Macy Rae --

 Project Founder (18)

The first time I could put a definitive label on my struggles, was in 6th grade. I was scared of the thoughts so I kept them to myself I was constantly terrified of what I would do if left alone -- yet I still denied myself relationships with my family. By the end of 6th grade  I began self harming.

Suicidal thoughts were a barrier to my day to day life, I hated them until

Around the end of 8th grade, when  I started to embrace the suicidal thoughts and act out of that emotional turmoil.  In those days, a school day without harming myself was a cause to celebrate.

I gravitated to friends with similar difficulties, and as a result submerged myself deeper into my depression. I began to nurture sadness, pain, anger, loneliness-- and left laughter behind. Because of my picture perfect life on the outside, I did not feel justified to be anything but happy, and I built my mask out of good grades and family dinners. Resources? Yes there were some. Counselors pulled me out of class which only served to humiliate me.  I didn’t want to tell my parents because I was afraid to disappoint them, and i didn’t think they would care or believe me -- for most of my life I was the family Drama Queen. In the earlier stages, I actually had asked for a counselor at some point and my parents thought it wasn’t necessary. Apparently I wore a good mask. Meanwhile things continued to get darker for me, and I pushed the only people who were truly FOR me away. Sophomore year was the darkest point of my life-- one day, after school, in second week of second semester my parents showed up at my school and told me to clean out my locker. I had to say goodbye to my friends, and the home that I believed I had there. They were considering removing me from home. I had nothing. My old friends had abandoned me, hated me. I was watched constantly, I had to sleep in their bedroom on an air mattress. I was fighting my family, fighting who I really was, and on one of these nights I had a detailed plan on how I was going to take my life. In those last moments, I decided to try to reach out. As my parents went to bed I told them I wanted to die, fully expecting them to write me off as dramatic. But, my dad came and sat in front of me. He held out his arms and asked me to come to him. I did. That simple choice, saved my life. I am here today because of my parents love. It set into motion a healing journey of intensive counseling, a drastic change in peer group, directed meetings with a mentor, and a desire to heal.

In order to help myself stop self-harming, I had a sticky note with a list of names. I kept this list inside of the ring box where I kept my self-injury items. This helped me to remember that when I hurt myself, I was hurting others to. This list of names, became my "Reasons" to live. After healing, I realized how effective having a tangible list of names was for me. I figured if it helped me, it could help others too. This idea later became the initial thought behind "Project Reasons."

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