Tears Behind the Smile

I cope with my depression and anxiety with a pen, paper and my own words

Junior Elaina Hammes wrote a poem in honor of Suicide Prevention Month. She hoped to promote empathy with her writing. (Claire Reed)

I am no longer afraid to admit how I’ve struggled with my mental health over the past three years.

I have dealt with both anxiety and depression, both of which are common among teens.

I had trouble opening up to others and getting the help I needed.

Instead I would lock myself in my room because I felt so much comfort in the darkness.

Everyone had different coping mechanisms for handling not just mental health, but life in general.

One thing I learned from my experience with depression was the ability to cope with my feelings by expressing them. Writing poetry helped me the most.

In September, to honor of Suicide Prevention Month. I wrote this poem:

I know what it’s like, the feeling of complete & utter pain.

Nonstop cold.

Nonstop sadness.

Nonstop hurt.

I understand that everyone copes in different ways,

some people drink until the sun comes up,

some people smoke until they can’t tell their left from their right,

some people vape ‘til their lungs give out,

and some people, like myself, take a simple blade to harm our precious skin.

But no matter the way you cope, there are always better ways.

& no matter what, there are always people willing to listen to you,

whether it be a physical face-to-face talk or a talk with a loved one above.

There is always someone there for you.

& for all those who we have lost in our lifetimes, may they never be forgotten,

& may they live their eternal afterlife in peace.

Mental health is such an overlooked struggle. I support many mental health associations and donate money so that people are able to get the help they need. Mental health is something that means the absolute world to me. I will do what I can to help others get through any and everything.

Many associations are available to help if reaching out to a close friend is too difficult. Resources such as the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, a nationwide resource, is available to help with mental health struggles. Another local Mental health resource is the Johnson County Mental Health Line, (913)- 268-0156, and the SOS Youth Hotline, (913)-324-3619.