We all smile when we don’t feel like it sometimes. We all dress cute to face a day that we are not looking forward to sometimes. We all say “i’m good” sometimes when we really aren’t.

The point is that you never really know what people are dealing with. The reverse is true, people don’t always know what you are dealing with no matter how consumed you are in the situation. Sometimes we have to just give people the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes we have to pardon an unusual action. No matter how hard it can be, we have to learn to forgive people when they do things that are uncharacteristic. Sometimes you let people get their anger out. None of us handle anger or pain correctly every time and sometimes we hurt people in the process. In retrospect, we realize that we may have hurt a friend who is still standing by our side. So, we should try to be more understanding in those situations and put our feelings in a corner. How can we expect people to always do right by us when we don’t always do right by others?

Our society is full of actors and actresses. I don’t mean the people you see on Broadway or in movies. I’m referring the the girl you sit next to in class everyday, the girl whose face is always “beat for the gods”, the girl who wears brand name clothes everyday, the cheerleader who has been dating the quarterback for 2 years, the teacher that you always complain about, your circle of “friends”, and most importantly, YOU. Yes, you are quite the actress aren’t you? I know that I can be. No matter what you’re are going through, your goal everyday is to not let everyone know your business. Maybe you tell your best friend, maybe you tell your parents, or maybe you don’t tell anyone. Then you go through your day as if everything is okay and save your tears for the private moments in the bathroom stall or in your bed at night. If that’s you, I completely understand. I mean, I have been there. I’ve had a broken heart, I’ve felt lonely, I’ve had issues with my body image, I’ve dealt with confusion on who I’m supposed to be, I’ve struggled trying to live up to everybody’s standards, and I’ve worn myself out trying to please everyone. I’ve cried to myself in the shower, I’ve grieved alone, I’ve dealt with health issues that nobody knows about, I’ve cried myself to sleep on countless nights, I’ve held things inside for too long, and I’ve turned to the wrong kinds of affection from the wrong types of people.

…and although I’ve never considered my self depressed and I’ve never self-harmed, I know so many people who can say that they have been or are depressed and that they have self-harmed or still do. Honestly, you never know what people are dealing with. A lot of times these are the people who really seem to have it all going on. These are the same people who always post about their “happy” relationship. The same people who are involved in 5 activities. Sometimes they are the people who are the most bubbly and the most happy. When you know these people, when your close with them and you find out these things, it can be scary. I can tell you from experience. I never really knew what to do in those situations. What adult would be understanding? Would that friend be mad at me? Is it better for me to just talk to them and tell them how much I value their friendship? What words to you use to fight for someone’s life who doesn’t want to fight for it themselves? You can try your hardest in these situations but you are not really qualified to deal with serious mental health problems, including body image issues. We get scared to say something or call someone, we are too afraid to step up and do what we all know we should do. It can take a village to show someone that they are cared about, it can take a village to show someone their value. You can’t be anyone’s entire village so do NOT be afraid to step in.

That being said, it is only fitting for me to include the following resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 or Chat Online

National Eating Disorders Association
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
The NEDA is a nonprofit association dedicated to the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. Contact them at: 1-800-931-2237 

PLEASE feel free to comment any other resources that you know of. Remember that at Empower U questions and comments are FREE.

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