Wednesday, July 18, 2018


Recently I went to a summer program for young activists. This program was put on by the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition (KSEC) and was to focus on envrionmental politics and activism. While there, I met some amazing people, learned a lot of necessary things for my career as an activist, and grew so much as a person. This is the story of how that program, Catalyst, changed my life.

As most of you may know, I have the pleasure (haha) of living my life with anxiety and depression. So even going to this place, without knowing anyone before hand, was a HUGE step in the right direction for me. What happpened while I was there was even better and I could not have expected any of it. At first I was my usual scared self who just kind of stayed to myself. It was extremely hard for me to open up to this group of complete strangers. I mean, I guess all friends were at some point strangers but like this was different. I was surrounded by people I knew nothing about for an entire week. I was scared I was going to annoy them and scare them away and have an awful week stuck in the middle of nowhere with no one to talk to. Then something changed. We did an activity called the Identity Walk where we wrote down all of our identities, such as sexuality, gender, etc. This activity was so nerve wracking for me because I’m not much of one to like putting labels on myself, but it was honestly so empowering to be able to write down who you are without someone else trying to fit you into some version of a box that just doesn’t suit you. After this I realized we were obviously all different people and I shouldn’t be scared to be me because none of them would judge me.

This was an ENTIRELY new experience for me. I was in a safer place for an entire week. I felt like I was a part of a family that I got to choose. I wasn’t left out for being something different. I wasn’t looked down upon for having feelings and expressing them. I was just allowed to be me in a space where everyone was wholeheartedly loving of every difference. I made some really amazing connections with a lot of the people there and I will forever be grateful for being able to meet them and having them in my life now. These people mean the world to me and I wish I never had to leave them but because of the lessons I learned there I know for a fact that we’re all going to do amazing things.

I learned SOOOO much while I was there. This wasn’t your average class-like lessons either. These trainings taught me not only how to be a better activist, but also how to be a better me. They taught us everything from how to organize a campaign to proper self care. I met people who are making change in the real world NOW. I met young people who know that their voices need to be heard and won’t allow anyone to silence them. It was so empowering as a college student to learn that I have power too. I’ve always been very vocal about the problems in our society and I’ve always tried to create change, but until Catalyst I didn’t know how to or that it was actually even a possibility. After Catalyst, I’ve already started recruiting people for an organization I want to start in NKY and I’m so ready to get back to Louisville in less than a month and really raise some hell for the politicians who won’t listen to us.

While at Catalyst, I felt loved, like I had never been loved before. I made friends with people that otherwise, I would’ve never met. My life would be so much worse off if I had never met them. Catalyst is one big family that I know will always have my back. I love each and every person that I met there with my entire heart and I know they’re going to do amazing things. I learned so much from all of them. They taught me how to feel confident in who I am. They taught me how to love myself despite all of the flaws. They taught me that I deserve so much more than a toxic relationship that’s always bringing me down. They taught me how to be a better activist, friend, and person in general. I will never forget this experience because it lead me to the person I know I can be and it gave me a family that I can truly be myself around. Thank you so much KSEC and the Catalyst trainers for everything you’ve done for me!

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Part of my Catalyst Family! Photo Creds belong to Libby Kelly! <3

Catalyst: 45887453/10 recommend ~Nicole W.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

You're Not Listening

In todays society it’s sad to see the children having to beg for their lives when they can’t vote to save their lives. We’ve been screaming for gun control for years no and recently it’s all I see on Twitter after all of the shootings because these victims are being vocal and are not going away. We have a problem when an Elementary school student is more informed than our politicians. We have a problem when students and teachers are afraid to go to schools due to the past shootings. We have a problem when a gun has more worth to people than our childrens’ lives. WE HAVE A PROBLEM. I’m so fed up with turning on the news or opening Twitter and hearing about more lives being taken. And obviously right down the road you’ll hear “there’s nothing we can do, people kill people.” Stop and listen.

