A comic that accurately sums up depression and anxiety and the uphill battle of living with them

Sarah Flanigan has been fighting depression since she was 10 years old and anxiety since she was 16. “I wish everyone knew that depression is not something that people can just ‘snap out of,'” she explains. “I mean, if I could ‘snap out of it,’ I would have by now.”

Depression and anxiety disorders are real illnesses. Mental illnesses are not “in someone’s head,” they’re not something a person can “just get over,” and they affect so many of us over 40 million people in the U.S. alone.

Despite how common they are, it’s still really difficult to explain to people who may have never experienced a mental illness.

Enter: cute, clever illustrations that get the job done.

Nick Seluk, who creates the amazing comics at The Awkward Yeti, heard from reader Sarah Flanigan. She shared her story of depression and anxiety with him. If it could help even one person, she said, it would be worth it.

Nick turned her story into a fantastic comic that perfectly captures the reality of living with depression and anxiety.

“I’ve been through and seen depression and anxiety in action, and thought Sarah’s story was so perfectly simple,” he told me. “We all get sick physically and mentally, but we need to be open to talking (and laughing) about [it].”

I couldn’t agree more, and I think this comic will resonate with a lot of people.

Simple yet powerful, right?

“The hardest part of living with depression and anxiety for me is feeling like I have to hide it,” Sarah said. “I’ve always been known as the happy one in my group of friends. Everyone’s always so shocked when I tell them I have depression or they see the self-harm scars.”

“It’s much harder than it should be to say, ‘Hey, I have depression and I’ve been struggling with self-harm since I was 10 and I just really need your support to get me through tonight,'” Sarah explained.

Let’s all keep working to make it easier for our friends, family members, and ourselves to get support. Let’s keep talking about it.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-comic-that-accurately-sums-up-depression-and-anxiety-and-the-uphill-battle-of-living-with-them?c=tpstream

Billionaire Bloomberg to fund $5m public health projects in 40 cities worldwide

Exclusive: Melbourne, Accra and Ulaanbaatar among cities to benefit from funding pledged by former New York mayor to tackle issues from air pollution to obesity

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire bte noire of both the sugar industry and the tobacco industry, famously fought for a ban on the sale of large-sized colas and other sweet drinks when he was mayor of New York and lost. Although that is not how he sees it.

We actually won that battle, he says. I have always thought if we had not been stopped by the court, it would have died as an issue. Nobody would have known about it. But the fact that it kept coming back to the newspapers was a gift in disguise because people started to think, Holy God, maybe full-sugar drinks are bad for me.

So what happened was consumption of full-sugar drinks around the world has gone down dramatically. If we had won the thing, I think it would have been less.

Bloomberg did plenty more for public health while mayor of New York, including imposing one of the first bans on smoking in bars and restaurants in 2003. Since then he has widened his sphere of influence, funding successful campaigns through his philanthropic foundation for sugar taxes in Mexico and Philadelphia and for curbs on smoking all over the world.

Now, appointed last year as the World Health Organisations global ambassador for non-communicable diseases meaning anything that can harm or kill you that is not infectious the eighth richest person in the world, worth an estimated $47.5bn, is taking his philosophy and his cash to 40 cities around the globe.

His offer, taken up by about 40 cities so far and officially launched on Tuesday, is $5m in assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies as well as technical support for cities that choose to focus on one of 10 healthy lifestyle issues, including curbing sugary drink consumption, air pollution, promoting exercise and and bans on smoking. They range from affluent Melbourne in Australia to Cali and Medellin in Colombia, Accra in Ghana, Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, Khatmandu in Nepal and Kampala in Uganda.

National and state governments collect taxes, but it is city governments that make things happen. 50% of people currently live in cities and that is projected to rise to 70% in the next decade or so. Cities are where the rubber meets the road, Bloomberg told the Guardian. The problems are in the cities and the solutions are in the cities.

Bloomberg is upbeat, indomitable and an independent thinker. He made his money in global financial services and has been a Democrat, a Republican and an independent at various times. He says he believes the war on sugar and tobacco, of which his foundation must be seen as the main global financial backer, is being won.

In parts of the world, clearly yes, and particularly on smoking, he said. In Europe nobody would have thought people wouldnt insist on smoking in an Irish bar or pub or an Italian restaurant, but the smoking campaign has really worked, reducing consumption in all of western Europe, north and south America and even in China.

But there are places where poor people live and they are still smoking and really damaging their lungs and they are going to die young. It is up to us to keep the battle going. Sugar is a little bit less developed but still working.

His attention is on non-communicable diseases more broadly now that includes air pollution and road traffic accidents as well as cigarettes, alcohol and bad food. Cities in poor countries may argue that they have too many other problems to spend time on sugary drinks, but, says Bloomberg, poverty, ill-health and poor education are all interlinked.

It will be harder to get the public behind you because they less understand the damage being done to their own health. But thats the challenge. The cities where its easy have probably already addressed the issue, he said.

Michael
Michael Bloomberg and WHO director-general Dr Margaret Chan Photograph: Bloomberg Phlilantropies

Bloomberg would not suggest it is easy to make the sort of changes he has pushed for in all these years.

I dont remember anybody objecting to the smoking ban when we put it in, although a lot of people wanted to take my picture and a lot of people gave me one finger waves, he said. If there was an easy solution to a complex problem, we wouldnt have the problem. If you want to make things better, youre going to be doing things that are tough.

The cities that commit to the Partnership for Healthy Cities can choose between curbing sugary drink consumption, passing laws to make public places smoke-free or banning cigarette advertising, cutting salt in food, using cleaner fuels, encouraging cycling and walking, reducing speeding, increasing seatbelt and helmet use, curbing drink driving or carrying out a survey to collect data on the lifestyle risks the city population runs.

Cape Town in South Africa was one of the earliest cities to commit and will focus on reducing the intake of sugary drinks. Its mayor, Patricia de Lille, says they are facing an epidemic of type 2 diabetes, caused by obesity. Diabetes is a silent killer, she said. We dont have the luxury to work by trial and error. Unfortunately we have to get it right first time.

