Author’s note: This article discusses suicidal ideations and abuse.
For the fifth night in a row, I stood at my bathroom sink working to get the gum out of my wig. I was heartbroken and disappointed in every way. From a Facebook page made dedicated to making fun of me to receiving a note in my locker titled “50 ways to go kill yourself,” the bullying was so intense that I didn’t know how to handle it anymore.
As a seventh grader who lost all of her hair due to a condition called alopecia, I endured extreme bullying. At the time, I didn’t know how I would ever overcome the situation. Slowly, however, I learned to face the bullies and now I’m grateful to share some words of wisdom with those going through a similar situation.
1. Talk to Someone
When you are being bullied, it’s important to reach out to others for support. Call a friend, open up to a family member, or talk to an adult you trust. You don’t have to go through bullying alone, and the people who care about you will be there to provide the love and support you need.
In my personal journey with bullying, I sometimes found myself pushing my loved ones away. When I finally learned to open up and speak out, I felt stronger and more confident.
2. Report Bullying
While talking to someone you care about and opening up about bullying is important, sometimes you need to take it a step further. When bullying is continuous, it’s important that you report the bullying to a teacher, parent, or school counselor. There’s no shame in reaching out for help. In fact, reaching out and sharing your struggle is a major sign of courage. Don’t be afraid to report serious cases of bullying and get the help you deserve.
For months, I received anonymous mean notes in my locker. When my friends and I reached out to my school principal, we were able to get my locker moved and the notes stopped. This simple solution came from talking to an adult I trusted.
3. Utilize Your Resources
When I started being bullied, I explored the many online resources available for those being bullied. From reading stories about people who overcame adversities to tools dedicated to stopping bullying, there are many helpful online resources.
More than anything, these resources are a great reminder that you are not alone. Bullying happens all around the world, so it is important to stick together.
4. Practice Self-Love
When I was being bullied, people said some extremely mean things to me. However, the things I said to myself were much meaner. Without even realizing it, we can be our own worst critics. For this reason, it’s important to practice self-love.
When I found the courage to go without my wig, open up about my struggles, and truly love myself, the bullying stopped for the most part. It was a great reminder that having a positive relationship with myself could truly change the way others interacted with me. Now, even if I find myself in a situation where I am being bullied, I am able to speak up and stand up for myself.
5. Know You Are Going to Be Okay
If I could go back in time and tell myself some of these tips while I was being bullied, I would. Overall, there is one message I have for everyone facing bullying:
Keep pushing through the hard times and realize that everything will work out beautifully in the end. The words other people say do not define you. You are amazing and beautiful, so it is important that you do not let anyone make you doubt your worth.
At the end of the day, it is important to know that you will overcome the hard times and come out stronger than you ever imagined. For more information about bullying and more online resources, click here.