This guy is my heart. I saw him across a crowded Instagram feed and have been a fan ever since! He caught my eye with this succinct and strong piece: 
Oh how he impressed me because we were total opposites and he had mastered the art of potent minimalistic storytelling. I wanted more. So much so that we collaborated on a unique piece:What an honor to work with such genius under control!

The more we got to know each other the more I learned that we both had a burden for suicide prevention, but from different angles. He is an attempt survivor and he courageously shared his story recently on Instagram! His new tattoo is an ode to Project Semicolon’s mission statement as well!

In his own words…

My name is Dustin Bethea. I was born & raised in South Arkansas. I grew up in a conservative household in which creativity wasn’t neither discouraged, nor was it encouraged. I knew from a young age I didn’t fit in. It didn’t phase me for many years. Upon a bit, I thought it was my {unannounced} sexual preference that made people treat me differently. That made me act differently. 
Moving away to college, just a few short hours from home, I was accepted in ways I didn’t know we’re possible. But I still had internal struggles that I was unable to identify. Without going into a years-long-internal-battle-story, I reached an all time low. Life didn’t seem like something I desired to continue anymore. I felt as if my time was up. I’d found love for the first time. I felt complete. It was then I decided the world was done with me. So I decided to end my life. I was, fortunately, unsuccessful. I started writing again while being detained in a psychiatric Ward where I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Suddenly, my life started making sense. As ironic as it may be to many outsiders, it was as moment of self realization. I found my voice again. My pen began bleeding out the negativity that had been locked inside of me for 24 years. To say that I am content with my life now would simply be a lie. What I can say truthfully, however, is that I feel like a human for the first time ever. My writing has given me that. 

Building a family of my own with no blood involved has been one of my greatest victories. Gaining my actual blood family back has been my second. Still being alive has been my third. Writing my life’s story in as few words as possible is an incredibly difficult task, but my hope is that you can actually see a piece of me & relate in some way.

e Speaks…

Thank you for joining us here at http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com and kicking off this new #WriterCrushWednesday series Dustin!! Below are two pieces he’s written to share in this space! 



• @dr_bethea (personal Instagram)

• @disorderly.ramblings (writers Instagram)

• Dustin Bethea (personal Facebook page)
All content including photos included in this piece are the exclusive property of Dustin Bethea. No copyright infringement intended. 


Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 


  1. Dustin ~ Love your voice…out of pain grows beauty and strength. More of us need to share the wounds that make us who we are – many others feel the same but don’t know how to express it, including me! Please keep sharing your gifts with this world.
    Peace ~ LC

    Liked by 2 people

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