London has also said it wants to be involved, although which issue will be the focus has not yet been revealed. It is a city with which Bloomberg says he has a complex relationship his former wife is British and his daughters hold dual nationality. He has an honorary knighthood from the Queen. He also has an honour from the City of London that he intends one day to cash in.

I do have the right to drive sheep across London Bridge and before I die, I want to do it one day at rush hour, just to see what happens, he said.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/16/billionaire-bloomberg-to-fund-5m-public-health-projects-in-40-cities-worldwide

Aldi confirms up to 100% horsemeat in beef products

Supermarket says it is angry with supplier Comigel after tests reveal 30% and 100% horsemeat in withdrawn ready meals

The environment secretary is due to meet the Food Standards Agency, food suppliers and retailers on Saturday to discuss the horsemeat scandal after Aldi became the latest supermarket to confirm its withdrawn beef products contained up to 100% horsemeat.

Owen Paterson said it was unacceptable that consumers were mis-sold products, but that the problems originated overseas.

“We believe that the two particular cases of the frozen burgers from Tesco and the lasagne from Findus are linked to suppliers in Ireland and France respectively. We and the Food Standards Agency are working closely with the authorities in these countries, as well as with Europol, to get to the root of the problem,” he said.

Paterson said he believed the food was safe but urged consumers to return products to the retailers. “The French authorities are saying they are viewing the issue as a case of fraud rather than food safety. Anyone who has these products in their freezer should return them to retailers as a precaution.”.

Findus denied reports that the company first knew there was horsemeat in its products last year.

“Findus want to be absolutely explicit that they were not aware of any issue of contamination with horsemeat last year,” it said in a statement. “They were only made aware of a possible August 2012 date through a letter dated 2 February 2013 from the supplier Comigel. By then Findus was already conducting a full supply chain traceability review and had pro-actively initiated DNA testing.”

The Metropolitan police said in a statement it was not carrying out a criminal investigation. “Although we have met with the FSA we have not started an investigation and will not do so unless it becomes clear there has been any criminality under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan police service.”

Aldi said it felt “angry and let down” by its French supplier Comigel after tests on Today’s Special frozen beef lasagne and Today’s Special frozen spaghetti bolognese found they contained between 30% and 100% horsemeat.

Comigel, which also produced the contaminated Findus beef lasagnes, has blamed its suppliers. Erick Lehagre said he believed his company was buying French beef from a company called Spanghero but it had since told him it had come from Romania.

A spokesman for Aldi said random tests had shown that the products they had withdrawn contained between 30% and 100% horsemeat.

“This is completely unacceptable and like other affected companies, we feel angry and let down by our supplier. If the label says beef, our customers expect it to be beef. Suppliers are absolutely clear that they are required to meet our stringent specifications and that we do not tolerate any failure to do so,” he said.

The company added that it would test the meals for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, often referred to as bute, but said it was confident the meals were safe.

Hospitals and education authorities were also checking the food they provide for traces of horsemeat. A spokeswoman for the Local Authority Caterers Association said: “We are as sure as we can be that this is not affecting the school catering area.”

She said there were strict guidelines around food safety and supplying dinners in schools, including transparency and traceability of ingredient provenance, and this was written into contracts.

Food businesses have been told to send test results on all their products to the FSA by Friday but Paterson is expected to tell MPs in a statement on Monday that some suppliers have been complaining to departmental officials that they have come under pressure from supermarket suppliers to cut corners.

As David Cameron indicated that he would have no qualms about eating the sort of processed meat dishes that have been at the heart of the recent scare, authorities insisted there was no evidence that frozen food in general was a risk to human health.

But the FSA advised consumers who had bought affected beef lines from Findus not to eat them. They had not been tested for the presence of phenylbutazone, which is banned in the human food chain. It can cause a serious blood disorder in rare cases.

The Guardian has also established that the FSA has been unable to trace all the horses slaughtered in the UK that tested positive for bute last year. The agency has routinely been testing less than 1% of slaughtered horses for the drug, but found four positives in a sample of 82 carcasses in 2012. It carried out a special additional survey on a further 63 horses last year and found 5% of those contained residues, bringing the total of positives to nine.

The Red Lion abattoir, owned by High Peak Meat Exports, has admitted that two of its slaughtered horses had tested positive for bute “historically” but said this was typical of the industry as a whole and that residue levels were so low as not to be a public health issue. The abattoir is currently under investigation by the FSA for alleged animal welfare abuses, and three of its slaughterers have had their licences to kill horses rescinded. The company said it was the FSA’s responsibility to inspect horses at abattoirs and decide whether they were fit for the human food chain.

The FSA found six of the horses found to contain bute last year had been exported to France, two were still being traced, and one had been allegedly returned to two owners in the north of England for personal consumption. However the family of one of the owners, in Chorley, Lancashire, told officials they had never received the carcass nor expected to receive it.

Some companies have told the Guardian they began testing their own products soon after the first cases were reported in Ireland in mid-January. Full details of the testing requirements will be sent to the industry on Monday, although the agency says companies already have enough information to get on with the job and return results by next Friday.

The agency said evidence of the significant amounts of horsemeat in burgers and lasagne pointed “to either gross negligence or deliberate contamination in the food chain”.

It said two particular cases of horse DNA in frozen burgers from Tesco and the lasagne from Findus were linked to suppliers in Ireland and France respectively. “We are working closely with the authorities in these countries to get to the root of the problem. Our priority remains to protect UK consumers.”

Tesco which withdrew burger lines after one of its products made at an Irish plant had 29% equine DNA and withdrew lasagne made by Comigel said it had already begun testing other beef lines at independent laboratories.

Cow and Gate, one of the UK’s major baby food companies, began testing its 14 lines containing beef in the second half of last month. The results were due soon, it said. The company, part of the French-based multinational Danone, has no production plants in Britain but has factories in France and Spain. It insists it can trace meat back to a specific cow. Heinz said it did not source from Comigel and would be responding to the request for testing.

