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Two Part Letter

FOR STUDENTS:

By now, we’re all familiar with losing someone we love. Someone we had classes with, walked next to in the halls, went to school dances with, hugged for the last time, heard laugh for the last time. It wrecks your heart, doesn’t it? Knowing you’ll never listen to them talk again, hear what’s on their mind, have a laugh with. It stabs you in a tender place you almost didn’t know you have.

Humans who kill themselves at such a young age will never feel the relief of putting their high school years behind them. That, in it of itself is one of the best feelings in the world – the release of a 7 class day, ridiculous tests, petty drama, forced conversation. They’ll never get accepted into college, pursue a career they’re excited about, fall in deep deep love with an incredible person, watch their love walk down the aisle/ be waiting at the end of the aisle for them. They’ll never go through a mid-20’s life crisis, buy their dream car, have their own children, watch their kids develop into unbelievably complex, hilarious, sweet humans. Humans who kill themselves don’t see that, though. They see exactly what’s in front of them.

High school sucks. There’s no denying that. But there is more, guys. High school is just four complicated years of growing and blooming into more mature, thoughtful, yet still confused older people.

If you come from a wrecked home where you don’t feel accepted, loved, or cared for – know that despite what’s happening at home, there are people who will love you. You are capable of being loved, you will be loved. You are loved. You’ve been loved since before you were born. Our Father, Who created you is love. You are His creation and His love isn’t human. It’s unexplainable, but it’s real. Reach out to Him. You don’t have to know what you’re doing, you don’t have to know what to say. Just talk out loud like you’re talking to a friend.

Losing a friend is unforgettably painful. The suddenness of it is striking. Be there for each other, ok? Let each other know you care about each other and that despite all the hopelessness, there is a future where you’re happy and feel loved.

 

FOR PARENTS:

I know a lot of you have been reaching out to the students. Believe me, it does wonders. But there’s going to be some kids who seem fine but aren’t going to talk about what they’re feeling. That’s who I was. I convinced myself I was fine ’till it was almost too late. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want anyone praying for me or talking to me or telling me one day it’s gonna be ok. I didn’t want to go to therapy and listen to someone try to help me.

One of the best things my parents did for me was not pry. They didn’t know the extent of my depression, but when they found the cuts on my wrist, they scheduled me therapy sessions and when I told them I didn’t want therapy, they didn’t schedule me any more sessions. What I wanted to know is that despite my flaws, they were gonna be there for me. They didn’t really have a sit down with me and try to figure out what was wrong. What they did was provide themselves for comfort when I needed them. I talked the people I felt would tell me what I wanted/ needed to hear.

A lot of kids don’t have parents like mine. I know that if my parents had tried to do everything to figure out what was wrong, I would have felt invaded and forced to have a conversation I didn’t want to have. Depression is tricky because you’ve already emotionally separated yourself from everyone and anyone who tries to force their way in seems like a trespasser.

Let your kids know that you love them. But it has to be from a sincere heart – that you’re truly telling them you love them because that’s all you want them to know, not because you’re hoping they’ll open up to you. You might not be the person they open up with and I know that’s hard – that all you want to do is be the one they go to. Sometimes parents are too close to home. Sometimes we need to talk to someone who’s a little separated from us.

So coming from a young person who’s been through this, in every situation, provide a tender heart, a hopeful answer, a comforting hand. If your child fails a test and doesn’t seem to care, ensure them they’re still worthy of your love and while there’s tremendous value in doing academically well, it’s not anything that makes up a single drop of their worth. If they lash out and say unkind words, soften your heart, take a breath, and yes, absolutely let them know they have no right to speak to you like that, but understand that high school is hard. It’s mentally, emotionally, spiritually stressful. As students, they are going through far more than they talk about. And that’s when they have to know despite all their messed up thinking, there is a person who’s going to love them unconditionally.

 

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an open letter to the person who’s contemplating suicide.

***harsh content****

 

An open letter to the kid who’s contemplating suicide.

