You have the power to make change.

Life - by Jessie

By Jessie, age 17

The voices harsh and foreign eat away at my being.


Why? Why am I being called these names?

Is it me? It must be. It’s all my fault.

This dialogue burns through my mind.

The thought that maybe this is all I am.

It feels as though my heart is bleeding.

I hate myself. Why am I alive?

I inhale deeply,

The smoke goes right to my head.

The pain falls away. I am floating now.

I know this high is only temporary and that the agony will return.

Maybe even worse than before.

Despite this, I try to escape even if only for a moment.

I can feel the high wearing off. The voices whispering in my mind.

Why do you try?

You know you’re a stupid slut.

No one will ever love you.

You’re pathetic.

Why do you try?

The words repeat like a broken record

Engraving themselves in my mind, my heart, my soul.

Why do you try?

I remember when these words were my life.

Depression was all I knew

When I went to school I saw the looks,

I felt the glares,

I heard the whispers of labels they put on me.

This was not a way for anyone to live

I barely survived.

I began to see the judgments that were put on me

Were the same judgments and labels I was giving others.

I realized by accepting others I could begin to accept myself again.

It has been a long road and I am still traveling it

But everyday gets easier.

I can change others.

I can only improve myself.

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