“We only source beef for our baby food recipes as whole muscle meat. We are continuing to keep the issue under close review with our suppliers as more information becomes available about the incident and root cause.”

Baxters and Bird’s Eye were among other companies who said they had begun their own tests. Both said none of their products came from any suppliers so far implicated. The Food and Drink Federation, which represents the interests of the UK food industry, emphasised the “small number” of products where significant levels of horsemeat had been detected so far and said it was “unlikely” the national testing programme would reveal negligence or fraud by other suppliers.

Meanwhile Findus said it knew there was a potential problem with its lasagnes two days before the products were withdrawn. It was looking into claims by the Labour MP Tom Watson that meat used by Comigel may have been suspect since August last year.

Labour has claimed the loss of 700 trading standards officers in three years has made this type of consumer fraud more widespread.

It also points to FSA’s Meat Hygiene Service suffering cuts of 12m in the four years to 2014, with the result that the amount of food checked in laboratories has gone down by as much as 30%.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/feb/09/aldi-100-percent-horsemeat-beef-products

Have you seen anyone with a semicolon tattoo? Here’s what it’s about.

Have you seen anyone with a tattoo like this?

If not, you may not be looking close enough. They’re popping up…

…everywhere.

Photos by The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

That’s right: the semicolon. It’s a tattoo that has gained popularity in recent years, but unlike other random or mystifying trends, this one has a serious meaning behind it. (And no, it’s not just the mark of a really committed grammar nerd.)


My co-worker Parker’s photo of her own semicolon tattoo.

This mark represents mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.

Project Semicolon was born from a social media movement in 2013.

They describe themselves as a “movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love, and inspire.”

But why a semicolon?

“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”

Originally created as a day where people were encouraged to draw a semicolon on their bodies and photograph it, it quickly grew into something greater and more permanent. Today, people all over the world are tattooing the mark as a reminder of their struggle, victory, and survival.

Photos by
The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

I spoke with Jenn Brown and Jeremy Jaramillo of
The Semicolon Tattoo Project, an organization inspired by the semicolon movement. Along with some friends, Jenn and Jeremy saw an opportunity to both help the community and reduce the stigma around mental illness.

In 2012,
over 43 million Americans dealt with a mental illness. Mental illness is not uncommon, yet there is a stigma around it that prevents a lot of people from talking about it and that’s a barrier to getting help.

More conversations that lead to less stigma? Yes please.

“[The tattoo] is a conversation starter,” explains Jenn. “People ask what it is and we get to tell them the purpose.”

“I think if you see someone’s tattoo that you’re interested in, that’s fair game to start a conversation with someone you don’t know,” adds Jeremy. “It provides a great opportunity to talk. Tattoos are interesting marks we put on our bodies that are important to us.”

A woman getting a semicolon tattoo at last year’s event. Photo by
The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

Last year, The Semicolon Tattoo Project held an event at several tattoo shops where people could get a semicolon tattoo for a flat rate. “That money was a fundraiser for our crisis center,” said Jenn. In total, over 400 people received semicolon tattoos in one day. Even better, what began as a local event has spread far and wide, and people all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos.

And it’s not just about the conversation it’s about providing tangible support and help too.

Jenn and Jeremy work with the
Agora Crisis Center. Founded in 1970, it’s one of the oldest crisis centers in the country. Through The Semicolon Tattoo Project, they’ve been able to connect even more people with the help they need during times of crisis. (If you need someone to talk to, scroll to the end of the article for the center’s contact information.)

So next time you see this small punctuation tattoo, remember the words of Upworthy writer Parker Molloy:

“I recently decided to get a semicolon tattoo. Not because it’s trendy (though, it certainly seems to be at the moment), but because it’s a reminder of the things I’ve overcome in my life. I’ve dealt with anxiety, depression, and gender dysphoria for the better part of my life, and at times, that led me down a path that included self-harm and suicide attempts.
But here I am, years later, finally fitting the pieces of my life together in a way I never thought they could before. The semicolon (and the message that goes along with it) is a reminder that I’ve faced dark times, but I’m still here.”

No matter how we get there, the end result is so important: help and support for more people to also be able to say ”
I’m still here.

If you want to see more incredible semicolon tattoos, check out nine photos and stories that our readers shared with us!

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/have-you-seen-anyone-with-a-semicolon-tattoo-heres-what-its-about?c=tpstream

Here are 5 things you may regret at the end of your life, from a nurse who works with the dying.

You might think watching people die would depress a person. It actually taught her how to live.

Bronnie Ware spent years as a palliative care nurse, helping patients be as comfortable as possible in the time just before their deaths. She compiled their stories and the most repeated regrets she heard them utter in their final days.

Do you ever imagine what the final years and months and days of your life will be like?

Shared originally on her blog, ”
Inspiration and Chai,” here are the top five regrets, with quotes from her blog as she recorded them.

Regret #1: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you living your best life right now? What’s stopping you?

Dreaming of living a different life than the one you have now? Image by
Jorge Royan.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #2: I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

This one speaks for itself.

That desk looks like instant stress before the workday has even started. Image by
Alan Cleaver/Flickr.

Regret #3: I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

What if getting the words out is essential to your growth as a human?

Feelings aren’t just useless emotions. Expressing them can be the first step to self-actuating and becoming a newer version of yourself. Image by
Garry Knight/Flickr.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #4: I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Is there someone you treasure who you haven’t spoken with in much too long?

They’re so important to us and somehow we think that “life” getting in the way is a good enough reason to go without seeing them. Image by
Jason Hutchens.

“Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #5: I wish that I had let myself be happier.

If you didn’t wake up joyful today, why not? What can you do to change that?

Who was the last person you giggled ridiculously with? Call them. Right now. Image by
Adina Voicu.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.” Bronnie Ware

Were there any regrets on this list that felt familiar to you? Others that you didn’t see listed?

