As teenagers, we are subject to some of the most horrifying things known to mankind: maddening stress, vicious gossip, careless crushes, the list seems to continue indefinitely. Sadly, I have fallen prey to the problems of teenage life and I do not seem to be handling it well.
The problem with being surrounded by so many problems in our daily lives as young teenagers who are not children but not quite adept enough to support ourselves is that we seem to have a problem with addressing issues. Really, issues of any kind, ranging from school projects to confusing boys to poisonous friends. And I must say, I am the queen of pushing problems to the back of the mind until they eat away at my conscious like maggots feeding on a corpse (very dark comparison, but I am sure that this effectively communicates how I’ve been feeling for the past week or so).
I won’t go in depth into what my issues are because that would be a 10 volume series all by itself. I have a history of having problems with feeling happy, or in other words, my self-esteem. This actually got pretty serious about 2 or 3 years ago, and I had to do a lot of self-evaluation in order to pull myself out. Recently, though, I felt the problem resurfacing. However, I know that I can deal with my feelings more maturely, rather than acting capriciously (K used this word today when I revealed how I was feeling).
That brings me to my next point. I know that many of us feel sad, maybe even depressed, at times because we have so much on our plate that we feel like we can’t breathe. But the most important thing that we have to remember is that there are so many people around us that are willing to listen, even if we don’t think there are. After talking to K about how I was feeling, I realized that I have a strong support system in my friends, because we all understand each other. It’s just a matter of honest communication. We can’t expect people to know how we feel if we don’t tell them. That’s why it’s so important to speak up. Speaking up may seem hard, but trust me when I say that the feeling afterwards is so much better than that sinking sensation in your chest.
Another important thing to remember is that these things fade. Teenage funks fade as quickly as our teenage years end. I know that at the moment I feel as if I’m not going anywhere, that I’m stuck in a dark spot with roadblocks wherever I turn. But I know that I felt this way 3 years ago as well. And I am very confident that I’ve gotten better, to the point where I can say that I have faith that my future is full of possibilities that I haven’t even discovered yet. I can’t try to predict my future when I’m so troubled with the past.
Also, if you’re feeling like you have nowhere to release all of this pent up anger or sadness, take up writing. I know that not everyone likes to write, and maybe I am very partial to writing and reading in general, but writing is really the best way to say everything without having to physically say a word. I am currently on my third journal, and I write in it everyday because I know that there are always new overwhelming feelings that I need to let go of. The trick to keeping up journals, however, is not to force yourself to write every day. This makes writing a chore, and explaining your thoughts should never feel that way. Instead, write when you want to. If you feel like a thought is eating away at your brain, write it down. I know that this single thought won’t completely disappear, but the burden will seem much lighter.
Music is also a great way to express yourself, whether you’re listening to it or playing it. I’ve been playing piano since I was 6 years old, and I know that when I sit down to play, everything else seems to disappear. Cheesy, I know. But I notice that whenever I play, I don’t think at all. I don’t even hear people when they speak to me. I’m just focused on the sounds that I’m producing and what I’m creating. I feel like every time I push down on a key, I am in complete control of what happens next. There is a stability in music that often can’t be found anywhere else, a constant reassurance that this song will be there when you need it. That’s what I find so wonderful about music and why it’s become such a big part of my life.
What I’m pretty much trying to say is that teenage funks are terrible. They leave you tired and worn out, feeling like there’s no one that will ever help you. You feel like everything you do is useless or wrong, and that there’s no point in trying to go back to your “old self” because you didn’t really like your old self that much anyways. But I know that these things pass. Storms pass, and things become okay again. That’s only if you know how to handle your emotions, express yourself clearly, learn to ask for help, and search for healthy ways to release your stress. We can never really understand why we feel so helpless or why it happens so often, but it’s so important to remember that these rough patches happen to everyone. We all live through different experiences and we all cope in different ways.
It’s important to stay positive and stay healthy. Because at the end of the day, the only person who you can make happy is yourself.