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Don't You Dare Give Up

Updated on December 6, 2015

There are a few things that I tell all of my hospital friends while I’m in treatment with them. I share with them some Andrea wisdom with high hopes and no expectations as to how my words will affect them. It’s all hit or miss. If I say something that blows their mind, it could change their life forever. However, if I say something in the wrong tone, it could make them second guess life and question their existence. In short, you really never know how someone will react to anything that you say. That’s just like in real life. I hope you choose your words well, because words can make or break someone in all types of directions. So here’s what I tell them:

  1. Don’t ever lose your sense of wonder. In my previous article, I explain that life becomes more fun, more grand if you see the world from a child’s perspective.

  2. **Usually, my friends are in the hospital with me for similar reasons to my own, suicidality.** I ask them this:What makes you so different? What makes you so different that you think you deserve to hurt yourself, that you aren’t worthy of love or life, that you don’t matter?

  3. **After asking those questions, I follow it up with an encouraging statement, something resembling: You deserve to live. I deserve to live. The person you see across the street deserves to live and so does every other person you have ever encountered in your lifetime. Don’t ever apologize for just being, you deserve to be here. Never second guess your existence, you belong.

  4. A pretty face doesn’t make a pretty heart. I think the phrase is kind of self explanatory; just because someone looks like a perfect doll on their social media photos doesn’t necessarily make them a good person with a good heart. We are all beautiful at the end of the day and at the same time, beautiful doesn’t have to require a pound of mascara, a size zero jean or frying your hair everyday. The most beautiful people I have ever met were less involved in their appearance and more interested in what they could do to help others or in short, stepping outside of themselves and thinking of the impact they could make on the lives of others.

  5. Life is so much more than what is on the surface of social media. These days I see everyone posting about their college acceptances, the scholarships they have received, the new job they got hired for, the list goes on.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am so very much beyond proud of my friends and their successes and happiness that they so rightfully deserve. And if it were me, I’d want to put it online for others to see too.

    With that in mind, we must remember that comparisons won’t get us very far in life, they will likely in fact hurt you more emotionally. I’m taking a break from college, I didn’t receive any scholarships because I graduated from an alternative school option and I don’t currently have a job. At times, these situations make me very upset. It’s awkward and almost unfair in my mind to see that people can have such successful lives and that it’s a lot harder for me to earn those accomplishments in life. Then I think to myself and remember that this life really isn’t a contest that you win or lose, but rather a race that you have against yourself. Every day should be more of an effort to be better than you were before instead of trying to outdo someone. I’m racing against myself to be better than I was a few weeks ago when I was in the hospital by being at home and doing my best every day. What are you racing for, reader?

    6. **To bounce off of the previous statement, the most common of all the posts is pictures of friends having a good time. Making and keeping friends has always been a struggle for me, so seeing everyone with such long lasting friendships and relationships of any kind seems unfair to me too. My thought is, if everyone else can have friends, why can’t I and why do I always feel so alone? I sit in my room alone on Friday nights while a lot of people my age are at football games or partying or at least surrounded by friends. I get mad over nothing and end up crying a lot of the time, usually at things that other people could brush off in a matter of minutes. I have quite a few moments when I take a step back and question my existence and over-think why I was brought here in the first place which usually leads to feeling insignificant to the world. **

    The advice among this mini rant would probably just be that you are not alone. It is so much easier to say than it is to believe. If you are anything like me, these scenarios come back to haunt you often and are often followed by feelings of self-doubt and loneliness. The reality of the matter is that there are more people than you can fathom that feel the feelings you feel. There are so many people that can relate to you on one level or another. When I think I’m alone, I think of all of the friends that I’ve met along the way on my journey to happiness. All of those people I met at all of those programs and hospitals have most likely felt at least a few of the feelings that I have felt in the past.

    7. You matter, you matter, you matter. There is literally no one else that has ever existed that is exactly like you. Even twins aren’t exactly the same. No one can say that they have been through the same experiences as you or have felt and thought the exact ways that you have. They can relate, but they aren’t you. You are yourself and you were brought into this world for one reason or another. Whether you have discovered that reason yet or not, you were meant for greatness.

If nothing else, I hope someone reads this and is inspired in some way. I think one of my dreams in life would be impacting someone’s life in such a way that it would make them want to continue living. It doesn’t matter to me exactly how this dream is achieved, all that counts is the simple fact that one day I hope to make somebody feel important, to make somebody believe that life is important and that hope is here and love is alive.


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    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Like you, I want to make a difference, but there are many times when I feel all alone. It took going through mental health treatment to help me stop feeling sorry for myself, and moping around the house, alone. I decided to go back to school and prove that I could make something of myself. It has been a long, hard, road, but now I am able to work full time and do things to help others. You can do it, too!