This is not going to be my usual lighthearted silliness.
One of my daughter's friends committed suicide this past weekend.
We're both still in shock. I guess I'd just like to say a few words about this.
Suicide is a growing problem for middle-school aged kids. It has to do with all the bullying that goes on. I had to deal with it when I was that age. Now my daughter is experiencing it. Kids can be unbelievably mean! It seems to have elevated to a new level with technology. Bullies create hate accounts, steal Instagram photos of their victims, and bash them with hurtful comments.
It's hard for kids that age to have a thick skin and not let comments like that bother them. Middle school is the time of insecurities. You look at your flaws. I know, because that's what I did. When the haters told me I was ugly, I believed them. It didn't matter what my parents said. I only cared about what my peers thought. I even thought about suicide. Obviously I didn't do it, but I know how dark it can get. You just want it to end.
So what I have to say to the bullies is this: I don't know why you do what you do, or what kind of sick pleasure you get from making another person's life miserable. But hatred is a poison, and ultimately it's going to poison you. If you are dealing with your own issues, get help. If you think bullying makes you cool and will boost your social status, you're wrong. Being nice gets you more friends than being mean ever will.
To those who are being bullied: Hang in there. You won't have to endure this forever. I know it seems like you're in a huge thunderstorm, with darkness all around. It's hard to believe there's a sun shining above the clouds. But there is. And you'll see it again. Trust that you have a beautiful life ahead of you!
If you or anyone you know may be contemplating suicide, here's the National Hotline: 1-800-273-8255. The website is www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.