We have all seen the "typical" teen portrayed in movies as the girl who storms to her room, pulls the shades, blares her music, locks her door and only comes out when she's so hungry she could eat her own arm.
We have all felt that way.
We have all wanted to be left alone.
We have all just wanted to hide from the world.
We have all just needed a break.
But sometimes this can be taken too far and that's when it's no longer healthy to take a "break."
A break is something that lasts for a short time. Think about it, when you are at work and your boss says you can take your break. Or when you have spent the entire day cleaning for your mom and you ask if you can take a break... do you mean for a couple years? LOL! I know what you are thinking - you would like to take a break from cleaning for a couple years, right?! Sure you would, we all would.
The point I am making is that sometimes that break we need becomes a habit that alienates us from the world that helps us navigate WHO WE ARE. Taking a break that lasts beyond the norm can actually hurt you instead of help you. You can lose yourself in that break and you will eventually lose the ability to reconnect with the world you once knew. And then you become LOST and that's a scary place to be.
When you are lost like this, you can't even find yourself... this is a downward spiral that suffocates hundreds of thousands of teens each year. Cutting, depression and suicide feel like the only way out. Do you want those to be your only options? Don't you want more options for your life? I do. I want that for you, too.
The hardest thing to do when we are going through a difficult time is to reach out. When your life truly HURTS, the last thing you want to do is share that with someone. It doesn't feel good. What will people think? Will they judge me? What if they think I'm a freak?
But sometimes the hardest thing to do is the thing that will make you stronger. When you feel like crawling into a hole and barricading the world outside your door, picture your life next year... what will hiding under the covers get you?
But now picture your life if you flung that door open and screamed, "HERE I AM WORLD!" Now, I know your neighbors would think you had lost your mind if you did that! LOL! But what is the hardest is sometimes the BEST thing for us. Think about Olympic athletes. Do you think their training is easy? Do you think their bodies don't ache with a pain you and I have never felt? Do you think they WANT to hurt? Probably not. But how badly do you think they want that GOLD MEDAL? More than anything in this world?
Well, I think I can assume that what you want more than anything else right now is to feel a part of something. You want to feel loved. You want to be included. You want to have someone to call when something goes wrong.
Do you have this? Some of you don't. Some of you are thinking, "Locking myself in my room to be alone is no different that walking into the hallway of my school - I am alone both ways!"
I would never downplay the difficulties most teens have making and keeping friends. It's not easy. Sometimes it's the fault of the friend when things go south and sometimes it's not their fault...either way much of the drama is out of our control. We can't flip the switch on a bully so she stops being mean. We can't mute the girl who starts all the rumors. Sometimes being alone seems safer. I get it. I may be an adult now, but realistically, you know I was a teen once, too. Yes, the 80's were a different time and I didn't have social media and school shootings to worry about but what was bad for me and my friends then was just as real as what is bad for you today.
It isn't easy to reach out. I know. But this is YOUR LIFE we are talking about. You only get ONE.
So, make a plan. Look for people LIKE you. Maybe you have an interest or passion. Joining a club or interest group can be the easiest way to find others who will "get" you. Take a class after school or join a service group. Volunteer within an organization that tugs on your heart strings. Whether it is an animal shelter, an after school art club, or a day care center... something that puts that sparkle in your eye will surely have you glowing when you are doing it with OTHERS who have the same passion.
Now, some of you have come upon this post a little too late and have kept yourself away from people for long enough that you don't even know where to begin...
I have created "the gathering" for just this reason - "the gathering" is a CLOSED and PRIVATE facebook page where ALL GIRLS, especially girls who feel alone can reach out to other girls who can help support them. You can ask questions on the wall and you will almost instantly get responses from teen girls from across the country. You can also message me privately and we can talk confidentially about anything that is hurting and/or confusing you.
I hope you will click the link and request to join...
Post your comments and questions - I have a feeling this will be a good one to talk about!