STAY by Ellie Israelsen (17)
I have had a few people come to me lately, asking why on earth they should stay here. Why they should continue living in this world, living through this pain that is tearing them apart. People ask what their purpose is, they ask who even loves them anymore, how could anyone love them?
You are loved.
That is possibly the most overused, and cliche phrase that the world has ever preached, but I believe in it. We will never have the ability to see how widely and deeply we are loved. We will never be able to realize how many people we have an impact on. How many people’s lives we change just by simply being who we are. We will never know all the good we do, yet our hearts and minds will constantly remind us of every mistake that we’ve made. Our brains tend to emphasize the negative parts of ourselves and our lives. That is why we have to choose, that is why joy is said to be a choice. We have to decide to see the good in ourselves and in our lives.
Of course, mental illness can not simply be cured by “choosing joy,” and “positive thinking,” but I strongly believe that your mind can not be healed without doing so. It is the biggest step.
We have to learn to see, and appreciate the good within ourselves. Have you ever noticed how quickly people reject and dismiss compliments that others give them? For instance, if someone tells you they love your naturally curly hair, we are almost programmed to say “Oh no, it’s the worst”, or “I hate it, I wish mine was straight like yours.” We are so quick to deny the good parts within us. Stop it.
When someone speaks something beautiful that they see in you, humbly accept it. Say thank you, and then really believe it. Let it sink into your skin and bones and heart and mind. Let it stay with you, think back on the time it was said to you. Add it to the list of things that you appreciate about yourself. Do not brush it off and tell yourself that it’s not true. We deserve to let the good things stay inside of us, and have the power to push the bad things out.
Our society is scared to talk about suicide. It is a heavy, scary, deep, uncomfortable topic, and it terrifies people to talk about. But it is real. It is prominent, and it is a problem.
Some people want to leave. They want to escape, they want out. Our minds and souls can reach a point where we feel like there is no hope, no good, and no future. That is scary and dark and my heart goes out to you. But please remind yourself that there is hope. Even if you’re past the point of believing that there is anything good left for you, tell yourself that there is. Lie to yourself. You might not believe it one bit, but just think to yourself, “There is good waiting for me.”
Do not give up on life. You are here to fight for good and peace and joy, even when those things don’t come naturally to you. Even when life crashes down, and nothing goes right, you have the power to fight for those good things. You have the power to create your own joy when it is not being created for you.
Life is a good thing. We have to remember that. Yes it can be brutal, and heartbreaking, and unfair, but there is still so much good to be found.
No matter what goes wrong, there will always be a sky that changes colors. There will always be flowers that will bloom. There is always someone there to love you and listen. There will always be birthdays, every single year. There will always be brand new babies to hold. There will always be the first snowfall of the winter, and the last day of school. There will always be things to laugh at, and there will always be someone that can somewhat understand something that you are going through. There will always be music to be heard, and art to be seen. There will always be someone to talk to, there will always be hugs to be given and received. There will always be stars at night, and sun in the morning. There will always be something good to choose to believe in.
No, these are not life changing, or insanely incredible things, but are unchanging. They are constantly good and what life is about. Nothing is ever worth leaving. There is so much good here. Keep fighting, believing, loving and staying.
Choose to stay.