciate any and all support—whether that means donating, offering words of encouragement, or you going out and educating yourself about mental health issues.
Please help my friend Leah raise money for suicide prevention.
“What makes people despair is that they try to find a universal meaning to the whole of life, and then end up by saying it is absurd, illogical, empty of meaning. There is not one big, cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person. To seek a total unity is wrong. To give as much meaning to one’s life as possible seems right to me.”—Anais Nin (via softwhisper)