Thursday, February 14, 2013

Suicide is no solution

It's Valentine's Day and it may seem an odd day to talk about suicide, but maybe it's the perfect day because this is my letter of love to every kid out there who's hurting bad enough that they've been seriously thinking about it.

There's a rash of kids committing suicide these days. Seems to be the popular thing to do lately. You get hurt, get bullied, get picked on and so you don't fight back. You let them stomp you out.  Except that you don't just let them take you down, you let them take your family down, your friends down, and everyone who ever dared to care about you down with you.

I understand that you feel trapped and helpless. I understand you're in a lot of pain and you think that death will take all that pain away. I understand you feel there's no escape except death. I've got news for you, kid. Even if you've got a gun to your head you still have choices. You may not like them, but you have them, and that makes you more powerful than the bullies because YOU KNOW IT and they don't. They are under the very mistaken impression that their ability to hurt you gives them the power. It doesn't do any such thing.  The only way their ability to hurt you gives them power over you is if you let it.  That's right. You have the final say.

Here's something I want you to think about before you make a decision that can't be undone. You may think nobody cares about you, but that's just not true. Even if you don't know me, *I* care. I care a lot. Enough to write a blog post to reach out to a kid I've never met. So, write me a letter or look me up on Facebook if you need someone to talk to. I'll be there.  So let's not have any of this talk of ending it all, shall we?

Let me tell you a story about a girl who was abused by the parents she should have been able to trust, who didn't have a lot of friends growing up because she just didn't know how, who ran home from school everyday to avoid the bullies that threatened her and her brother. That girl got harassed a lot for being smart, for being too proud to ask for help, for being different.  On her fifteenth birthday, she threw a party for 30 that not even one single person in her class attended.  You think that didn't hurt? It just about killed her. But come Monday, she put on her best smile and she got revenge the best way she could - she served every single one of those kids a slice of the birthday cake they weren't at her party to eat.  Because nobody was going to beat her down.

Now I'm 37 years old, and life's a lot better. I don't get bullied like that anymore, and your life will get better, too - but you have to make it through this stuff first before it's going to get better. So you fight back and stop letting them destroy you. You take charge and you decide who you're going to be. Stop letting them make that decision for you.

You pick yourself up off that floor and you dust yourself off, and you make the decision right now that  nobody, no bully, no group of bullies, is going to ever destroy you that way again.  You decide today that you're going to prove every one of them wrong about you and you fight to become the best person you can be because that's the best revenge you'll ever get against them.

Yes, you've got an uphill climb ahead of you. It's going to take a lot of grit, and a whole lot of work, but someday you'll thank these jackasses because they gave you the motivation you needed to become everything you were meant to be.  Every time you're tempted to quit on yourself, you remember those kids who called you stupid and ugly and fat or who tried to beat you down and you allow the pain to motivate you to keep going and keep trying.  The world needs you, kid. That's why you're here. Even those bullies need you, they just don't know it yet. It's up to you to show them what you're worth. And if you don't know what you're worth, if you need help figuring that out, I'm here. Just call on me. I'm easy to find, and easy to talk to.

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