In light of recent occurrences, i feel compelled to write.

Nearly four years ago, a FWBHS freshman committed suicide. This is the year he would have graduated.

That same time of year, I was thinking the same thoughts. I vividly remember first hearing about Curtis. I imagined everything he was thinking in those final moments. I remember the heaviness in my heart. My body felt limp. I thought “If he can do it, why can’t I?” I went to his ceremony and sobbed, standing against the back wall. I didn’t know Curtis at all, but i knew what he was experiencing, thinking, feeling before he killed himself. I remember the ceremony they had for Curtis at school during the pep rally. I couldn’t even go inside the gym. I stood outside in the courtyard in a door entry-way hardly able to hold myself together. To see everyone mourning someone who did what I wanted to do hit me hard. I had been there. I knew the hollowness, the empty thinking, the wicked, self-deprecating thoughts, the hopelessness, the lack of motivation, the desire to end my life. I knew it.

Connor was one of my brother’s friends. I didn’t know him personally, but when I read the article that his body was found, everything stopped – like the earth was at a standstill. My parents had called me earlier in the day telling me that Connor wasn’t at home and that a gun was missing from his house. My heart sank. And then I read the article. His body had been found – and I couldn’t do it. At first I tried to keep the walls up that separated me from my memories of wanting to kill myself, but they were ripped down and I found tears streaming down my face as I imagined everything he was thinking. Everything his family’s thinking.

I’ve gone almost three years without coming close to seriously thinking about ending my life, yet somehow finding out that another person killed themselves brought back all the empty feelings I felt my junior year. Every now and then when I’m feeling particularly let down or sad the thought of hurting myself arises, but now it’s quickly shadowed with thoughts of the future I have before me and the people who would be devastated if I took my own life. Suicidal thoughts are terrifying. They trick you into detaching yourself from people – so while physically you’re with people and everything seems fine – heck, you might even come across as happy and joyful – mentally, you’re killing yourself. That’s where it starts. Loneliness kills. Whether it’s physical or mental.

My junior year of high school, I hated myself. I hated my personality, who I was, my performance in school. I was constantly arguing with my mom. But to everyone else, I was energetic, happy, annoyingly talkative. I was looking for attention. I needed validation that I wasn’t lonely. But my hyperness and over-talkativeness received harshly negative feedback which pushed me further into my pit of isolation.

I nearly hated my mom, I hated school, I hated myself. Ending my life seemed like the easiest answer. So i tried to stop eating, but that didn’t last very long. Then, I began cutting my wrists with a razor blade. And that felt good…to feel the pain, it was like I was punishing myself for not being liked. For not doing well in school. For hating myself. It felt good to see the blood run down my arms. To see fresh flesh exposed. I was thinking, “I’m too hyper, no one likes me anyways. Killing myself is easy.” I started looking up easy ways to kill yourself. I was afraid of prolonged pain – hanging, bleeding out. I started looking up which pills were most effective at a quick death. How exactly to angle a gun so it would ensure death.

If you are doing any of these things, stop. With everything in me I beg you to stop. Suicide is selfish. I KNOW the depression. I know it’s all mental. I’ve experienced it. Killing yourself seems like the easiest answer…the quickest way to relieve the emptiness.

I have honestly no idea how I was pulled out of my depression. I just know that one day, the razor didn’t seem so appealing. I dealt with my depression for just abouta year and 10 months. And it all started with rejection.

Fortunately, I’ve been given the fantastic gift of intrinsic awareness. I can usually pinpoint exactly what I’m feeling and why.

I found my suicide note I had written about a year ago. Re-reading it, I realized how selfish I was being. Truly. I felt rejected, put aside, useless, pointless. Killing yourself is the easy answer if you want an easy way out. But in nearly every case, the easy answer isn’t the right answer.

Guys, please. My heart is so unbelievably heavy as I write this. I’ve experienced emptiness. I’ve experienced suicidal thoughts. I’ve experienced holding a knife to my wrist willing myself to push it deeper.

