1. YOU ARE NEVER ALONE. You may feel as though you do not a friend in this world, and that no one understands how you are feeling inside. You may feel like you are living on a deserted island even when you sit amongst a swarm of people. But please know that you are never ever alone. There are people all around you who are also fighting an uphill battle. This is not to say that your pain is not as important as those around you. But there is comfort in knowing that you are not the only one who suffers. Imagine that you are in a tiny room full of people. But the lights are off so you can not see anyone so you think you are alone. But if you reach out your hand, you will find someone. Hold their hand and let them hold yours. You may be fighting a different battle then them, but neither of you need to do it alone.
2. YOU ARE LOVED. There are people in your life who care about you and love you, I promise you this. It may sometimes feel as though you are unloved, or even unlovable (I know I felt this way). But as the wise Maya Angelou said, "To exist at all, you have been loved". And even if you do feel alone, that there is not love in this world for you, I love you. I do. We may never meet in this lifetime, but I am sending you my love always. Take a moment and write it down. Think about the people in your life who love you. Your parents, grand parents, a certain best friend, God, Me, your dog, anyone at all. Then look at this list whenever you are down. You can look at a physical manifestation of all the love in your life. Trust me, it feels lovely!
3. WRITE IT DOWN. This is not for everyone, but in my years I have found great comfort in writing down my feelings. It is an opportunity to physically release all that is weighing on your heart and mind. So write down what it is you feel. And this is not limited to when you are down, but when you are feeling good as well! It is almost more important to write down the good days and moments so you can reflect when maybe the darkness is a little heavier. And this is also a good time to mention creative outlets. Find ways to release your energy. Whether it is through physical activity or music (my personal favorite) or drawing, find something that allows you to harness those emotions and let them go.
4. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP. No matter what is going on, whether it is bullying, problems at home or depression, never be afraid to ask for help. You do not have to do this yourself. Find someone, tell them what is happening and allow them to help you. It can be someone professional (I did this), your parent, your neighbor or favorite teacher. Sometimes the best thing to do is get an outsiders perspective. But remember that someone can throw you the rope, but you are the only one who can grab it.
5. YOU ARE STRONG. You are so much stronger then the darkness that surrounds you and I know that you can survive this. You can survive anything. You are stronger then the person who is putting you down, you are stronger then the situation at hand, you are stronger then any harsh words. Remind yourself of your strength every single day when you wake up. But don't stop there. Remind yourself of how beautiful you are, how talented, how loved and how very special you are. Write all this and more on sticky notes and post them everywhere! On your mirror, your walls and inside your locker!
So yes, my friend, I can see you. You are not suffering alone in silence because I can see your pain. You do not have to be invisible. And I promise you that this lonely time will end, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And once you reach the end of this particularly difficult journey, you will look back and realize how it has shaped you into who you are and may even inspire you to help those who are still hurting. Be strong, my dear one. I am standing at the exit of the dark tunnel waiting for you with a big hug! I will see you soon. =)