Confessions of An Ex-Emo | Teen Ink

Confessions of An Ex-Emo

October 14, 2011
By MonkeYBree BRONZE, Middleton, Wisconsin
MonkeYBree BRONZE, Middleton, Wisconsin
3 articles 1 photo 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Never ruin an apology with an excuse'

Humans handle stress in many ways. I found something that can actually calm the wild beast
within. Writing. I had to be around six years old when I would jump on my bed with a microphone
and sing my made up songs. Looking back now, some of those songs had to be the best of my work.
They showed the honest, most times innocent and shallow ideas and thinking that occupied my
mind, the simple worries that I perceived would kill me. I miss those times. Although I am only
fifteen, I feel beyond my measly age. In just the last couple of months I feel like I have actually
grown a number of years. That’s one reason for my stress. It also doesn’t help that I'm homeschooled,
it seems I don’t know how to relate to girls and what they like to do. So I tend to feel left
out when around girls my age because of my seemingly older personality and my different school
Many times I have been called an extreme perfectionist. I get sarcastic, irritable and even
depressed when I can't get something done. Honestly that is the worst time to be around anyone, but
it seems worse when it happens to me. Most times I have “good” days. I'm bubbly, energetic and
seem to brighten up the day for all those other suckers. But because I am mostly in a great mood if I
get upset or irritable, the looks I get and all the “No way! That’s not Brianna.” is very frustrating. I
feel like its illegal for me to be upset and I always have to be this pretty, perfect Barbie doll. Of
course, always feeling like you must have perfect emotions can tire out anyone. And I can’t help
trying to please each individual that walks passed. So it would be reasonable for you to assume that I
fell down that deep, dark and scary pit of depression and you would be right.
What Lures Depression and It's Deadly Symptoms
Being a teenager, you are very unstable. Cry, laugh, whine, yell, want to die, want to live,
these are emotions that we experience within a short time period. You might compare teens to a
beautiful diamond. But after each emotion mentioned above is experienced in an unbalanced way, a
huge, crooked, sharp piece chips off. Over time we tend to look like this skinny rigid piece of
diamond. Just one more, sad, pitiful emotion could make us snap right in half. It would be best to get
your teen to the doctor immediately if you suspect that the breaking point has happened. Since I
have went through these things, I can discuss them with a pretty clear mindset.
It’s estimated that every year more than 500,000 teens try to kill themselves and about 5,000
succeed. Different situations like the death of a family member or close friend or pet, break up with
boyfriend/girlfriend, date rape, failing in a test, being bullied and sometimes even watching or
reading about others committing suicide, all are triggers for depression. Some things to look out for
if one or more of the above problems have occurred is lack of sleep, behavioral problems, reckless
behavior, rapid decline of grades, staring off into space (that was a big one for me), social issues,
random acts of violence and cutting.
Cutting, what is cutting?! I know a lot of people don’t like to talk about it, but it helps.
Cutting is basically causing yourself harm with many objects like razor blades, pencils, nails,
scissors and safety pins. There are many other things that a person can use. Many cut (or burn
themselves) to release pent-up emotions; most times they were never taught the right way to express
themselves and communicate. Others might cause themselves pain just for attention. That doesn’t
mean though, that it isn't serious. If someone is willing to hurt themselves for attention, they need
help. Some might think that me saying that so bluntly is rude and judgmental for those that have the
problem. But you will learn later why I have that freedom of speech.
I have a pretty perfect life. My parents are divorced, but my step-mom along with my mom
and dad agree and work together to raise my brother and I to the best of their ability. We spend
plenty of time with all of them and they don’t work any jobs that take them away for days or even
weeks at a time. And for the most part, we can talk to them about anything that is bothering us. Also
I've never really had any thing happen in my life that would cause deep emotional wounds. Yet my depression was severe and thoughts of suicide ran rampant. No, I don’t think I am one star in a
million. I know that there are plenty of other teens that are depressed and don’t know why. You
might even describe it as mandatory. Like your body is saying “Hey! you haven't been depressed for
a while, we can’t let that happen.” This stage in life is very difficult to live through and many might
wonder how they will ever survive, and if they do, will they end up like some old hermit, that
doesn’t leave the house and has the worst personality imaginable. I remember when that was my
concern. I was scared that the (bad) traits that you tend to develop from puberty (extreme sensitivity,
sneaky, manipulative, low self-esteem and questioning the smallest of rules) would forever remain
and haunt me. But one of my biggest issues was and kind of still is acceptance.
The World's Major Flaw; Judgment on Physical Appearance and Acceptance of Those
This has been an ongoing problem for me. It seems that we all have the desire to be accepted
among society. Everyday it seems that more and more people judge others based on their looks.
