Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

The Breath of Life This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
School can either be a wonderful learning experience or a living hell. Ever since I was young, I have been bullied. A push off the staircase, a door slamming on my right thumb, a kick in the shins – I always seemed prone to the acts of my unkind peers. To my close friends and family, I was known as a quiet, shy, and intelligent girl who often had a bright smile on her face, who loved cracking jokes with self-deprecating humor. In grade school, I was fortunate enough to have three best friends. We created our own fantasy world – complete with our imaginary best friends who always sat next to us at lunch – played freeze tag, and all had a crush on the same boy. In fifth grade, during recess, a girl lunged towards me and tried scratching my eyes out. Even though ten witnesses claimed that they had seen her quite literally tackle me to the ground, she completely denied it. To top it off, her mother came to the school next day and called me a liar. In middle school, the cliques of girls isolated me for getting straight A’s, and from that day on, I was known as “the uber-nerd.”

But then came high school. Bullies often have subtle, artful ways of making you feel miserable; they seemed to find all my weak points and aggressively attack them. Cliques spread nasty rumors like wildfire and my so-called “friends” abandoned me. I was taunted for being a late bloomer, for acting like a baby. In turn, I would become very upset and agitated. A few months later, I developed anxiety. Worries about whether other people were spreading rumors about me, whether people hated me, or whether I did something wrong or terribly offensive, tormented my mind. I spent many sleepless nights rolling back and forth in my bed, or standing in the kitchen and eating midnight snacks to help ease my body into a restful sleep.

Instead of bottling up my feelings as usual, I opened up and spoke out more. I finally came to realize that even though I might have been different from my peers, I was completely normal and there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. I soon discovered one of the most beneficial treatments of my anxiety: the ancient practice of yoga. After stretching my body in different poses and exercises – my favorites include Sun Salutations and Deep Child’s Pose – I breathed more easily and felt at peace. Never before had I felt so happy and self-assured. Through my experiences, I have found that the only way to overcome bullying is to speak up and develop confidence and interests, as I discovered through meditation and yoga. In taking a breath of life, I have learned to relax my body, mind, and soul, but more importantly, I have learned to love myself.



Join the Discussion


This article has 25 comments. Post your own!

Jessalynn said...
May 28 at 9:41 am:
I was bullied, and I'm still being bullied today, just reading this makes me feel like I'm not alone, and I'm obviously not. Thank you for sharing this. It really helps
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
johnnyboy21g said...
Mar. 14 at 1:47 pm:
very true this is very deep
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
rheameThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 5, 2013 at 5:38 am:
suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper goooooood!! i loved it  
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
bookmouseThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Aug. 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm:
Perfect! (And rarely say that!) You included detail to make it personal, and yet it was easy to relate to. Somehow you tied your own experience to bullying in general (I can't explain it besides "Bullies often have subtle artful ways of making you miserable..."). Your experience conjured up memories of my own experiences and those of others I know. I could relate to the peace you found in yoga since I found it in horses. If I had to mke a suggestion it would be that your self disco... (more »)
 
papagena This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 2, 2013 at 9:55 pm :
Thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate your constructive feedback, and I am sorry to hear that you were bullied too.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
XXxTakersGirlxXXThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm:
I went through the same thing and I don't do yoga I dance =) dancing helps relaxes the body too =) great article
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
briana78 said...
Oct. 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm:
This article is great . i think that all the bullying needs to stop and i would love to stop it.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Amoney said...
Sept. 11, 2012 at 8:14 am:
Wow im sure a lot of people can relate to your story. sad thing school is like this.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
BrookeP said...
Jul. 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm:
This essay is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. 
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Sue S. said...
Jul. 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm:
Thank you for your insight into dealing with bullies. I never know that yoga could help. Well done!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
ava_rogers said...
Jul. 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm:
This is a good essay. You found a way to deal with the bullying. Way to go!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Ava_R said...
Jun. 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm:
I enjoy reading your essay on bullying. It brought tears to my eyes. Bullying is a silent crime for it hurts the victims emotionally and spiritually. Let's put a stop to it.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Madison said...
May 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm:
I truly admire your courage to stand up for yourself. I used to be a victim of bullying myself. I understand how you feel. Don't ever let those bullies take advantage of you. The bullies have low self esteem and no life. Wonderful essay on bullying!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Nathan said...
May 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm:
Bullying is a serious issue, thank you for sharing your painful experience. It is a good essay.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
isabella601 said...
May 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm:
This essay on bullying is well written. I can feel your pain while you struggled to deal with the bullies headon. Thank you for sharing your experience of being a victim of bullies. Great essay!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Logan T. said...
May 11, 2012 at 8:40 am:
Fantastic essay on bullying. It is personal and inspiring. Great job!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
JaneAnderson said...
May 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm:
Amazing article! It is touching and moving. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with the world!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
steveholmes said...
May 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm:
Great essay! I can feel your pain and suffering. But I am glad you stood up for yourself. Believe in yourself and be your own advocate. Thank you for sharing!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
rachelcohen said...
May 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm:
Your essay touches my heart. I do like the ending when you become stronger and deal with the bullying in your own way. Fantastic essay!
 
papagena This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm :
Thank you so much for your comment! Bullying is a terrible experience, and I am glad to have overcome it. 
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback