I need to get this off of my chest. I can’t sleep without writing this; it is a need.
So I was on Facebook today while at the barber shop getting my hair done (hello, fall color!). Anyway, I read this post about this girl named Amanda Todd. I had never heard of Amanda before this, and tragically I will never get to meet her. She’s gone. She killed herself because she saw no way out of bullying and the despair that bullying from people had caused her. So I went online tonight because I am bored and cannot focus. So I find that she killed herself on October 10, which was literally three days ago. How am I only now hearing about this!? That’s what I wanted to know.
So I click over and see that she had made a video on YouTube. You can watch it here:
I recommend watching it. It’s kind of long, but you’ll get over it. Anyway, so then I am like, catatonic in my seat because her story is so fucking real and so raw. And now, she’s gone. Really. I can’t even like, email her to tell her to smile and keep her chin up… because she’d never get that email. So many people have posted their tributes to her, which I started watching. Now I am invested in this girl’s story. And I find this:
This one broke my heart while giving it wings. And I loved it. Julie is such a strong person; I’d like to be her friend! For reals.
Anyway, I know many people who are struggling right now with identity issues, sexuality issues, love issues, mental issues, marriage issues, life issues, child issues, infertility issues, substance issues… just issues. Do you know why I know about these issues? Because I am there for them to talk to. Without reservation. Without judgment. I genuinely care about them, and I listen to them. All of them. I am always there for them. And I am HERE on this planet because THOSE PEOPLE need someone like me to care. To listen. To be there for them. It breaks my heart that Amanda didn’t have someone in her corner, and if she did, they were not able to save her. I am here because LGBT youth kill themselves for who they love and how they live. I am here to help them, to give them a safe space, to be their voice and ally when the world makes their own voices shake. I don’t think I can say it enough, and I won’t stop saying it: I am here because others need me to be.
If you know anyone who needs help, who needs someone to talk to: be there for them. Listen to them. If you don’t have the time, send them my way. Or to someone else. They may not need counseling. They may just need an ear. My heart is bigger than my body. I love with my whole entire soul. I can take the pain from them, if only momentarily, because I am able to be an open heart and open arms. Help them find their safe space. Help them find their person.
Just be there. Be present for someone. Think of those videos I posted. Before you rush to judge someone, take care to know them. Take a minute to hear them. They may only need five minutes of your time. They may become a friend who stays around for five years or more. Either way, all you have to invest is time. And in time, you will invest in their life. In their success. In their joy and in their moments. It’s a small price to pay to be there for someone. To truly learn to care for them. To truly understand what it means to invest in someone.
And that time is worth it to know that you truly helped someone.
You could save a life.