sticks and stones and wishing for broken bones

Everyone always said that sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will never hurt me. That saying alone is complete bullshit. I would much rather have a physical ailment than something that seems invisible to the world. Breaking bones would be much more tolerable than some of the things that people say to each other. It’s not just an issue with friends or family members it becomes a societal issue. And the problem with being in a depressive state of mind is that any little word or phrase can set you off completely and wreck your whole world.

There are certain triggers in this world that I can’t even begin to explain how they affect me. Whoever thought it was socially acceptable to create a TV show dealing with teenage suicide and bullies is completely sick. Yes I am talking about 13 Reasons Why from Netflix. People love the show because of the heavy laden drama but they don’t seem to pay attention to how heavily words can hurt people. Words and actions can lead people to do crazy things. It’s unacceptable to be portrayed in this way. The show itself is very triggering because all it does it bring to reality the pain that you’ve been trying to hide.

Even movies like The Perks of Being a Wallflower are awful. The time I tried to watch that I had the worst panic attack of my life and couldn’t calm myself down. Just the way people hurt each other and the utter disregard for people’s feelings is something that I experience every day. It’s a struggle sometimes to even get out of bed, and it seems like such a simple task.

What I wish people understood is how words can be skewed. When you already have a low self-esteem as is little things can break you. And most times it isn’t anyone’s fault. Tears have been a norm for me for the past 4 years, and when I cry sometimes its just a way to release. It can be seen as overreacting when you cry about something simple, but honestly sometimes it’s the best thing.

Tears can stem from happy moments like being told that you’re an amazing person or they can stem from sadness when you realize that you only have one more year of college left with your best friends. And that’s just how life is.

Something that I also wish could be understood is that we aren’t dependent on other people to be happy. Complete happiness is the ultimate goal, but it always seems like galaxies away. People do help so much, but it’s not because we need them to help. We appreciate the help. Talking to people is more of a distraction than a dying need. Just because I am depressed doesn’t mean that I can’t hold conversations or have general interests in what people have to say. It is nice to have people around you that care for you. I guess sometimes it can come across as aggravating and needy and can put a lot of pressure on a person.

I have dealt with that far too much. And even when the world seems dark and gray it’s nice to see that other people can still enjoy life fully, and I choose to live vicariously through them. Right now I’m at a point in my life where full happiness doesn’t seem possible. But with the support of my amazing friends and family I know that someday I will get there. And someday I’ll be able to look back on all of this and realize how far I have come.

So do whatever you need to do to get better. Cry. Laugh. Smile. Cry some more. Meet new people. Talk to your family. Write exercise. Get outside. Experience love. Experience heartbreak. Create amazing memories. And most of all live. And enjoy the gift of life from God.

I know that words will always hurt me but maybe in the future I’ll stop wishing that sticks and stones would break my bones in order to find a way to deal with the emotional pain.





the letter brought the storm


you stopped by today, and i didn’t even see your face i felt your presence, and i knew it was there. you left a letter at the door and as soon as i saw it I knew it was from you. but why now, why after all this time. the time that i thought i needed and was finally starting to heal. why did you pop back up out of nowhere and bring the pain.

i left because i had to. i left because i had no other choice. i left because i was sick of the pain, and the hurt. that took courage, courage that i didn’t know i had. courage that i know now that i definitely don’t have. you broke me. you broke me into a million pieces. i don’t know how to be whole again, and i pity the next guy i choose to love because he’s going to have to go on a scavenger hunt to find all these pieces that you left everywhere.

you thought you were doing a genuine thing, but you couldn’t be more wrong. you’re not going to win me back, but you’re still finding a way to hurt me. you are the storm that pops up in my life every now and then, and sends me spinning. i can’t get a hold on anything stable, because you tear it from my fingers time and time again.

i need to find a way to weather the storm of you. i need to find a way to prepare myself for the drought, and find a way to stay afloat during the rain.

i leave you with this. me.


p.s (read the bold for my new sentiment)


ashley brianne 



three questions

Trying to breathe is supposed to be something that comes naturally, but breathing for me is the furthest from natural.

I feel attached to a machine that is slowly draining the life out of me through each new challenge.

