It's everywhere. Today we dwell in a generation where cutting, drugs, depression, alcohol, anorexia, depression and cursing are no longer surprising to witness, or worse, experience. Nowadays, the amount of young girls, even around the mere age of only twelve years old who slit their wrists in an attempt to "push the pain away" is absolutely ridiculous. This temporary cure should not, under no circumstances, be as widespread as it is today. So what if your friend ignored you in third period? So what if no boys like you and whats the big hoopla if your parents never find time to sip apple juice and watch reruns of old Disney movies with you? Your world is not over. Nowadays, self-harm is publicized on every social media outlet plausible. From Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, no matter what it may be, it is not okay. Just because every other mindless being does it does not mean you should "give it a go". You are not anorexic because you weigh 125 pounds and are trying to cut to 120. Anorexia Nervosa is a real disease, believe it or not, and to have anorexia means possessing a disorder in which "Persons may have an intense fear of weight gain, even when they are underweight. They may diet or exercise too much or use other ways to lose weight." You are not depressed if you drew a "frowny" face on the upper right corner and felt sad and possibly queasy today.
Depression is an actual clinical disorder is which "severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy." I could go on and on about this type of issue, but instead, I'll share a life changing experience.
Last summer, I volunteered at a mental health clinic, where a rough 95% of the clients there were on probation or parole, homeless, or lived on food stamps. My job was simple: staple papers, share corny jokes with the jolly clerk, wash dirty dishes in the staff lunchroom and occasionally, give "vitals". The process of giving vitals involved snapping on a pair of latex gloves, asking the patient about their medications, filling out a short survey per patient, taking their blood pressure, weighing them then kindly leading them to the door. My day, that one summer, was going just as usual: I woke up late, had half a cup of coffee for breakfast and was fumbling with my fingernails when the medical technician (whose name I refuse to take) asked me to give vitals to a man while she headed to a meeting. I happily agreed, glad to have something to do after the clerk began fake laughing at my never ending supply of rather nerdy jokes. I remember when that man walked up to the glass wall when my lips spoke into the microphone. I opened the door, greeted by a tall, tan-skinned male with tattoos scattered all up along his arms and cheekbones. I wasn't too surprised, for I had grown accustomed to the rather untidy appearance and unique smell of the clients. But this man, he was different. When he took a seat, I noticed his wretched features, he was crying. I greeted him a few times, which he dismissed with a barely audible response. I noticed he was shivered. Being the extremely awkward, small-fruit-for-a-brain person I am, I continued to ask him about his day, which he ignored. I was confused.Growing up in a rather secluded environment my entire life, being exposed to such a thing bought sincere confusion. I looked for my superiors, unsure of how to approach him. I realized that I was scared of him, I didn't know what to do. He was shivering, shaking, crying and avoiding eye contact. I brushed it off and continued with the vital procedure until I noticed something upon taking his arm for blood pressure. He had cuts, all bloody and perfectly aligned on both his arms, down from the elbows. My first instinct was to cry. I had no idea what to do. Should I comfort him? Tell him that everything's alright and that it's going to be okay? But no... What if he went on a rampage and punched me in the nose? I decided against it and realized it was none of my business. As he walked out the door, I ran to the bathroom and I'll admit it, cried. What could have happened so horrible, that he, a young man about only 22 years old would do such a thing to his own body? A common misconception about cutting: the scars never fade. They'll sit there and remind you of the most vulnerable stage of your life, and all you can do is hopelessly stare back and hate yourself even more. I say this not out of anger, but out of reality.
Whatever the issue may be, remember that THERE IS A CURE. If you have a roof over your head, a bed to sleep on and clean running water, you are automatically richer than 75% of the world's population. Ponder that. Don't do something permanent to cure something temporary, you don't own all the struggles in the world, I promise.
I write to express my passions, views and opinions on different types of cheese, and to heal myself. I am an aspiring law student and hand model for McDonalds. I currently reside in the United States, and study at UT Austin. Most importantly, I wholeheartedly hope you enjoy what my work has to offer.