Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Not Okay...But It Does Get Better

Those of you who follow my blog may know I have a rule about keeping the blog non-political. You also know that rule gets broken more often than a humerus bone in a Seagal movie. At this point it's not so much a rule as it is...well, a lie. Well, I'm breaking it again.

There's yet another story in the news about a teenage suicide, and I want to put a stop to it. I know I'm not exactly a powerhouse celebrity whose words can reach the millions, but I'm going to post this here in the hopes that someone, somewhere, who needs to hear this message will see it. If you are being bullied and considering suicide, please listen to this. If you're not then feel free to ignore this post and come back next week for more philosophical rants thinly disguised as movie and video game reviews.

I want to tell you something real, kids, not what most adults will tell you. Most adults will tell you that everything's okay, that you just think you're in a bad spot. They're wrong. See, they haven't gone through it. Most people haven't and they never will. They don't know how bad it can be.

I do, because I've lived it too. I was bullied in high school by people who would punch and kick me in the head right in front of teachers who would watch it happen and say nothing. When I got home I had to look forward to three more hours of running from my brother who would beat me up for -depending on his mood that day- not standing up for myself at school, not playing video games with him when he demanded it, or sometimes just because he was bored.

I can remember nights when I would stay awake until 4 o'clock in the morning, just sitting in bed doing nothing, just to have a few more hours of not getting the shit kicked out of me. The punchline of it all was that every god damn adult I talked to accused me of lying to get attention. They all told me it was all okay. It wasn't okay. It wasn't even remotely okay.

So no, I'm not going to tell you that it's okay. What I am going to tell you, and please believe me when I say this, is it does get better. It really, really does. Now that I'm an adult, I'm finally the master of my own life; I can do what I want to do and it's great. My brother and I are actually friends now. I love my life. I've learned to live without fear, and to stand up for myself when I'm attacked instead of blaming myself like I used to.

I feel a lot of things when I look back on those times. I feel anger, sadness, shame, but mostly joy. Yes, joy, because I know I'll never have to endure that kind of torment again. When I think that I could have ended my life then, having known only misery and despair, and I think about the happiness I gained by sticking it out...it's unimaginable to me that I ever could have even considered something like suicide.

If you're being bullied or you're in any other sort of rough situation and you're considering suicide, just remember, it may not be okay but it really does get better. I swear to you, before every power in the universe, that is the truth.