Trying to breathe is something that my mind is constantly wrestling with. How can you breathe when you don’t even have the energy to get out of bed in the morning? Breathing is supposed to be natural…yeah well so is being happy and living. Two things that are the furthest from natural to me.

Happiness feels like a foreign object. It feels like something that I will never reach, and will strive for it my entire life. Happiness is a tease. It flirts with everyone around me, but never comes close enough for me to grasp it.

Being alive and living are two entirely different feelings as well. Being alive is just the mere existence of ourselves, but actually living is something that few people reach. Living is when you wake up every day with a smile in your eyes, and an attitude to go out and get the day. Living is when you turn being alive into a reality. Something I have yet to discover.

How to breathe?

How to be happy?

How to live?

Questions that my mind ponders every day, but will never have a solution for. Questions that will forever go unanswered.

just questions…..


Depression the secret killer

Depression to me is so much more than what a simple definition can let on. I like to call it the secret killer. Depression is a mental illness that affects every aspect of my life. I find it very difficult to get up out of bed most days. It cripples me, and makes every day a new struggle.

I get the question, “Are you okay?” practically every day. And I still have no response for that. How do you answer a question that you yourself can’t even answer? And no you can’t help me, because this problem can’t be fixed with kind words or small gifts. This is something that I just deal with because nothing else can be done about it. No I am not suicidal, and yes I have already gone to a doctor about this many times. This isn’t something that you can study, and read about and suddenly become an expert on it. This is something that is different for every person with no real “cure.”

This is my invisible crutch that I carry, and even an invisible man couldn’t help hold this up.

This is my weakness that sends me into a downward spiral of emotions, that leaves me stranded at the bottom of an emotional well. A well that is almost always full with problems, and feelings. But yet this well has it’s own gravity that holds those stuck just beneath the surface; you can see the world thriving around you, and yet you can’t reach out those few inches to touch it.

Depression is my secret killer, that stalks from afar shouting at every imperfection. My secret killer that strangles me without the need to make contact. The secret killer that has me tied around his little finger, and can send my world burning with just the snap of a finger.

21 reasons to love life…as i approach my 21st year around the earth

  1. It’s beautiful
  2. It’s full of life.
  3. People come from all different walks of life.
  4. No two people are alike.
  5. FAMILY is EVERYTHING and never take that for granted.
  6. Love your life no matter how hard it gets because it will always get better!
  7. Don’t look back to the pain you’ve been through.
  8. Don’t let people change YOU.
  9. Love hard and recklessly because it’s the most beautiful thing about life.
  10. Don’t push people away no matter how hard life becomes. It’s far better to be worried about than to be left alone.
  11. RESPECT the hell out of your parents. Initially you’re going to argue and fight with them, but they gave you life and they bust their asses everyday to provide for you.
  12. Choose the right friend group because their opinions matter and they can influence your decisions drastically.
  13. Get outside you’ll have plenty of time when you are older to spend it indoors.
  14. Don’t say no. When people try and get you to go out and try something new just do it.
  15. Get out of your comfort zone because there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored.
  16. Don’t hate. The strongest word is hate and it is utterly gut wrenching when it is used towards a person or even an animal. Try and find a way to understand your dislike with them.
  17. Never stop learning. School sucks but you’re blessed to be living in an amazing country where education is everywhere, take advantage of that. Always try to find out more about this amazing planet we live on.
  18. Find a passion in life. Finding something that makes you feel like you have a purpose in life will help you to define yourself to other people in a more complex way.
  19. Stand up and kill your inner demons. The world is a cruel place but your mind doesn’t have to be too.
  20. Depression, anxiety, panic attacks…they will always be a part of me, but they do not define me. I am not my demons. I stand above it all and I fight with the passion and heart of armies.
  21. Keep your faith. Whether it be your faith in life or humanity, just keep it. Life will be much easier when you have something to believe in. For me personally I’m strong because of my belief in God. I have been so successful and blessed because of the added strength that backs my every move. I understand that I am never alone, and that faith can move mountains.



