By Stefs Lima, Guest BloggerSeptember 12, 2015
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was too afraid to grow up. She would hide herself in the corners of her old house, afraid of the monsters. As she looked out the windows, she could see that the monsters. They weren't in her head. They were real. They were humans.
The threat assumed two forms.
First: The bullying that gradually took her health and joy of living.
Second: The people who took from her the right to live like a normal teenagers, with road trips, giggles and victories.
The old house's corners became her safe place. She didn't have the strength to deal with the people and situations that put her down. She became quiet and sad, migrating into depression and self-harm. Through the window, I saw her struggling. She couldn't understand why all of this was happening to her. She truly believed that they teased her because there was something wrong with her. In a rare optimistic moment, she thought these uncomfortable situations couldn’t last. But they did, and she gave up.
Every cruel word and act formed a scar, some deeper and permanent. The scars took root on her delicate body, consuming her heart and soul. For her, there was nothing left to live for. She wasn't enough.
Those moments changed her inside and out, and the first signs of distress began. She wanted to disappear. She wanted to hurt herself. She was so tired, desperate to not live anymore.
This is part of a true story. Sometimes, we don't see the signals. They can trick us, but they’re there.
It’s so important for us to pay attention to those around us, specially our loved ones, because they can tell an undeniable lie and make us believe that everything is okay. In this case, I didn't understand at first, and I thought I was too late.
But that girl asked for help, and I was there to hold her hand, to tell her I was there, to help her see the beauty.
image via dawnmichelletumblr.com
Around the world, 1 case of suicide is registered every 40 seconds. I don't know the exact statistics in America, but I know it's a lot, specially for teenagers who suffer the pressures of childhood and bullying. WHO predicts that in 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of world disability and in 2030 will be the largest contributor to disease burden.
We don't always know what’s going on with the people around us, but distress signals exist. Depression and self-harm are hidden between the lines of life. When teens, parents, children, or anyone else show signs of giving up on themselves and their lives, it’s not something to be ignored. It's not poetry or just a stage. It's not just a moment. It’s serious.
National Suicide Prevention Week has started. This month came with a new chance to say to that girl or that boy, that woman or that man, that they're not alone; that there is light and hope. Our world is increasingly difficult to live in, and it's necessary to provide and receive help when needed. Depression and suicide are not to be ignored. They are real. They are drowning the lives of those among us, and we need to talk about it.
More than ever, it’s time to say: I care about you, and I will be here as your light.
I want you to know that your story and your journey matter. Everything will be ok.
Let's be lights and illuminate other lives. Let's illuminate each other. Let's fight together for who we are. Let's fight for that incredible girl and incredible guy. Let's not allow lives to escape through our fingers. We can make a difference and turn dark days in bright ones. Let's do it.
Statistics from http://www.who.int/mental_health/suicide-prevention/world_report_2014/en/
How can we work to end suicide and depression? How can we be the lights in people's lives? Tell us below!
Stefs Lima has her own world called Random Girl (www.hey-randomgirl.com.br). She is a journalist, lives in Brazil and spends a lot of her time writing (A LOT). Secret desires: continue to inspire people and create more and more stories to share.
Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.