Every Year at the Overnight we adorn Honor Beads to signify our connection to the cause.
Every Year I wear Blue and Green.
This year I will wear Teal as well.
Teal has been added to the Honor Bead Colors to represent those who have friends and family with lived experience. The ones we love who once (or more) reached a place of utter hopelessness where a suicide attempt was made…and they survived.
There are people in my life whom I love dearly who have survived a suicide attempt. And this year I walk for them. I may not wear their names on my shirt, but I carry their stories in my heart.
These are not my stories to tell, but I will support them as they walk their journeys.
These 18 miles are proof of my dedication to the cause, my dedication to breaking down stigma so that issues such as depression, bipolar disorder, self harm, substance abuse and suicide can be spoken about without shame. The deep secrets that are kept in the darkness…they lose power when they are brought to the light. They become a place from which you can get help, and maybe even help others. It is nothing to be ashamed about.
I wear Teal Beads to say:
You are loved and you matter. And nothing you have done in your past, today or tomorrow will ever change that for me. You are here for a reason, and I believe that there are great and glorious things in your future. I do not believe that a disease defines you; I believe that you are stronger than the things that you are facing. I believe in the power of HOPE and even when you feel like giving up, I have never once given up on you because I believe that we can beat this. I never want you to feel like your world is too heavy to hold, because I will always be right there beside you to carry the load with you.
I will carry your story in my heart until you are ready to tell it.
I walk for You.
I walk for me.
I walk for everyone who has ever been there.
Because we made it out alive. And that is something to be cherished.