Sometimes I even find myself thinking that way. If I am introduced to someone who isn't very pretty
or doesn’t have a nice shape, I find myself looking down at them, which normally I have low selfesteem
and tend to be a follower. One thing that I really hate about myself is that I possess the power
to look down, hurt and judge people. I need to learn to not look at appearances, but the heart and
When I was younger I had the problem that a lot of mothers and teen daughters face. I wasn't
very respectful to my mother, and I didn't see a reason to be. So because of my lack of respect I
would have an attitude with her, and if my brother took sides with her, prepare to be my worst
enemy. No one likes to feel like every living creature has taken sides against him, even though my
mom wasn't doing that, your mind is capable of anything. That's when you can expect my haughty
side to come up. I was ugly. What do I mean by that? My mom always told me that when my heart is
evil, my outside appearance, no matter how pretty I am, becomes ugly. Now I see the deeper
meaning of what she told me, but before I was just into my looks. Since I worked hard to look nice,
being called ugly was like a slap in the face. I changed my attitude just for that reason.
Small pointed nose, bright blue eyes, long golden hair and having a long, slender body.
Today's society influenced me to believe that this is real beauty and if you didn’t look like that, it
was alright to throw that person in the gutter. Recently, I have seen more diverse people in the
category of pretty and with that comes more advertisement to meet those different skin types and
shades. While watching shows I sometimes see four to five advertisements for makeup. How does
this deal with teen depression? Self Image. There are so many stores devoted to makeup. Aisle after
aisle. Commercials make you feel like you’re not pretty unless you have extravagant eye shadow,
long curvy eyelashes and plump colorful lips to be beautiful. Some girls without makeup feel ugly
and you know their not going to walk out that door without it on. Girls that don’t think they are
pretty without makeup, most times, have low esteem, and when girls have low esteem that’s when
they get used. They become people they don’t want to be, do things they don’t or wouldn’t normally
do. Another thing makeup companies do. They set such high expectations and definitions of beauty,
so many girls try to reach that look, but they fail. Maybe they don’t know that it takes a good camera
and computer that allows you to add to the person’s appearance and take away blemishes or too
round of a face. So these companies hypnotize you to think that the more you buy their product,
maybe just maybe, you'll look like the models with impossibly good looks. What deceit and use of a
girl’s innocence and esteem. In a really far out there way, you can look at this as a form of bullying.
On occasion I'll ask myself what causes someone to bully other people. I didn't think that I
was capable of such a crime. I soon learned that it comes naturally to the majority of people. And
even if you don't act on it, the trait is still there, sitting in the back of your mind, waiting for the right
moment to come out, when you least expect it. Depending on how you act to this sudden outburst
determines what happens next time. I'm not going to say when I was younger, but just a couple of
months ago I had the problem of kicking my brother. Running has always been something that I
enjoy, like my dad and some of my cousins; my dream was to be on the track team. So you can
imagine that I have pretty powerful beast for legs.
A lot of teens (mainly guys) suffer with ADHD or ADD, these disabilities can make it hard to
do school, have conversations, work and many other activities. Most times these teens seem
immature and annoying. Again, many will look down on them. Depression in these teens might seem
to be more common and harder to control. ADHD is a problem that my brother has and he has to
work on everyday. This is baggage that he has to constantly carry around and excuse. As a sister,
living with a ADHD brother that can be an extreme know-it-all, is very frustrating and calls for a lot
of patience. Something I'm still developing. You can say that I have improved greatly, I no longer
kick or threaten my brother (well at least not to the point I feel I need to confess). So when I did
experience a sudden outburst, and I kicked or yelled, I felt pumped, like I could go all night long.
Isn't weird how we get that adrenaline to hurt somebody or something, and that we get excited to do
so? There is a quote by Jim Morrison that states “Violence isn't always evil. What's evil is the
infatuation with violence.” I found this to be true. It's not exactly the action as much as the attitude
and if you felt sorry afterword. Have you ever seen a person angry, and looked deep into their eyes?
Their eyes look wild and empty, even though they are expressing quite a bit of emotion by being
angry. When I look into a violent person’s eyes I see a deep and everlasting numbness to the health
and well-being of others around them. This sounds like an infatuation to me, an addiction to it.
Thinking about what kind of animals we can become, is sickening. This is one very strong
motivation for me to not go back done that evil, satanic path. It is a lot nicer to think about the
opposite effect. When provoked, instead of showing violence, maybe get a drink of cool water or
take ten deep breaths or like me try writing. Each time you do this, you'll find that you don’t get
upset as quickly and you can handle the situation with a clear mindset.
