An Open Letter

Subject: An Open Letter
From: J
Date: 26 Oct 2018

I figure it's about time I was honest about how I'm feeling. I'm not writing this letter because I feel like it will make me feel better, although I pray to God it will. I'm not writing this letter to become the charity case of Brandon High School. I don't need sympathy. My hope is that in writing this I can help someone else.

About three weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to the beach and spend time worshipping the Lord and praising him for the amazing things he made in nature. It was there where I spoke with a mentor of mine, a confidant so to speak. About midnight, him and I walked to a relatively secluded spot on the beach and spoke. The two of us discussed all sorts of stuff from school, to church, relationships at home and school. Thar eventually died down. And that's when things started to get a little bit deeper. And the conversation hit a turning point.

Ever since middle school I've had a struggle with loneliness. My greatest fear was finding myself in a place where I didn't feel as if I was wanted or needed. There's been many a time where I've felt alone, especially recently with my brother leaving for college and school finally getting the best of me. I don't like to throw around the word depression, because I don't think that's how I'd want to describe the way I feel sometimes. A lot of days are better than others. There are moments I love where I'm at and moments where I just need someone to talk to. I want to say I'm not. But it does seem like a lot of the time internally, I'm not .

Throughout school however, I've tried to put on an overly positive persona. I lead in many activities at school and am a leader in my Life group (sunday school) class at church as well as teaching one for younger children in our kids ministry. My hope is that by leading with an attitude that comes across as optimistic that it will lead others to act the same. The same goes for trying my hardest to be kind to everyone. And I'd say I've done an alright job of keeping up the persona.

But during that conversation on the beach I heard something that changed my opinion on all of this. After continuously trying to act a certain way, someone finally told me what I needed to hear.

It's okay to admit you're not okay. And when someone who acts strong admits they aren't okay, their testimony can be powerful.

I don't think I'd ever really realized this. So I decided to figure out a way to say what I wanted to say. And I think I've got it. I've been through some of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. But all in all, God's got me on this. I know a lot of my friends aren't religious but I'd encourage them to know that there is something that has your back. I want everyone to see me as an adversary, a friend. I want anyone to feel comfortable talking to me because I understand. I want people to know it's okay to say you aren't okay.

I'll say this, I realize this is a lot. And to anyone who's read all of this, thank you. There's a lot more to my story that I'm willing to share with anyone who has questions because there is so much to learn from anyone's story. And I'm always here whenever someone needs me. My phone is always open. Some days will suck. But I have your back and God has your back.

I love every single one of you guys,