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kale i want to die so badly ive lost all my friends and my boyfriend and evrything is so bad i cant handle it
Okay, judging by the general way this message is constructed, I am assuming you’re fairly young.
My apologies if I’m wrong, but I’m going to go off of this assumption, thus rendering everything below stupid if I am wrong. My bad, in that case.
You know, a lot of people make light of messages like this because there’s a belief that teenagers, especially younger teens, overestimate the seriousness of their problems and exaggerate their distress.
And you know, in a lot of cases, that might be true.
But it’s only true because, at that age, if you’re lucky, you don’t have anything to compare unhappiness to. Everything is the worst thing ever because, if you’re part of the lucky majority that doesn’t endure major trauma in its youth, it literally can be the worst thing that’s ever happened to you- and even if it isn’t, something that seems trivial to others can be just another straw on a back already buckling from other stressors.
And then there’s the hormonal aspect. Let’s not forget that. I’m not old enough to forget what that feels like, and my memories of it are essentially fuck being a pre-teen, fuck being a teenager.
So I’m not going to talk down to you. I’m assuming you’re young, and this is a very emotionally volatile time for you.
Unfortunately, there’s little I can do but share my experiences and mutter encouragingly at you.
I’ve been friendless. I wasn’t a popular kid, on account of being intensely weird. When I was eleven or twelve, I had no friends for the better part of a year- one of my childhood best friends drifted away from me after grade five, and the other entered middle school using exaggerated stories about me as a way to elevate her popularity. And it worked, if only temporarily.
But it defined the rest of my high school experience in a way I can summarize with one snapshot of my life that I will probably never forget:
I was fifteen or sixteen, sitting in the library with a classmate I’d never really spoken to, one who had been relatively close with the above-mentioned ex-friend, and she struck up conversation with me. I’m a private person, but not naturally a withdrawn one. I like people. So I talked to her.
And mid-sentence she just interrupted me.
“You’re nothing like she said you were.”
The other shoe dropped.
The thing about grade school is that- well, it’s that it’s fucking terrible.
I believed there was something very wrong with me for a very long time, because everyone treated me like that was true. But the thing about grade school is that nobody bothers to fucking look. Nobody asks. They accept what they’re told at face value and it becomes this huge fucking arduous ordeal to change their assumptions, especially if you believe them, too.
When I was eleven or twelve, in my first year of middle school, I was completely alone, regularly bullied by my ex-friend’s new cohort, and on a dangerously high dose of Ritalin, because this was back in the days when we hadn’t figured out appropriate dosages yet. (I’ve mentioned it before, in the context of having potentially fucked up my growth patterns.)
There’s something to be said about that kind of misery. For me, at least, it wasn’t that I wanted to die- it’s just that I didn’t want to live. There didn’t seem to be a point.
I wanted to go into hibernation and wake up when people stopped being crap. I wanted to fall asleep and dream about better things.
So I did the next best thing and buried myself in books, and that probably saved my life.
But I’ve realized something, and I wish I’d known sooner: it does get better.
Some people say “these are the best years of your life” and honestly, fuck those guys, because these are the best years of my life, and I intend for every year I’m living in to be the best year of my life. Keep going forward. Always keep going forward.
“It gets better” is one of those things people throw around that nobody believes, but it’s as true as you let it be.
There’s only so much you can do in grade school- people are shitty, and you’re trapped with the same shitty people for hours every day, five days a week, around nine or ten months of the year.
Middle and high schools make it incredibly hard to redefine yourself. They impose unforgiving caste systems, and your teachers usually can’t and/or won’t do shit to change that.
It can be hellish. Trust me, I know. They only stopped bullying me to my face when I snapped and punched someone in the throat.
But then I was the crazy one.
I threw that punch in my first year of middle school, when things were at their worst, and I was still the crazy one when I was seventeen and accepting my diploma.
Fuck high school.
There’s an astronomical chance your so-called friends were shitty friends to begin with, or they wouldn’t have left you. It’s also possible that they’re being idiots and will come back. That happens too.
Whatever terrible thing you think you’ve done, I can almost guarantee you that I’ve done worse and the people who mattered stuck by me, with one rare exception. And in that exception, we fought and made up, and our friendship was stronger for it anyway, because we both grew up a little.
Boyfriends and girlfriends come and go. I don’t doubt the intensity of your feelings, but the chance that your were going to marry him is pretty low. You will find others, as long as you let yourself. It can be a hard process to move on, but if you tell yourself he’s the one for you and you’ll never meet someone else like him, then, well…
You won’t, because you won’t let yourself.
People will tell you to “be grateful for what you have” and “it could always be worse” but you know what?
That’s not what being a teenager is about.
Being a teenager is about surviving being a teenager. It’s the hazing process of life, and it’s hard to change that fact because everyone accepts it as normal. People who aren’t teenagers anymore either look back on being a teenager fondly or seem to want the cycle of misery to continue to somehow validate their own teenaged suffering. Nobody wants to be the last bullying victim, because the idea is frustrating: “Why could it change for them, but not for me? Why did I have to endure it?”
Do what you can to cope. I won’t tell you to talk to your student advisor, because I’d be a huge hypocrite if I did. Mine pulled me in to talk once and I never went back. I assume they can help other, less insanely private and paranoid people, though.
If your old “friends” have turned on you, don’t let them see how much it upsets you. There’s something to be said for acting tough- unhappiness is to bullies is like fresh blood is to sharks. It encourages them because they’re sullen, unhappy people who take out their issues on others, and just want everyone to be more miserable than them.
So don’t let people push you around too much- but don’t put yourself in harm’s way. Stand up for yourself unless you think it’s gonna end up ugly. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s nothing cowardly about it.
It gets better once you get out. There comes a day when you’re not trapped in the same toxic cesspool everyday. While you’re there, do you best with what you’ve got. Be open to making friends, but don’t be afraid to fade them out of the picture if they treat you badly. Same goes for boyfriends and girlfriends. There is an end to the seemingly endless horseshit of youth.
You’ve just gotta get there. And you can get there.
And the people who matter will come out with you on the other side.