Stories of Hope and Resilience
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
All year long, teens have told their poignant and personal stories in Teen Health & Wellness. Sharing challenges confronted and overcome is more than empowering; it's a way to connect with others and say, "You are not alone."
We are humbled by the honesty and optimism of these young writers, as they grapple with who they are and who they hope to be. As 2014 comes to a close, we would like to share some stories that moved us.
Depression - Jazmyn's story: "I slowly fell into a pit of depression. I went from crying myself to sleep every night, to wishing that I could cry but all I could do was feel numb. I began cutting to try to relieve some emotional pain or simply feel something...One day I just looked in the mirror and said 'You know what? No one is going to respect me if I don't respect myself!" Read more.
Confidence - Kenna's story: "Being a chubby girl and wanting to fit in is hard. I always put myself down and held myself back because I didn't want to be made fun of or embarrass myself. It wasn't until I was in seventh grade that I realized I had to change." Read more. Bullying - Jordan's story: "In some way, everyone has been bullied before. Whether through words or actions. Emotionally, physically, verbally, socially, or even sexually, everyone has been bullied. Most of the time, you know it, but you choose not to show your feelings. Either way, you know that what they did was wrong, and you didn't like it." Read more.
Coming Out - Alec's story: "Words cannot even express what it's like to be gay in high school. Fear, doubt, resentment, jealousy, dread, paranoia, happiness, regret, and isolation; these are but a taste of the feelings and emotions that a person in the closet has in high school. My name is Alec, and I am gay." Read more.
Self-Esteem - Alexandra's story: "I can't remember how it started, but I wouldn't be here today if it didn't end. I participated in soccer and even the school play, but somehow somewhere I was feeling more and more insecure about my appearance and who I was as a person. I actually was very close to getting an eating disorder...My advice to anyone in the same situation as I am is to tell someone, and if you can't do that, make a list of everything you find beautiful about you." Read more.
Loss of a Parent - Casey's story: "I never realized how precious life is until one day it really hit me. It can take a while to sink in, but it really hurts the most when you realize someone's gone. Losing my dad recently helped me realize it. He died only at the age of 51...We were hoping for a miracle but one wouldn't come our way. Now we all realize how precious life is." Read more.
Life is indeed precious. We wish you, and the communities we serve together, hope, resilience, and inspiration for the new year, and always.
Miriam and the Rosen Digital Team
Director, Rosen Digital