Leelah's death was not solely due to those on Tumblr who knew her and didn't see or know to reach out to her -- because even if they did, Leelah obviously needed more help. But the nature of Tumblr as a dark place does make suicidal thoughts and warning signs too commonplace.
That night is still a blur, but I do remember one thing clearly: that feeling of not knowing where I was going, but knowing instinctively that I had to keep going. I felt like I was ruining everything, and everyone -- including myself.
There is a humongous difference between temporary sadness and dissatisfaction with your life, and the sinking desperation that is depression. It sucks when you don't fit in, and you are lonely but that isn't depression.
I've realized that sometimes you are tempted to think that everyone is perfect except for you, but in reality, no one is, no matter how much we want them to be. I was never going to be perfect -- and I'm okay with that.
Coming from one of the worst environments since my parents divorce, I was in desperate need of help. I had just been thrown out of my high school for acting completely inappropriate, and having terrible fits of anger.
I want to give you a big hug and tell you that it gets better, because it actually does. Hang on. There are people you may not even know yet who are waiting for you with open arms, and they will love you unconditionally. Trust me.
If we fail to offer the skills of self-awareness, self-mastery, and resilience to this generation, we are leaving them disadvantaged and ill-equipped, with some in a precarious position as they try to find their way in this increasingly high-stress world.