But I didn’t.

You have to fight. Persevere.

It’s mental. It’s all mental. Which means you can weed through it. Talk to me. Watch a movie that gives you hope. Write about your future plans: the kind of person you want to marry, what kind of house you want to live in, the kind of people you hope your kids are, the kinds of dogs you want, what dress you think your sister will wear at her wedding. Talk to God. I’m so serious. I would fall to my knees sobbing talking to Dad about my emptiness. And I wholeheartedly believe that’s the reason I’m still alive today.

Life is meant to be lived. As humans, we tend to cage ourselves within the walls of monotony and comparison. We hardly experience life to it’s fullest extent. The thrill of booking a one-way ticket, the rush of experiencing a new country, the tingling feeling of falling in love. We are the victims of our own selves.

To this day, I can’t hold a gun. Standing on top of roofs/ high floors makes me nauseous. It’s all associated with the desire to end my life.

Suicide is real. It’s the villain that’s taken so many young, precious lives in Okaloosa County. We have to talk about it – social media has numbed kids into believing a “RIP” or “fly high” or “We’ll love you forever” on a latest post expresses our sadness but it doesn’t. I know that for some, the feeling of losing a best friend is one of the heaviest things you’ll experience and the sadness is incomparable. Talking isn’t always the most attractive coping mechanism, but it’s important. The outflow of negative emotions is so so important. If you don’t feel like talking, then write. Get a pad of paper and write down all of your emotions, everything you’re feeling. Social media has devastated our communication skills, how we relate to other people, how we interact.

Depression is real. And it has a hell of a grip. When allowed, it will swallow you whole till you forget who you are.

I know.

I’ve experienced it.

If anyone ever wants to talk. Or not; maybe just walk somewhere, or ask questions, or simply be with, do not hesitate to call me. Everyone needs someone and I know what it’s like to push everyone away.

850-357-2838.

This is real, this is me.

Am I a little hesitant? No. I am a lot hesitant. Blogging is something I’ve thought a lot about. I admire the girls who are confident enough to share their lives and give advice to others.  If I had a penny for every time I thought about starting a blog, I’d have enough money to buy every glorious theme WordPress has to offer. It’s been about a two year process – writing a domain, buying the theme, then asking for a refund. But this is it, this is real, this is happening. Now.

All that aside, I want to get into the nitty-gritty: what this blog’s about, why I’m starting it, and what my intentions are for it.

I hope for this, two years from now, to be a one-stop-shop for all things lifestyle. Following Jesus, traveling, mental care, room design, nutrition, music, fitness, relationships, makeup/ skin care, transitioning into adulthood, etc. I want people to read what I write and turn around to lead the most vivid version of their life. The only obstacle is me. Honestly, this is ridiculously hard. I have a really hard time getting personal with people. When my instagram was up and running, I kept my posts surface-level and non-emotional. Occasionally, I’d post something outside my comfort zone, but I’d delete it within the hour. Instagram is hard for me because it gives people the impression we really know everyone when really, we only know what they post – instagram is a highlight reel. So I want to be real with you guys. I want to be open and honest and share…which leads me to another point. I don’t feel that my life is at all worth imitating. I’m a fair player of the comparison game & know that there are girls out there who are much more equipped and put together than me, so a lot of my thoughts/ advice might some across as cliche or mundane. I’m gonna try my darndest to be authentic to the core.

I want this to be a relatable blog. Something someone stumbles upon and are like “Holy smokes! This girl gets me!” The foundation of this blog will first and foremost be Jesus. That’s where my perspective comes from and where my heart resides. A lot of posts will probably be extended versions of things I write in my journals. Every month I have a new moleskin journal i write in and it’s helped me figure me out; to see all my thoughts on paper.

This is gonna be fun! Maybe it’ll help me get my  life a little more organized. They do say the best way to stay accountable is to document what you do.

So here it is. Here I am. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being interested in me and the things I’m doing.

love, loh. xx