“Get Fresh Air!”
By Lexie Hureau
An issue most commonly brushed off or even ignored is mental illness. One in every four teens are diagnosed with a lifetime mental illness. With that could come stress, suicide attempts, self harm, isolation, hallucinations, fatigue, health problems, etc. A lot of the time people are very quick to resolve the problem with, “Stop being sad!” or “Go out and get fresh air!” not knowing that the majority of diseases have a high chance of preventing teens and people from doing so. If it were as easy as going outside or stopping a person’s feelings, they’d be cured instantly. Along with the rates of bullying skyrocketing, hours of homework and pressuring tests, family issues, societal standards and norms, there could be many factors that only worsen a teen’s mental disorder. Another thing people tend to do is misunderstand. Research is an extremely important key to learning. Using the phrase “I’m so OCD” when referring to your room being clean or “Make up your mind, you’re so bipolar!” when someone is indecisive leads people to believe that for example these two illnesses aren’t serious, and that they’re just adjectives. In this case, OCD is (normally) a lifelong disease in which a person has constant repetitive compulsions, or even thoughts that take over their daily lives. A person with bipolar disorder is not “indecisive” but has no stability or control and goes from being manic and having suicidal thoughts one day, to feeling on top of the world the next. The most important thing to do to help someone that’s going through life living with multiple or just one mental illness, is to show support. Feeling alone is the most common thing with people that suffer from a mental illness. Often times people think they can help and fix everything but that’s up to the person to do. Letting a friend or peer or student know you’re there when they need and that you are a healthy resource for them is very beneficial when they are in a time of need. For parents, or adults in general, I think teens find it comforting to know that they are respected and taken seriously when talking about their issues and sickness- again it’s always helpful to let them know they have your support 100%. Teachers and staff, educate your students, leave hotlines and resources all over. If you feel your child is seeking attention, there’s a 99.9% chance they are actually very ill and saying things like that can only worsen problems. If they approach you opening up saying they’re having a rough time, help them. Give them an extra day to make up a paper, or stay after with them to make things easier. The lack of education on mental health has only gotten worse. Don’t treat mental illness any less important than physical illness. You wouldn’t tell a cancer patient to go outside and hangout with friends to get better, the same way you shouldn’t when it’s a mental illness.
My first time I fell in love
By Alexa Hureau
people used to tell me that they adored the way i spoke
so i decided to tell them stories, share with them my life
my favorite story was us, the good version
but instead one day i told a story about the first time i fell in love
with a shaky voice i said,
“one day i kissed the sun. and two weeks later she told me we’d be better off without each other”
i realized that the sun i kissed was the complete opposite
i don’t even know why i referred to her as something so beautiful
and so vibrant
because she hurt
and she hurt everyone around her
my mom watched me for months, not leaving my bed
suffocating in my own desolation
waiting for the sun to come back
m o n t h s
another day later that year my mom told me that after observing what was the worst time of my life that
she hated the sun
and that she began to love the darkness
because she’d never want me to get that close to something that is so beautiful,
but also so dangerous
The veins in her eyes are clearer than ever
She could sleep if she wanted to
Does she want to?
What does she want?
Every red streak on her work cuts her down
Slowly deteriorating with every page she writes
“Finish these problems for homework”
We all know problems are never finished
17, 5’2, 120
“In 200 words or less.”
Seventeen, five foot two, one hundred and twenty
There isn’t much else to her is there
The final red stamp on her life
Hopefully she can withstand the bullet.
Jackelyne Garcia Cruz
By Zachary Hank
I’m a drip of tapwater
I’m a rusty spoon
I’m a little cockroach
Hell I’m the man on the moon
I’m a chunk of coal
Or maybe I’m charcoal ?
I’m a Parliament butt
I’m the Farmingville bus toll
I’m the frozen exhaust pipe
The son of a jack knife
That’s my father’s old pipe
And I’m usually the quiet type..
But do you have a light ?
