In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, 2017, “A Mighty Girl” Facebook page offered a poignant post with a reminder that although young people may be struggling and things may feel bad now, there is a future, and we want everyone in it.
Photo and text credit: “A Mighty Girl”. Please click HERE or on the photo below to visit the original post.
In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, we’re sharing John Pavlovitz’s powerful letter to teens contemplating suicide. “Dear Hurting Teenager, I know you want to leave,” he writes. “I know how it takes every bit of strength you have just to paint on a smile and pretend you’re OK and to hide how much it hurts and to act ‘normal’…. I know that right now you’d rather leave than live. And even though I’m not standing in your shoes and even though I don’t know you and even though I have no right at all — I’m asking you to stick around. I’m asking you to stay; to endure your incredibly painful, totally senseless now because I can see your glorious, blindingly beautiful then, if you do.” In his poignant letter, Pavlovitz urges teens to remember, no matter what challenges they are facing, that their lives have value; that they are not alone; and that “[the future] will be a lot better with you in it.”
“You see my friend, if you stick around your giants will shrink,” Pavlovitz promises. “All those monumental terrorists whose daily words fall heavy upon you like boulders, will begin to get smaller and smaller and smaller as you walk deeper into your life. Their names will fade from your memory, their power will be drained to nothing, and those whose opinions and accusations now loom so very large and important to you will be but specks that you brush from your shirtsleeve on the way to greatness. If you stick around, you will see just how big the world is, and just how small the minds of those who once tried to ruin you were… If you stick around, you will study and learn and grow, and find your calling and find your place and you’ll lay in the grass, feeling gratitude for the sun upon your face and the breeze in your hair.”
“And yeah, there will be other stuff too,” he continues, “disappointments and heartache and regrets and mistakes. You will screw things up and be let down, you’ll face terrible pain, and you’ll wonder how you’ll ever make it through. But then you’ll remember how you got through the hallways and the bus rides and the locker room and the lunch room, and you might remember this letter and you’ll remember how freakin’ strong you were — and you’ll realize you’re gonna be OK… This is a plea and a promise, a dare and an invitation. Stay. Hang on. You are loved. Things will get better. Trust me. Cry and get angry and ask for help and punch a wall and scream into your pillow and take a deep breath and call someone who loves you. But whatever you do… Please, stick around.”
Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. — if you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can find help at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
If you know a teen dealing with depression, “Beyond the Blues: A Workbook to Help Teens Overcome Depression” can help her learn to cope with difficult feelings and determine if she needs further help — for ages 13 and up at https://www.amightygirl.com/beyond-the-blues
For two more helpful guides for teens healing from trauma, including sexual assault or abuse, check out “The Sexual Trauma Workbook for Teen Girls” (https://www.amightygirl.com/sexual-trauma-workbook-girls) and “The PTSD Workbook for Teens” (https://www.amightygirl.com/the-ptsd-workbook-for-teens)
For an excellent guide for teens who struggling with anxiety, we highly recommend “The Anxiety Workbook for Teens” at https://www.amightygirl.com/the-anxiety-workbook-for-teens
To help build children’s emotional resiliency from a young age, check out the reading recommendations for children and teens in our blog post, “30 Mighty Girl Books About Managing Emotions” at https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=11449
Bullying is strongly associated with feelings of depression and helplessness, but parents and educators can build a culture of support for kids who are bullied and teach kids not to engage in bullying behavior.
For resources to help, check out our blog posts: “The End of Bullying Begins With Me: Bullying Prevention Books for Young Children” (https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=10255); “Taking A Stand Against Bullying: Bullying Prevention Books for Tweens and Teens” (https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=10257); and “Leading the Way: Bullying Prevention Books for Parents and Educators” (https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=10259)