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We Keep Dying...

Welcome Back #VIbrantFam! Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 Drug Abuse Hotline: 1-800-662-4357

Today I want to talk about something more on the serious side of things. It is not the happiest of topics but a topic I feel way too close to and feel the need to address. The mental health, stress and drug use to escape all of out the bombarding issues most of us face, but especially those in the public eye.

This could be triggering in respect to those sensitive to topics of suicide and drug abuse; I also want to clarify that this is not bashing anyone dealing with drug abuse or drug reliance issues, I will explain further in the post. In recent years we have seen many of our idols pass away from apparent suicide and drug overdoses -- so many that a consistent conversation about mental health is more prevalent than in past years but still not enough to get change going. Instead, we fall into a whimsical pattern of similar phrases: "Check on your friends" "I am here for you" "This needs to be changed" only to fade off in weeks to come as if it's just dust being blown from an old record player. We fail to make efforts to address and ignite change and instead jump to social media to throw out what many are

calling empty promises of "helping one another". Yet time and time again we keep playing the same old record as if it is something new, bright and beautiful failing to realize it's an overplayed, exhausted library of tunes that have come to be white noise in the grander scheme. With the recent passing of Mac Miller I saw the pouring out of love and pain as many of those I know lost someone who was an integral piece of their life journey. I also saw many people tired of hearing those same phrases we echo time and time again because it felt false. On many levels I cannot blame them, I personally have been in the position of needing someone in some dark times similarly to many artists and people today with no one there to lend a genuine ear or genuinely feeling like my cries were heard. I know I have been a bad shoulder to lean on for friends crying out in pain as well. We are so quick to offer these condolences but so slow to truly stop and listen, to stop and look around and it's costing us our friends, our family and our role models. Our inability to listen is at the cost of something so intrinsically valuable that money could never afford it: our lives.

I say none of this to be rash and harsh to those taking the time to read what I am saying but instead to make us all think for a moment. Before we offer our shoulders to our friends, do we truly mean it? Are we truly going to be there for those around us in a way that will help them? Stop for a minute, breathe and truly digest those questions. Before you answer, think about where you are and how capable you are to truly be there for those around you. Are you the one needing an ear to listen to you? Are you the one needing a shoulder to cry on? We all are on our own journeys, we all are capable of different things but I urge you to help in the way that you recognize your body and mind tell you you are capable of. Sometimes the most we can offer is a hug and nothing else, sometimes we are the ones who need a hug and a shoulder and cannot offer much to anyone else. That is all okay, but be aware of that before we begin to let each other continually fall and fail to help those we've convinced that we would. Furthermore, I urge you to be kind. Your words hold so much power, what you say will affect someone somewhere. The words you use and how you use them could be the last block to fall before they physically cannot do it anymore. These artists that mean so much to you mean so much because you could relate to them, you could relate because they're human and have emotion just like you. They get hurt just like you do when someone says something off key and harsh, they feel the harshness behind the power of those words and it affects them on top of the stresses and days in and days out of working hard. You make the choice daily to act and speak in love or hate, it is easy to spew something hateful behind an electronic but just as easy to not say anything at all or rather react in love. I have made my mistakes by speaking and acting before truly thinking, I have said some things that people have forgiven me for but I truly have not forgiven myself for. We are human but take responsibility for your words and your actions and strive to be a better person. Mental health is fragile but can make an individual resilient as well. The outside stresses of work, criticism, and the internet combined with whatever battle with mental health you may have is a large load to bear. It can be all too common to escape this reality in whatever means possible and we are seeing that daily in our friend groups and in celebrities. The prevalent issue of drugs as an escape is becoming so common we joke about it online. It's the punchline to our sad boi aesthetic and we think nothing of it. I have sought out refuge in similar areas only to find the world get darker with time and outside stresses made me a more fragile target for their wicked games. My understanding is limited on the scale many of those we look up to face but my empathy is overwhelmingly strong. My stress is also minuscule compared to someone in the industry and with drug use so prevalent in the music scene that so many of us call home it begs the question as to why we allow ourselves to add on to the acting stresses so many of role models have already. If you or someone you know may be struggling with addiction, talk to them. I can say from some personal experiences that it helps so much (no matter how they may react) to hear someone you care about coming from a place of love and care telling you they want to help you. We have to stop remaining silent in hopes that someone else with have that difficult conversation with someone we hold dear to our hearts. No longer be a bystander and lets take action for the love of our friends, our family, our role models and most importantly ourselves. To conclude this lengthy post: First, thank you for reading this far. Second, begin to act in love. Spread Love and Spread Light everywhere you are. Show compassion to others and to yourself, this is a process and it is something so worth working at. Overall, Stay Vibrant and Stay Compassionate. We cannot afford to lose anymore lives -- you are all far too valuable and beautiful beings to be lost to suicide or drug overdose. You are worthy. You matter so much. You are absolutely valuable. Take care of yourself and reach out in your times of need. Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 Drug Abuse Hotline: 1-800-662-4357

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