October 9, 2018 – by Justin Preston

Written by Justin Preston.   Twitter – @JustinPrestonn    Website – Rise Against Bullying

In a few hours it will be October 10th. One of those dates I could never forget. Not only is today #WorldMentalHealthDay but on this date, my dear friend Carol Todd had lost her precious daughter due to bullying whose story impacted the entire world.

Her name was #AmandaTodd…

In 2011, I also shared a cue-card story on Youtube inspired by a girl named Jade not knowing the impact I would have made speaking about attempting suicide and the pain I endorsed in my past.

In 2012, Amanda also had the courage to share her story which is very heart-breaking and eye-opening. I created a campaign not knowing it would grow within the few years but what really bothered me during this tragedy. I had some people who highly supported me for what I did but seconds later would laugh and post meme’s about this poor girl who left us all too soon. When you’re doing anything in your power to remind people of there worth and values, it’s devastating when you witness close friends joining in this trolling that had lasted years.

In 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting with Carol who came all the way from Vancouver. It’s people like her who believes in the youth making change. It’s people like her who reminds us that raising awareness to mental health and bullying should be done everyday and not just on one particular day.

The fact that always makes my head spin is that this inspiring women. Wakes up everyday with courage, strength and a smile on her face. She goes out in this world and uses her voice to speak up for the voiceless and spends hours and days changing the lives of so many across Canada and the world.

If you’re somebody feeling alone, lost, confused, not feeling loved enough, worth enough, appreciated enough.

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7, that’s anonymous and confidential 1-800-668-6868.
www.kidshelpphone.ca

I once thought I would be better off but I want to simply take a second to remind anyone reading this that your life is so special. It’s never easy to over-come the battles nobody knows nothing about. But never be afraid to reach out to somebody you trust. You matter, your feelings matter, your life matters and never forget that.

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October 5, 2018 – Dear Journal

Today is Friday. The last Friday before Thanksgiving. The last Friday 6 years ago that Amanda was alive and happy. Her school had a Thanksgiving lunch and she went to it (even with her anxiety). She shared with me that she actually ate and sat with kids who were now her friends. After the lunch, she came to my office and waited until it was home time. We shared stories and laughter. There was lots of HOPE because I saw it in her and heard it in her voice. The next day after would change her life and our lives forever. When kids can be mean and thoughtless.

2018 brings the with it, the same days of the week back in 2012.  Each day is the same as it was back in 2012.   This year seems more difficult for me with emotions than it did in previous years.  Do I know why, my answer is ‘no’.

My mind is filled with the ‘WHAT IF’s’.  What if I had done this? What if I had said that?  There are way too many ‘WHAT IF’s’.

I am filling my days with business and doing things that (I hope) will continue to create a positive effect to what Amanda’s legacy is all about. I also think that after 6 years, her life and her story is still out there in the world.

This week, a young person from the east coast of the United States shared with me that Homeland Security did a presentation at their school about the Internet and what is out there. Amanda’s name and story were presented. That is a good thing.

I also received an email from another young person who just completed his dissertation and chose “Bullying and the effects in Adulthood” as his topic. He shared with me that before he heard Amanda’s story, he was in a darker place. He had been bullied when he was in middle school. But after he pieced through Amanda’s story and thought about her and what he could do to change the world, his path got brighter. He spoke about a fountain (with colours) that he went to often – to think about life and the way it was. This young person forged ahead, went to university and is now working in the field of psychology counselling. He wrote to thank me for sharing Amanda’s story and how it changed him and steered him in his career path. I am proud of him and will keep this story in my heart.As I sit here writing this … and I will be writing lots in the next week or so … the words that are swirling “Amanda, if you only knew what has happened in the world since the night of October 10, 2012″xoxo

Love you all … Carol Todd

 

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#positivity2018 #project2018 “We know you CAN, so then you WILL”

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