Written by an I.S. student
I didn't grow up in a poor household, I was never faced with addictive drugs or abusive adults. For the most part I consider my life to be pretty easy. At least that's what I was molded to think. Everyone pays attention to those who have had the most difficult pasts, the ones know need more than moral support to continue their lives. I'm not saying we shouldn't help them, everyone could and should try to help one of them. But that still doesn't mean that I don't need any help. "I" could be the girl who plays 5 different sports at the same time, or the girl who has straight A's and is loved by all her teachers, the girl who doesn't do so well in school but has the prettiest hair, and the best sense of humor, or, finally, probably the most popular example is me, I am kind of attractive, kind of smart, kind of athletic, kind of funny. "Kind of" everything. And even though I seem to have everything on track, I can assure you none of us do. I still need as much help as the drug addict downstairs, or the abused wife down the street. As you read this you might think I'm crazy; "who is this middle class white girl? What right does she have coming here and telling me she needs more help than my sister who cries herself to sleep every night because her parents found out about her stash, and she is now suffering from severe withdrawals, because they didn't know what else to do but to throw it all away?"
My name is S. and I need as much help as your sister. In some ways I might even be harder to help. You see, your sister could be helped so easily (though it won't seem easy as you go through it); a doctor would prescribe something to help with the withdrawals, and she would probably go to live in a group home or rehabilitation center for a while. She would come back a new woman, granted things would never be the same, but she would be so much more appreciative of life. I on the other hand, would not be so easy to help, considering even I don't know what I need help with. I know I need it, for I feel trapped, helpless, and terrified at times. I procrastinate, I lose focus in class, and worst of all I treat my parents and friends terribly. I have all my secret issues, to help me would be the most arduous task. One would have to first get to know me well enough to know my secrets, because without knowing them, I’m sure you would assume that everything was fine with me. Even if you learned the truth about me you still would have no idea what to do. That is what makes helping me just as hard as helping any problem child. The challenge is in finding the pain.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret: Don't search for the pain, unless you're looking to help a troubled teenager. Everyone has the pain, and surprising as it may seem, the ones who have it the most are often the best at hiding it. If you want to help someone, just choose the girl who seems the most normal, talk to her a little, observer her mannerisms, then you'll know.
Dedicated to all of you out there at I.S who are told that you have a great life, and often feel guilty when asking for help over those whom society tells you need it more than you. It is just as important to ask for help than it is to give it.