This intimate photo series is helping change the way we talk about suicide.

In 2010, Dese'Rae L. Stage set out to create a photo series of suicide attempt survivors.

At that time, Stage says she lost her first friend to suicide and had attempted to end her own life. Suicide was now part of her everyday existence, but talking about it was not.

"There was a lack of visibility for people like me, and an inability to find other attempt survivors," Stage said. "Why are we invisible?"


Dese'Rae L. Stage, creator of Live Through This. All photos by Dese'Rae L. Stage, used with permission.

She began reaching out to celebrities and posting ads on Craigslist. Slowly, more and more suicide attempt survivors began to respond, and the portraiture and oral history project grew organically.

Six years later, Stage has interviewed more than 170 people in 30 U.S. cities for the Live Through This project, with each participant sharing their experience of life on the other side of a suicide attempt.

"The goal of the project was to show people we're not so easily erased," Stage said.

By telling the stories of real attempt survivors, Live Through This shows suicide does not discriminate. They are people who look just like you.

David Pajo: "I think if you lost someone, don't make it too taboo to discuss. It sucks and it's really hard to do to put it out there, but sometimes you have to do the thing that's hardest. Be courageous. Talk about it with people that it affects. It'll be better for you, it'll be better for the other person."

Megan Rotari: "I think [a suicide survivor] can look like anything. Literally any race, religion, ethnicity, anything. Any age."

Grace Kim: "I realize I wasted most of my life being miserable and now I just want to live the rest of it out taking advantage of it, ‘cause it really is a gift. Being here... it’s, like, a one in a forty million chance that you were born."

Zack Fraser: "If I could give one gift to people, it would be the ability to understand, on a gut level, that people’s brains are not going to work like your brain. People are going to have different experiences."

We need to change the way we talk about suicide.

"We've put death in a hospital ... it’s not something we see," Stage said. People don't want to talk about death, but for suicide attempt survivors, it's the most valuable thing we can do.

For every one person who dies by suicide, 147 people are affected, according to recent research-based estimates by Julie Cerel, cited by the American Association of Suicidology.

Dr. Shayda Kafai: "And, immediately, if I say "mental illness," my whole being becomes mental illness. I think it's such a socially coded word that if I say that one thing, they see me as just that one thing. I chose 'psychiatric disability' because a disability is something one has, but I also believe it's a political term."

"One of the biggest things we‘re taught as young people is to put yourself in someone else's shoes," Stage explained. "It's the need to ask yourself: What would it take to hurt so much that you would want to take your own life? That’s often beyond where people want to go as a thought experimentation ... but it’s needed."

There's still much work to be done as we learn the best language to use when talking about suicide, but projects like Live Through This are helping to make that shift to open, supportive conversation.

Talking about suicide will humanize those who attempt it. There's incredible value in the simple skills of listening and asking direct questions. "Learning to put your fear aside, hold face, ask what people need, and help them get it without judgement," Stage says, is vital.

Live Through This rallies empathy for attempt survivors, but the project's power is in creating visibility for an entire community struggling with depression, self harm, or suicidal thoughts. By normalizing how we talk about suicide, we'll be able to help people before they attempt it.

Connect with them, ask questions, listen, show them they're not alone. It could save a life.

Watch the Upworthy Original video below for more on Live Through This, and to hear from Joey Olszewski, a suicide attempt survivor featured in the project:

If you or someone you know is hurting, afraid, or struggling with suicidal thoughts, please talk to someone. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. If you don't like the phone, visit Lifeline Crisis Chat or Crisis Text Line.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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