Category Archives: YoungWritersProject

A Request

Please consider the following…
I never knew Ravenne Browman. I never talked to her. I never saw her in person, although allegedly I’ve been in the same room as her. She was one of those Facebook friends you have because everyone you know is Facebook friends with them. That’s not the most poetical of truths, but it’s the truth.
When I first logged onto Facebook yesterday and saw a bunch of RIP posts, I thought it was a joke. Maybe it was a “fake-a-death-online” prank, or she was leaving her school or somesuch and her friends were exaggerating. The truth absolutely stunned me, meaning not so much that it surprised me but that it froze my insides and left me physically gasping.
Why grieve for someone I didn’t know? I think it’s bigger than that. At nine I lost my uncle Mike to suicide. At this point in my life I hear far more often than I should of friends, friends of friends like Ravenne, people I’m vaguely connected to and people I’ve never heard of attempting, planning, considering or committing suicide. Every time I hear about a friend’s cousin or an aunt’s old friend, the injustice of it all grows on me. Who deserves to feel so awful about the world that they have to give up on it? No one. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy if I had the worst worst enemy possible.
Tragically, this is growing less and less uncommon. Suicide has now risen to the 10th leading cause of death in this country, and the rate is significantly higher in Vermont than the national average. What’s worse, it’s the third leading cause of death among people aged 15-24. Third. Let that sink in. That’s how many young people succeed, not how many try or want to, and it’s still the third most common reason young people die in this country. If that isn’t heartbreaking, I don’t know what is.
People clam up about suicide. They do. No one wants to talk about it. Some people are suspicious or skeptical of psychology. Some people are afraid to be judged. Some people don’t want extra attention and some are afraid that it will look like they’re trying to get attention. Some people just can’t think of anyone to talk to. If suicide were a disease, they could ask for medicine. If it were an injury they could ask for treatment. If it were a malicious third party they could ask for protection. But it’s none of those things. While many wish for help, they have no idea what kind of help to ask for. Something as ambiguous and isolating as depression is difficult to talk about.
On the flipside, knowing someone with depression or suicidal thoughts doesn’t always prompt people to reach out. It might be too awkward, it might be a complete misunderstanding, it might be offensive, it might give them ideas, it might only make things worse— the list of excuses goes on and on. And often these people end up fine. They get over their hill or find a lifeline. But just take a minute, as hard as this minute might be, to imagine if they didn’t, and you could have maybe done something to help. Imagine that guilt. You see, it’s not everyone’s job to take action, but in a way it’s still everyone’s responsibility.
(I in no way am trying to blame Ravenne’s community for a lack of support. Support isn’t always enough. I also won’t presume to know more than I do, and I know next to nothing about what happened. I do know that the only way in which I knew her was on my news feed, and what I saw in my news feed was love. The posts I saw from her were always about her friends— how much she enjoyed spending time with them, how much she loved them. I think that says a great deal about the people in her life.)
I’m going to ask a favor from you all now. I want you to contact someone. Maybe it’s someone estranged, or someone you know to be depressed. Maybe it’s just someone you think you ought to know. But I want you to call them, message them, post on their wall, Skype them, text them, bump into them or visit them— whatever you do. Ask about their life. Relive some old times or admit you’d like to be better friends. You don’t need a cheesy flatter-fest or a theatrical speech. Just make sure to tell them before you hang up, log off or walk away that they mean something to you. Possibly that they mean quite a lot.
After that, you won’t feel like you just saved a life. Chances are, they weren’t holding a gun to their head waiting for someone to text them. Chances are they wouldn’t have hurt themselves without you. And it’s not because of the chance that they might that you should do this. But part of changing the direction of the graphs on the news is the small and everyday effort we make to take a risk and reach out. Just as a symptom of depression is a feeling of isolation and aloneness, part of the cure lies in connection and support. That’s why we should smile at or greet each other in the hallway. That’s why we should ask a downtrodden stranger if there’s anything wrong. That’s why we should never drive away the people who want to be there for us, because you never know when they might need someone to be there for them.
It’s a challenging time for us young people. The idiom goes “treated like children and expected to act like adults” and it’s not far wrong. Adolescence and young adulthood is confusing and often lonely. While there is usually a deeper issue, no one should want to die because of loneliness and that is where we all can lend a hand.
When I was in seventh grade, I wanted to kill myself. Even my parents don’t know this, but it seems like the right time to share it. Obviously I didn’t, and I really and genuinely got past it. You might see me at school being goofy with my friends, laughing too loudly, play fighting and teasing. It’s not that I’m obnoxious— it’s that I think so long as I’m young enough to giggle about the word “penis”, I’m too young to die. Hopefully I will giggle about the word “penis” for my entire life. It’s that I’m not afraid to enjoy every moment of my day that I can, and it is my deepest wish that everyone could do the same. It’s that I carry Ravenne Browman in my heart along with so many others in varying states of life and death, and I hope they can all find joy, wherever they may be.
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Cyclical

Every night
When the moon replaces the sun
I’m haunted by sharp things
That speak to me, begging me to carve in to
Not only my arms, but in to
Everything I’ve ever known to be real.

