When we feel lost or our burden is heavy, it's easy to forget the impact we have on others or why our lives matter. Especially for those who struggle with addiction and the feelings of shame and unworthiness it brings. Last weekend, I was reminded how important each of us are. We matter to our friends, our family, our coworkers.
Austin Bush lost his life and his struggle with addiction recently. But this is not what we remembered when we gathered in his honor. We remembered him hiding under a pile of Tupperware in the back of his mom's station wagon in order to trick his brother Into taking him to the mall. We recalled his laugh, the way he showed up for others.
As a group of strangers lit candles in his honor I was struck by how our light, the individual shine that lives in each of us, touches everyone we come into contact with. And this flame living in us is worth fighting for. This is why Switchlife exists. We show up to show kids they matter and there is more to this life, that dreams come true and their voices are heard.
Our hope upon releasing this board in memory of Austin Bush, is to remove stigma and shame around mental illness and addiction. We are not the sum of our mistakes. We are each, in our own way, a presence and a gift to this planet and those who love us. Keep shining on, no matter what.
Rest In Peace Austin,
Sarah and The Switchlife Team