I may only be 21 years old….(in three days) but I have lived a life full of disappointment and yet I thrive. I don’t let mediocre things derail me on my track of life, but instead use them as opportunities to overcome them. I am so proud of the person I have become over the years, and it’s something that I hope to pass on to my family some day. I am so blessed to have yet another year in this amazing life of mine, and I will continue to be thankful that I wake up everyday.



hey you…stop…and pay attention

I write this for clarity,

In hopes that you can see the sincerity,

of the words that I share.

Put out there to declare.

You need to hear this.

Rather you deserve to hear this.

A person like you walks in, and it’s hard to miss.

Not just from your stature but from what I see.

Holding more to yourself than the third degree.

From across the room its easy to see,

that you’re no wannabe.

You’re true to yourself, but yet

some remains unseen.

You keep to yourself

but it stems from something.

I wish I knew,

if only you allowed me to breakthrough.

You and I are alike you know.

We put up walls to protect ourselves.

We keep the walls from the outside.

The pain of the unknown is real.

But isn’t that all part of the deal?

The deal we made with life.

We don’t know what our plans are.

Only God knows and watches from afar.

But isn’t that part of the journey?

We go through this with limitless expectations.

Not knowing what to expect.

Without much time to reflect.

But you know,

you’re worth it.

And I hope you can see that.

Something I could dabble at.


-a.s 2018

dangling on a string

happiness it taunts me

it’s right within my reach and then it’s snatched away

I don’t need people to make me happy but when someone brings light into the darkness it’s hard to turn away.

I pour out my emotions to people and try to show that I’m not broken.

I look broken on the inside but that’s not me.

I’m so incredibly strong and I have worked hard over the years to overcome all my struggles.

Why can’t my effort be reciprocated? What can’t I feel happiness? Why don’t I deserve love that I pour out to people? Why me?

My heart can only take so much pain. I really just wanna give up entirely on the whole idea of relationships with friends or to a deeper purpose with someone I care for.

My life seems full of disappointments.

More disappointments than a girl my age should feel. It tears me up inside.

I feel like the tears never stop. I feel like it’s something that I’m bound to live with forever.

I didn’t know a heart could take this much hurt.

I try not to show it, I try to be okay. But in reality I’m not. I’m crushed constantly.

At this point in life I just want to give up making new friends entirely. I don’t want to put myself through that pain anymore.

Why is complete happiness always so temporary to me?

When will I ever be okay again?

I’m done trying. I’ve been done trying. But it still hurts so bad.

I can’t win.

I’m sorry for my heart and all the pain I feel inside. I’m sorry I do this to myself by becoming to invested in people and believing life will be okay. I’m sorry for the false promises.

I’m just lost.


When I think about going outside I don’t wear shoes. Shoes are another material thing that I shouldn’t worry about. Walking barefoot on a driveway of rocks is a test of character.

Do you have the mental stability to fight through the pain? Do you have tough feet or have you become accustomed to the shortcuts we create for ourselves?

It’s a simple thing to go barefoot but it’s not a simple thing to adopt that mental process. It’s the small things that are the hardest to do.

Walking outside barefoot seems simple enough but forcing yourself to actually get up and walk on the dark days seems simple too. But it’s not it becomes an inner conflict. Our minds control everything we do but the test is whether or not you can control your brain or you let it control you.

I force myself to take those barefoot steps everyday and each day I take one more step. One more step towards complete happiness, and one more step being content with myself.

I can’t control every aspect of my life but it’s time to take control of who I want to be. And discover how strong I truly am.

Going out and meeting new people is a step in the right direction. It’s a little more than a few barefoot steps but it’s next step in strength.

This world is cruel but people are not. And it’s a shining reminder that there is good in people.

Barefoot steps make you stronger and just like people they can build you up.

It’s all about the journey.


to you….handsome…from baby squirrel

I have been trying to write this to you for the past couple of years now since I first met you, but I’ve never thought it through. I met you when I was a freshmen in college, and you still have an impact on me to this day. When I try and think of the words to say to you, I struggle because its hard. There were so many emotions I have felt for you over the years.

Anger – when you decided that I was too young for you, and you didn’t want to risk it

Hurt – when you left and I realized how much I missed you

Sadness – when I realized that you didn’t need me

Love – for the person you are and the success you would achieve

Respect – to strive for what you deserve and to settle for nothing less

I don’t think you ever truly understood the impact you had on my life. You helped me to feel comfortable and to adapt to college. College was the hardest thing I’ve gone through so far and when I was with you, it became so easy.

