She's sitting there laughing, but if you look into her eyes you can see the pain she's feeling. She covers up her sadness by laughing and smiling throughout the day but once she gets home and her bedroom door closes it is game over. She cannot help but break down from holding it in all day.
Her friends and family have no idea that she is in pain. She doesn't show it, and no one can see the real signs that are just barely hidden. She got good at covering it up, but it isn't long until she simply can't hide anymore. The mask she wears is one of your typical problem-free teenage girl. Happy for show, but hurting underneath it all. She finds herself feeling so alone because no one can hear her cry for help. But it was only barely a whisper. She did not let anyone in, she didn't trust anyone, and she could never talk to her parents about it either. She had herself. And that was at the time enough for her.
Everyday it is the same routine. She gets up, gets dressed, gets ready for school, eats a small breakfast even though she does not like eating in the morning, and she goes to class. Sometimes with headphones, sometimes without. She pretends no one can see her because she gets so paranoid people are looking at her and she gets easily stressed out. She gets to class and takes a seat by herself, speaking little to no words at all, but smiling while doing so. Her mask comes on and she shows zero sign of weakness because that is how she was raised- to be the strong one and not show a sign of weakness.
Little did she know, there was no weakness. To anyone who is in a similar boat as "Her," do not be afraid to take down the mask. Emotions are nothing to be ashamed of. Everybody has them, and we were born to show them. If anything, showing emotion makes us stronger because we are relieving our bodies from stress and pain and helping us grow. We are human. Human's have emotions for a reason. We were not born with a happy face on a stick to put up whenever we are feeling down because we have the ability to express our raw, pure selves. We need to take the chances we have to get the help we need and encourage others that it is okay to get help. Being not okay is okay. Society tells us otherwise, but the stigma needs an end and that starts with us and upcoming generations.
It all starts with being ourselves. Speaking up, reaching out, taking a stand. So much can be done to fix the stigma and the little care people receive because they are scared. Scared of what people would say and what they would do, but it doesn't matter because you aren't doing it for them, you are doing it for you. That is all that matters.
Check in on the girl that always has a smile on her face, she may be the one who needs a friend the most. Look out for the not so visible signs to always make sure no one feels alone. There is nothing worse than feeling like you do not have anyone and there is such an easy solution to it. I promise you that you are not alone.
Speak up, your words could go a long way.