Category Archives: What Youth Are Saying

two people with hands clasped

Change Isn’t Always For The Worst

By: Kai Sanchez

two people with hands claspedWhen Anorexia came into my life, I knew I’d never be the same. To be truthful, I haven’t been. Everyday became a battle against myself, a one sided war that could find no victor. I avoided mirrors and meals became more and more difficult. The people around me watched me deteriorate but despite all the pain it caused me, it also saved my life. I know it’s not a common occurrence for someone to say their illness saved them, but for me, I was able to build resilience. I found myself fighting for my own sanity. Even when I had nothing left to give, I fought, and that gave me strength. Mirrors will never be my best friend, but day by day I learned to find hope in the own reflection of my face. I traced my curves until I found a piece of me I could learn to love. Every day, step by step, as I poured all my energy in learning how to survive, I grew as a person, I learned how to cope, I opened up in ways I never had before. I found people who had faith in me; I came to accept that every day changes you. At my lowest point, I heard many times that things get better. This statement felt so far from me- what is better? How do I get there? I was at the bottom, how could I even imagine the top? So instead, I told myself things get tolerable. That I’ll be able to manage this, that functioning on a day to day basis wouldn’t drain me until I had nothing left. Finally, I made it and when I found tolerable, better wasn’t so far away anymore. Life will throw you curves, build mountains in your path, and hills you must climb, but life will show you the light as you look back on how far you have come.

Kai is a young adult who enjoys writing poetry in their free time, obsessing over video games, and plans to go to college in order to pursue a career in the Mental Health field.

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What It Is Like to Live, But Not Be Alive

By Rachel LaBrie

Face pictureSometimes, when I tell someone I have been suicidal for 11 years, they laugh. The common response is “Well then, how are you still here?” Let me explain to you what I mean when I say I’m suicidal.

I think about dying every single day of my life. It’s like the exit sign in a store, glowing and inviting. But I talk myself into staying “for just a little while longer.” I never have the courage to leave. I just feel, most of the time, that I’d be better off dead.

Let’s continue with the store metaphor. I cannot seem to find anything that is worth buying. Life is the store. I cannot seem to find anything that keeps me here, but yet, here I am. I am breathing. I have a pulse. But that technically doesn’t mean I’m alive.

I don’t think I’ve ever truly been alive. When I say that, it may sound crazy, strange, or like I am living in the state of mind that makes me think life is just a dream, that we don’t really exist. But I know we are real. I just have never been able to fully enjoy things, because my mind keeps telling me that it is only temporary; that my joy won’t stay joyous, that the highs will soon become lows. Therefore, “alive” is not an adjective I think suits me.

I really hope someday I feel alive. I want to wake up, and not dread the day ahead. I want to get up when my alarm tells me it’s morning, and not feel an ache in my heart, one that makes me stay in my godforsaken bed. Sure, I get up every morning, but it’s after minutes or even hours of amping myself up to face another day that will surely have a disappointment or ten.

I’m here though. And I am planning to stay. I want to adopt children, get married, grow old and experience the good things in life. I want to bask in the sunshine, instead of sitting under a cloud of darkness. And some days, I really do want to tell whoever is watching me, and all the people I love, that I am okay with life. I think that’s a great start.

Rachel is a young adult who hopes to someday become a peer mentor or a peer specialist. They are currently working on writing and publishing a book of poetry.



Will it Turn from use to Abuse?

cigaretteFirst it becomes a habit, then it becomes an addiction, then sooner or later, it gets you 6 feet under the ground. At some point, we all thought it was cool when we were doing it with our friends and using it as a stress reliever. But we all know there are better coping skills to relieve grief, stress, and other emotions. The world we live in is losing young, intelligent minds just because they see someone doing drugs on the street, or in their homes, or even through the television and media. It’s so sad how many young lives are getting taken by these drugs- k2, heroin, crack, cocaine. It’s also sad that people make nicknames for these mind killers, these life takers, because that’s all they do- kill your brain cells, make you sick, and most important of all, they will always end up killing you.

So to all those young, smart, and strong people- before you pop another pill, shoot another needle, or roll another joint, think about how it’s affecting you, affecting your brain, and affecting all your loved ones around you. Each time you do one of these things, it kills you just a little bit more. The one substance I don’t get is weed (also known as marijuana). People say they use it as a coping skill because it relieves the stress, but just remember that just the smallest amount of weed still can have a bad effect on your body. You are better off going for a walk, listening to some music, and just going to the gym to burn off some of that stressful energy.

People say drugs are a mechanism to relieve stress or whatever. But if you get the support through friends, family, or professionals who know what they are doing, you can find ways and coping skills to ease away from drugs, pills, or alcohol.

This was written by a young adult who wishes to be anonymous but has been an active member of Youth MOVE  Massachusetts for a number of years.


My Connection to Eeyore – Depression and Friendship

EeyoreI always felt a connection with Eeyore when I watched Winnie the Pooh as a child. He was my favorite character, and I’d always get very quiet when he would come into a scene. I would watch him intently, and would listen closely to the words he spoke.

I never gave much thought as to why he was my favorite character. Now that I am older, I feel the reason I loved him so much is that he was depressed and although at the time I couldn’t put it into words, I was also depressed.

He was always feeling down and seemed to have a negative view on the majority of things, even in the magnificence of living in the Hundred Acre Wood, surrounded by all of the people who loved him. He had friends who loved him dearly, and yet, he was still depressed.

I feel that the only difference between me and Eeyore, truly, was that he had friends while I did not. Sure, I had family, but I didn’t have any friends or at least didn’t have friends who could understand my feelings and love me anyway.

Eeyore is still a character I can relate to. I still feel trapped in this endless cycle of depression, even after all these years. The thing that is much better is I now have friends who I can share my experiences with, and they love me no matter how depressed I am. They listen and they empathize with me.

I guess what I am trying to say is, I still have depression, and I still have a negative view on certain things. However, I came to terms with the depression, and through that, met and befriended people who have similar experiences to my own. We share, cry, laugh, and make each other feel better. So, even though I’m still depressed, I am still here due to the love and acceptance I have found in others.

Rachel is a young adult who has aspired to be a writer her whole life, She lives at home with her mother, father, and 6 wonderful animals.


Abuse Doesn’t Define You

youthPeople say that growing up with a hard life makes you a hard and difficult individual.  One, that is absolutely not true.  Two it’s all in how you make life the way you choose it.

I didn’t choose to be physically and sexually abused but I couldn’t control my birth parent’s ways, reactions and other addictions.  I guess being the oldest one of two, it just came that way. Also having to feed my baby brother as a toddler shouldn’t be the way stuff happens. Like I said, I couldn’t have all that control.

I wish that kids, youth, young adults shouldn’t have to go through some of the crap that goes on in our early life and sometimes struggling lives. But like I said, we can’t always control what goes on in this world. But there’s one thing that we can do and that’s control ourselves.

I control who I am, what I do, and how I make it too the next day and the next. And all you have to do is keep your head held high and walk away and you can do anything: change the world, be a doctor, lawyer or whatever you want. You just have to remember one thing and that is JUST DO IT.

Our young adult author would like to remain anonymous.