My Relationship With Scars
Before when I mentioned cutting, for those of you that have or had the problem, I said that I
had freedom of speech with this matter. Why? Well, yeah it makes sense that I had the problem.
Even as a little kid I wanted to break my leg, yes I wanted too so I can have the attention but there is
a bigger issue. I was stressed and sometimes felt lonely. My mom was single raising two kid's, so she
had to work quite a bit. I found relief by hurting myself. I would throw myself down the stairs or
purposely trip over a cord. Because of that, people just always saw me falling but didn’t know why, I
got the nickname klutzy and klutzaholic. I was known around the school by that name. I started to
feel like that was my perfect identity and that’s what I was put on the earth to do! (It's crazy the
imagination of kids!)
Sometime, I'm not sure when, I got over that phase. For years it didn't even enter my mind to
hurt myself when lonely or sad. However at thirteen, it all flooded back. I would be entertained with
thoughts of hurting myself and what design I'm going to do next time. I wouldn't be offended if
someone said that was sick, that defines it perfectly maybe an understatement. I pretended to not see
the harm that I was doing to my body. I would just think about how new I felt afterwords and
refreshed. But ignoring it is a terrible idea, cutting can be very dangerous. Many times infections
occur. Other dangers include of course bleeding maybe uncontrollable because you hit a vein, ulcers
and don’t forget the emotional wounds you're inflicting upon yourself. Teens, mostly girls, cut
themselves because they are depressed. Again back to how makeup or model companies glorify a
perfect body, if a girl doesn’t meet up to that she might view herself as worthless and ugly. Others
might do it because of a breakup. I haven't personally experienced this so I can only imagine you
feeling, not only the above worthless and ugly, but feeling something deeper like unlovable and
lonely. One friend of mine scarred into her body the word love; it was shattered and obviously meant
to picture her broken heart. Some girls have put other words on themselves like stupid and die.
Seventeen magazine did a poll on teen girls cutting themselves. 51% of the readers have. This
percentage shocked many. Adults and parents know that the problem exists, but they don't know how
common it is. They also might think that it’s the last thing on their child’s mind. Even if some
parents do know, they might view it as a phase or completely be blind to it.
Some girls become close friends by relating their cutting life. Yet others don't tell a soul. It
might be viewed as a personal ritual. So if you suspect that your child or friend is hurting
themselves, how can you tell? Some of the main things to look out for are random marks or scars,always wearing bracelets or bangles. A major one is long sleeves or pants even if the weather is hot.
I understand what hurting yourself does to you, been there done that. When changing you see scars
and bruises up and down your body. I'm taking this opportunity to help all the other girls out there.
Don't be afraid to go to your parents, friend, boyfriend, guidance counselor or the doctor. By doing
this not only will you found out who cares about you and supports you, but you will also feel better.
It truly is a beautiful feeling to rid of the dark, destructive secret. I'm not going to say that you will
never want to do it again, it does become an addiction. Addictions die-hard. So don't be discouraged
if you fall, just get back up again!
How to Increase Your Self-Worth!
Some teens seem to never go through the tunnel of depression. They love themselves to
much. Yep, that’s the key! Their not about to let their mind and body go through the damaging
effects. They don’t want pimples so they don’t get them, they don’t want scars so they don’t cut
themselves. How they manage to survive a couple of years with out teen depression, I'm not sure.
Maybe when their older, they might seem like freaks. Unless you are being raised like my Grandma.
She was raised during the 'children should be seen and not heard' generation. Sometimes she gets on
me if my “faulty thinking” is showing too much and I'll ask “didn't you go through this?” She'll say
no and tell me that she wasn't allowed to go through puberty. Either way, whether it’s a special gene
or your child rearing, I sure which I had it.
Lets just be honest with ourselves for a minute, we are good at making ourselves miserable.
We might out live the emotional roller coaster for a couple of days but then we go and sulk in some
imagined problem. Then it starts all over again. This is one quick way to have low esteem. Most
times when I faced an imagined problem it was because I didn't think I can pass a test, dress right,
have my hair right or something similar. That's when I start to think that I'm a failure and I can’t do
anything right. These are my issues that cause low esteem. Most people have different reasons on
why they view themselves a certain way, probably reasons that make more sense than mine! So you
might be thinking 'ok I get it, we have low esteem. Move on with how to fix it!' Before I talk about
ways to improve your self-esteem it is important to see how it affects your life and attitude. It you
feel pretty good about your personality, clothes and talents you will be able to cultivate and have
better relationships. Also you will be able to live life to the fullest and reach your full potential. We
all make mistakes and sin (some more than others), to learn how to move on is very essential, high
self-esteem helps you to do so. Now it's time to unearth the secret to developing this awesome trait.
