"I know that right now you'd rather leave than live.
And even though I'm not standing in your shoes and even though I don't know you and even though I have no right at all—I'm asking you to stick around."
Dear Hurting Teenager,
I know you want to leave.
I know the horrible, endless walks through the hallways that you endure every morning, near vomiting.
I know the afternoon bus rides to Hell where you sit frozen with fear, praying to just become invisible.
I know the locker room beat-downs and the lunch room stares and the wounding words behind your back and the hateful taunts in your face.
I know the incessant online trolls who hound you day and night; who hurl verbal violence from behind the anonymity and security of phone screens and fake handles.
I know how it takes every bit of strength you have just to paint on a smile and pretend you’re OK and to hide how much it hurts and to act “normal”.
I’m asking you to stay; to endure your incredibly painful, totally senseless now because I can see your glorious, blindingly beautiful then, if you do.
You see my friend, if you stick around your giants will shrink. All those monumental terrorists whose daily words fall heavy upon you like boulders, will begin to get smaller and smaller and smaller as you walk deeper into your life.
You are loved.
Things will get better.
Cry and get angry and ask for help and punch a wall and scream into your pillow and take a deep breath and call someone who loves you.
But whatever you do…
Please, stick around.