  1. People are the core of the problem, yes, but if you want to decrease deaths, decrease the amount of “tools” used for ONLY death. “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” OBVIOUSLY. We’re not trying to tell you otherwise but a part of the problem is how many military grade guns we allow civilians to purchase. Part of the problem is how many people with mental illnesses and a violent past can obtain ANY gun. The problem is that an 18 year old who isn’t even allowed to drink alcohol is allowed to purchase a gun and a legitimate minor is allowed to own one.
  2. WE ARE NOT TRYING TO TAKE YOUR GUNS AWAY! Gun Control and a ban on guns are NOT the same thing. We want to make obvious laws to help lower the amount of dangerous people who own guns. As long as you are a law abiding citizen, your guns won’t be touched unless you shouldn’t be having a gun in the first place or you own some crazy unnecessary assault rifle. Let’s say it together now, WE ARE NOT TRYING TO TAKE AWAY YOUR GUNS!
  3. My favorite argument against gun control is “bad people won’t follow the law.” OKAY  BUT DOES THAT MEAN WE DON’T MAKE LAWS? Saying that is like saying if bad people are going to murder anyway let’s not make murdering people illegal. Do you listen to yourself when you say that? It’s absolutely insane that you think that’s a valid argument against gun control. Gun control WILL cause a decrease in deaths caused by gun violence. Gun control WILL help lower mass shootings. Gun control WILL be the answer that lawmakers have been looking for but don’t want to find.
  4. Adding more guns to a situation is not going to help. Giving teachers guns is not going to help. Arming students with rocks is not going to help. The people who shoot up schools are usually people who know the school well. They will know what to expect. They will know about what they’re doing and how it will affect them and most of them don’t care enough not to get caught or killed. They’re mentally ill, extremely mentally ill. They’re not gonna care about your guns, they’re not gonna care about your rocks, but they won’t be able to do as much damage if they can’t get guns.

In conclusion, we shouldn’t be banning trenchcoats or more than one door in a school. We shouldn’t be focusing on arming teachers or making schools prison-like. We shouldn’t be listening to the NRA and putting money before our children’s lives. We are worth more than whatever amount you’re getting for your campaign from the NRA. We are worth more and we will fight until you understand that. Gun-control is the next logical step.

Fighting for change everyday. ~Nicole W.

Monday, March 19, 2018


When I was little I wished for unicorns.

I wished to see Santa Claus coming down the chimney.

I wished the monsters under my bed would disappear.

I wished to be a doctor, a vet, or a popstar.

I wished for my prince that would one day come and save me.

When I was in high school I wished for you.

I wished that I could sleep through the entire night.

I wished the monsters in my head would disappear.

I wished I could eat without feeling disgusting.

I wished I could save myself.

Now I wish for me.

I wish to find the woman I’m meant to be.

I wish the monsters in the streets would disappear.

I wish to love the person in the mirror.

I wish I could save everyone.

In the future I see myself wishing for life.

Wishing for more time.

Wishing the monsters in my body would disappear.

Wishing for someone to laugh with.

Wishing I could be saved yet again. ~Nicole W.





Monday, February 12, 2018

One Year

There’s a lot that can happen in a year. We all know this. Every year starts on January 1st and ends on December 31st (for some of us it ends on December 25th because who cares after that, right?), but we all have our days that we remember for whatever reason that represents a whole year passed since something big happened. Birthdays represent a year older. Anniversaries represent a year longer in some situation whether, with ot without someone in your life. Well today is a big landmark for me. February 12th is such an arbitrary day to everyone else but this date represents the one year mark of realizing I needed help…

One year ago, today, I was at my all time low. I was so numb that if you told me a person I loved had die, I don’t think I could have shown any emotion about it. I tried my best to hide this. Mental illnesses have a lot of stigma around them and I didn’t want to be just another sad person. I thought this feeling would go away, ya know because teenage depression is really common and obviously that’s all it was… But I was wrong.

For about two years before this day, I had been stuggling with depression severely. For about two months before this day, I was pushing everyone I loved away because I didn’t want to hurt them. For about two days before this day, I was contemplating dropping off the face of the earth. I don’t really know if anyone else around me noticed but something changed in me this day. I remember sitting down and writing in my journal that I didn’t want to be here anymore and that everyone would just be better if I wasn’t; and for the first time in a long time I cried… Like truly cried. Seeing those words written down broke me more than anything else ever could. I didn’t realize just how bad it had gotten until then.

After I finally stopped crying and could actually understand the weight that had just been taken off my shoulders, I realized I needed to change. I started letting people in more, I talked to my parents about getting on medication, and I really just started realizing that all of my past thoughts of self-hate were not just normal teenage depression and that I needed help that I couldn’t give myself.

Now, I cannot tell you the day I started medication for my depression, I can’t tell you the first day I told my parents I needed help, and I can’t tell you the first day I started feeling a little less helpless but I can tell you this day because it’s one of the most emotional days I’ve ever had in my life.

Ever since that day I have worked so hard towards self-love. I’ve been on a couple different medications and I’m still looking for the right one. I’m taking multiple vitamins to try to help with the side affects of not only my meds but also my depression itself. I’ve recently started working out and really trying to better my entire self, all around. Just like any other illness, relapses occur. I’ve been in a mental rut recently. Not everyday is perfect. But everyday is getting me closer and closer to my goal of true happiness and self-love and I could not be more excited to reach that goal.