These are five universal wake-up calls we all need to be reminded of.
There’s no shame in tagging all the friends you need to call when you share this.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/here-are-5-things-you-may-regret-at-the-end-of-your-life-from-a-nurse-who-works-with-the-dying?c=tpstream

59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped OutAnd They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

Only 4 percent of the Millennial Generation are Bible-Based Believers. This means that 96 percent of Millennials likely don’t live out the teachings of the Bible, value the morals of Christianity and probably won’t be found in a church. This author goes deep to explain why.

By Sam Eaton

From the depths of my heart, I want to love church.

I want to be head-over-heals for church like the unshakable Ned Flanders.

I want to send global, sky-writing airplanes telling the life-change that happens beneath a steeple. I want to install a police microphone on top of my car and cruise the streets screaming to the masses about the magical Utopian community of believers waiting for them just down the street.

I desperately want to feel this way about church, but I dont. Not even a little bit. In fact, like much of my generation, I feel the complete opposite.

Turns out I identify more with Maria from The Sound of Music staring out the abbey window, longing to be free.

It seems all-too-often our churches are actually causing more damage than good, and the statistics are showing a staggering number of millennials have taken note.

According to this study (and many others like it) church attendance and impressions of the church are the lowest in recent history, and most drastic among millennials described as 22- to 35-year-olds.

  • Only 2 in 10 Americans under 30 believe attending a church is important or worthwhile (an all-time low).
  • 59 percent of millennials raised in a church have dropped out.
  • 35 percent of millennials have an anti-church stance, believing the church does more harm than good.
  • Millennials are the least likely age group of anyone to attend church (by far).

As I sat in our large churchs annual meeting last month, I looked around for anyone in my age bracket. It was a little like a Titanic search party

IS ANYONE ALIVE OUT THERE? CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME?

Tuning in and out of the 90-minute state-of-the-church address, I kept wondering to myself, where are my people? And then the scarier question, why I am still here?

A deep-seated dissatisfaction has been growing in me and, despite my greatest attempts to whack-a-mole it back down, no matter what I do it continues to rise out of my wirey frame.

[To follow my publicly-chronicled church struggles, check out my other posts The How Can I Help Project and 50 Ways to Serve the Least of These.]

Despite the steep drop-off in millennials, most churches seem to be continuing on with business as usual. Sure, maybe they add a food truck here or a bowling night there, but no one seems to be reacting with any level of concern that matches these STAGGERING statistics.

Where is the task-force searching for the lost generation? Where is the introspective reflection necessary when 1/3 of a generation is ANTI-CHURCH?

The truth is no one has asked me why millennials dont like church. Luckily, as a public school teacher, I am highly skilled at answering questions before theyre asked. Its a gift really.

So, at the risk of being excommunicated, here is the metaphorical nailing of my own 12 theses to the wooden door of the American, Millennial-less Church.

1. Nobodys Listening to Us

Millennials value voice and receptivity above all else. When a church forges ahead without ever asking for our input we get the message loud and clear:Nobody cares what we think. Why then, should we blindly serve an institution that we cannot change or shape?

Solution:

  • Create regular outlets (forums, surveys, meetings) to discover the needs of young adults both inside AND outside the church.
  • Invite millennials to serve on leadership teams or advisory boards where they can make a difference.
  • Hire a young adults pastor who has the desire and skill-set to connect with millennials.

2. Were Sick of Hearing About Values & Mission Statements

Sweet Moses people, give it a rest.

Of course as an organization its important to be moving in the same direction, but that should easier for Christians than anyone because we already have a leader to follow. Jesus was insanely clear about our purpose on earth:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31)

Love God. Love Others. Task completed.

Why does every church need its own mission statement anyway? Arent we all one body of Christ, serving one God? What would happen if the entire American Church came together in our commonalities and used the same, concise mission statement?

Solution:

  • Stop wasting time on the religious mambo jambo and get back to the heart of the gospel. If you have to explain your mission and values to the church, its overly-religious and much too complicated.
  • Were not impressed with the hours you brag about spending behind closed doors wrestling with Christianese words on a paper. Were impressed with actions and service.

3. Helping the Poor Isnt a Priority

My heart is broken for how radically self-centered and utterly American our institution has become.

Lets clock the number of hours the average church attender spends in church-type activities. Bible studies, meetings, groups, social functions, book clubs, planning meetings, talking about building community, discussing a new mission statement

Now let’s clock the number of hours spent serving the least of these. Oooooo, awkward.

If the numbers are not equal please check your Bible for better comprehension (or revisit the universal church mission statement stated above).

If our lives do not reflect radical compassion for the poor, there is reason to wonder if Christ is in us at all. Radical, David Platt

Solutions:

  • Stop creating more Bible studies and Christian activity. Community happens best in service with a shared purpose.
  • Survey your members asking them what injustice or cause God has placed on their hearts. Then connect people who share similar passions. Create space for them to meet and brainstorm and then sit back and watch what God brings to life.
  • Create group serve dates once a month where anyone can show up and make a difference (and, oh yeah, theyll also meet new people).

4. Were Tired of You Blaming the Culture

From Elvis hips to rap music, from Footloose to twerking, every older generation comes to the same conclusion: The world is going to pot faster than the state of Colorado. Were aware of the down-falls of the culturebelieve it or not we are actually living in it too.

Perhaps its easier to focus on how terrible the world is out there than actually address the mess within.

Solution:

  • Put the end times rhetoric to rest and focus on real solutions and real impact in our immediate community.
  • Explicitly teach us how our lives should differ from the culture. (If this teaching isnt happening in your life, check out the book Weird: Because Normal Isnt Working by Craig Groeschel)

5. The You Cant Sit With Us Affect

There is this life-changing movie all humans must see, regardless of gender. The film is of course the 2004 classic Mean Girls.

In the film, the most popular girl in school forgets to wear pink on a Wednesday (a cardinal sin), to which Gretchen Weiners screams, YOU CANT SIT WITH US!

