Words Matter Art

By Jessica Tookey

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

Looking back on my childhood, I realize how untrue this statement is. Why do we teach our children that words don’t matter? They DO matter! I don’t remember ANY physical pain from my childhood, but boy oh boy do I remember the emotional pains. It is rare, if possible at all, to find someone who was not teased or picked on by someone in their lifetime because of their looks or because they were “different”. This sticks with a person and can contribute to depression and/or anxiety.

With this exhibit, I hope to uplift people who have struggled with mental health, help families who have lost a loved one to suicide and hopefully keep someone from ending their life. Why did I choose suicide? Throughout my life, I have often had thoughts that everyone would be better off if I weren’t here. In my childhood and teenage years, I even hurt myself…but not enough to make anyone notice. Thankfully, as a child, there wasn’t anything that pushed me all the way over the edge. As an adult, those dark times did come, I found myself sitting in the dark bathroom with a razor blade. But, by that time, I had my baby girl in the other room. I am grateful that she is a bright light that pulled me out of the darkness. You should not be embarrassed if you’ve had thoughts of suicide, instead, you should own it and talk to someone about it. Some of us are wired differently…that’s just the way we are. We are all people who are rising above life’s struggles to live successful, fulfilling lives.

Through conversations, or art, we can heal ourselves and others.

If you need to talk, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline:

1-800-273-TALK (8255)