But She Smiled....

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This is a little poem I wrote a while back. Sometimes, when I’m having a rough time and I and I’m trying to find ways to explain my feelings to someone else, I run hypothetical conversations through my head. And this happened to be my answer in that conversation. As I gave it some more thought, I decided to write it down. To my surprise it made sense to me. I hope it also makes sense to you.

Thanks! Hannah

“At age 5, she knew no different. She played in mud, washed dolls hair. But smiled all the time.

At age 7, she knew no different. Dress up and cops and robbers were her go to. But she smiled all the time.

At age 9, she knew no different. Hormones and changes came into play. Struggles in school, picking sides and introductions with stress. But she smiled all the time.

At age 12, she knew no different. Kids told her she was great but then talked about her behind her back. But she smiled all the time.

At age 13, she knew knew no different. Girls used her to get to her brother never wanting to actually talk to her. Drawing the short straw in life, never seemed so real. But she smiled all the time.

At age 14, she knew no different. No friends, no job, alone and in the dark. Told “depression and anxiety will rule your life”.  But she smiled all the time

At age 15, she knew no different. Thoughts of self harm filled her head, thinking others would be better off if she were dead. But she smiled all the time.

At age 16, she knew no different. Struggling more and more each and every day. Blood dripping down her wrist and no food in her stomach. Gasping for air. Trying to just get out of bed. But she smiled all the time.

At age 17, she knew no different. Wondering if there was a target on her back, trying to figure out why guys seemed to love her body but not her personality and yet still feeling too fat. But she smiled all the time.
At age 18, she knew no different. At college, alone again. Finding her purpose, her passion, her reason for being here seemed impossible. But she smiled all the time.

At age 19, she knew no different. Legal now, able to participate in society's expectations and yet still feeling like an outsider. Depression and anxiety running at full steam now. But she smiled all the time.

At age 20, she became different. Still filled with depression and anxiety. But NOW having been educated about her struggle and getting the support she needed to fight back, she can truly smile all the time.

At age 21, she knew the difference. Fighting hard every day, never giving up, asking for help when needed. But smiling all the time.”