You made me laugh when I didn’t think that laughing was possible. You tried to come across as someone that strictly wanted one thing,¬† but I discovered how much deeper that went. You’re not some surface level shit you’re all the layers to the floor. And what mean is that you’re complicated, but you understand life in a different light, and it’s a light that I wanna see again.

You did bring light into my life whether you intended to or not, but I cannot thank you enough.

Shit has gone down between us and I know things aren’t the same, but I can’t help but smile when I think back to your baby blues laying there staring at me. You just stare while I make a fool of myself.

You cross my mind far more than I’d like to admit and I often keep it a secret from you because I know you’re far too busy with your life to think back to me. To think back to everything that was there, but wasn’t tapped into.

You never realized how I missed you, and wished that you would see in me what I saw in you. I saw promise and I saw someone who wanted to be happy but was too afraid to let it in. You’re someone that refused to let emotions in because of the possibility of disappointment. I don’t think you understand how much I can see into you and understand.

You try to close yourself off from people but you let me in, and I’m forever grateful for that.

You were there for me when I cried so much my nose bled all over that goofy fish shirt, and you were there for me when I was too drunk and just wanted to talk and be with you. You were there for me even when I left and helped to remind me that I could do it, and that school wouldn’t be that difficult. You gave me a piece of happiness that forever has your name attached to it.

I’m not writing this as a call for attention but as a plea for you to see what I see in you. I’m writing to you the lover of Rolling Rock, and plants. The lover of fish and helping children learn. I’m writing to you the lover of scary movies and super fancy ties that make you look so handsome. I’m writing to you…the first guy I met at college that I actually felt a connection with.

Here we are 4 years later and I’m in the position you were when you met me, and I wonder how you feel about me.

thank you for being you, and for bringing a smile to my face whenever you pop into my mind. I hope that I get the chance to see you again soon, and to give you a hug and try to force you to show your teeth when you smile.

p.s i really miss your pillow pet.

definition of a mother

how to define mother?

it is no easy task,

to encompass it all.

to start with a mother’s love

it’s something far more than small.

it’s a feeling that can move mountains

something that shatters glass ceilings.

it’s a healing love,

that everyone becomes jealous of.

it’s more than emotion.

it’s more vast than the ocean.

it’s pure devotion.

God’s greatest potion.

the blessings of a mother,

some that few can comprehend.

it’s everlasting.

something without end.

we are graced with love.

that comes from above.

shown by our mothers.

from the moment we begin.

it’s pure and deep.

it’s like no other.

a mother is far more than a job.

it’s a commitment,

to your children.

to provide endless love,

something that is never robbed.

when you look in the dictionary,

there is no meaning.

it’s a meaning that can’t be summarized,

it’s far to extraordinary.

but my dictionary,

has the perfect definition.

my definition is my mother.

she’s my sanctuary.

she is perfection.

she provides endless affection.

with our needs,

there are no objections.

she goes above and beyond,

with her loving grace.

her warm embrace.

her promissory bond.

my mother is the mother.

the mother God sent,

to me to thrive.

to live the perfect life,

to the fullest extent.

I love you mom.

you are what I envision,

when I hear Mom.

you’re the one,

that keeps me calm.

Who I will continue to be in awe of.

sentiment to the game

volleyball – the game that I have loved all my life, the game that I have pushed myself the hardest in, the game that brought so much happiness, the game that gave me so much happiness, the game that will forever have my whole heart, the game that now only brings me pain, the game that has crushed me, the game that continues to tug at my emotion every time I talk about it

they say when you love something set it free…but that’s bullshit. how can you just give up something that you care about so much, and just walk away and pretend its nothing. its bullshit.

Volleyball provided an outlet for me. It gave me something to look forward to every day. When I had any issues I would let it go through my playing, and it helped me to balance out my emotions. But after that door closed the emotions became stuck behind the door for my happiness. My emotions became trapped with no outlet. That’s where all the pain lies within myself. That trapped pain has only progressed further to the depression and anxiety that now consumes me.

For the most part I hold myself together, but its so hard when all of your best friends play, and you’re just engulfed in the sport. Today is when it hit the hardest.

