I believe that we are all warriors. We each wear armor that we have created to protect ourselves from the harsh realities that many of us has had to face. We have perfected it, constantly looking for the chinks in our armor, the spots that leave us the most vulnerable, the spots that let people see the real us -- and then we hide it, cover and reinforce the area, making sure that it can not be seen, preventing anyone from being able to hurt us. But this impenetrable suit of armor does more than just protect us, it weighs us down and confines us to a prison of our own creation. In making this armor we have inadvertently created a straitjacket that restricts us, and slowly drives us insane, and we have done so under the false pretense that we have been protecting ourselves… But we don't have to.
*smile* My smile is my biggest facade, my strongest armor. Very few of you know this but in freshman and sophomore year, I was severely depressed. I hated everything, hated myself, and hated life. But i never showed it. I hid it with a smile. That was my armor. “You look so happy,” “how are you always smiling?” These are questions that I was asked all the time, and it killed me. It killed me each and every time I was asked.
For most of it, I felt like I was a child, lost in a swarm of people. The people that surrounded me were people that were familiar, I had seen them all my life, but I didn't really know them, and they didn't actually know me. Feeling alone while being surrounded by all these people that claim to be your friends is a terrible feeling, having to hide how you feel in order to not be judged or to not be a “buzzkill.”
Don't be afraid to show your emotions, tell people that you need help, because if people can't see that behind all your armor you are injured, and hurting, then nobody will know that you need help.
Now I know that many of you in the class has felt similar ways, some have even tried to commit suicide. But whether you have been depressed, or abused, or abandoned by the people who should always have loved you, you have survived. You've let it make you stronger, despite the scars that many of us carry. You still hold your head up high, because we are all warriors. This I believe.