Mental Health • Life Is About The Lives You’re Saving

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“You didn’t make your mistakes in pen.”

Don’t end your life short, or you’ll deprive the world of everything you have to offer.

You won’t be there to hold the door open for the fragile lady – overwhelmed with groceries. You won’t be there to smile across the subway to someone suffering Monday morning blues. You won’t tell your co-worker a joke you heard on the radio or send a contagious laugh through the coffee shop line.

Cause them tears from a punch line.
Not from their loss.

Give them smiles for your future.
Not from your memories.

Give them a hug to hold onto.
Not to remember.

Every time you feel misplaced and lost in a world where you don’t belong, remember that sometimes life is about the lives you’re saving when you don’t even think you can save your own.


This image was illustrated in collaboration with Lemon Chicken Por Favor

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BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Justine

BEING Young & Twenty Submission

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Justine O’Connor
Bleed Like Me For The Last Time
Age • 36

“Despite my struggles with mental health and sense of self, my 20s weren’t completely miserable.”

By the time I turned 29, I had been an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital 6 times. I had 16 ECT treatments, filed for bankruptcy, gotten sober, and divorced.

BEING Young & Twenty was tumultuous, to say the least.

My 20s were an extension of my troubled teens. I wanted desperately to escape my dysfunctional family and had no clue who I was or who I wanted to be.

I hated myself and led a reckless life as a result.

I self-injured, drank to excess, had unprotected sex and used IV drugs.

I wanted to die. I was incredibly self-destructive; hoping one of my poor choices would be the nail in my coffin. Fortunately, the universe had other plans.

When I was 22 I landed my dream job.

I met my future husband while manning the cash register.

In light of everything, I emerged from my 20’s victorious.

I fought through the worst times and have wonderful memories of the best times.

My 30s haven’t been a cakewalk but having survived my 20s; I’m convinced I can continue to pull through.

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BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Nicole

BEING Young & Twenty Submission

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Nicole Cain
Teen Thought Spot
Age • 17

“You’re old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, but still young enough to be forgiven for doing wrong on purpose.”

I’m 17 – but I’ve been young & twenty for the last 5 years.
You may be thinking, “wow, is she bad at math!”

Which I am. But I’m being serious.

When I was 12 years old, my mom was in a serious car accident; leaving her with debilitating medical conditions, and me with a bunch of responsibility. At the age of 12, I was forced to grow up too fast.

I like to define my life from the last few years as BEING Young & Twenty, because despite being forced to become an adult-like figure early on, there’s still a side of me that craves the youth I have been deprived of.

To me –

BEING Young & Twenty means that you’re old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, but still young enough to be forgiven for doing wrong on purpose.

BEING Young & Twenty means that you’re now an advocate, both for yourself and others, and you have to understand that responsibility isn’t to be taken lightly.

BEING Young & Twenty means that you’re starting to create a name for yourself, and boy it’s scary to think that whatever name you make now, you carry for the rest of your life.

BEING Young & Twenty means that making mistakes over and over, but knowing one day you’ll look back and seem them as stepping stones and lessons learned.

BEING Young & Twenty means stepping out of your comfort zone, and fearlessly creating the life you want to live, no matter what anyone else has to say about it. Not yet 20, I don’t know how it feels to be “young and twenty”, but I can say that I can’t wait to finally get there!
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BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Ana

BEING Young & Twenty Submission

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Ana Lavos
A Thought Into Paper

Age • 23

“Looking at modern society 20-year olds, we are full grown adults with more responsibilities than ever.”

BEING Young & Twenty is a bridge between success and life stagnation.

It’s decisions that will impact my personality, behavior, and well-being. As a working adult since the age 16, young is something I never really felt.

That’s until I discovered how good it could be – and unrelated to age.

I’m 23 and never felt so young. Not from a maturity level.

But, from a perspective, young in spirit, and ambition.

We’re adults with more responsibilities than ever. I’ve been told I’m too young to do or say anything, yet, I lead -and have experienced- a more adult life than most “adults”.

BEING Young & Twenty means making decisions that will impact my life without overgrowing my youth and remaining fun, adventurous and above all, curious.

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BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Siobhán

BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Siobhán

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Siobhán Collins
Slogadoodledoo
Age • 25

“Reflecting on your life at the age of 25 doesn’t always go down like a spoonful of sugar.”

Reflecting on your life at 25 doesn’t always go down like a spoonful of sugar.

There’s a fear setting in – a fear of being average. Really, there are smarter, funnier, more attractive individuals all around you. They have better cars, better-behaved hair/dogs/families. 
How do you stand out now you’re through college and venturing into the real world? 
Where’s the endless cash flow? The dream spouse, the dream house?

People younger than you are beginning to succeed. To get opportunities that you were never offered, or maybe never sought out. Maybe you didn’t stick your head above the parapet as you galloped headlong on the straight and narrow towards graduation. If you’re still in the part-time job you had in college, or if you got a job with your degree that you don’t really love…

You’re Young & Twenty.

No need to settle. Stick your head above the parapet.

If you are unhappy, move. Change something, do something, big or small, gradual or immediate. Work towards your happiness. If your job sucks, quit. Travel – if you can, blog it, get sponsorship. Make it easy for yourself. 

Take a course, be it academic or sporty, or for a hobby. 

Make time for volunteering. Two hours a week. That’s all it takes. Get work experience on your own time. Offer yourself to a cause that you may not be qualified for, but that you love. Hang out with old people, walk dogs, host a festival! I am.

Life experience gets you places. Life experience makes you interesting. What you learn – the people you meet, the places you go – could mean the difference between mediocre and magic.

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