I sat there paralyzed with sadness watching my old teammates play alumni. The gym was filled with the passion for volleyball. I watched them have the time of their lives while I sat alone. Today was like being stuck in an enclosed fish tank sitting in a lively fish pond. The tank is transparent, and you can see through it, but it’s closed and you can’t leave it. The pond bolsters community, happiness, friendship, life, but I’m stuck here forced to watch alone. I can’t leave this tank because it has been cemented shut with emotions of torment and pain. I can’t attempt to shatter the glass between the two because it would put both me and the pond in danger. I can’t call for help because everything around me is moving at a far faster pace. I feel stuck almost in a perpetual hell.

My own perpetual hell.

You know how when they would accuse woman on witchcraft how sometimes they would tie them to chairs and dunk them in rivers, if they floated they were a witch and if they drowned they weren’t. That’s perpetual hell, because either way you’re not escaping it. If for some crazy reason you happened to float/survive you were deemed an official witch only to undergo other forms of torture and the death. If you didn’t float which was what was going to happen then you died on false accusations. Either way you look at it, you didn’t have a choice but to endure it.

I endure it. I have endured it, but at the same time I can’t escape it. Likewise I can’t escape my anxiety or depression. It is who I am. I don’t necessarily let these things define me, but they do take control over me time to time.

Volleyball to me wasn’t just a game. It was a lifestyle for me. When I was told that I wasn’t good enough it not only broke my spirit but broke my heart that day. I was blindsided. It was as if I never had a chance, and it was like I was a mouse being dangled on a thread just high enough that the cat couldn’t reach me, but then I was dropped. Not only dropped, but discarded. It made me feel so worthless. Words don’t describe the pain fully, it’s a hurt that shakes you to your core. It’s a hurt that comes in the middle of the night. It’s a hurt that runs through your bones. It’s a hurt that breaks almost everyone.

The difference between me and them is that it didn’t break me. Instead of falling helplessly into the cats mouth I fought back with every bone, fiber, hair, emotion in my body. My enemy is great, but I am greater.

I have accomplished so much more and have become so much stronger. I motivate myself to better myself. I set goals and I’ve met them. Through this struggle and journey I have realized what I am capable of. I’m always an athlete but this time around I’m stronger than the game.

The game doesn’t define me. I define me.

This time around it’s all about self-empowerment.

loving myself more and more everyday

it’s about time to shatter my fish tank and break down all my emotional strongholds and to start not only living but thriving again.

A.S 4/15/18

what they don’t tell you about depression/anxiety

they don’t tell you how hard it is to breath everyday – not physically but emotionally

they don’t tell you that the world doesn’t stop moving just because you don’t move – the world will continue to go on with or without you

they don’t tell you how hard it is to go out and be around people everyday – even the people that you love and care about

they don’t tell you how your brain shuts down all positive thoughts and fuels your brain full of fleeting negativity

they don’t tell you how the medicine might impact your daily life – and how many different tries it might take to get the right medicine

they don’t tell you about the waterfalls that pour from your eyes weekly, daily…hourly

they don’t know the full science behind it, and so they can only do so much for you.

they don’t tell you how it will impact your relationships with family and friends

they don’t tell you how many people don’t understand how to help you

they don’t tell you how you will never be the same after the constant fight

they don’t tell you how tired you are every day from the inner turmoil

they don’t tell you how your depression takes hostage of your brain

they don’t tell you how you can have suicidal thoughts but not be suicidal

they don’t tell you about the flashes of doubt that you will get when you’re driving down the road

they don’t tell you how one second you are happily driving – and all the sudden you see a tractor trailer and you think for a split second – why don’t I just drive in front of it and stop

they don’t tell you how much you lack control of your own life

they don’t tell you the sadness that will overcome your life

they don’t tell you how to be happy

they don’t tell you how you can make yourself happy

they don’t tell you that it will get better

they don’t tell you how to get better they don’t tell you how you watch your light fade – and return in spurts here and there

they don’t tell you when it will stop

they don’t tell you shit


but the difference between them and you is that they don’t know what you are capable of. they don’t know you. they will never know you. you are unique. you are worth it. you are more than enough. you will thrive. you are amazing. this too shall pass.