“Should I live or die?” A twelve year old girl sits alone in her room, deciding her own fate. Her hand grasps tightly onto a belt, while her gaze is set on the clothes rod above. “I could hang myself and everything would be better,” she thinks to herself.
People are baffled by the idea of such a young person wanting to end their life. What could they possibly be going through, that would cause them to seek out such an irreversible escape? There is one girl who knows, and sadly she is not the only one.
“This year will be different. It’ll be good,” the young girl thought.
She started off her new school year with high hopes, only to have them dashed on her first day. Walking into the classroom, she made her way to her chair. The other kids turned and smirked at her as she took her seat. She began to feel her insecurities rise once again, but tried to push them away.
A long day of classes were met with silent ridiculing from her peers. The final bell sounded and with relief she headed toward the school exit. As she rounded the corner, she was stopped in the hallway by a couple of her classmates. With pride they chanted, “You’re so stupid, and ugly! You’ll never be good at anything!” As she pushed through them, their laughter followed her as it echoed through the corridor.
Defeated and with tears in her eyes, she headed home. Quietly she went into her bedroom, closed the door and sat on her bed. The words of those who had taunted her, consumed her mind. She couldn’t stop their voices. “They’re right,” she thought. “I am stupid. I am ugly. What’s the point of living? The world would be better off without me.” With that, she glanced up at her closet and saw a belt dangling from the hanger above.
With shaky hands, she took hold of the belt and sat down with it on the floor. With a deep breath, she connected the ends of the belt and saw an empty space in the closet where her body would fit. Wiping her tears away, she planted her feet on the floor to stand.
Then, something stopped her. What it was she didn’t know, but it was as if something was physically holding her back, and with it was a voice telling her, “Don’t do it.”
She dropped the belt to the floor and began to weep. She would live another day.
As this sweet twelve year old girl shared her story with me, I could sense her renewed confidence. No longer did she want to die. Instead, she wanted to live and to share her story.
Bullying had almost cost her her life. She knows the consequences of words. She knows the pain and the hurt that they can cause. She knows and understands what the final outcome may be. She wants an end to bullying. Ultimately just as she did, she wants others to choose life over death.
She’s decided that even through the hard times, life is worth living. That there is always a brighter day to come and that, just like everyone else, her life has a purpose.
Words, even when they are said jokingly, have meaning and are taken to heart. Our words can literally mean the difference between life and death. Therefore, we should always choose them carefully.
Death is never the answer. Life is worth living. There will be a brighter day ahead. And no matter what you may believe, the world would not be a better place without you. You are needed. You are loved.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide or need someone to talk to, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They are there to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your life is worth the phone call.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255