First thing, think positive. Simple as that yet you will see how much of a difference it makes. If you
think that sounds pretty vague, you just need to learn to think deeper than the surface. One dictionary
defines positive as “confident in opinion or assertion; fully assured. Emphasizing what is laudable,
hopeful, or to the good; constructive.” One great way to think better about yourselves is to
understand and know you. NOTICE: don't question every thing or thought you have. Sometimes just
believe in yourself and your words. If you do question everything you do or say, you would be
showing your deep-seated weakness, lack of confidence, which as peers, friends or family we tend to
take advantage of. Set your goals and priorities ahead but it's crucial to not set goals to high, if you
fail you’re asking to have low esteem, which is one of my problems being a perfectionist. Recognize
your limitations and view mistakes as a learning opportunity. By doing this now, later in life you will
be confident about your morals and standards. That way if you are tempted to do something wrong
or something you don’t necessarily agree with, you’re able to stand up for yourself. After the
situation has passed you will feel so good and you'll tell your real friends of your great
accomplishment. They will not only be happy for you but will encourage you to do the same next
The same dictionary also says that being positive would mean “noting the presence of such
qualities...” It's great to set standards and then praise yourself. Something else that is important
though, is to realize your value. A dear friend of mine told me to each morning look in the mirror
and say 'I love you'. For myself, I'm not very regular with it, but when I do it, I feel the effects
immediately. Once in a while ask someone you love, what they appreciate or enjoy the most about
you. Remember what they told you and look back at your life and see the many different times you have expressed that quality. By doing this it won’t take long for you to see what a beautiful person
you really are. While writing this paragraph I asked my brother what he likes about me (normally I
don't do this with him, but yeah he's someone I love!) he said that I'm reasonable. I really
appreciated this because it’s something I constantly strive for, so he just helped me to see how I have
improved and other people might have also noticed. That would make anyone feel good, especially
coming from a brother who I normally think is shallow and doesn’t have an ounce of seriousness.
But he does and he also tries to please his older sister. Some qualities that I admire about myself is
my loyalty, writing ability, trustworthiness and how I can work hard and be productive. I cherish
these and look for new ways that I can develop them even more. I used to not be able to say things I
like about my personality. I was scared of becoming vain or others saying I am. Don't let yourself
worry about that, it's just another symptom of low esteem, don’t let it stop you from enjoying life
and becoming a better person.
Keys to Distracting Your Depression
KEEP BUSY!! When your busy you don't have time to think about your woes and regrets in
life. In today’s society we care a lot about entertainment and having fun, because of this there are
plenty of activities to distract yourself with. Like anything else though, we can take things to the
extreme. So it’s vital to learn balance. You can illustrate it this way; let’s say you have a bucket. In
the bucket you put rocks which equal more important things like spending time with family, school,
work, studying and for me, my relationship with God which is my main purpose in life. Also in the
bucket you put sand. The sand represents activities like bike riding, movies, writing, bowling and
just hanging with friends. If you were to put the sand in first, then add the rocks, you won't be able to
fit much in that bucket. If you do the opposite, putting in the rocks first, the more important things,
and then filling in the spaces with sand, you will find that your schedule isn't as crazy and you don't
feel overwhelmed. That my friend would be called balance, balancing your life and activities takes
an immense amount of time and patience to perfect. Ask yourself questions to find out if you're a
balanced person or not. Some good examining questions include; do I feel overwhelmed or get
stressed easily? I'm I busy until twelve at night catching up on work or school? Do my family or
friends say that I don’t spend time with them anymore? When I walk through the door do I noticed
that my dog, on a regular basis, has pooped in his cage several times? Are you always eating on the
go? All of these, and more, are good indications of you balance level. Answer the questions honestly
and work hard to find a new schedule that truly meets your needs.
I feel the best way to distract depression for me, outside of a relationship with God and
giving to others, is to write. Writing brings me a sense of freedom, peace, beauty and maturity. Don’t
worry too much if most of your writing is about suicide or ‘negative’ things. For me, if I write it, my
mind just lets go of the issue. So if writing about suicide stops you from committing it, don’t let
others make you feel guilty for it. When you’re ready, at your own time, your writings will become
more ‘positive’ but if you force it, one your writing won’t be too good and two, something I really
enjoy about writing is the honesty of my thoughts and feelings. I don’t want to miss out on that.
