Free + Above
THIS IS A PROJECT I STARTED TO HELP IN THE SMALLEST OF WAYS
AND FROM THAT IT SUDDENLY BECAME A MOVEMENT.
the original tee (2015)
Free And Above was a simple idea of mine that I decided to follow through with when I was 19 years old. (2013)
I told myself I was going to create a positivity Twitter account and tweet out some encouraging words of hope for anybody who might have needed it during that very moment . It would be specifically for those dealing with mental illness. So I created an account, had set up a bio and started to tweet. Within a few months I started to see some growth. Some faves and retweets. Then there was the replies to the tweets that started to pour in and the flooding of direct messages. And that’s when I knew something special was going on here and more could be done than just by tweeting. So Instagram came along and I gave people a platform to share their story, but for me to also share mine. And then that thought again came - more could be done. I decided I wanted to take Free + Above and turn it into a movement. So I did. I filed within the state of Georgia to make it a nonprofit corporation. While being okay with being the only member responsible of everything.
Free + Above is my purpose, aka loving on people who think they are broken and shedding light on something that is looked upon as dark. Mental Health is so important in my eyes - being someone who struggles deeply with depression, anxiety and have had a few suicide attempts. I know the suffering it brings.
Like being numb while feeling everything at once. Craving for a blade and later hurting yourself. I know how it feels to live with the scarring and finding a way to love yourself again.
I know what it’s like to go to the ER. I know what it’s like to enter into a psychiatric hospital.
I know how it feels to believe you’re crazy and unwanted, unseen and unheard.
I really do. There’s a lot more I haven’t touched on (as I could go on about mental illness), but I assure you I get it and understand.
You’re not alone. It might seem like it - you’re not. There are others who feel the same way you and I feel. We’re all in this together.
Trying to unshackle ourselves mentally and physically from mental illness. While rising above the darkness and doing all that we can to be in the light again and feel joy, worthiness, significance - PURPOSE.
Our day is coming. Let’s keep fighting. Freedom is ours to have. It’s time to rise above.
And become Free And Above
Tony Cox Jr
It's a getaway from pain. But that getaway is permanent. And depression tells you that's okay.
It's not okay. It's not okay to end your life. It's not your time. It's your time to keep living. To keep going on. It gets better. You get better. And those broken pieces lying on the floor will be put back together. But more beautiful than you could ever imagine.
I know you've heard this before... It's always darkest before the dawn. It's true. Wait it out. I know you're tired of being patient and you're weary, but i promise you it will have been worth it.
share your Free and above story on instagram
Never doubt the power of being vulnerable and sharing your own story. It can empower others - including yourself. And Impact those reading it and even save a life. Speak up and speak out. Share your pain and let someone know they are not alone in their suffering. not broken and are loved deeply. Life gets better.
If you are comfortable sharing your mental health story or being a survivor of sexually abused - do it on instagram and tag @freeandabove and hashtag #freeandabove
Turn pain into purpose - Inspire others and be a light
You can be a work in progress and still at the same time help another person out.