The Importance of Coping Skills and Getting Help When You Need it
Brianna, 16, writes poetry to express her past mental health issues. She shares her inspiration, advice, and poetry with us.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
How do you use poetry to cope with mental health issues?
Every Friday at my school, I attend a writing class, “The Diatribe.” Over the past year, this class has helped transform me so much to where I am now — my grades, my behavior, my poetry, and my mental health. I would never have guessed I would be where I am now. Speaking about my past through poetry has helped me grow. I've expressed issues that I could not do through conversation. I've confronted my past with my father and my mental health.
Being able to express and share my own past has made me want to make sure other teens know they’re not alone. I would like to be a motivational speaker and continue with my poetry, eventually writing a book. I want anyone reading this to know there is hope! I'm living proof.
What's your advice for teens who struggle with mental health issues?
My advice is to never keep your feelings bottled up; tell someone — a friend, family member, or a teacher, anyone — that you feel comfortable with. It is not bad to get help when you need it. It’s important to have coping skills, such as writing, singing, drawing, or anything that makes you happy, as long as you’re not hurting yourself or others in the process.
Can you share some of your poetry with us?
Here is a piece of poetry I recently finished:
It's when everything is still and everyone's asleep
My body is so numb
My thoughts are my worst enemy
The pain feels endless
The weight is making me collapse
Tears rolling down my cheeks
Wishing this time is the last
As the steel touches my skin
I don't even flinch — I'm used to it
I start crying harder
Not because of the pain
But because I'm ashamed — of me
I want to let go of this endless pain
Wanting to see the bright side of things
Little did I know days would pass
And one day was the last
A smile on my face which this time was not fake
Crying now finally hearing a laugh I thought was gone for eternity
It was me again and I couldn't be more happy