You think about it to calm down, to bring emotion to the numbness you feel. You believe that it is the only solution. The people around you have no clue you are struggling because you hide it so well behind your mask. You feel alone, like you lost yourself, and like everything is falling through your grip. You sit in your room crying every night and feel completely trapped.
As I think about you, I want you to try to do one thing. Smile through those tears because you are never alone. Even though you think everyone would be better off without you, that is not true. If you were to die, people all over would miss you. Think about your friends, family, peers, and teachers. I want to let you know that no matter who tells you otherwise, you are beautiful, talented, and smart. Just because you don’t have designer brands or straight As does not change your value, because everyone is unique in a way that only they can be.
I understand that you might feel like you are unloved and alone, but I want you to know that I care about you, even if we have never met. I care that you feel depressed and like you need to harm yourself. I care that you feel lonely and I want you to be able to survive this painful time. I want you to live. I know that every cut and burn on your skin is symbolic of your pain, but there is always hope if we are willing to look for it.
It is hard to see the light, and sometimes we need a little help to see a different perspective. I bet that if you got a sticky note, and every time something good happened or someone said something kind to you, you wrote it down and put it on a wall, In a week, a month, a year, you would look and see that people do care. You are not alone in this fight. Every single sticky note shows that you are valued. I stand by each one of you and hope that my words remind you that your skin is not a canvas and your blood is not the ink.
So before you swallow those pills, before you pick up that blade, listen to me, you are you are worth so much more than you have come to believe. You are worth so much to your friends and family, even if they do not tell you frequently enough. I need you to smile because you are perfect in your own way. You are irreplaceable. You have a purpose in this world.
Before you tie the final knot, jump off the cliff of no return, think about the people who care so deeply for you. You have to keep going if not for you, for them. Never be afraid to reach out for help, because getting help is not a sign of weakness, it doesn’t make you weak it makes you stronger. It proves you have the strength to fight the challenges and to get better.
It will not be easy, but it is worth it. It proves you are stronger than you think. Keep fighting to stay alive because your life if so meaningful. You have a future. Pull off the mask you have grown comfortable wearing, and show people who you genuinely are, not the person hiding behind a smile. You can do it; I have faith in you. Everyone you meet has a backstory, and nobody is perfect. I hope this helps at least one of you out there struggling with the fight to live.
Jaelyse (16 years old)