“I’m so in control of my life, you shouldn’t dislike anything I do-because I’m not only in the best place I’ve ever been, but it keeps getting better and better.” ~Drew Barrymore
This week, I’m feeling like getting a little personal, because I am lucky enough to have you read this. The people who come here are often my people. What do I mean by my people? They are the people who also understand that bullying is an issue large enough to take a stand. They believe that people are hurting from the effects of bullying and that it is a personal issue.
I read several Facebook sites that are there to help those that are bullied. One of the sites has over 45,000 people who are members. They are a significant company in the anti-bullying world. Several young people write on the site. I am always amazed by what some write. This week I am using this blog to talk directly to one of you and hopefully all the ones that don’t have the nerve to write their feeling down.
This week, you wrote this: “I’m not sure what the point of life is if it’s just full of pain …… why am I here if all I know is pain…I’m not so sure I’m that important to God though at this moment.”
I know that many of us replied to you and worked to give you some positive thoughts to keep you going, but I want you to know a few things that maybe you didn’t hear or understand at the moment you wrote that. And yes, I am aware that, for many of us who were your age, we struggled to hear any advice anyone gave. It’s just the way it is. But I want to tell you a few things that I wish I knew when I was in your shoes at around your age, due to the long-term effects of bullying that I went through:
- YOU ARE BRAVE – You stopped at whatever moment you were in and shared with all of us how you were feeling. That took an enormous amount of guts and a leap of faith. Even though you shared this on an anti-bullying site, we hear the cry for help and many of us answered. I can only hope you realized after over 100 responses that you are not alone in how you feel and so many of us have been there and come through the other side stronger. You are brave to stop and not make rash decisions, but just share how you feel to allow us to respond and tell you that we have been there and come out the other side. It can take a while, but know that it can and will get better.
- THE POINT OF LIFE – You are just wrong. Life for anyone, even the hardest lives are not just pain. We can certainly have times when pain can and is constant. I don’t know your background and what is going on from your note, but I do know how it feels to question the point of life, particularly when I was bullied daily for 7 years. It certainly felt like pain every day for a long time, because the bullies had made me doubt myself and let my self-esteem disappear for a long time. But I am now turning 49 tomorrow and am at maybe the happiest point in my life. Yes, 49 years sounds like a long time. But remember that you were one in a million to even be born to start. You are young and life has many journeys, some good and some bad. This too shall pass. One day, you can look back and realize you are stronger today, because of the pain of the past. I am taking you seriously when you say this, so please reach out and talk to a professional mental health expert, coach, mentor, or parents. Please, please, please don’t go it alone. You need to know that you are not alone with your feelings. In fact, maybe quite soon, you’ll find out that about 20% of people feel the same way, based on studies and findings that I knew nothing about when I was your age. I had no internet outlet to answer these questions. So thank you for sharing and know that we heard you.
- ALL OR NOTHING THINKING – I had to have someone share this with me and so I’m sharing with you. You wrote that “all you know is pain”. That’s all you know? You have never known happiness and you have never known even contentment? One of my favorite books is by Dr. David Burns and it’s called “Feeling Good”. It has been out for a long time, but may be one the books that I believe helped me cure some of my thoughts. Dr. Burns came up with twisted thinking styles. One of the big one’s I learned from is the idea of “all or nothing thinking”. It’s when I and as you did say “all I know…” In this thinking we lose sight that life is about the grays. Life is not all one way or the other and when we make statements that say “all I ever feel is sad”, we have lost sight of balanced thinking. All and all the time? If you thought really hard, could you still say that? We all do all or nothing thinking, particularly at times of extreme sadness, loneliness, and depression. But I started keeping a gratitude journal and write down daily the good things that happened during the day. Sometimes I am writing ‘thank you for just giving me another day to live’. It works because we can rewire our brains to think positive, even in the face of adversity
I wanted to share this with you who wrote this during the week. I wanted to share this to all those that don’t write it but are thinking it. I hope some of the ideas above are ones you understand, even in your current state of pain. Don’t think I’m discounting that you really feel this way right now. I am just telling you that I have been there and this is what I learned when I looked back. You are lucky to live at a time when you can share these thoughts with those that have been there. I hope you are reading this and the other comments that over 100 people left for you to let you know we understand. I hope you will consider getting help from trusted professionals because they are just waiting for you. I am one of them too. I became a Certified Coach to do this and am just waiting for you to call. I am sorry you are going through this right now. I am empathetic to this spot right now you are on your journey. But I promise that this too shall pass and I hope you can look back with a smile and realize that you are cared about by all of us who read your words.
To you who wrote that on Facebook. I hope you find this, because this is for you. I hope for nothing greater than for you to realize that there are so many of us out there that have been where you are. It may take a lot of patience, but you can feel great happiness eventually…if you let it come into your life. I wish you nothing but the best and for you to look back one day and find this blog and know that your life matters and you are OK. I truly do.