Jinx's speech: Thank you LIP

When I was younger I had a really hard time expressing myself.

 

 It wouldn't come out as words, instead it was anger and misbehaving.

 

As I got older it only got worse… I remember crying in my room, throwing things when no one was home, feelings selfish and insecure.

 

 Nothing was what it should have been and no one noticed.

 

The tears that rolled down my cheek were invisible to anyone but me.

 

The words I screamed off the top of my lungs went unheard.

 

My insecurities tug at my feet till this day.

 

 Of course it was nothing. I was being dramatic and too much to handle.

 

Those words that broke me down replayed in my head over and over and over again but I was okay because I couldn't feel anything.

 

It didnt get better either. That sadness turned into anger and that anger turned into rage.

 

Anger expresses itself in many ways.

 

 For me I didn't scream, I didn't roll my eyes… Instead I self harmed hoping to take the pain away.

 

It was a release like no other.

 

In and out of hospitals in and out of a place I once called home.

 

That is until I found a new home.

 

 A relaxing place where I can freely express myself without feeling bad about it.

 

 I now have a family I love more than the world.

 

I was recommended LIP (Life Is Precious) by my social worker in Kings County Mental Hospital. She said that “it was an open space for females in their adolescence to express themselves.”.

 

I came to LIP looking for a welcoming environment and that was exactly what I received.

 

 I was welcomed with open arms… literally.

 

 Every meeting I come in and I get a hug from Julie and the other girls there, because not only was it a welcoming place but it was a home for all of us.

 

 Thanks to Life Is Precious I haven't been in a hospital for four months.

 

It has been a rocky road and it still is.

 

Some days I am at my best and others I am at my worst and I can't really tell either until someone points it out.

 

Then I come to LIP and I feel better again even if it is just a little bit.

 

We make jokes about each other that make us laugh, and we cook together and sing to Hamilton lyrics.

 

Ive been able to open up more in the past six months than I have in my entire life till now.

 

Younger me would be able to tell the difference right away.

 

 I have nine actual friends that I know in real life that have been here every step of the way.

Because my school experience was rough I didn't get close to many people but now 4/9 of my friends are from my school. The other 5 are from LIP. We went on this trip to go see wicked the musical despite the fact that I wasn't feeling well and it felt like my stomach was floating to my chest Valeria and I laughed the entire time I was there. She made me feel better. She made me feel loved and I hope I made her feel the same way.

 

 Meanwhile, the younger me has one toxic friend that doesnt even care about me.

 

I remember literally being forced to do things I didn't want to do. I would have to bully the new kids with her and skip classes so she couldnt beat me up.

 

I used to hurt with passion but now I hurt with my heart.

 

Now I can feel the hurt throughout my body… which I consider growth because I would rather feel it then not feel it at all.

 

But that's only my story.

 

I've seen multiple girls open up during groups.

 

Singing and dancing. During the group we would make jokes about tik toks we watched. Isa and I would watch tik toks and make fun of the boys that think they are all that.

 

Girls have come in here quiet and that kept to themselves but now they talk and laugh and joke around along with all of us.

 

Carina and I would try so hard to lead some of the girls out of their shells and make them feel welcomed and loved. And we won.

 

 We have discovered that we have more in common than our mental health, our taste in music, our favorite shows, and even experiences we've had with friends and in school.

 

We all come up with the most out of pocket conversations. We were playing charades one day on our spring break and then next thing you know we are talking about relationship problems all of it seemed so relatable. ‘Says the 13 year old’.

 

 It is exciting to watch each other grow mentally and emotionally.

 

A Lot of us have been clean and more cheary since we have joined.

 

 We no longer hide who we are and how we feel.

 

And now we get up for the day with motivation.

 

God knows where we would have been if it weren't for the help of LIP.

 

So thank you Julie and to all the other staff that were there for the long ride, for allowing us to be our true selves,

 

Thank you for being not only a home but a family.