Today, my mom said to me, Church has always felt exclusive and cliquey, like high school. With sadness in her voice she continued, and Ive never been good at that game so I stopped playing.

The truth is, I share her experience. As do thousands of others.

Until the church finds a way to be radically kinder and more compassionate than the world at large, we tell outsiders theyre better off on their own. And the truth is, many times they are.

Solutions:

  • Create authentic communities with a shared purpose centered around service.
  • Create and train a team of CONNECT people whose purpose is to seek out the outliers on Sunday mornings or during other events. Explicitly teach people these skills as they do not come naturally to most of the population.
  • Stop placing blame on individuals who struggle to get connected. For some people, especially those that are shy or struggle with anxiety, putting yourself out there even just once might be an overwhelming task. We have to find ways to bridge that gap.

6. Distrust & Misallocation of Resources

Over and over weve been told to tithe and give 10 percent of our incomes to the church, but where does that money actually go? Millennials, more than any other generation, dont trust institutions, for we have witnessed over and over how corrupt and self-serving they can be.

We want pain-staking transparency. We want to see on the church homepage a document where we can track every dollar.

Why should thousands of our hard-earned dollars go toward a mortgage on a multi-million dollar building that isnt being utilized to serve the community, or to pay for another celebratory bouncy castle when that same cash-money could provide food, clean water and shelter for someone in need?

Solution:

  • Go out of your way to make all financial records readily accessible. Earn our trust so we can give with confidence.
  • Create an environment of frugality.
  • Move to zero-based budgeting where departments arent allocated certain dollar amounts but are asked to justify each purchase.
  • Challenge church staff to think about the opportunity cost. Could these dollars be used to better serve the kingdom?

7. We Want to Be Mentored, Not Preached At

Preaching just doesnt reach our generation like our parents and grandparents. See: millennial church attendance. We have millions of podcasts and Youtube videos of pastors the world over at our fingertips.

For that reason, the currency of good preaching is at its lowest value in history.

Millennials crave relationship, to have someone walking beside them through the muck. We are the generation with the highest ever percentage of fatherless homes.

Were looking for mentors who are authentically invested in our lives and our future. If we dont have real people who actually care about us, why not just listen to a sermon from the couch (with the ecstasy of donuts and sweatpants)?

Solutions:

  • Create a database of adult mentors and young adults looking for someone to walk with them.
  • Ask the older generation to be intentional with the millennials in your church.

8. We Want to Feel Valued

Churches tend to rely heavily on their young adults to serve. Youre single, what else do you have to do? In fact, were tapped incessantly to help out. And, at its worst extreme, spiritually manipulated with the cringe-worthy words youre letting your church down.

Millennials are told by this world from the second we wake up to the second we take a sleeping pill that we arent good enough.

We desperately need the church to tell us we are enough, exactly the way we are. No conditions or expectations.

We need a church that sees us and believes in us, that cheers us on and encourages us to chase our big crazy dreams.

Solutions:

  • Return to point #1: listening.
  • Go out of your way to thank the people who are giving so much of their life to the church.

9. We Want You to Talk to Us About Controversial Issues (Because No One Is)

People in their 20s and 30s are making the biggest decisions of their entire lives: career, education, relationships, marriage, sex, finances, children, purpose, chemicals, body image.

We need someone consistently speaking truth into every single one of those areas.

No, I dont think a sermon-series on sex is appropriate for a sanctuary full of families, but we have to create a place where someone older is showing us a better way because these topics are the teaching millennials are starving for. We dont like how the world is telling us to live, but we never hear from our church either.

Solutions:

  • Create real and relevant space for young adults to learn, grow and be vulnerable.
  • Create an opportunity for young adults to find and connect with mentors.
  • Create a young adults program that transitions high school youth through late adulthood rather than abandoning them in their time of greatest need.
  • Intentionally train young adults in how to live a godly life instead of leaving them to fend for themselves.

10. The Public Perception

Its time to focus on changing the public perception of the church within the community. The neighbors, the city and the people around our church buildings should be audibly thankful the congregation is part of their neighborhood. We should be serving the crap out of them.

We desperately need to be calling the schools and the city, knocking on doors, asking everyone around us how we can make their world better. When the public opinion shows 1/3 millennials are ANTI-CHURCH, we are outright failing at being the aroma of Christ.

Solutions:

  • Call the local government and schools to ask what their needs are. (See: Service Day from #3)
  • Find ways to connect with neighbors within the community.
  • Make your presence known and felt at city events.

11. Stop Talking About Us (Unless Youre Actually Going to Do Something)

Words without follow-up are far worse than ignoring us completely. Despite the stereotypes about us, we are listening to phrases being spoken in our general direction. Lip service, however, doesnt cut it. We are scrutinizing every action that follows what you say (because were sick of being ignored and listening to broken promises).

Solutions:

  • Stop speaking in abstract sound bites and make a tangible plan for how to reach millennials.
  • If you want the respect of our generation, under-promise and over-deliver.

12. Youre Failing to Adapt

Heres the bottom line, churchyou arent reaching millennials. Enough with the excuses and the blame; we need to accept reality and intentionally move toward this generation that is terrifyingly anti-church.

The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change. Bill Clinton
The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings. Kakuzo Okakaura
Adapt or perish, now as ever, is natures inexorable imperative. H.G. Wells

Solution:

  • Look at the data and take a risk for goodness sake. We cant keep trying the same things and just wish that millennials magically wander through the door.
  • Admit that youre out of your element with this generation and talk to the millennials you already have before they ask themselves, what I am still doing here.

You see, church leaders, our generation just isnt interested in playing church anymore, and there are real, possible solutions to filling our congregations with young adults. Its obvious youre not understanding the gravity of the problem at hand and arent nearly as alarmed as you should be about the crossroads were at.

Youre complacent, irrelevant and approaching extinction. A smattering of mostly older people, doing mostly the same things theyve always done, isnt going to turn to the tide.

