Do you agree about how hard it is for teenagers to share their issues with adults? What do you think would need to change in order for it to be easier?
I heard a story yesterday that made me proud of you. After hearing a health discussion on the topic of suicide, a boy confessed to his friend that he had tried committing suicide twice in the past. The friend, after arriving home later that day, proceeded to tell his mother. "I know from our health discussion I need to tell a trusted adult," he explained, "so that's what I'm doing."
His mom nodded, and then this young man did something great. He checked to make sure his mother was going to do something. "You're going to do something, right?" he inquired, "I need to make sure; because if you aren't, I'm going to find someone else." His mom assured him she would talk to the school counselor the next day. When she warned him of a possible fallout with his friend, he said, "That's okay, because the option of not doing anything would have a worse ending."
At school the next day, this friend was confronted by the depressed teen who asked if he was the one who had told. The friend shook his head yes. Then the hurting teen said it was okay. "It's for the best," he said, "I think it's going to help me."
It may feel awkward, but finding support for your friend is one of the most heroic, kind things you can do. And accepting that help is one of the bravest. Bravo to these two boys and all the rest of you who are reaching out and supporting one another. You make us proud.
Some days will be hard. You'll be angry, scared, anxious and lonely. You'll wonder if you'll ever be happy. If you'll ever be loved. If you'll ever be worthy.
Then good days will come, and you'll forget about those worries. Life will feel good. You'll have small successes, and you'll feel happy.
And you know what? That's okay. It's how life rolls with it's mixture of pain and pleasure. We are all a work in progress, trying our best to navigate the waves life sends us...trying our best to figure out who we are.
Your roller coaster of emotions doesn't make you different or alone—they make you human. They make you just like the rest of us.
Keep being strong. Keep being brave. Keep pushing forward. But most of all, keep believing.
"We cannot control mental illness or suicide. We can only control how we support and treat the people who have it... This support can mean the difference between someone ending their life or finally gaining the courage to reach out and change it." Amanda Southworth
This powerful video was shared to my Facebook page. Its images triggered some painful emotions, but the message is clear. People who have been through the battle of depression and survived know that hope is waiting on the other side. Whether you find it in faith or somewhere else, hope is waiting for you. Please don't kill yourself!
Many people, after the deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, are asking each other how such successful people could commit suicide. What could they possibly have been depressed about? Even Anthony Bourdain's mother is questioning his decision. “He had everything. Success beyond his wildest dreams. Money beyond his wildest dreams..."
You might think that success, wealth, and adoring fans could protect you from pain, but they can't. Pain is sneaky, and it will always find a way into someone's life, even if that someone is highly talented and successful.
That's where the problem lies. Pain hides in the shadows, so when we catch glimpses of other people's lives, we often can't see it. We see only what's thrust into the light, and we believe our lives should be just as happy. Then when they aren't, we get worried and discouraged.
Anthony and Kate must have been feeling very discouraged to do what they did. It's too bad they never realized the number of people who would have reached out to help them. Maybe then they wouldn't have chosen the wrong solution for their pain.
Suicide wasn't the solution for their pain. It never is.
Depression likes to lie and tell you that there is no way you can overcome the pain you are feeling in the moment. But it is wrong. Do you know how you can overcome the pain? Look at this picture.
I don't know if you've watched the movie "13 Reasons Why," but here is a scene that shows why suicide is not the answer...13 reasons why...13 people coming together and helping each other get through the moment.
There will always be people who will come alongside and help you through the pain. Always.
All you have to do is let someone know you are struggling. Then you need to believe what they tell you.
You are loved and needed.
You are not a burden.
You will get through this pain.
Pain is not a death sentence. It's a warning that it's time to reach out.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24 Hours) tel:1-800-273-8255
This lovely girl is my daughter. Hidden beneath her smile is a real joy for life, but it wasn't always this way. It's hard to be excited about life when you're being bullied, and this girl was bullied throughout middle school and high school. In those days, her smile hid a pain that was too deep for words, and it made her attempt suicide on more than one occasion.
Luckily, she survived... Every. Single. Try.
Man, how thankful I am she lived—not just because she's my daughter and I love her—but because she's the bravest girl I know, and I admire her so much! What spirit she has! What strength! What beauty she showed as she rose above the crisis!
Those days were difficult, I won't lie. But in the middle of the battle, my girl found her brave—and she's enjoying a happy life because of it. She's getting her degree. She's working a job she loves. She's hugging her daughter.
She's happy. Really happy.
Find your brave.
Speak to someone. March past the people who are bullying you and refuse to listen. Find a way to get through the day...each and every day. You won't regret it. It'll be worth the struggle.
Find your brave, and give yourself a chance to see your future.
Do you ever feel like pain is your enemy? You wake up in the morning and try your best, but somehow pain always finds a way to slice through your happiness. And you wonder...will you ever be able to escape it?
If you feel this way, I'm sorry for the hurt you are experiencing. I understand where you're coming from; I really do. I've experienced both physical and mental pain that have left me begging for mercy.
I'd love to take all of that pain away from you, but I know, deep down, it would be one of the worst things I could do.
You may be surprised by that statement, but it's true. You see, pain is not our enemy. It is simply a warning to us that something is amiss— something's not right.
Without pain, we wouldn't know anything was wrong; and that, my friend, could be detrimental. After all, some of the most dangerous types of diseases are those where we feel no pain until it's too late for healing.
I'm not saying pain is good, but what I am saying is that pain often triggers us to search for the help we need. It causes us to find new solutions... make supportive connections...repair important relationships. It causes us to fight with the determination of a warrior, knowing healing is right around the corner.
Pain doesn't have to be a stumbling block. It can be a stepping stone—a way out of your faltering strength and into a transformative wholeness. Don't stop fighting. Reach out. Connect. Search for healing. It won't be long until you find it.
At age 30, JK Rowling wanted to commit suicide because she didn't see a way out of her desperate situation. Struggling with depression, she felt hopeless and alone.
A few years later, she penned these words in a "little book" that millions went on to read:
"Happiness can be found even in the darkest times,
if one only remembers to turn on the light."
How thankful we are that JK Rowling found a way to turn on the light. If you're struggling today, feeling helpless and alone, don't give up. There is a light in your future, ready to be lit. Let us help you light it.
No one can fully understand what grieving is until they’ve been through it themselves. I’ve grieved before, not because of a death of an immediate family member, but over the loss of my child that I adopted out.
I grieved for months, and even though I finally came to an acceptance, every once in a while I replay that very last day in the hospital with him when he was considered mine. He's turning six this summer.
I've read that when there is a close attachment to the person who died, the feelings of loss and yearning may never entirely fade (Worden, 2009). In other words, we don't really recover from our loss, but we learn to live with it.
I guess what I've learned is that grief doesn't have to be dealt with alone. Support from family members and friends can be nourishing and soothing to our hearts. Inspiring Doctor Nancy Berns once said, "Immersing ourselves in grief long enough to discover that we can float gives us more freedom to feel the joy and love that remain. And in both grief and water, it is best not to do it alone."
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