There is nothing I hate more than listening to depressed teenagers. This country’s teens are caught up in this weird pandemic where they all think they’re depressed and their lives are over and they need to cut themselves because other people are cutting and it all just needs to stop.
I know that depression is a real diagnoseable problem, and I feel sad for the people that live with it. However, I’m not sure I can honestly believe it is diagnoseable in teenagers. Teens get depressed, we’re under a lot of pressure almost 100% of the time. But there are ways to deal with that other than shutting ourselves down which is what I think too many of us are doing.
I’ve been there. Trust me, my freshman year, I was the definition of angsty teenager. I didn’t think I had friends so I let that run me and now I can see clearly I wasted so much time feeling sorry for myself and I look back on that time and laugh at how ridiculous I was. The feelings were real. I don’t doubt that at all. But coincidentally at the time I was just starting to feel so awful, I was introduced to tumblr. Now I love tumblr, it’s a great website there’s a lot of good things about it, but that was not the side I found at first. I found people who felt just like me and were so angsty and depressed and the world was out to get them, and I bought right into it.
Tumblr didn’t make me a cutter, I made me a cutter. In retrospect, it didn’t make sense. At all. I hated the pain of it, I hated trying to hide scars, but I finally felt like I fit in with some group of people. People who were depressed. So that’s how I identified myself.
Long story short I quit cutting after maybe 3 months and 6 scars. I still can’t explain why I started but I knew why I quit. It was stupid. And now I look at people who do it way more than I did and it pisses me off. Stop it! Why are you doing that! I read something when I was cutting that said, “You hurt yourself on the outside to see the pain you feel on the inside.” That might be accurate, but it still doesn’t make sense. I understand cutting to kill yourself, when you cut vertically down your wrists. I obviously never did that, and if you’re a loyal reader you know how I feel about suicide, but that has a purpose to it. Recently it all made sense. When someone said to me you cut horizontally to show and vertically to go.
It’s all a big show. Teenagers today have always had the spotlight on us and the minute it stops shining, which it will for all of us, we freak out. My feelings about my generation are for a different post, but in have a point to this one. Teenagers do this freak out, and they let it ruin their lives, for too many of them end their lives. My freak out didn’t exactly ruin my life, but it sure felt like it. I hated myself, and I pray I never feel so bad again, but it was temporary. And I want every teen who feels like this to know it is temporary. There’s the cliché anti-suicide groups use that says, “don’t fix a temporary problem with a permanent solution.” I hate clichés, but this one is very meaningful. There’s so many teen suicides today because all these teens are letting their freak outs get the best of them. How could you end your life when your life has hardly begun?
I can somewhat sympathize with adults who kill themselves. They’ve lived longer and had more failures and for them it’s not likely that things will change so much that their situations get 100% better. For teenagers, it actually can get better. It doesn’t for everyone I acknowledge that, but everything in your teen years is temporary. Problems with your parents? You’re moving out in 5 years or less! Hate your school? You’re leaving in 4 years or less! No friends? You can go somewhere else as soon as you turn 18! Just before you let a feeling of sadness or depression decide how you’re going to live. Think about yourself a year from now. Or two years. However long it’s going to take for something to definitely change. I can guarantee it won’t be long. So buck up, and stop being angsty teens.