So, with part of my story of my mental struggles finally put out there, I have a few things I want to say to everyone:

  1. If you feel the way I did; hopeless, unworthy, unloveable, unsaveable, etc… Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Talk to your parents, friends, doctors, etc. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to any of them and you think talking to a stranger would be easier, go see a therapist or even contact me through any of my socials, by leaving a comment, or emailing me through the contact page. Call 1-800-273-8255 if you need help!
  2. To everyone that believes mental illnesses can be turned on and off like a light switch, you need to educate yourselves because you’re part of the reason why people, like me, don’t want to seek help. They feel like they’re being overdrammatic or annoying when in reality they have a real issue that needs to be helped. Stop looking down on people for sharing their stories, seeking help, or acting strange. It’s not a choice, its an illness.
  3. To everyone that has someone in their lives struggling with mental illnesses, love them for who they are and don’t be afraid to be upfront with them. If you see someone you love drifting apart for what seems like no reason, talk to them because they might need help. Don’t give up on them and don’t take suicide jokes lightly. But also do not treat them like they’re fragile. We don’t want to be seen as lesser-than because of our illness, we want to try to work through it and be seen as normal even though we’ll never quite be normal. Try to include them in social outings but don’t push them if they don’t want to. Just be there for them because they’re probably just as clueless as you when it comes to what they’re going through.
  4. DONATE DONATE DONATE! If you have the ability to donate to foundations and organizations that support people with mental illnesses and help spread awareness, please do! We really need to make the stigma around these disorders disappear.

I have depression but I’m not gonna let that stop me and neither should you! Spread love <3 ~ Nicole W.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


My entire life I’ve been taught that you can’t explain colors to a blind man

But until you walked into my life I was stuck in a never ending cycle of darkness

When we first started talking I could see the definition of colors

They started out with reds, oranges and yellows because you were the light of my life

I slowly fell in love with the way the world looked when I was with you

You made me see colors

And you were the only one who could take them away…

We started drifting further and further apart

And they started fading into darker versions of themselves

Now I can only see in black and white and I don’t know when I’ll finally get to see the colors I long for again

But every now and then you’ll smile and your lips will look red for a split second

And I’ll cry because red was always my favorite color ~Nicole W.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Social Life in College as an Introvert

College is literally the place where a lot of people open up and find their true identities but as an introvert with depression and anxiety I have found that this is not the case with me. I have become an even bigger introvert in some ways and in others I have opened up too much. Don’t get me wrong, I love college. It definitely has a lot of awesome things and amazing people but for me it’s really causing a lot of stress and anxiety.

I want to say that it’s the most amazing time of my life, and I can but It’s also the loneliest. I have one friend at Louisville with me and trying to make friends is not my strong suit. Everytime I leave to go somewhere where I could possibly make friends, I end up having a lot of anxiety and just not going or showing up and leaving two minutes later. This is not a good strategy if you actually want to make friends.

I do have people that I talk to while I’m here. My calc classmates are really chill and the people from my Hon 101 class were literally the most awesome people I’ve met. I just wouldn’t call any of them my friends. Now while I’ve been here, the one friend that I do have on campus, Jonathan, has quickly become my saving grace. He’s always there for me if I need him and he REALLY pushes me out of my comfort zone. I tend to lean on him and my friends back home a lot right now.

Making friends shouldn’t be that hard. Jonathan literally messaged people from our Hon 101 class and was like “you wanna hang?” and apparently that’s all it takes. I on the other hand have no clue how that worked because I would get so anxious messaging someone I don’t know. I can never continue a conversation through texts with people I don’t know if they don’t give me something to build off of. I can’t even really start a conversation through texts which is a bad thing if you don’t have friends in real life…

The shocking thing out of all of this though is I have found a way to have a social life without being able to do normal human things. I participate in the model UN and i applied for an SOSer position and I still hang our with Jonathan every chance I get. It’s just the normal college things that I feel like I’m missing out on. Like I don’t go to parties because I have no one to go with or I don’t go to events put on by the university because I don’t know anyone going and being alone frightens me.

I miss out on a lot and I’m trying to fix that. I’m really putting in the effort to be more outgoing even though it’s my chemical makeup that’s holding me back. I HAVE signed up for more leadership positions, I HAVE started getting involved with things that make me excited, and I HAVE been leaving my dorm more often. I just want to work towards a day where I don’t leave something that I think would be fun just because I have no friends there. I want to work towards a day where I’m a name and a face that people know in a good way. I want to work towards a day where I can message people and say “you wanna hang?” without having a mini panic attack and then just not sending it. I want to work and I am working towards a day where I just live my life without fear and I hope that you reading this already is capable of that and if not, you’re working towards that day too.

I’m wokring on myself, one day at a time. ~Nicole W.

My Photos


Recently I went to a summer program for young activists. This program was put on by the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition (KSEC) and ...