Feel free to write to me off as just another angry, selfy-addicted millennial. Believe me, at this point Im beyond used to being abandoned and ignored.

The truth is, church, its your move.

Decide if millennials actually matter to you and let us know. In the meantime, well be over here in our sweatpants listening to podcasts, serving the poor and agreeing with public opinion that perhaps church isnt as important or worthwhile as our parents have lead us to believe.

About the Author: Sam Eaton is a writer, speaker, and in-progress author whos in love with all things Jesus, laughter, adventure, hilarious dance parties and vulnerability. Sam is also the founder of Recklessly Alive Ministries, a mental health and suicide-prevention ministry sprinting towards a world with zero deaths from suicide. Come hang out with him at RecklesslyAlive.com.

Read more: http://faithit.com/12-reasons-millennials-over-church-sam-eaton/

Youre Allowed To Leave

“If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave. Mo Willems.

Youre allowed to leave any story you dont find yourself in. Youre allowed to leave any story you dont yourself in.

Youre allowed to leave a city that has dimmed your light instead of making you shine brighter, youre allowed to pack all your bags and start over somewhere else and youre allowed to redefine the of your life.

Youre allowed to quit the job you hate even if the world tells you not to and youre allowed to search for something that makes you look forward to tomorrow and to the rest of your life.

Youre allowed to leave someone you love if theyre treating you poorly, youre allowed to put yourself first if youre settling and youre allowed to walk away when youve tried over and over again butnothing has changed.

Youre allowed to let toxic friends go, youre allowed to surround yourself with love, and people who encourage and nurture you. Youre allowed to pick the kind of you need in your life.

Youre allowed to forgive yourself for your biggest and smallestmistakes and youre allowed to be kind to yourself, youre allowed to look in the mirror and actually the person you see.

Youre allowed to set yourself free from your own expectations.

We sometimes look at leaving as a bad thing or associate it with giving up or quitting, but sometimes leaving is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Leaving allows you to change directions, to start over, to rediscover yourself and the world. Leaving sometimes saves you from staying stuck in the wrong place with the wrong people.

Leaving opens a new door for change, growth, opportunities and

You always have thechoice to leave until you find where you belong and what makes you happy.

Youre even allowed to leave the old behind and reinvent yourself.

Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book , available here.

Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/rania-naim/2016/07/youre-allowed-to-leave/

Trump to reinstate US military ban on transgender people

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the US armed forces.

The decision reversed a policy initially approved by the Defense Department under President Barack Obama, which was still under final review, that would allow transgender individuals to openly serve in the military. Defense Secretary James Mattis announced last month that he was delaying enactment of the plan to begin allowing transgender individuals to join the US military.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump said in a series of tweets Wednesday morning. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
    “Thank you,” he added.
    But Trump’s decision came without a plan in place to implement it.
    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not have an answer on what would happen to active transgender military members but said the White House and the Defense Department would work together “as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully.”
    Sanders said transgender service “erodes military readiness and unit cohesion” citing health costs. She said the move was based on a “military decision” and is “not meant to be anything more than” that.
    Sanders said the decision was made based “on what was best for the military” and was made in council with the President’s national security team.
    Ash Carter, the Defense secretary under Obama, ended the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military in 2016, but allowed for a year-long review process to allow the Pentagon to determine how it would accept new transgender recruits into the military.
    On the eve of that one-year deadline, Mattis announced that he was delaying the implementation of the new policy, saying he needed more time.
    “Since becoming the Secretary of Defense, I have emphasized that the Department of Defense must measure each policy decision against one critical standard: will the decision affect the readiness and lethality of the force?” Mattis said in a memo late last month. “Put another way, how will the decision affect the ability of America’s military to defend the nation? It is against this standard that I provide the following guidance on the way forward in accessing transgender individuals into the military Services.”
    A 2016 Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Defense Department concluded that letting transgender people serve openly would have a “minimal impact” on readiness and health care costs, largely because there are so few in the military’s 1.3 million-member force.
    The study put the number of transgender people in the military between 1,320 and 6,630. Gender-change surgery is rare in the general population, and the RAND study estimated the possibility of 30 to 140 new hormone treatments a year in the military, with 25 to 130 gender transition-related surgeries among active service members. The cost could range from $2.4 million and $8.4 million, an amount that would represent an “exceedingly small proportion” of total health care expenditures, the study found.

    Trump’s decision marks a setback for LGBT rights groups who have expressed concerns that the Trump administration could chip away at progress the community has seen in recent years on the backs of a series of landmark decisions in recent years that have included the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide and a repeal of the ban on gay people openly serving in the military.
    Trump’s decision is also another setback for the transgender community following his decision several months ago to reverse an Obama administration policy allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.
    The announcement was immediately criticized by LGBT leaders and civil rights groups.
    The American Civil Liberties Union called the decision “outrageous and desperate” and said it was exploring ways to fight the policy shift.
    “Let us be clear. This has been studied extensively, and the consensus is clear: There are no cost or military readiness drawbacks associated with allowing trans people to fight for their country. The President is trying to score cheap political points on the backs of military personnel who have put their lives on the line for their country,” said Joshua Block, the senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project.
    Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan, the vice chair of the congressional LGBT caucus, called Trump’s decision a “slap in the face to the thousands of transgender Americans already serving in the military” and said it “undermines our military’s readiness.”
    “Anyone who is willing to put on the uniform of the United States and risk their life in service to our country should be celebrated as patriots, regardless of their gender identity. This short-sighted and discriminatory policy will make America less safe,” said Kildee.
    The Obama administration faced heated criticism from conservatives last year when it announced the repeal of the ban, and several Republican members of Congress have urged the Trump administration to reverse the decision, saying that the decision does not serve the US’ defense interests.
    The President’s decision flies in the face of his 2016 campaign rhetoric, when he said he would be a strong defender of the LGBT community — and even claimed he would be a better president for LGBT Americans than his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
    Trump seized on the terrorist attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, as an opportunity to reach out to the LGBT community and promised he would be a better friend to the community than Clinton.
    “I will tell you who the better friend is and some day I believe that will be proven out big league,” Trump said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/26/politics/trump-military-transgender/index.html

    London fire: Six killed as Grenfell Tower engulfed – BBC News

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    Media captionOne eyewitness said he saw people blinking lights within the building

    At least six people have died after a huge fire raged through the night at a west London 24-storey tower block, and police expect that number to rise.