Dinner for Free
By Zachary Hank
This should be nowhere
This should be a fountain
This should be a fountainhead
With a hoop around the neck
You should be a window
No! Be an anvil
You should be a stand still or
You should be a patio
Let’s have breakfast though
We’ll meet on the roof
Send mom a Christmas card
That one… a cardinal too, will do
Let’s have January
Let’s have a monsoon
Let’s have Thanksgiving in April
Hey ! Get your feet off the table
Let’s have diner
Put down the newspaper
Don’t call me sir or mam
Don’t call me from the chimney
In fact.. just don’t call me
It’s a little too frosty
Get the ladder, get the broom
How much will a freebee cost me ?
A Nameless memory
By Clifford Smith
The cool breeze in the air, the calming sounds of the shoes on the beach, sitting on this rock under the night sky as the stars above watch over me. With all the familiar things I still can’t remember.
“Hey Nole!”a loud voice I heard calling to me. I tune to see who it is, and it was my old pal Reeve sanding but the entrance to the beach. He ran over to me with haste.
“Nole where have you been I’ve been looking all over for you dude, it’s getting late!”
“Sorry Reeve I had to come out here.”
“For what, you collecting sea shells?’ I laugh at Reeves sarcasm. Reeve always had this Positive joking attitude that always got me up when I was down.
“No no Reeve, I came out here to think, to remember someone.”
“Who?” Reeve asked leaning next the the rock I was sitting on.
“You know, that’s the funny thing. I can’t remember his name, or really his face, I feel terrible about it.” Sadly it was true.
“Wait how can you remember someone if you can’t even remember their name. Let alone their face.” Reeve said scratching his head in confusion. I scuff at his remark.
“Well that’s something I wish I knew Reeve. But when I come out here sometimes I like to look up at the starts and then he pops into my mind.”
“Why is that?” Reeve asked
“Well it’s the memories that are still here.” I began “He was alway a happy guy that knew how the world worked and he could get along with a lot of people. He lived alone, he didn’t have any family here. But he was alway there for me.”
“He seems like a pretty swell guy Nole” Added Reeve.
“Oh he was Reeve. He would teach me stuff like how to defend myself and how to act properly. You could say he was the brother I never had.”
Geez how can you forget a guy like that Nole. A guy that did all those things for you.
“like i said before, I wish i know why i can’t remember.”
“What ever happen to him Nole?” I sigh as I try to recall those Memories I still have.
“Well it was 4 years ago when I was 13. I was waiting here on this rock for him to come by.” I continued “He was always late whenever we decide to meet up but that day he was unusually late and I had this strange feeling. He finally arrived but something was different about him.”
“Yeah what was different” Reeve asked
“I don’t know, it looked like something was troubling him.” I took a breath and continued on.
“I remember he told me that he would be leaving and that he would be leaving for a long time. He also told me to be strong and that I will succeed in life. Then he pulled something out of his pocket, and it was this.” I Pulled out a shining star shaped Pendant, hand held it up in the air. Looking at it, it was just like the stars in the sky.
“That’s a beautiful Pendant Nole” Even Reeve was in awe when is saw that shining silver star.
“Yeah he gave me this for something to remember him by while he was gone. I remember him putting it around my neck and saying with his strong voice “As long as you got this, I’ll alway be in your heart. so don’t ever lose it.” I paused as Reeve put an arm around me. Reeve gave me this reassuring smile that perked me back up. So I continued.
“So after he gave he that he gave this warm long hung. And the next thing i remember is seeing his back walking away. I even remember what he was wearing.” I laugh to myself. Reeve continued to smile and listen.
“he was wearing a sky blue designer T-Shirt and some grey shots. I chuckled saying “It seems that i can remember everything else but not his name.” I joked to myself. Reeve laughs as well with me.
“But I had this feeling deep down that this will be the last time i’ll see him, and so far it has.” I said sadly.
“Wow NoleI didn’t know this guy was this important to you.” Reeve said sympathetically.
“Yeah he was. He was my best Friend.”
“And you don’t know where he went?” Reeve asked
“No…he just left, And all i have to remember him is this Pendant.” I said clutching the star.
“I’m sick of waiting. I want to go find him Reeve!” I exclaimed.
“I know Nole, Now I understand.” Reeve comforted Nole in that moment.
The two sat together for a little bit not saying a word but just looking up at the stars.
Images by Kirsten Monroe