An Open Message to All The Girls who are 'OK'

An Open Message to All The Girls who are 'OK'

You're all special and you hold a value somewhere in this world. It's ok not to be ok.

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There's this girl I know. She's really pretty and is the nicest person you would ever meet. She's always happy and smiles all the time. She dyes her hair almost twice a year despite the fact she gets chemical damage every time her curls come into contact with bleach. She's college -bound, Division One to be exact.

She wants to be a lawyer or probably on CNN arguing about how Republicans have ruined the country. She loves to eat and sleep. She loves trap music and ninety's R&B; with the occasional pop on the side. She seems to have her head on right and has goals set for herself.

Keyword: SEEMS.

This girl I know has been hurt. Hurt a little too many times by friends, family, and of course boys.

She's been going through it the for the past eight years. She has dealt with bullying, death, and abuse. She tried to go to her family for help but was always told "just get over it" or "you'll be fine" or "nothing is wrong with you". This led to her closing herself off when family would come around. She couldn't tell them how she was feeling because she was afraid of this response she would get.

In school, she seemed so happy. She may have cried when her boyfriend did something to her but she was always smiling and laughing. At home, she cried and deserted herself in her room. She has low self-esteem and low confidence. She often looks at herself and thinks how everything is her fault.

She wishes she could have a better life away from all the tears and pain. She often plotted to kill herself but couldn't because she had to live for her siblings. She had to show them that despite all the obstacles she faces she is better than her mother, her aunt, her grandmother, her stepmother, her father, and everybody else.

She is not OKAY. She may say she is but she is NOT.

Who is She?

Well, she is me. She is whoever is reading this. She is the person who is trying to grow but can't because she is not in the place where she wants to be in life.

To the reader; if you feel as though the world isn't on your side, it is. You just have to find the real you and live your best life. Work on being the better you and show everyone who has tore you down that you're the baddest jawn (or bull .. if you're a boy) out here.

Here's the National Suicide Prevention Line

1-800-273-8255

As well as the National Domestic Violence Line

1-800-799-7233

Please seek help if you feel the same way I do. Find a teacher, friend, therapist, ANYONE. There are people who care. You just have to search for them.

Much Love, Syanne.

Cover Image Credit:

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10 Bible Verses for Self Esteem

Sometimes you need to search for inner strength and find your own self worth.
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We all get those days that we just don't feel good enough for anything. Everything is going wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons we can learn from. Here are my top ten verses that are uplifting and impacting when at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God's.

Cover Image Credit: chinadaily

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When I Was 15 Years Old, My Mom Took Her Own Life

This is my story.

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"Your mother is in a better place."

I heard the words, but the funny thing is, I don't remember being there, not really. I was watching another girl's life, detached, feeling nothing. My mom had tried several times during my childhood, but no one ever thought she'd really go through with it. None of that prepared me for this.

I remember how my aunt came over, my mom's little sister, and curled up in a ball sobbing for an hour, a successful, grown woman in her 40s I had never thought I'd see shed a tear.

I remember talking to my grandparents, who had been on vacation in Hawaii, on the phone and hearing how much strength it was taking them to keep their voices steady and hold back the pain.

I remember how I kept thinking, "ok, this is when I wake up, this is where the nightmare ends."

It never did.

After my sister and I had gotten home from school on January 31, 2013, we wondered why our mom's car was still in the garage because she should've been at work. The door to her bedroom was locked too. We knocked and knocked and knocked, and our dad told us to try to pick the lock, but it was no use. I had never had to call 911 in my life, and when I told the operator what was going on, I could hardly believe I was considering the possibility my mom was really dead. Surely, that was ridiculous.

It seemed like hours before the police finally arrived. I showed them upstairs, and when they finally broke the door down, I watched in horror from a chair in the hallway. The memories get jumbled after that, but I remember hearing, "Your mother is in a better place." And I remember wanting to scream, "No, she's not! This was the better place."

Reading the suicide note of a loved one is like losing them all over again, every time. You're reliving a goodbye you never even got. They're saying their last words to you but you can't respond or show them any love, and you know they died all alone.

What's funny is that, other than my mom dying, my life sort of improved in the short term. That sounds so ridiculous to people, but for such an extroverted person like me, the support of others and a sense of belonging is what makes me feel best. My teachers made very generous academic accommodations for me, my friends would invite me over for a sleepover whenever I was sad, and people were always cooking my family homemade meals. During the first few months after my mom's passing, I had a lot of pain that was almost masked by the fact that I was overwhelmed with comfort and love. I kind of forgot how to live a normal life.

Late in my sophomore year, as the comfort dissolved, I began to realize how empty I was really feeling. I started shoplifting small items from several stores, trying to fill that void with something, anything. I'm lucky that never spiraled out of control, but it was only the first gust of wind in the category five hurricane that was to follow.

Trauma doesn't usually manifest in an obvious way, and often it acts as a catalyst for mental illness issues that likely already swam beneath the surface. When I was 16, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a hypomanic episode which resulted in me having to leave a choir I loved so much, followed by a deep depression which culminated in me begging my dad to take me to the hospital because I thought I might try to kill myself. By the end of my senior year of high school, I barely got out of bed, I was scared to show my face in school because I was terrified of all the horrible things that I thought might happen, and I was struggling to take my medication or eat much at all. My family decided to send me to a therapy program that summer and my graduation from high school was postponed until December. Luckily, I was able to get a medical deferral from my university, and I took a gap year.

While my recovery was in no way a linear process and is always an ongoing mission, I have seen a lot of improvement in myself since the end of high school. I considered a lot of career paths, but I could never quite talk myself out of the challenge that is going into medicine as my mom did. Often when I'm doing organic chemistry or genetics or physiology, I wish I could call my mom so she could answer all my questions. When I find a new TV show she would've liked, I have no mom to send it to. I'll have no mom when it's my turn to have children and I need advice from the person who knows motherhood best.

What I carry with me is the knowledge that even if my mom's mental illness ultimately took her life, I make a promise to myself daily that I will never go down that road. I have seen first-hand the way suicide shakes a family to its core and leaves loved ones with scars that can never truly heal. There is no lesson to be learned, or silver lining to be found, no shiny little bow to wrap this article up with. I tell my story openly and honestly because it is the only way I know how to process it, with the hope that I can show others the strength there is in vulnerability.

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