The Start Of Everything.

By Anthony Thomas

When I started this whole ARB Foundation I was at the lowest point in my life, and wow never did I ever think that this foundation would be this big in such a short period of time as it is right now.

The beginning.

So like I said earlier…

  I was suffering from depression really bad. My depression stemmed from me losing someone I truly loved. Ali Renee Brown, I can go on and on about how much I love her and how she and Karson was and is still my world, but you guys already know that.
When I started 
The ARB Foundation was my way of keeping Ali heart alive…….. All she ever wanted to do was to help those in need, Ali heart was so big she wanted to help those suffering from depression and addictions. Ali was strong she battled her depression, and her addiction every day, and always maintained a smile on your face even if it was just to put on the front. She lived her life to the fullest.

Ali would often tell me about her group meetings and how she felt close and connected with all the people there in some way. Maybe because they were all going the the same situation.

I will never forget the day she came over to my house after her group meeting and all she talked about was how she wanted to help those struggling with depression and addiction just like her, an in that moment I could see it in her eyes that she found her calling in life, and that’s what she wanted to do. Ali wanted to help young women like herself to defeat their demons and to Rise up against depression and drug addiction….. From that moment I knew I wanted to help her achieve her dream. 

 
On January 12th 2017 we lost Ali, Not to her depression, or to her addiction. On the 13th of January, my birthday I found out that I had lost the one person I ever truly cared about in this life beside her baby boy Karson. That’s when my life became worthless, I felt empty, I felt like i lose a part of my soul, and that when my depression kicked in. I was lost, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, i didn’t leave my house until her funeral!! By that time I’d had lost a lot of weight I was so angry with myself,  I didn’t know how the face her family.

I truly hated the world… I hated myself for not being there with her in her time of need to protect her. Man I felt so low and empty I miss you. And I hate that I miss you, because I shouldn’t have to. We should have been plan our life together…. I should be able to call you up. I should be able to see you face them big blue eyes anymore, and knowing that was the worst feeling ever. 
 Feeling that way really made my depression even worst.  

But one day that all changed when Ali came to me in a dream, and she told me that she was happy and free of this world and that her legacy would always live on with her son, her family and with me! She told me that I had the opportunity to help those in need those who are battling with depression and addiction just like she did that I had the opportunity to help them and to have her legacy live on forever…….. With the ARB Foundation. 

Then I woke up!! True story……. I will never forget that dream. I know that Ali know that I was at my lowest point, and that she had to motivate me, she had to pick me up, because she knew that the depression was keeping me down. So she challenged me to make a difference, to take the dream she had to help those with the same situation as her, and to help them become their greatest version. 

So that’s when I knew what I had to do, so I told the ones closest to me that I was starting up a nonprofit in Ali honor. I asked her Parents if It was okay if could name my nonprofit organization after Ali, they give me the okay and their love and support and the rest is history. 

 We started ARB Foundation officially about 5 months ago and I can’t express how grateful I am for all the love and support we have accumulated in such a short time. I am forever grateful to all the people who have supported me, from the start people like Emma Bartshe, Rhonda Dean, Trent Brown, Kendall Foreman, Liz Bentley, etc…… Because without you guys, and Ali, and Karson, none of this wouldn’t be possible. 

Thank you…… Ali Renee Brown, for changing mylife forever. 

HOW CELEBS LIKE KRISTEN BELL AND CHRISSY TEIGEN SAVED ME FROM MY ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Article from babble.com
There I was, age 16, hovering over the sink, wiping bile from my mouth. My eyes looked to my mother, pleading with her: Please don’t make me go.
I threw up every day like that before Driver’s Ed. Or heading off to school. Or going to a party.
I’d gag on my way out the door, my stomach tight with nerves; I’d wake up at 2 AM to find my body paralyzed and numb with an inexplicable fear.
Fast-forward nine years, and the scenes aren’t much different. I’ve sobbed alone in the dark of my apartment bathroom more times than I’d care to count — always with the shower running, hoping no one will hear me. I’ve dug my fingernails into my arms to take away the pain, telling my boyfriend, “If I have to live this way, I don’t want to anymore.”
This is what anxiety and depression look like; but if you just met me, you’d never know.
I’ve struggled with both since I was a child, and tried desperately to hide it because of all the stigma that swirled around it. But I’ve battled self-destructive feelings since Day 1 — it’s even well-documented in my family’s home movies. On one old VHS tape, 3-year-old me stares up at my uncle as he offers to pick me up and swing me around. My response? “But what if I get hurt?”
This anxiousness has followed me like a shadow for most of my life, darkening the happiest of days and sneaking up on me when I needed to be strong.
It hurt my relationships; forcing me to distance myself from friends because I simply couldn’t handle leaving the house, making my younger siblings feel like they had to treat me with kid gloves, given my parents great stress and worry, and caused my live-in boyfriend an unbelievable amount of emotional suffering.
‘THIS IS JUST THE WAY YOU ARE,’ THEY’D SAY. ‘IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD.’

