“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” – Mr. Rogers
We live in a world that is in turmoil.
It seems like every day, we hear of someone else that we looked up to succumbing to addiction, peer pressure and darkness.
The news is full of unspeakable horrors that happen so frequently they seem common place.
Yet we live in a time where Mental Illness is still stigmatized, and often times, it causes feelings of great shame to ask for help.
Last year, I was involved in youth ministry when 13 Reasons Why was released. Having read the book a decade earlier as a high school freshman myself, I was surprised to see the book brought to the “big” screen. I plugged through the 13 heart wrenching episodes so that the people I was working with would have someone to discuss the show, their feelings, and their life with.
I thought the story was complete, and as gruesome as it was, I felt it provided many talking points, and a common starting ground to open the door to those really difficult conversations.
But then 13 Reasons Why Season 2 came out. I debated whether or not I would watch this most reason season. People were saying it was even darker than the first season, and that it was difficult to watch.
Let me go ahead and confirm that: it is difficult to watch. If you haven’t already watched it, and are planning to watch it, this is me encouraging you to watch it in a safe environment, with your parents, an older sibling, or someone you love and trust.
Mental Illness shows no bias. It can affect anyone. In fact, it most likely affects someone you know and love.
It may even be affecting you.
In a time when the world seems dark, we need more people like you in it. We need the gifts and talents that you alone give to this world.
You are important.
You are loved.
You are Irreplaceable.
Your life is a gift. You may never know how many people you have affected with just your smile, but you, sweet friend, are a gift.
If you are having a hard time remembering this fact, please, don’t go it alone. Find someone to talk to. Talk to a priest, minister, therapist or counselor.
You are never alone.
There is always someone in your corner.
I am always rooting for you.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: