My name is Ashley Wyble I started Project Ring at the age of 16. I was diagnosed with Bipolar and anxiety at the age of 10. I went through most of my childhood thinking I was alone. I didn’t realize till I was put in a therapeutic program in High school that there were so many people struggling with mental illness. I realized I was not alone. People just weren't educated enough and the stigma was so incorrect. I realized that as a whole society wasn’t learning enough about mental health and the stigma behind having a mental illness was portrayed as incorrect it as a result made people not talk about it. I wish I knew what I did now, that through it all I wasn’t alone in this. I wish I knew I was bigger then all of my anxiety, pain and fear put together. I spent so much of my life not managing my feelings and using negative coping skills and continuing the cycle. I let my behavior and actions towards my self and others effect so much of my life. I self-harmed every day from 11 years old to 16 years old like it was a routine. Even on the days that were good, I felt like I had to self-harm it was part of my day every day for years. On my 16th birthday I got my first tattoo it was a semi-colon with a heart beat going into a butterfly. The meaning was a from the semi-colon project where it states "A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life." the heart beat was a reminder I am still here, the butterfly was from my first therapy group as an early teen where instead of self-harming we drew butterflies and we named them and gave them a purpose. We gave the butterflies so much meaning that we wouldn’t want to self-harm over them. We were told to make as many butterflies as we needed. There was a time there was countless butterflies all over my skin. After getting my tattoo, I realized I didn’t want to die I just wanted to feel better. Years and years of pain I inflected towards friends, family and my self I just wanted to do good and better my self in the process. The spring of 2016 I wanted to start Project Ring I spoke with therapist In the program I was in about it. She said it sounded like a great coping skill and she encouraged it. Project ring started as giving back to the homeless population and has now morphed in to helping raise awareness and to end the stigma of mental health. In the process of becoming where Project Ring is today I have raised thousands of dollars selling our beaded bracelets for the homeless population. I haven’t self harmed since I started this process and I have been given opportunities to help others find coping skills, find there worth and show them how this too shall pass. I get to remind people everyday that it gets better. I am now 19 years old a EMT, charity founder and I am engaged to the love my life. Even if some of what I am sharing is painful, personal and very open, I want to share it so other people can see that it gets better. That you can over come pain and rise from it. Your mental illness doesn’t define who you are and what your future will bring. Its get better, I know it and I’ve seen it because it happened to me.