whaleford whaleford

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John Williford 

https://medium.com/@whaleford/a-tribute-to-chester-bennington-d83878bbfb61

Reader, know that you are loved beyond measure. In my bio there's a link to my tribute to a man who will never know how much he shaped me as a teenager. RIP hero

The Summit is Worth the Struggle @avfti @heartsupport

@avfti toilet time for this little guy! #yourmovejamie @heartsupport

(Link in my bio)- @heartsupport founder @jakeluhrsabr writes on the tragedy that occurred today. I'll be sharing my thoughts tomorrow, I can't gather them all together just yet...

Macalah has been forced from her home at 18. Covering up the scars on her body that she was ridiculed for, she's set out into the world to hopefully attend college and become and EMT. One thing Macalah said stood out to me: "You know, I used to donate to @heartsupport monthly, but my job stopped scheduling me so I had to stop. But as soon as I get a job I'm going to donate again!" ....Reread that last part. This person, and all the thousands of souls all over the country who give selflessly so that we can fulfill our mission of healing this generation is the reason HeartSupport exists. She deserves absolutely everything we have to give. Thank you Macalah.

This is Ambrosia! She readily told us that she had a pretty great upbringing, but for some reason is drawn to a destructive lifestyle. She's relapsed and recovered multiple times from self harm, alcohol abuse and a cocaine use, all the whole staying in contact with @danjo_317 and John from @heartsupport . They always encouraged her to find help and persevere, but the battle has been tough and uphill. Recently, Ambrosia reached rock bottom, and became suicidal after a cocaine fueled night. She called Dan and John to tell them she needed help, and the HS team (and the @secondaction team!) sprang into action, praying for her and sticking by her side through this dark time. She's proud to announce that she'll be attending narcotics anonymous on Thursday! She knows the road will be rough, but knows even more deeply in her heart that she won't be traveling that road alone. Ever.

Hold Fast. @avfti believes in you. @heartsupport

Last year, I posted about our volunteer @lindsay_pauline , and how working in the HS tent is geared more toward extroverts. Lindsay was quiet, and even though she wasn't outside the tent tackling people like Nate and I, she always gave them a hug after we talked with them. So imagine my surprise when this year, Lindsay came out of her shell and freaking crushed volunteering at the @heartsupport tent. I did several double takes as Lindsay high fived random strangers, told them about HS, and drew them into the tent. It was a joy to see how much she's grown in such a short time.

Dalton was suicidal the night before he decided to attend @sowhatmusicfest earlier this spring. Because his parents divorced right when he went off to college, Dalton had been struggling with depression and anxiety about his future and place in the world. He tried typical counseling, seeing doctors and therapists, but it never seemed to click for him. They even forgot about appointments he'd made with them. So, he made up his mind to go to SXSW anyway, and there met @sicaswordsandthinkingwars at the @heartsupport tent. Jessica heard his whole story, encouraged him, and introduced him to HS' message of love and healing. 6 months later (yesterday!) he walked up to me at the HS tent in Maryland to tell us how much he's grown these 6 months knowing that there is a community that loves and backs him.

Good dads are hard to find these days. When Emily and Katie's dad was present, he emotionally abused them and their mother, but that's in the past now that he's left them alone. Without a father figure or any good role models in her life, Katie turned to self harm to feel in control. She's currently self harming now. I'll probably never see them again, but it gave me great joy to tell them that we love them, point them towards @heartsupport resources, and tell them that there are good dudes out there. Emily and Katie smiled at each other and were overwhelmed that random people would come up and let them know they're loved. I hope they remember that, and I hope most of all that they left @vanswarpedtour yesterday knowing that someone cares.

This is Carolyne and Morgan! Carolyne was bullied quite a bit during middle and high school. She resorted to self harm to ease the pain, only to find that harming herself made it all the worse. Now, she's been free from self harm for 3 years! I asked if she'd ever been ashamed of what she'd been through, or if she felt like it was her fault, but she said no- she's not ashamed of her scars, because they tell a story about when she was down. She now goes to @vanswarpedtour proudly, and is ready to tell anyone who will listen that she made it, and they can too. @heartsupport

THIS. IS. @fightingthephoenix, a band who has gone absolutely above and beyond for @heartsupport. Last year they raised a ton of donations for us, and here's them playing a show last night wearing our brand new t shirts. I've said it before, we'd be nothing without our bands. I'm thankful for FTP, for their friendship, and for their willingness to stand up on a stage and tell their fans that it's ok to seek help and to struggle. Thanks you guys! And thanks @rapino24 for the pic.....and @hannahr_2911 bc I know you were there ha

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