reaching out in the dark

i'll be the first to admit that our vantage points may be wildly different. personally, i'm just a touch over 5'2 and concerts are spent on my tippy toes hoping the heads in front of me won't move together, closing the slim window of a view my money bought me. 

i wake up in the morning in a quiet little house on a quiet little street, in a rather quiet city (but hey, we know how to make it loud when the occasion calls for it). 

i had a wooden structure to surround me during my formative years and i (almost) never feared for my life. 

this vantage point could be incredibly different from your own. 

maybe you can always see perfectly in a crowd of strangers swaying to music. maybe your streets are filled with angry drivers and broken mufflers and maybe even worse - the house surrounding you wasn't a place of support at all. maybe it felt like the walls were slowly caving in or the floors were disintegrating beneath you and you had nowhere to run. 

but the truth is there's always somewhere to run. 

there are self-destructive places to run toward, or we could take a deep breath, gather our bags, and begin the march toward the light of freedom. 

this week i chose the latter.

in the spirit of 'radical honesty' (a term i mentioned in a previous post), i'll always be the first to admit that i need something/someone/a rope to pull me out of the ditch. 

so here i stand, shivering, blind, broken, at the bottom of this ditch and i've found a rope. 

sometimes this visual seems too simple. like it's not just so easy to find the rope while you're swallowed in the darkness. like it's not easy to hold onto it, not knowing where it will lead you. like it's not easy to leave the home you've made here underground, the blankets and the carved out portraits of a life you once knew. it's home now.

so how do you trust what's on the other side of the rope?

the first, & maybe most difficult step is vulnerability. you have to find your voice, practice if you need to, and speak out so someone can know where to find you.

it is important to find a safe person that you trust. (if this person is not in your life, there are still options - Suicide Prevention Lifeline - call 1-800-273-8255, operating 24 hours a day).

this week i made a phone call to a counselor (psychologist) i've seen before. this is an uncomfortable step, but i recognized that it was time. the appointment is set. there's hope ahead.

my main point here, friend, is to remind you that you are not alone. i'm right here with you. you don't have to live in the ditch. maybe deep down you know what asking for help looks like for you, and if something comes to mind as you're reading this - here is your sign. go toward it.

so many people want to help you, but sometimes you have to make the small effort to help yourself first. you're worth it.

there is no shame in needing others

there is no shame in suffering

there is no shame in mental illness

we'll get through this together.

until next week, friends.


Listening to:


  1. I've never read any of your blogs but this one touched me so much, that I'm happy to read more. Thanks so much for this and keep writing -xo

  2. this is something I think about a lot, all of it, I've found safe people instead of safe places, maybe I had no choice but at least it works and yeah getting out of the comfort of that dark cave it's mega hard but it's worth it, I like to think I'm on it and it's not just the weather that's making me feel better.
    I'm so glad you decided to make that call, I'm proud of you, you're a strong 5'2 woman.

  3. This week my therapist explained something to me that's changed how I've viewed the world (and myself) since I was little. The world is different. I am different. My vantage point has changed. Ashley thank you for sharing. For being so honest and open. It's important for people to see they aren't alone, and that people are sharing similar experiences. Keep going Ashley, hold tight on that rope, and I'll hold tight to mine.

  4. Man, it's almost as though you're writing directly from inside my head. This really, really hit home. Thank you.

  5. Thank you. I've dealt with mental illness all my life, steadily getting worse every year, culminating in the events of this past week. The silence became too deafening and I began to crack under the pressure of my own thoughts. I'll spare you the details. (it wasn't pretty) This post convinced me it's time to be brave and get some help. I can't fight this on my own anymore. Thank you, maybe there is hope for me after all. <3

  6. the house I grew up in was never a safe space. more a house build on top of a ticking time bomb, and you'd never know when it would go off. but over time i found all sorts of life lines, safe spaces, things to hold on to; like my church, music, creativity, etc.

    and then there's people like you, because living isn't something i should do on my own, i'll only fail. i can't figure out life all by myself. i need you, i need your sharing and your kindness and your inspiration and i'm not ashamed of that. you're not just a girl writing stuff, you're a friend and that's such an awesome thing. and i hope the counseling is going to help you and that you'll get out of the dark place your mind has taken you. and if there could ever be anything we could do back to you, well just write a blog about it and maybe we can help you <3 *hugs you very tightly*

  7. Thank you for this. You are lovely. Hang in there. Lately I feel like I need to ask for help but I somehow keep convincing myself that that is a sign of weakness, or that I'm really not that bad off. I know that it really isn't fair and I admire your honesty so much. Remember to breathe xo

  8. Thank you for this. Oh, and yes, that's how I spend concerts too. Loved that paragraph expertly rendered.