And yet, despite all this, I stayed silent. For years. I didn’t even think to get help — that would be too embarrassing.
Instead, I tried to work things out on my own. But no amount of self-help books or journaling would do the trick; once I was triggered, there was nothing I could do but ride it out. And no one pushed me to get help.
“This is just the way you are,” they’d say.
“It’s all in your head.”
“Just forget about it and you’ll be fine.”
But I wasn’t fine. At least, not until about a year ago, when something inside me clicked.
First, it was Kristen Bell. Then, Chrissy Teigen.
Slowly but surely, more and more celebs came out of the woodwork to talk about their own mental health struggles, and suddenly, I realized I wasn’t alone in this fight.
When Gillian Anderson admitted she could barely leave the house at times, I thought, me too.
When Emma Stone opened up about her crippling panic attacks and how they immobilized her, I thought, I get it.
AFTER YEARS OF SUFFERING, ALL IT TOOK WAS ONE PHONE CALL TO CHANGE MY LIFE AROUND.
Their candor emboldened me, and sometime last year — midway through one of my own episodes — I picked myself up off the floor and committed to calling a therapist. And for the first time ever, I actually did. After years of suffering, all it took was one phone call to change my life around.
Since that day, I’ve attended monthly therapy sessions and have been prescribed a low-dose antidepressant to take daily, in addition to exercising and following a healthy diet. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I’m healthy and happy. All because I could finally put a face to mental illness other than my own, and finally tell myself it was okay to ask for help.
Now more than ever, celebs are stepping forward to talk about their own struggles with mental illness, in an effort to make the topic far less taboo — including, most recently, the Royal Family.
Princes William and Harry, as well as The Duchess of Cambridge, are spearheading the Heads Together #oktosay campaign, which encourages those suffering from mental illness to speak up. Just this week, Prince William shared a revealing conversation he had with Lady Gaga about her own struggles with anxiety, in a video that’s now going viral.
“It made me very nervous at first,” Lady Gaga shares, about finally speaking out. “There is a lot of shame with mental illness. You feel like something is wrong with you … You can’t help it if in the morning when you wake up you are so tired, sad, and full with anxiety and the shakes that you can barely think. It was like saying ‘this is a part of me, and that’s OK.’”
In the video, Prince William praises Gaga for her honesty, adding, “It’s time that everyone speaks up and feels very normal about mental health … we shouldn’t be ashamed of it.”
And she’s right. There isn’t just a personal sense of freedom that comes with talking about our struggles — there’s a freedom that comes when we liberate others from their own. By simply acknowledging that they aren’t alone.
Thanks to the bravery of celebs just like Lady Gaga, I finally felt that sense of acceptance and support for the first time in my life. I wasn’t “crazy” and I wasn’t the only one struggling to make it through each and every day. I can only hope that in sharing my own story, someone else out there may come to feel the same way.
Overcoming anxiety and/or depression isn’t something that happens overnight — or possibly ever. Learning how to manage mental illness is what’s key to living as normal a life as possible. But that can’t happen until you pick yourself up, embrace the support system around you, and DO something about it.
My only regret is waiting too long to seek help — but it doesn’t have to be yours.

When You Can’t Get Out of Bed Because of Your Depression

By Addie Herndon

This story was posted on TheMighty.com
It’s 7:30 a.m. and you have to be at work in a half hour; this is the fourth alarm that has gone off, and you still aren’t even close to moving your body out of your bed. So, you push snooze for the fourth time and you roll back over.
It’s 7:45 a.m. and there’s that pesky alarm again. This time you just turn it off and go right back to sleep.
It’s 11:25 a.m. You just woke up for the day and you know you’re not getting out of bed for at least another hour or two … maybe.
It’s 2:45 p.m. and you still haven’t gotten up. You have a meeting with your academic advisor in another 45 minutes, so you push yourself out of the bed that has held you hostage so many times before, and put yourself together. It takes extra long but you finally get dressed.
It’s 3:15 p.m. and you still haven’t left the house, so you have a panic attack and you end up not leaving the house. You talk to your roommate, your mom, your other roommate, but nothing seems to comfort you. You feel like a failure who is going to fail out of school and be fired for never getting out of that goddamn bed.
It’s 9:45 p.m. and you are finally hungry, so you decide to go into the kitchen and eat something.
It’s 11:25 p.m. and you are trying not to think about what a failure you feel you are, but those thoughts tend to creep up on you until they have taken over and suffocate any good thought you have.
It’s 1:56 a.m. and you are still not asleep; those pesky thoughts are of course there.
It’s 3:39 a.m. and you finally drift off to sleep, hoping that tomorrow is not going to be like today.
With love,
Addie

