Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle

Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle

Seize the day, and this article.

Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Goodwill Hunting, Aladdin, Dead Poet’s Society- all of these films have one actor in common (take a wild guess). It’s been just over 2 years since comedic master Robin Williams ended his life. His death, however, was not in vain because it opened up a discussion about one of the topics frequently tiptoed around: suicide. Although the discussion concerning Williams has simmered, I feel the need to stir the pot by bringing up the unthinkable once again. The suicide rate in the United States has soared to a 30-year high, yet the problem is still inadequately addressed. What is it about this topic that makes us so uncomfortable? For me, at least, it’s the thought that someone felt so alone or trapped in this world that they felt leaving it would be better than pushing forward. How could the world be so twisted that someone could feel that way? Also, how do we figure out the warning signs and prevention methods associated with such a tragedy?

I don’t think there is any set of signs that could accurately predict when someone is facing the chilling thought of ending their life. However, across the board I have heard of some similarities in cases. People may talk of feeling worthless or trapped alone. Some may even out rightly say they wish to kill themselves. Yet it may not even be in their speech. Maybe it’s in the way they act. Withdrawn or reckless behavior, giving away their belongings, or aggression could all warn of the thoughts running through a loved one’s head. I’m not saying if your friend gives you a shirt that she doesn’t want anymore or someone is irritable because they are having a bad day that they wish to end their lives but these signs also can not be ignored or taken lightly.

I think the best prevention method is simple; care about others. Use the big heart each one of us have (if we allow ourselves to have it) and be kind and gracious to one another. Don’t be cruel or rude for the sake of being cruel or rude. Stop worrying about social status or what’s cool and think about how your actions and decisions affect another. I’m not trying to preach to the choir, but I felt it needed to be said.

Robin Williams once offered this sage advice in my all-time favorite film, The Dead Poet’s Society, “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” I am going to twist this quote to fit the context and say, your words and actions affect another. Be kind, you never know who’s hurting.

If you or someone you know is facing the issue of suicide or depression, don’t hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for confidential help. Call 1-800-273-8255 (Available 24 hours everyday).

Cover Image Credit: Parade

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.

It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.

2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."

3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.

4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."

5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."

6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."

8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).

9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.

10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.

11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.

13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.

16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."

18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.

SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos

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My Story As A Recovering Self-Harmer

Content warning: Self-harm.


Since high school, I have physically and knowing self-harmed as a way to distract myself. It has been almost 7 years and right now I have only been a few months clean. In the past 7 years, I have relapsed more than a couple of times. I have gone months at a time and found myself at a breaking point.

I know it's nobody's business and it might be oversharing but this is meant for primary readers. For those who are going through recovery or just began today. If secondary or tertiary readers stumble upon this then I hope it helps you understand from the other side.

I am still recovering. The thing about addiction is that you can never fully be "cured." You can be clean for years and still relapse. The key is to decide to try again.

I call it an addiction because it was. I grabbed the razor before I could even understand why I was numb. I did it multiple times a day and sometimes I didn't need an actual reason.

It was a sort of ripple effect. I couldn't stop the ripples into turning into the next one and instead, I just watched as they spread. One second I was OK and the next I locked the door.

Some people smoke and some people drink. I hate the smell of smoke and can't stand the taste of alcohol but I often wish I could use those as a distraction for my distraction. I do many things now to distract myself from getting too close to another relapse. I let out a scream to alarm my family or I start running. The first few seconds of the attempt are the hardest. It's an internal pain that makes you itch inside out.

After a few minutes have passed I can usually begin to calm myself. I sit down and remind myself that everything is OK. It isn't always easy so calling a friend is always an option.

Sometimes I end up crying in order to release all the built-up emotions. When minutes have passed and I am still filled with tears I force myself to grab something to eat. I have realized that I can't cry and eat at the same time. I grab anything. Sometimes my siblings make me something instead.

I am seeking professional help for those who are wondering. I am almost half a year clean and I have two caring and supportive friends and a family who does their best to understand and support me.

Recovery is not easy when it comes to mental illness because the results aren't always visible like a broken bone. Any amount of self felt recovery is amazing. It's a step towards a better you. Talking to people and seeking professional help are all steps.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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