peer counseling

peer counseling

who am I to tell a depressed girl that it gets better?

to spin stories of recovery and pat her on the shoulder

to squeeze a smile on my cheeks when I don’t remember

how to smile like a survivor, like a human person

to reassure her mother that it happens

to artistic people like us and that the sun

still rises even for someone who thinks they are broken

to tell her that she is not broken

who am I to give tips to them like I survived?

to tell her to just lie in bed and close her eyes

even knowing sleep will evade her that night

to tell her to vent and not bottle up

when I myself barely open up

to ask her not to be ashamed

when I hide any scar that still remains

to hug her and say the darkness doesn’t last

like I didn’t want to answer the call of the void and make it fast

so who am I to tell a depressed girl that it gets better?

because for me, it didn’t.

but who am I to scare her with the reality?

who am I to reveal that truthful cruelty?

someone has to give her hope.

someone has to do something.

Note: This is a poem meant to illustrate just how common mental health issues are among teenagers now, regardless of the location. It is modeled from personal experience, although I’ve taken some artistic liberties, none of which serve to undermine the truth here. The truth is a lot of us are hurting, and a lot of us are trying to help those who are, maybe at the same time. You’re not the only one.

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