    Eyewitnesses described people trapped in the burning Grenfell Tower, in north Kensington, screaming for help and yelling for their children to be saved.

    Firefighters, who rescued many people, were called at 00:54 BST and are still trying to put out the fire.

    Police say there may still be people in the building who are unaccounted for.

    The ambulance service said 69 patients had been taken to six hospitals across London, with 18 in critical care. A further 10 patients made their own way to hospital.

    During the night, eyewitnesses said they saw lights – thought to be mobile phones or torches – flashing at the top of the block of flats, and trapped residents coming to their windows – some holding children.

    It is understood that “several hundred” people would have been in the block when the fire broke out shortly after midnight, most of them sleeping.

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    Media captionMickey, a resident of Grenfell Tower: ‘It was like a horror movie’

    Commander Stuart Cundy, of the Metropolitan Police, said the recovery operation would be “complex and lengthy”, and the number of fatalities was expected to rise.

    He declined to give any details of the number of people who may be missing.

    He said it was likely to be some time before police could identify the victims, adding that it was too early to speculate on the cause of the fire.

    An emergency number – 0800 0961 233 – has been set up for anyone concerned about friends or family.

    At 13:00 BST, Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said firefighters expected to be on the scene for at least another 24 hours.

    She said there were concerns that people were still inside the tower and she urged all residents to make sure they had reported themselves to police so that the authorities know they are safe.

    ‘Absolutely appalling’

    Prime Minister Theresa May is “deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life”, said Downing Street.

    Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the “heroic” response from the emergency services and the NHS hospital staff “working tirelessly to help”.

    Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is to demand a government statement in Parliament on Thursday on the tragedy, the BBC understands.

    There must be a “full inquiry” into the fire, newly-elected Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad told the BBC.

    Speaking outside the Rugby Portobello Trust emergency centre, the Labour MP said the fire was “absolutely appalling”.

    “The ferocity of that fire was extraordinary and terrifying,” she said. “This must never happen again.”

    Police and fire minister Nick Hurd was due to chair a cross-party meeting to look at how the government can assist the emergency services and local authorities.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionDavid Benjamin says he was woken by a neighbour banging on the door

    Paul Munakr, who lives on the seventh floor, managed to escape.

    “As I was going down the stairs, there were firefighters, truly amazing firefighters that were actually going upstairs, to the fire, trying to get as many people out the building as possible,” he told the BBC.

    He said he was alerted to the fire not by fire alarms but by people on the street below, shouting “don’t jump, don’t jump”.

    Eyewitness Jody Martin said: “I watched one person falling out, I watched another woman holding her baby out the window… hearing screams.

    “I was yelling at everyone to get down and they were saying ‘We can’t leave our apartments, the smoke is too bad on the corridors.'”

    Michael Paramasivan, who lives on the seventh floor with his girlfriend and young daughter, said he ignored official advice to stay in your home.

    “If we had stayed in that flat, we would’ve perished. My gut instinct told me just to get the girls out. I wrapped the little one up because of the smoke and I just got them out.”

    Another resident, Zoe, who lives on the fourth floor, said she was woken by a neighbour banging on her door.

    “The whole landing was thick with smoke. The smoke alarms weren’t going off but the way it spread so quickly from the fourth floor, all the way up to the 23rd floor was scary.”


    At the scene

    Image caption Mirna, Fatima and Zainnb are among those missing

    By Lucy Manning, BBC News

    They have lost their homes and for some, tragically their relatives.

    At times there is the sound of sobbing as the word goes round that someone is missing, someone is feared dead.

    I’ve spent the day inside the community centre where survivors have gathered.

    Downstairs in the hall families sit at tables and wait for news.

    One family told me they hadn’t heard from their brother, sister and three children – Mirna, Fatima and Zainnb. Other relatives were out searching hospitals. There was still no news.

    Outside the centre, Sawsan was with a group of women. For one it was too much, she was on the floor crying. Sawsan hasn’t heard from her mum, sister, brother-in-law and nieces. She spoke to them when the fire started but nothing since.

    Inside the centre, families are being helped with food, housing and medical treatment. It’s busy and everyone is helping. Just not with the one thing they need – information about whether their relatives are safe.

    Christabel told me how lucky her father had been. He tried to fight the fire but made it out alive.

    Ed was saved when a friend called him to tell him to get out the building. “I’m lucky” he says. But they have lost everything.


    Grenfell Tower, built in 1974, is part of the Lancaster West Estate, a sprawling inner-city social housing complex of almost 1,000 homes.

    Robert Black, chief executive of the tower’s management company, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, said: “The fire at Grenfell Tower is devastating and the reports of injury and losses of life absolutely heartbreaking.

    “Along with my colleagues, I have been supporting residents since the early hours, working with the emergency services and the community.”

    The BBC’s Andy Moore, who was at the scene through the night, described watching debris falling from the building, and hearing explosions and breaking glass.

    Grenfell Tower, North Kensington

    • 120 flats

    • 24 storeys

    • 20 residential levels

    • 4 community/podium levels

    • 2016 refurbishment completed

    AFP

    Image copyright PA
    Image caption London fire crews said it was a “large and very serious incident”
    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption There are 120 flats in the residential block

    The London Fire Brigade said a structural engineer had checked the building and determined it was not in danger of collapse and that rescue teams were safe to be inside.

    Initially, it was feared that the building, which appears to be gutted, could collapse.

    Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was devastated by the horrific scenes, attended by more than 250 firefighters and 100 ambulance medics.

