There has been a lot of controversy lately that came from my writing here on The Odyssey. I was talking to my mother about it and how upset I was and how I felt like I shouldn't write anymore. She reminded me that a big part of who I am comes from my ability to share personal sides of myself with others online–how I dealt with depression, how I continue to struggle with OCD and anxiety. I know that not everyone feels like they can talk about their problems. I know not everyone feels like they can open up to other people, but if you are one of those people, I'm here to tell you how you could open up online and why you need to share your story.
There are so many adolescents who feel alone. They feel like they're "not normal" or that they are the only ones struggling. They think they are the only ones going through something–and that's because there aren't enough people sharing their stories!! It's so important to let these people know what you've gone through–a breakup, fighting with a friend, a loss in the family, being bullied–these are all things other people can relate to and you can make such a big difference. You don't have to write using your actual name if that's something you're uncomfortable with–create an alias! There are blog pages or even The Odyssey that will allow you to hide who you are while still opening yourself up.
I feel as though we have these freedoms in America and not enough people are taking advantage of them. Why not? Why not make a difference? Why not talk about something that's bothering you or that has bothered you? You might be surprised by the responses. You might hear back from people who've read your work–someone might tell you that you've made an impact on them or maybe you won't. Sometimes, just the thought that there is someone out there who is going to read your article is all you need to feel comfort. You don't always have to be told that you're making a difference to know that you are.
We have so many different social media outlets that allow us to post, write, share or tweet about our problems or about ourselves in general, why not use them for good? The people out there who are fighting to wake up in the morning are in need of someone to let them know that everything is going to be okay–that they are not alone. Our generation has the power at our fingertips. We are the revolution that can fight against suicide, against mental illness, against bullying, against depression. We are the people that can fight for others who are incapable or are too afraid to fight for themselves.
I know it's scary to put yourself out there. I know the risks are people judging you or people wanting to give you trouble for your writing, but that is not what matters because just like how they exercise their freedom of speech to disagree with you, you can never give someone the power of taking away your freedom of speech. I know for some people, writing about themselves and their feelings is a long shot, but you don't have to dive in head first if you're really uncomfortable. Start out with something that makes you happy and tie in a positive message. Anything makes a difference. As long as you write like it matters, it will.