Mental Health

“You’re not alone” by A.S. Minor

A.S. Minor is a former TedX speaker, a multiple competition-winning spoken word poet, a novelist, a husband, a father, and an active mental health awareness advocate. He lives in Florida with his wife, two sons, two dogs, a cat and a snake. He spends most of his time either writing or celebrating the craft in some way, be it at poetry slams or on his YouTube channel.


I’ve always said that the most powerful words in the English language
Are, “You are not alone.”
This one is for those that don’t know…or have forgotten.

Somewhere right now there is a young girl sitting at a dinner table,
Trying to think of an excuse to get up and go to the bathroom
So she can make herself throw up the meal she’s just finished eating.
Somewhere else there’s a young boy sitting in a bathroom stall,
Bawling his eyes out while he tries to keep the razor blade steady.
Halfway around the world there’s a woman sitting in the corner of her bedroom,
Trying to block out the voices long enough so she can take a shower.
There’s a man jumping from strange bed to strange bed,
Each morning greeted by a different face,
Hoping that the next one will be the one to break through and make him feel something.

To that boy in class trying to hide his wrists from his teachers,
And the girl huddled on the bathroom floor, crying because she can’t stop herself from vomiting,
To the woman who can’t grip anything because her fingernails are chewed to the point of bleeding,
And the man who wishes that for just a moment he could genuinely cry, or smile, or feel ANYTHING.
To the kids who stay up at night crying
Because they can’t figure out why they’re not like everyone else,
And to those who feel like they’re slowly drowning
Because they’re too busy hiding that secret part of them from their loved ones,
I see you,
And you are not alone.

I know that doesn’t make everything alright,
And I know it doesn’t bring your mother, father, husband or wife home at night,
And I know it doesn’t stop the voices in the back of your mind telling you that it’s all your fault.
I know that these words are not a cure-all,
And they’re not going to change the world,
But you need to know
That you are not alone.
You are special BECAUSE you are not like them.
You are a superhero.
You belong to a select group of individuals
Who are forced to hide their secret identity behind a mask,
And THAT is nothing to be ashamed of.
They will never understand the kind of superpower that it takes for some people to just get out of bed in the morning.
They will never know the daily struggle that it takes for some to simply function.
And that’s okay,
Because not everyone can be a superhero,
And not everyone is meant to understand what that means,
But what it means
Is that you…are beautiful.
You are worth it.
You are stronger than you think,
And you are stronger than they could possibly know.
I know
That when they tell you that “Everyone struggles,”
Or that you should just get over it,
All you want to do is punch them in the throat.
But just remember –
That just because THEY don’t know,
Does not mean that you are all alone.

It may not get easier,
But I promise that it gets better.
So keep putting on your cape every morning,
And saving your world one heroic act at a time.
And don’t ever let them make you feel like forcing yourself to get out of bed,
Or take a shower,
Or eat,
Is not a heroic deed.
Because for some, there’s no such thing as a simple task,
And that is unfair, I know.
But when you’re at your lowest, just remember
That you are not alone.

Jessica Victoria
<p>Jessica Victoria, 24, is a writer and advocate for mental health, disability and LGBTQ+. She uses her personal experiences and knowledge to help and educate others.</p>

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