Wednesday, February 10, 2016

AM~Erica's Beady Talk

So anyway...

As we begin Lent (my take on the season, HERE), we are recovering from a string of celebrating from Super Bowl, Lunar New Year, and Mardi Gras.

Many will prepare to have ashes spread across their foreheads in preparation as we remove celebratory decor that adorned our surroundings for the past few days, even weeks.

I surprised my family by pulling out a lot of my Mardi Gras decor and putting it up around the living room & dining room for our own celebration. Hadn't had a chance to do that in the past few years, so I was glad to be able to have some time, and energy (finally), to spruce the place up to look festive.

But, alas, the party is over, and decor must come down.

And as I was pulling down the masks & beads, it reminded me of something:

The beads really stuck with me, especially seeing them all together in a big bunch. I thought about the large number of beads at the AFSP Out of the Darkness Walks.

I've said it before (from my first walk - HERE, and my second walk - HERE) that looking at the layout of beads seems to have a very Mardi Gras/Carnival-type look at first glance.

These beads you see adorning necks at the Out of the Darkness walks have deep meaning. Each color is representative of someone in your life, as it relates to suicide survivors and the relationship they have with those they lost or with those who struggle (even themselves).

As amazing & beautiful it is to see these colors everywhere, the pain behind them is all-too real.

On any given Mardi Gras, I have no shame in loading up my neck with the green, purple & gold/yellow colors. I'm completely ridiculous like that. This fact really isn't news.
However, when it comes to the AFSP event aspect, the green stays around my neck. My struggle is painfully real. (check out my list of posts concerning my struggles HERE)

Since I know I'm not the only one who struggles, I wear the newest color addition to the spectrum: teal. There's those of you reading this, right now, who I know go through this hurt. Because you've told me. Which is a brave thing to do - to step up & just say something to someone.
I feel weird saying it's a brave thing to do. I say it, however, because I've been told the same thing. And I realize when you tell anyone - whether it's for the first time saying it, or if it's to someone new - it's completely nerve-racking! So it does take some courage to say something. And I'm so proud of you!

Because so many of us do struggle with surviving our own attempt &/or intense suicidal thoughts, I know I never want anyone else to got through that. So I support the cause. That means I wear a blue strand of beads, too.

My bead color combo is very different than anyone else's at the walks. There are so many who sport several of the colors, maybe a couple of the same color. The color combinations are nearly as unique as those who wear them around their necks.


As we enter into Lent, my focus is as different as the sets of beads, between Mardi Gras & AFSP. Though a beautiful time, it is much more solemn. We now enter a journey leading the beauty of Easter, just as the journey each of us who are part of AFSP hope to get to the beauty of no more suicide anywhere.

Anyway...beads. I was just contemplating the difference in the beads, how much they look alike, yet how different they really are. Just like each one of us - some of us may appear to be from the same mold, but we aren't.

Many times, we are all actually wandering through our own wilderness looking for Easter.

Keep going. Sometimes it gets darker before the day breaks. Good Friday was hard & excruciating, but it leads to the beauty of Easter.

Keep going.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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