As I was going over my Twitter news feed the other day, one post from a friend named Ann caught my eye. It was about To Write Love on Her Arms Day. Apparently, it's this November; the 13th to be exact.
When I found out about this, I knew that I had to write something about it. Last October, I had wanted, but unfortunately wasn't able, to write about Spirit Day, so I decided that I shouldn't let this chance pass by.
To those who are unaware, To Write Love on Her Arms is "a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide." On the other hand, Spirit Day (October 20) is a day when people wear purple as a sign of support for LGBT teens and to speak out against bullying.
True, I neither live in America nor am I American to be legitimately observing these two days, but the nature of these causes are so dear to me, nobody can stop me from writing about it and showing my support. After all, people, especially teens who need help do not only live in USA. They're everywhere. In Europe, in South America, even here in Asia.
I admit, I have never experienced or witnessed an outright bullying of a person like the ones that are seen on TV . True, in the Philippines, people have been teased about their sexual orientation or even just because they are different, but never to the extent that it was downright heartless and cruel that it would drive the person to think about committing suicide.
But perhaps the past sentence was just me being naive. Perhaps, it does happen in my home country. Just behind closed doors. I wouldn't know.
But what I do know is there are people who need help. And that their pain is not necessarily caused by bullies. Perhaps they are stuck in a predicament. Perhaps fate has thrown them a challenge that they cannot go through alone. Perhaps they are on their way to finding themselves but somehow got lost in their way. Perhaps. But they are there. They need someone. They need love. They need compassion.
They need a friend.
And why should they be denied of that? Who are we to deny them that?
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
This is my way of reaching out. This is my way of telling them that there is somebody out there who is willing to listen and to support and to cheer them on; that THEY ARE NOT ALONE. Because I sincerely believe that everybody deserves a shot at happiness and a peaceful life. Not the type of happiness brought by material things or some other from of gratification, but pure and genuine happiness; the kind that fills your soul with warmth and gives you the feeling that everything will be alright.
When I was in college, I went through a period where I hated everything in my life. While my problems back then weren't as extreme as others, my mindset hindered me from seeing the bright side of things. All I could think about was how it was so unfair. How I just wanted to be left alone and do whatever I pleased. I felt that I was pressured to being the person that I knew I wasn't or couldn't be and I felt like no one understood me. My ego got in the way of seeing the bigger picture. I was driven by my selfish needs.
And so I made one mistake after another. I gave away something that I can never get back to a person who didn't deserve it. I continued even after I knew that I should stop. I did things I told myself I wouldn't do when I was younger. I waited for life to happen, for the opportunities to come instead going out and searching for it. I settled for whatever was there, whatever was convenient. I did not want to admit that I needed help and I always searched for ways to pin the blame on others when something wasn't going right. I deeply disappointed my family, my mentors, my friends and worst of all, myself.
Then it came to the point where everything came crashing down on me: the anger, the guilt, the pain, the weight of my actions. Given my occasional proud yet paranoid and neurotic nature, it was almost unbearable. I was a people-pleaser; I wanted everyone to be happy. Yet I wanted to be admired and well-liked at the same time. Having grown up and being accustomed as the goody-two-shoes, the one who dressed up nicely, who got exceptional grades, who was obedient, and who people went to for advice and help, it felt like all was spiraling out of control.
And I was one who liked being in control.
Outside, I tried my best to act as if everything was alright. That or be passive. But behind closed doors, it was different. My body wouldn't stop shaking. I would stand in my room, wanting to scream until my throat was raw but didn't. It was an internal struggle of wanting to keep things under control or just not giving a damn anymore and just lashing out all the emotion. But I didn't want anybody to see me lose my head, to see me broken. I was proud. So I kept it inside.
But it made things worse. It felt like I was driving myself over the edge. I would lie on my bed and I would try my best to stop myself from throwing and breaking every possible thing in my room. I would lay there and stop myself from literally biting and tearing the sheets. I would lay there and sob silently.
Then one night came when I all I could think about was that I wanted to die. Granted, I wasn't thinking of the actual act or thinking of attempting to take my life, but it was more of the thought that I just wanted everything to go away. That I felt that I couldn't take it anymore. Never in my life have I felt the want to die as I did back then.
And that scared me. It scared me that I had arrived to the point of entertaining those kinds of thoughts. It scared me back to my senses. And that was when I realized that I needed help. That I needed to reach out to someone before it was too late.
So I did. And thankfully, the one I reached out to was there to grab hold. She listened. She cried with me. She told me that everything was gonna be okay. She told me that there are people who cared and loved me. She saved me.
I didn't feel so alone anymore.
Things got better after that. I'm not saying that everything became alright in a snap of a finger, but things did get better slowly but surely. I still had doubts but I had somebody who was there to pull me back up; who was there to look at me as if to say, "You can do it. I'm here for you." It made things less difficult. I still made mistakes and bad decisions, but it was the start. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? And it did. It changed the way I saw things. It helped me grow up.
Now, seven months after graduating from college, I am happy. I've managed to come at peace with what had happened and I've managed to forgive myself. Now, I have a job far from what I could have imagined back then, my relationship with my family has never been better, I've got friends whom I know I could trust, and finally, I've found someone who sincerely loves me and accepts me despite knowing my imperfections.
I shared my story in hopes that it would provide comfort to those who need it. And to whoever is reading this, please listen to me. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Somebody cares. Somebody is willing to listen and to understand you. YOU MATTER. Somebody loves you. Don't give up.
And if you still think otherwise, then send me an email. Write something, write nothing. It doesn't matter. Just hit that send button and I would prove to you that somebody is there for you and is willing to listen.
Stay strong. Smile. Things will be alright.
Love and peace sign out. <3