i threw it away

every second 
every hour 
every day 

i counted off the weeks 
i begged on my knees 
breakdowns leaning on the bathroom door 
staring at myself at the mirror in nothing but a towel 
wretchedly pale, face blotched red 
i sobbed for hours, i debated collapsing on the dirty floor
forevermore lying there, never waking up 
left my hair matted, stared at the sheets imploringly 
each puzzle piece of me picked away 
i recorded my breakdowns and watched them back with some masochistic gleam 
everything i did to avoid thinking about it 
the hot flames of my cheeks, standing in front of everyone in the room 
i’ve never seen the walls collapse so silently 
save me, i screamed, i begged so pitifully 
i sought out three day weekends and let tsunamis flood my cheeks 
i traveled to the furthest escapes and woke up with my skin glistening 
but i had no one to blame but myself 
these stirrings i found in the nooks of my body 
they attacked me so briefly and saddened me greatly
i never knew how to dealt with it 
i never did 
i never knew how to fix it 
so i threw it away

--Riley L., 6th-8th Grade

Library note:
If you or someone you know is experiencing depression or thoughts of suicide please seek help: you can call 866-629-4564 to reach a specialist with The National Depression Helpline. It’s a free, confidential, around-the-clock helpline for depression and/or anxiety. Or please call the CA Youth Crisis Line at 1-800-843-5200, 24/7 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.