Her long-distance relationship ended, but she didn't want to forget it. So she drew it.

Sometimes, nothing is more terrifying than seeing a "hey" followed by a period.

Call me paranoid, but it tends to be one of the first things someone says to you when you're about to receive some unpleasant news. For someone in a long distance relationship, getting a text like that could be the beginning of the end.

When comic artist SisiwAko and her boyfriend broke up, she wanted to deal with the heartache in the only way she knew.


"I was happy the whole time I was with that person, so I wanted to draw them so I wouldn't forget."

In the words of Carrie Fisher, shared recently by Meryl Streep: "Take your broken heart, make it into art." That's exactly what SisiwAko is doing in this powerful comic.

Comic by SisiwAko, where it originally appeared. Used here with permission.

Sharing our experiences is a valuable way to encourage empathy, even across the longest of distances.

Art has always been a conduit for expression and therapy. From the masters of painting, to kids with their journals, to professional art therapy, web comics, and even socially conscious media companies. We should all have a medium to express our feelings and to accept the experiences of those around us.

The reaction to the piece has been overwhelmingly positive, "People who have had similar experiences have messaged me ... from around the globe and it's been wonderful to hear the words of support and encouragement," she says.

Because of the demand, SisiwAko has started creating a follow-up comic while continuing her studies in game art. Her global fanbase is excited for the next chapter and we're all rooting for her — no matter how far away we may be from her.

​SisiwAko is a comic artist living in the Philippines. You can find her stories and illustrations here.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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