Yesterday I found out that a boy I played against in Middle School Soccer and then attended high school with died. I didn’t know him well at all, we really never talked. He was an amazing soccer player though and he seems really friendly, every time I saw him, he was laughing. I just saw him though, never talked to him or hung out with him. We have mutual friends and that’s all.
So far that’s number 4. In 7th grade, there was a boy who overdosed, then in my Freshman or Sophomore year of college there were 2 more, I believe those were suicides, and now this young man. I still know all of their names, I just can’t believe it. I am 22 years old and all these people were my age and that is so sad to me, sad doesn’t even cover it. I didn’t know any of them personally, but I just feel so upset knowing how their family and friends must feel.
The one I talked to the most was in 7th grade. He was very smart, he just didn’t put effort into anything he did, ever. He was considered a burn out, the entire group he hung out with was, everyone knew that group got into trouble. It looked like in his case, he learn from his parents who were both drug abusers. So I would typically be assigned to help him with class work because the teaches would always want me to help him with work and keep him focused. So then one day the entire 7th grade was called into the pod to talk about his death and counseling services were offered. One of the boys that died when I was in college hung out in the same group.
I don’t know why this young man died, I’m sure I’ll hear eventually, so everything I say after this is not related to his death at all.
If you know someone who does not have a supportive family or who is involved in negative activities do something. There is a chance nothing will happen, they’ll grow old and say kids I did dumb things when I was your age, but there is a chance that they will be in trouble. Not only that, if you see signs of eating disorders or depression or self-harm or anything like that, talk to them. If you feel helpless talk to parents, counselors, teachers, doctors, people who can help. Problems like this are hard for the person to deal with and very few can stop that without external help, so don’t be afraid. I know it’s easier said then done, but I’d rather have an angry friend rather than a dead one, because at least if they are angry at me, they are alive and will stop being angry eventually.
Now if you need help, don’t even be embarrassed, NEVER. Any problems, from drugs to alcohol to eating disorders, depression or self-harm, those are NEVER things to be embarrassed about. There are so many people who love you and so many ways to get help, and there are so many people who feel exactly how you do. I have struggled with my own problems with eating and self-harm but mine never got to the point where I couldn’t pull myself out of them. I still have problems with anxiety and stress, but I’ve found better ways to deal with that and I am never embarrassed to talk to anyone about what I did. That doesn’t make me a weak person or anything negative like that, it makes me strong for dealing with it and I am stronger now because I go to people for help when I am having trouble.
Always love yourself, even though that might be hard, you ARE amazing and are worth so much.