Saving lives one word at a time.

March 21, 2012
By , melbourne, FL
A 2011 study on teenage suicide found that on average, every day, eleven teenagers commit suicide. Eleven teenagers would end their already premature lives and never know that hope is an option. Furthermore, every 2 hours and 11 minutes someone under 25 is successful in their suicide attempt. Consider this, there are eleven suicides a day, making 4,015 completed suicides in 365 days. Every year 4,015 daughters, sisters, sons, brothers, best friends, cousins, family members, and people are gone because whatever it was that they were going through was too much for them. What if, every day, eleven students in a single class were gone. How long would that class last? Not even three days. And the thing is, this has all been talked about before, it has been beaten and preached to ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,' but how often is this kindness actually shown? What if it was stopped to consider that someone was fighting the same battle that you were? Emotions know no cliques, emotions do not discriminate what race, and gender, age, or wealth is. We all feel the same emotions at one point. We all fight our own demons; we all lose sleep over the things that no one else knows. Thoughts that keep you up at night; give you restless hands, a restless heart, a restless mind. What if there was a way to reach out, what if there was a heart that weighed the same as yours, what if there was a way to change someone’s life and also save yours? Because it's not that you don't want to open up, it's that you don't want to be judged. You don't want to have to see the people who you've told your deepest secrets to pass you in the hallway and simply give you a loaded glance. Because what’s the worth of attempting to explain the terrifying thoughts in your mind to someone who sleeps through the nights that you waste terrified of what is behind your eyelids.
And it’s hard, it’s so hard to understand this emptiness that is seemingly only affecting our lives, it’s so hard to figure out why it’s happening, why at night there’s silence so heavy it will surely break your bones but a mind so loud it will surely eat you alive. It’s even harder to realize that it’s not going to last forever, that, whether its a dream or a nightmare; you still wake up in the morning. Everything is temporary, everything is fleeting, everything will be okay. But that’s not how it feels; it feels thick, it feels tangible, it feel as if the claws of our most miserable thoughts are just inches from our feet, waiting to drag us under and take us. And it feels like no one else feels the way we feel, it feels like we have no one to confide in. Adults brush it off with the convenient, comely cliché of ‘teen angst’, our friends have it too easy, they would never really understand the thoughts that turn a mattress into cardboard and turn a mind into a dangerous labyrinth.
What if we brought what was inside of our heads out through more than just marks on our wrists? What if we talked, what if we listened, what if we sought to understand and be understood in the scariest of ways?
Because what is happening today has nothing to do with the angst felt by hormonal beings, it isn’t something watching The Breakfast Club can fix, it isn’t something that will pass over time; with 4,015 teens a year taking their own lives it is an epidemic. This depression, this loneliness, this fear that things will not get better has transformed into a plague that is claiming thousands of innocent lives and touching so many more than that. There is a problem with a society when an entire generation feels muzzled, feels that their emotions are not important enough to be brought to light so they are forced to drown in their own darkness.
Words need to be brought back to life, talking needs to fill homes and communities again; conversation needs to do more than fill air weighted down by invisible issues. Words need to be thrown against the white canvas of silence and paint inspiration onto those who need it most. Words must be revived to help those who need it most. Stories must be shared to make it known that monsters may be real, but they can also be conquered. Scars must be shown to help realize that fears are real, but fears can heal. Stories must be shared to inspire new ones, to instill the feeling that every person is a novel that is worth being read.
I used to live by my fear. I would wake up every morning with the same mentality.
This fear will eat you alive.
It will tear you up.
It will destroy you.
It will create you.
This fear will determine you.
But that isn’t how this has to be. There can be change, there can be a light to usher out this darkness, but there is only one bridge that can be built to do this; and that is the bridge between talking and listening. Not between religion and faith, not between silence and pain, not between weightless words in heavy air. Between talking and listening, opening up your pain and letting ears, letting heart, fertilize it to grow into love, grow into hope, and grow into strength that is always an option if let be.

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