Another great activity to keep you busy is to exercise. It helps to eliminate stress and another way its
beneficial is that it’s good for the body. You can exercise anywhere and anytime with family or
friends. And it’s CHEAP!! Many activities involve money, exercising doesn’t need to cost money if
you don’t want it to. You can go for a walk, do some stretching, run your dog and take a bike ride,
unless you don’t have a bike, then it would cost money to get one. All in all it’s a fun, healthy, cheap
and balanced distraction. Many might start-up on gardening, drawing, sports, volunteering (which is
an awesome distraction cause your giving, we all know that giving a gift to a loved one or helping a
cause that you fully believe in, is always better than receiving. Even though we still cherish a gift).
There are some distractions though, that call for us to be very careful, so we don’t get caught up in it.
What are some of those distractions?
We have all heard stories about teens robbing people and stores, killing, fighting and using
drugs and alcohol. Kids, that some may have perceived as perfect angels, are turning around and
doing some horrendous act. Many might wonder how those teens can become so bad. Not to make
excuses, stealing, killing, fighting and the misuse of drugs is always wrong, doesn’t matter who is doing it. But think back when your were a child. All those that commit the worst crimes we have
something in common with. You wanted to fit in, do all the cool things your friends were doing and
benefit from it in some sort of way. Sometimes we find ourselves doing the most strange and
unusual dares to be accepted by our peers. That want, to fit in, is the same with today's kids, just on a
bigger scale the older they get. Instead of taking a piece of candy without asking, they might steal a
My grandma tells me this all the time, when we talk about how bad kids at school have
become, that the worse thing kids in her class did was chew gum. Now some are swearing and
beating up their teachers and classmates. More and more I am getting the impression from older ones
that this generation is a lost cause. We are basing our happiness on how much wrong we can do and
then competing with others. If we think this is a way to better ourselves and to become something,
maybe just maybe the older ones are right. Are we going to amount to anything? Are we going to
cause the ruination of society by our unwise actions and selfish intents? This happens to every
generation. The troubling teens go with the crowd and commit a crime. Get caught, go to prison,
number of years later are released and they tell other young kids their experience and then tell them
to not do it. Hearing the stories that some may tell can be very hard because it is heartfelt and you
can sense the pain in their voice. Yet we might go and say it's not the same for us, they don’t know
what it's like or understand, we all think our situation and life is so unique. So we go and do
something wrong end up in prison and the vicious cycle starts all over again. Some honestly believe
that they are happy but truly your not, you have become numb to your own true desires and wants.
This is not a balanced or healthy way to be 'happy'. Many I speak to with these experiences regret so
much in life, and they wish to go back and become somebody that benefits the community. Would
you really want that sorrow and pain, that can be avoided, to go down with you to your grave?
Remember, working on improving your self-esteem can help you to not just follow the crowd and be
a man-pleaser, but to become our own person with standards and morals.
What Was the Point of Reading This?
I have finally got to the stage of my life where I feel, mostly, normal again. When I look in
the mirror I no longer think about hurting myself or suicide. Being an imperfect person I still tend to
point out things I don't like about myself or want to change, but it's definitely not as extreme as it
used to be. Also it is a very nice feeling to be accepted by other people and there is nothing wrong
with it, but if people just refuse to accept you the way you are, are they really someone that you want
to be friends with or have their approval?
During the stressful times of puberty it can be very easy to just want to end it now. Some
teens think, “If I wasn’t alive I wouldn't go through this.” But think about the people who love you
and how bad you would hurt them to all of a sudden erase yourself from their lives. For me, it was
encouraging to think that this doesn’t last forever! If you have to, tell yourself everyday that being
emotionally unstable, confused and tired will go away. You will be able to find your place, and
instead of just living through it in a haze barely making it to the end of the day, try to make the most
of it and survive the times. When you survive and bear it, you are working on turning a terrible
situation into a learning experience. How do you know if you're surviving it? When you have a
dilemma and you automatically think, 'ok lets do this' instead of 'oh my gosh how is this going to
work?' that's when you have mastered the technique of surviving. This is a great way to develop
needed qualities to be able to overcome more problems in the future. After each time, you will notice
that it get easier.
I really hope that by reading this you are able to benefit yourself in some way. We truly are
beautiful people and we all have something that's attractive about us. Learn how to make that quality
stand out and just let your light shine. We all can make it through the despairing times of puberty and
the bloom of youth but it is important to not scar yourself during this time, the effects are long
lasting. Love yourself and be honest with your thoughts and feelings at all times. With that I
conclude, the hopeful not to long essay, and I hope all goes good with each of us, as I am also
fighting the battle along side you!

The author's comments:
I worked on this piece for a few months, unfortunately I didn't win the contest I entered but I got good feedback to keep trying and to never give up on something that I love.

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