Q is for Questions

Taking a break from the short stories for today to expand on “Trigger: Cutting.”

First off, I want to point out I provided a clear and easy to identify reason for Kevin to fall into depression. I could have just as easily had Kevin with two loving parents struggling to understand him instead of just one, but I chose to take a clear starting point for Kevin’s problems. I did this is because fiction has to make sense.

Most times the emotional injury triggering cutting behavior is unclear. And what sets off one person will not affect another. Because – SURPRISE – everyone is different! So what sends one person into a spiral of depression wouldn’t even be a blip on someone else’s radar. And this is okay.

For those in back, let me repeat it. IT IS OKAY to have something affect you differently than someone else.

What we need to address is the wound first and foremost, not figure out how it got there in the first place. Think waking up and finding a bruise on your body. Thinking about yesterday, you might recall banging into a drawer or a locker or a fist, or you might not remember the inciting incident at all. But in the end, that happened yesterday, and you can’t fix the past. What you have now, today, is a bruise that needs treatment.

If you are cutting yourself, or have a friend who is cutting themselves, they have a bruise that needs treatment … as soon as possible. The sooner the better because, like a tree, the person is going to grow around the wound. The sooner it is treated, the less scar tissue there will be from the bruise. There will be scar tissue, no matter what, but you or your friend doesn’t need to be only scar tissue.

I realize coming forward to friends and family will be hard. You don’t want to be stigmatized with “mental illness,” and sometimes family can get really angry at dealing with this stuff, or blow it off, or hurt themselves, and you have no idea how they are going to react. I get that, believe me from the bottom of the therapy I had at age thirteen (not for cutting, but stuff like it), I get that.

You can show this story, and this final bit, to an adult or friend and tell them what you are doing and you want to get help. Whether you go forward with this, is up to you. No one pushing you. You have control.

Now I am going to talk to the person who this is shown to. First off, DON’T FREAK. Think about this like the son, daughter, friend, spouse, parent, etc. coming to you with a bad bruise – because that is what they got, a bad bruise to the head that needs some TENDER LOVING CARE. Got that – TLC and a first aid kit, not a lecture or a freak.

You are not going to be able to fix this on your own, so don’t try. Do the initial kiss and make it better while also letting the person know you will get them help. Can you do that? If you can’t, find someone who can help your friend or family member. (Again, as I said at the start, people react differently to things. What hurts someone does not hurt someone else – if you can’t handle it, that is OKAY – find someone who can.)

Help can be complicated. But doable.

Self-Harm Texting Hotline: https://www.crisistextline.org/selfharm
Advice for Parents: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/help-cutting.html

(Google “cutting resources” and “self-harm help” for more. There is a lot; figure out what you need.)

Finally, I want to talk to the friend who has been confided to by their bestie, about their bestie cutting themselves and asked not to tell anyone.

Loyalty – am I right? That is why you haven’t said anything. Because friends are loyal and don’t squeal on each other. Loyalty and trust. Guess what, there is one more part of friendship. That is love. And I am not talking about romantic love, but loving … caring … about the other person so deeply you want them to succeed, want what is best for them … even if that means you may lose them. I’ve helped friends find jobs and move, because that is what they needed. You may have hear love is an action. 

Your friend has told you something, and you know they need help beyond what you can give them. If you tell an adult or someone else, your friend will know you broke their trust.

Let me ask you – what is more important to you: your friend or your friendship?

After you think about that answer, if you want, show your friend this blog and tell him or her that you want to talk to an adult. Talk it over between you and figure out which adult that you both know that will be best to talk to. Then go together; be there with your bestie. Because that is really what friends do when they say they got each other’s back. They listen, they help, and they support. They act. Even when the going gets tough.


A to Z Short Story List Breakdown

Rainbow Spectrum (A to F)
Marathon Party (G to M)

Trigger: Cutting (N to Q)
4/16/2019 – N is for Nihilism
4/17/2019 – O is for Open
4/18/2019 – P is for Pause
4/19/2019 – Q is for Questions

Next: Bookstore Sort



About the campaign:
#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.

Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to http://www.HoldOnToTheLight.com and join us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WeHoldOnToTheLight

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