And every day
When the sun replaces the moon
I’m haunted by regret
That stabs in to me, begging me to put a stop to
Not only to what I do to myself, but to
The way I reject reality to feed my addiction.

by imperfect

The Rain

I remember how it felt to be in your arms that once.

Like you were strong and I was your baby girl.

Like you were everything and I didn’t have to be

anything but yours.

Not even mine.

I remember how it rained that day.

Hard. Like the sky was pelting words at us from too high up.

And you rocked me

gently

like you had always dreamed of doing.

From the moment you knew me,

you dreamed.

And I remember the unsettling feeling that came with the next moment.

I remember hearing my own screams grow in strength

before you knew that anything was wrong.

Before you knew you were

going

to

die.

And I can still feel the force of your cry

as the wind ripped me from your arms

and the place where I fell

still hurts.

The rain stopped then, but you were already gone.

And I was the last little bit of you that was left.

Your child.

Face down on the street.

Waiting for you to come back for me.

I called to you once,

begging you to come down again,

and you called to me telling me to come up.

And I tried. I tried so hard.

But I fell.

And I clearly remember how no one was there to pick me up again.

To cradle me like you did. That once.

To hold me as their child and sing to me as I cried.

So I stopped trying to move . Stopped trying to cry. Just layed there.

Waiting for the rain to start again.

by Quella

Grade 7

I love these kids.

I love these kids.

Young writers, reaching out and helping each other. We’re all the same. It’s never easy for anyone.

Driving is Scary, so I do it with my eyes closed

I was never exceedingly good

At focusing

Or staying in one place for too long

So most of what I say Is my wishful thinking

Grabbing the wheel

And driving off into the sunset

As we drive past dead towns and cities I will wonder

About better ways to fade away

And better ways to die

Or worse days to let go

And lose control

And wonder how I still move forward

So, if life really is a highway

I’ve been drinking

And probably swerving in my lane

So I’ll drop the bottle

And maybe get a grip

And wrap myself

Around the next lamppost I see

And I’ll sit there and wait

Until someone might stop

And give me directions

To the next hospital

by Archibald the Prophet

Original Post

weak

i’m surrounded
by bulletproof glass.
you can see me
but you can’t touch me.
you can’t get
inside my head
the way you want to.
you’ll never know
the things i don’t want
you to know.
you can’t shoot through
my walls
and you can’t
knock them down.
i won’t let you.
ever.
because if you did
then you’d see all
of my raw,
unprotected flesh.
you’d see how weak
i am
without my armor.
you’d see how
my blood pulses
just like yours,
and tears run
down my face
just like yours.
i’m weak,
just like you.
weaker, even.
and i’ll never
ever
let you see
my weakness.

by MissAmericanIdiot

Plug

Please feel free to provide constructive feedback to any of the pieces I post— both myself and the young writers I try to encourage are always aiming to improve, and we love to hear from you.

Related to that– feel free to check out our website, register for an account if you’d like.. youngwritersproject.org

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The Dark’s Lullaby

Hello nighttime thinker
Please, go on to sleep
Do not lose yourself in the universe deep
Just listen to something besides your own fear
Like a wide, brown guitar
Or a sweet white tailed deer.

Oh please, pay no mind to the crude, hopeless cries
Of the people in cages, with loss in their eyes!
Yes, go leave behind all the suffering voices
Living mangled up dreams, and ugly, dark choices.

And don’t even think about how small you are
Beyond your little room, and your shiny new car,
There’s a fast-spinning world that is dying and living
And screaming, and twisting,
And never forgiving.

Oh wait, nighttime thinker,
Why are you still here?
Drift off to the lies that I tell you, my dear!
Why, everything’s lovely, and pretty, and nice!
So just go to sleep
Please don’t make me ask twice.

by clarahendersontsa

Read it on YWP

The Best Advice I’ve Gotten from a Pre-teen in a Long While

“If you let your nightmares overcome you, you might never let your dreams come true. Never forget who you really are, and never stop cherishing the special things.”

Read the Piece on YWP

Fine is an Ugly Word

Something about this one just spoke to me. From YWP..

It’s sad when you don’t feel special no more.
Makes your thoughts all jumbled
And your smile all sore.
Makes that mask you’ve been wearing
Feel just like your skin
And I’m not sure I like
This fake skin that I’m in.

And I’m not sure I like all these cellophane people
With their looking-glass thoughts
And their dirtied up steeples
Where they pray to get by just for just one little day
Where they tidy up numbers, all wasting away

With their dreams and ambitions all kept in a drawer
All locked up and socked up till they don’t shine no more.

I don’t wanna get by, I don’t wanna be fine!
Like the cellophane people who don’t cross the line
From their gray little quarters to their dull little lives
With their prim little daughters and their prim little wives.

So I wanna be messy and make people frown!
Well, its better than having it all upside down
In a neat little smile, in its sad little way
And I’m gonna be someone who’s special
Someday.

by clarahendersonsta