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My Husband Died by Suicide, but Died From Depression

By Marlin CollingwoodMay 25, 2016

Two years ago — May 5, 2014 — started as any Monday would start at our home in the suburbs of Boston. It was a beautiful, sunny New England spring morning.  
My husband Gary decided to sleep in a little later than usual and would come into the office before noon. This wasn’t unusual at all. Since he’d been struggling with depression, mornings were always hard and often he’d wake up with me, let our dogs out and go back to bed for an hour or two.  

I showered, got dressed for the office then lay on the bed with him for a few minutes and we talked about the week ahead and a trip I was making to New Hampshire the next day. 
I gave him a kiss and a hug, we both said “I love you” and I left for the office.
While I remember some of the details of my morning, I can only guess what the next couple of hours were like for Gary.
I didn’t know it at the time, but he had a plan in place and this was the morning he was finally going to put the plan into action.
Did he write the note after I left or did he write it weeks or months earlier and save it on his desktop?  
Did he take Harry and Torre (our beloved Welsh Corgis) to the park for a walk?   
Was he anxious? Frightened? Sad? Relieved?   
I will never know the details of those hours. All I know is the outcome.
When I couldn’t reach him on his cell phone later that morning, I decided to drive home, wake him up and bring him into the office with me. Again, this wasn’t that unusual and it had happened before. Sometimes the depression was best faced in bed. I knew that and respected that reality.

When you love someone living with depression you expect bad days, hard days, really bad days and OK days. I assumed this was just another bad day.
But this day would be a really, really bad day.
As I drove up our street I could see there was a note taped to our screen door and at that moment I knew my life would never be the same.
Marlin, I’ve taken my own life.

I don’t want you to find me.

I love you.

Gary

And with that the world turned upside down.

Molly was our pastor and Gary knew I would need her by my side to face what had happened.

I called 9-1-1 as he’d instructed me and the police came to the house, they went upstairs to our bedroom and confirmed Gary was dead.

At that moment I made the decision I was not going to hide how my beloved had died. While he died by suicide he also died from depression.
You see Gary was vocal about his disease and would tell anyone who asked how he’d been fighting depression for years. He made sure they understood it was an illness just as serious, real and unwanted as cancer, a heart attack or diabetes. It was not his fault and he did everything he was told to do to fight the disease. Anyone living with depression or loving someone living with depression recognizes this list: Medications, therapy, ECT, vitamins, yoga, exercise, DBT, meditation, good sleep hygiene — the list goes on and on.
Sometimes after trying a new medication or therapy there would be a day or two of a change in his mood or outlook, but eventually he’d quietly break the news to me it wasn’t working.

Often with tears in his eyes he’d say, “Honey the blackness is back… I’m so sorry” like it was his fault the depression wasn’t lifting.   
That’s part of the problem with the disease of depression.  
For those who are suffering from it, there is always a tinge of self-blame.   
That self-blame is kind of built in to our societal views of mental illness — in the back of most of our minds there is a belief the patient suffering must somehow be responsible for their own depression.
But as someone who cared for, lived with and eventually lost someone I love to this disease, I can say without any doubt that if Gary could have simply changed his outlook, pulled himself up by his bootstraps, counted his blessings or any of the other platitudes often thrown at those suffering from depression he would have done it.
In fact he did do all of those things and more.   
But the disease, just like the worst cancer, was stronger than any medicine, any therapy or any walk in the sunshine.   
His doctor came to the funeral where he hugged me and with his voice breaking said, “I’ve never had a patient that wanted to get better more than Gary did, I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to help him get over this disease.”
We need more research money, we need much more knowledge of the brain, mental illness and how best to treat it.  
We have to start treating mental illness as the public health crisis that it is; a disease just as lethal as heart failure, cancer, opioid addiction and obesity. We need to make changes in insurance reimbursement policies for mental illness.
We have to smash the stigma of depression and place the disease exactly where it belongs; one of the most debilitating and deadly that any of us could face at any time.
Gary wasn’t able to stick around one more day to see if it might be different. But today my message to anyone living with depression is just that: “Stick around one more day. This disease tends not to be permanent, there are solutions that can work, you are not a burden to anyone and no one will be better off if you’re dead. Stick around. One more day. Then one more, and keep going. You are loved.”
If you or someone you love is struggling with depression this message is for you – from me and from my sweet husband. 
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

They can help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.