Recently, I finished the book 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The novel tells of a girl who sends out a message to the thirteen people who caused her to commit suicide. Although difficult at many parts, this story is honest and fascinating.
While reading it, I thought of the times that I felt like giving up on life. There are many things that stopped me. However, there are certain people who had the most influence on saving me.
So instead of sending out a message to those who caused me to give up, here is a message of hope and love for those that supported and saved me. I excluded my family members simply because they are an obvious (for me) help. Thank you to all of them as well as those who also aided me on this beautiful but painful journey of life.
- Alisha A – This girl, as angelic looking as she acted, came up and talked to me in choir at a time in my life when I had few friends. This small act touched a girl who was deep in depression and loneliness. I do not even know if I spell her name right because we lost contact. However, her impact on me will never be forgotten.
- Father Corey – This priest was wonderful to all his parishioners including myself. He listened to me talk about my struggles and made me feel important. Not only did he offer advice, Father Corey also gave me hope that my life had a purpose.
- Linda J – My first long-term therapist maybe did not get to some of my deepest issues. However, that is simply because I was not ready to open up completely to anyone. Instead, she saved me by finally giving me an outlet to speak to and comfort for all my struggles. We called her “the Linda Lady” affectionately.
- Anne S and Mary H – These two youth leaders led retreats at my home. They listened to my pain, corrected my errors, and showed me how to be a woman of God. Their example gave me hope that I could be similar one day and their advice guided me through dark days.
- Rob S – I still cry when I think about how this wonderful theater director took a girl like me and made her a princess. I was so scared and miserable when I auditioned for Ashland Productions. Rob cast me as Cinderella in Cinderella. This was one of the highlights of my life. He also convinced me to try the Disney College Program.
- Kyle S – He has everything going for him: smart, talented, handsome, kind. Yet, Kyle took time to be my friend from the start. He never acted bored or annoyed by me. Instead, I talked to him about everything. In a time when I felt scared of most guys, Kyle was safe and comforting. I still miss his wisdom and care.
- Rasa T – Firstly, my dietician was an Olympic athlete which was awesome. Secondly, she did the most out of my eating disorder team to help me heal. Her words still echo in my head when I want to restrict. She taught me how to be a strong and caring woman who takes care of her body. This saved me from my eating disorder.
- Audrey, Andrea, Lexi, and others – These girls stood by my side through my eating disorder treatment. Their support helped me not to go crazy and give up on myself. Our laughter, our tears, our boredom, our excitement over silly things like a cute boy or big things like my ability to enjoy pizza helped me to find friendship and hope for more friends in the future.
- Taylor S – This woman is so strong. Her quiet smiles and big heart got me through several rough days. Since then, I know that I can turn to her for guidance and a listening ear. Her willingness to challenge but also empathize brought me out of one of the darkest places that I have been in during my life.
- Charity H – Wow, she sure is tough. That was my first thought. But once I got to know Charity, I loved her. She helped me when I was ready to give up my faith during classes at my university. Her opinions taught me to think for myself and not be afraid to be heard. Her heart taught me that I could care for others and also myself at the same time.
- Christina B, Kelsie W, Simon L, and others at Oxford – After being assaulted in Oxford, these classmates and program leaders helped me to recover. They played games with me, drove me to the police station, listened to me, and promised that I did nothing wrong. This kept me from going down a bad road after this awful event.
- Celeste V – My past coworker is one of the sweetest people that I know. She listened to me and also opened her heart to me. Thus, she was one of the first friends that needed me as much as I needed them. This gave me a reason to exist.
- Amanda H, Maddie L, Casey G, Amanda N, and Morgan W – These Disney coworkers, along with others, listened to my fears and dreams alike. Many times, they kept me going through a long day. Morang and Amanda H, both who are still here with me, make a point of listening and caring for me each time that we are together.