a small note in the midst of a storm

pulls at the 
thread that 
holds you 
together you 
feel it unraveling
this painful 
from yourself 
this frightening
freedom of 
overwhelming thought
letting the light in where
it hasn't been before
blinding and burning it's 
awakening senses
that are better kept
sleeping it's 
grotesque in its
reality not hiding 
like the others just
baring boney 
teeth there's
nothing to hide
opens up the autopsy 
of what's really


sometimes i sit and daydream about what it would be like to live a quiet life. to have a quiet mind, a heart that sleeps soundly at night. i am truly envious of those who are able to walk through life without soaking up the sorrow of it all. i absorb all around me. it's beauty and it's suffering and it's hard to find balance. 

depression isn't just feeling 'sad'. it's not always related to circumstances, it's not an equation to solve. someone once asked me if i knew what the root of my depression is. i told them i wish there was one. because if there were roots, i could pull them out of the ground and be free. instead it's a component of the soil, a natural element that i'm not sure i'll ever have the tools to remove. 

recognizing this is not a white flag of defeat. no, i'm shaking hands with it and agreeing to work with it. i'm agreeing to row against the rushing current because there are calm waters ahead. 

some days i'm fighting. some days i'm soaking in the sun. others i let the rain come down on me and i weep with the sky. it's a cycle just like everything is a cycle. we rotate together. 

what calms me is that i'm not in this alone. what calms me is that there are people who understand. what i'll never know is why some people don't try to understand. i'm jealous of the people who don't have to. 

in the meantime i look for speckled sunlight, rays floating through leafy branches, the rustling of life when the wind comes. i know that the earth suffers with me. we're aware of the weight and fragility of existence. 

as a feather on a bird's wing, we're here for a brief moment but we are involved in the movement. sometimes i sit and daydream about what it would be like to live a quiet life. i'll find my peace in soaring wings. 


if you've followed my blog for some time you'll know that writing is a catharsis for me during the bad days. i'm not always able to end on a hopeful note, but i always try. 

things are busy as ever with secret midnight press (launched summer boxes today !!) and i have big plans and goals for my personal writing. after finishing up my eight week self care series, i decided that i'm going to take some time to work on my new book, soak up the summer months. i will continue posting as often as i'm inspired to (which may very well be once a week), but i won't be on a set schedule.

please subscribe so that when i do post, you'll see it in your email and we can keep doing this thing together.

knowing you're out there, reading this, feeling it all with me, brings more comfort than you know.

i'm so thankful for this safe place, and have so many plans for us to come.



Listening to:

(^this video is so wonderful)


  1. beautifully written ashley, and you started a book? i can't wait!
    it is very true that you are not alone, there will always be people for you.
    i love you

  2. Thank you so much Ashley for always sharing your words! It's incredibly beautiful and happy you're talking about this subjects because that helps more than you think! Thank you so much for inspiring us to create and take care of ourselves

  3. You know, for years I have dealt with depression in silence. No one around me understands that you don't just "get over it". It's sometimes a daily battle. A battle I shared with no one. I smiled around people if I had to be around them. So no one even seemed to know anything was wrong. And if they did notice I had no words to explain it. So I have battled alone. It is amazing to me the utter courage you and others have in sharing your battlefields with the world. It gives a soothing comfort to the rest of us. Keeping fighting. Keep sharing. You, and every soul that keeps fighting are so strong. Does the battle exhaust us? Yes. But the good makes the fight worth it. You and others who bravely share the struggle spread strength to others.

  4. Thank you so much, Ashley. You don't know how incredible it is that you posted this today... I'm sure God knew what I was going through and brought me to read this. I was lying in my bed overcome with sadness, and finally got up enough strength to return to the computer to do more studying when I saw the email that you had posted. Reading through it, I didn't feel total relief from the sadness, but I did feel as if someone understood. Thanks for giving me the strength to get through tonight, and to battle the sadness. The way you described the earth feeling sorrow as well was really powerful. Thank you.

  5. Thank you for this post. Knowing that you're still here writing about this issues makes me feel less alone.

  6. "what calms me is that i'm not in this alone" no matter how often I hear/read this, I can never hear/read it enough, and it's something I have to remind myself of, over and over and over and over and a 1000 times more over again. it's what keeps me going and what gives a bit more courage, despite all the anxious swirls my brain comes up with. and I absolutely love your musical suggestion for this blog, that song is so, it's indescribable what it is but I love it so much. and I hope to hear it live somewhere in October, which I'm all exited about. jaj for the good music! and jaj for your blog in general, keep up the good work, I'll just keep on coming back to read what it is you share <3 because I can't get enough of it.

  7. Love this ~ enjoy your summer!🌞 Thanks for writing & sharing your thoughts.

  8. I love this.
    I miss this but I'm super glad to know you're enjoying summer and working on projects that fill your heart and ours.

    hope you're in peace and joyful.

  9. Thank you for your words, Ashley. I have dealt with Aspergers since I was younger and severe social anxiety. I am a sophomore in high school and I find it really hard to make friends. You inspire me so so much. Someday I want to be like you. You keep me going forward. Thank you.

  10. Beautifully explained *tears* thank you for sharing and creating..growing up in a faith driven conservative family I was taught different ways to cope...and I never understood why I felt so strongly and believed that maybe there was something wrong with me either way I never talked about it... from the bottom of my corazon thank you really.. you and Jesse have been such a big help ❤️❤️❤️

  11. That was beautiful Ashley. You're an inspiration to me cause I can completely relate to what you wrote there. And yes writing is very cathartic for me too and I do plan to write a book too. I'm only 15 and your work is something's I look upto. Sometimes I doubt myself if I should actually express my opinion because of the fear of being judged but whenever I see poems like yours I realise that's it's okay to write about uncommon things too. Thank you��

  12. I really would like to say thank you, reading this gave me a sense that I’m not alone. Although I would like the courage to seek help, it’s not as easy as it seems, I’ve seen countless doctors who just tell me the same thing, that my anxiety and depression is a genetic thing, and that I have to do some form of psychology, which my family is unable to pay for, I’m too young to get any form of prescription which really sucks. I sometimes feel like I can’t dp anything anymore so reading all this have me closure, thank you for that. (Ah sorry about the paragraph felt good to let it out without saying it out loud)

  13. hi ashley. i could never explain how much you've done to help me in so many ways; reading your words truly transports me to a better place -- somewhere i can breathe. you inspire me in more ways than i could ever explain with words, and i'd like to thank you for everything you do, and especially for sharing your beautiful words. i know you've already helped me in so many ways, but i could use your help. i have the opportunity to make my dream come true and travel to Peru next summer with my school, but only if i can raise the necessary funds. i only have a little time left until the first payment is due, and i would truly appreciate if you could maybe share the link to my fundraising page. this means more than the world to me and would be a dream come true. if you took the time to read this, thank you. any amount helps, and please, share it if you can. much love. https://www.explorica.com/my-account/my-tours/tourcenter/fundraiser.aspx?ref=eb9928#.WelZOlNr0A8.link

  14. Hi Ashley. I am a 15 year old girl, struggling with various mental health disorders and I find your poems extremely inspirational. I am also a massive Twenty One Pilots fan. I was wondering if you have any advice for me, as I have started to write my own poems about my personal struggles and what I have been through. I go to a poetry class every Wednesday at my school and have used this poem as an example. My poetry teacher loved it and said how inspirational it was. I would love if you could get back to me, but if you are unavailable or busy, I completely understand. Thank you!

  15. I will write this list too. Then I will use it and hope that succeed in this matter. Have a good year!

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