    Questions will need to be answered over the safety of tower blocks, he told BBC Radio.

    “We can’t have a situation where people’s safety is put at risk because of bad advice being given or if it is the case, as has been alleged, of tower blocks not being properly serviced or maintained,” he said.

    Matt Wrack, of the Fire Brigades Union said something had clearly gone badly wrong with fire prevention procedures at the building.

    Firefighters would normally fight a fire in a tower block from the inside, going up the fire escape, and fighting using the internal dry-rising mains, he said, but that’s not been possible in this case.

    Construction firm Rydon said recent building work which it carried out on the block “met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards”.

    Image caption Refurbishment work completed in 2016 included more residential areas in the four lower ‘podium’ levels

    Appeals are being made on social media for news of missing friends and relatives, who might have been caught in the blaze.

    Emergency rest centres have opened for those now homeless at Latymer Community Centre, St Clement’s Church, Harrow Club and Rugby Portobello Trust. There are also local collections under way for spare clothes, toys, blankets and toiletries.

    People are being advised by police to stay away from the area, where roads remain closed and nearby residents have been evacuated as a precaution.

    Image copyright EPA
    Image caption The London Fire Brigade said a structural engineer had checked the building
    Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
    Image caption More than 70 people have received treatment in hospital
    Image copyright Reuters
    Image caption Smoke could be seen from miles away

    Safety concerns

    Grenfell Tower underwent a two-year 10m refurbishment as part of a wider transformation of the estate, that was completed last year.

    Work included new exterior cladding and a communal heating system.

    The 24-storey tower, containing about 120 flats, is managed by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) on behalf of the council.

    Before and during the refurbishment, the local Grenfell Action Group claimed that the block constituted a fire risk and residents warned that site access for emergency vehicles was “severely restricted”.

    Construction firm Rydon, which carried out the refurbishment, said it was “shocked to hear of the devastating fire” and added that the work “met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards”.

    Council leader Nick Paget-Brown said the buildings were regularly inspected, but a “thorough investigation” was needed.

    Read more on safety concerns here.

    Get news from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning

    Are you in the area? Did you witness the events? Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your stories. Do not endanger yourself.

    Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

    Or use the form below

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-40269625

    What Depression Actually Is, Because Its More Than Just Being Sad

    Depression is doing everything you can to hide it. Because theres nothing glorified about it. Theres nothing beautiful about a bad night as you fall you your knees, in a silent scream, that no one hears because youre alone and you need to be until you get through it.

    Its the sleepless nights as you lay awake at 2 am staring at the ceiling.

    Its that time of year, you just get a little bit sadder for no reason.

    Its the tears you dont tell people you cry because you dont really know why youre crying, you just know you need to.

    Its the want and need to be around people but at the same time, you push them away.

    Depression is watching across social media, everyones highlight reels and you know its not an accurate depiction of their life yet you still compare yourself to them.

    Its the plans canceled last minute because you couldnt muster the strength to get out of bed.

    Its your alarm going off in the morning and you just want to go back to sleep.

    Depression is that cloud that doesnt seem to go away ever. And even in those happy moments, you cling to, you know its still hovering over you. Depression waits. It creeps and lurks. It waits for the best day of your life and your happiest moment just so the next one can be your worst.

    Its the fear of such happiness because you know its bound to fade.

    Its every good day, that are few and far between and that’s what you hang onto.

    Its the struggle in explaining to people when they ask why are you depressed? You just dont know and you dont know how to fix it. Its just a feeling you cant shake but youre learning to work through.

    Depression are toxic habits or people you gravitate towards.

    Its drinking the way you do because at least for a moment your pain is numbed. You know the effects lead to being even more depressed the next day. And you know alcohol is a depressant but being numb helps sometimes.

    Depression is the constant unbalance of things in your life.

    Its either overexercising and being at the gym for hours or staying in bed for weeks immobile.

    Its either sleeping too much or too little. But no matter what, youre always tired.

    Its eating too much or just never being hungry. Its someone asking, ‘When was the last time you ate?’ And you actually don’t know the answer.

    Its weight loss that people commend you for but you know even you couldnt help it.

    Depression is people asking if youre okay and you dont respond with Im sad. You simply say, ‘I’m tired.’

    Its the envy of looking at others and just wanting to be that happy. So you glamorize your own life so it appears that way.

    It’s that really scary moment when you open up to someone about what it is you deal with. And that new level of friendship you reach, when they welcome you with open arms and it almost brings you to tears.

    Its loving people unbelievably hard because youre still learning to love yourself.

    It’s looking ahead and looking forward to certain days in your life and really appreciating everything.

    And even though you might not say it, as often as you should, it’s the love you have for everyone in your life which gives you strength.

    Depression is becoming addicted to anything that gives you purpose. Whether its being a perfectionist in academics or becoming a workaholic. Its becoming the most involved in a group or organization because you need something to look forward to. Its excelling in sports because it really helps to have that and a team to fall back on.

    Its the need to be busy because if youre not youll spend too much time alone and everything will get worse.

    But more than that, depression is the person who would do anything to make others happy because someone elses happiness is their own.

    Depression is being overly observant because you know what its like to hide things, so you look for it in others.

    Its being the first one willing to help and being the person you wish you had. Knowing well, there’s nothing you can say or do but be there for them and that’s okay.

    But more than that, depression is a strength in you because theres nothing harder than overcoming demons within yourself.

    Its the trust people have in you, knowing they can turn to you without judgment.

    It’s the excitement you bring to others because even though you’re sad, you do love life.

    Depression is being the happiest, saddest person, people know but there’s a bit of beauty to someone who knows both emotions at such an extreme level.

    Depression is an appreciation and gratitude for life. It’s knowing no matter what happens things will get better.

    Depression is hope even in moments that seem hopeless.

    It’s not letting this define who you are but rather learning to live through it and being the example others can follow.

    Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/kirsten-corley/2017/01/what-depression-actually-is-because-its-more-than-just-being-sad/