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I recently became a fan of the TV show Supernatural, being
aware of the show due to San Diego Comic Con since 2006. 2015 was the year I
became a fan and started watching it thanks to my Dad. Overtime becoming a fan
has been more different than any other fandom I would consider myself to be a part
of.  I was welcomed in to the fandom
family known as the SPN Family. Little did I know the cast and fans had so much
history together and what they have come to represent, along with the level of
respect they seem to have for one another.  I learned about the Cast and the Fans, such as
Jared Padalecki’s Struggle with Clinical Depression around season 3 of the show.
 As I was drawn in I learned how he
shares his story with the world, creating the Always Keep Fighting (AKF) campaign
to raise awareness and funds for organizations helping with mental health and
awareness.
Jared Padalecki wearing his AKF Shirt & AIR wristband

This is when I realized the fandom family was more than just
being fans of an awesome show, they really have become a family. Listening to
how Jared Padelecki (Sam Winchester) had struggled with clinical depression, reading about the campaigns, seeing support he offers and the difference he has made continues to inspire me. Having a cast that opens up these conversations and spreading awareness of mental health, has left me in awe since becoming a fan of the show. Seeing what the Fandom Family is capable of is another reason why I love about being a fan.

These are tough subjects to talk about and some people are
afraid to talk about it. I have been fortunate to not have these thoughts, thoughts that
depression can bring to someone. I have just the occasional string of bad days
or the storm that eventually passes even at the time when it seems like it wont, but for some it doesn’t end. I have had people
come in and out of my life and some that have had the feelings of depression
and or suicidal thoughts. It hurts me to think they can be in such pain, and I
will never fully understand what they are going through and all I can do is offer
a listening ear. I had an acquaintance that I would see from time to time, she was
fun to talk to, talked to everybody, always had a smile on her face and seemed
like she was happy with her life. I found out one day she died by suicide, it
was not only a shocker to me but to all who knew her, they  had no idea that she was in so much pain or having those
thoughts. It really opened my eyes not only to how people can
be good at hiding pain, but made me wonder to why she thought that was the only
way and what good it would do. 
So why bring all this up rather than just continue to say I
am fan of the show? Well I technically have 10 years to make up with supporting Supernatural, so I want to make a difference, help, and support what I
can with what I have. This has also brought me to two people that are part
of an organization making a big difference in people’s live and am going to be
able to share them here with you on my site!
I was following the Supernatural convention in Jacksonville
Florida in January and came across Attitudes in Reverse an organization the
opens up the conversation about mental health awareness. I liked there merchandise
of a Moose and Squirrel which is what the characters (Sam and Dean) are sometimes referred as in the show. I looked into their organization and liked what I saw. A few weeks
later a Twitter friend Kat said she had partnered with AIR [Attitudes in
Reverse] and wanted to bring an exhibit to the Phoenix Convention. I jumped for
joy and the chance to see how my site and I can possibly help with there goal
for the convention.

Example of a pair of shoes for the exhibit

The exhibit they are bringing to the Phoenix
Convention is “In Their Shoes” a powerful exhibit of shoes with thoughts of
those that have left early or are struggling and thoughts that have crossed their mind. The goals of the In Their Shoes Exhibit “To let those who struggle know that they are not alone in their thoughts, there are others out there struggling with the same issues.” That is coming from Tricia one of the founders of AIR. I have picked up a few pairs of shoes for the exhibit from fellow geeky friends, and my sisters have even donated a pair. AIR is not only raising funds for the exhibit but also to bring awareness to others and start the conversation.

I have had the opportunity to interview two people that have
been with the SPN Family for a while not only as fans but ones making a
difference in lives and spreading awareness about mental health and suicide.
This is the first of the three posts, next will be the interview post with Kat who
is now in charge of the Phoenix Arizona Chapter for AIR. The third post will be
with one of the founders of AIR Tricia, I am so excited to have them on my site
and be able to share the work they are doing.

The Supernatural Convention is making its way to Phoenix
Arizona in June. I am hoping to attend this event, whether it be as a volunteer
or even buying a general pass to the event. This will be my first Supernatural
convention and am looking forward to meeting some SPN family members and maybe
some cast members. Thank you Kat and Tricia for this opportunity!

Be sure to follow AIR and all their social media channels 
AIR Website / Twitter / Facebook / Shop  The Phoenix Chapter Facebook / Twitter 


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