“Love is a desire for and a delight in the well being of the one loved; to active and a self sacrificing effort on their behalf” (Cooper P. Abrams III). In the midst of an unimaginable hardship, a single friendship may save a struggling teens life. Depression and other life altering mental illnesses often lead suffering teens to despair; however, heartfelt compassion and understanding from a loyal friend provides an important lifeline that can save the hurting teens life.
As a lifeline, a teen becomes something greater than a classmate; they become a friend-the buffer that holds the struggling teen from ending their life. While this task of being the buffer is noble in though, it is difficult in practice. Mental illness is often misunderstood, misdiagnosed and generally difficult for peers to understand. A lifeline must dismiss fears of being uncomfortable, of feeling awkward, of desiring quick fixes.
Being a lifeline to someone requires patience, compassion, and love. Sometimes this means that you are there to talk or listen to the one struggling. Maybe just sitting down with them and reassuring them that life is worth living, even if they are stuck in darkness, unaware of hope or light at the end of the tunnel. When you care for someone who is sick, an act of love is being lived out, and with that, a certain glimpse of hope that they will get back on the right path towards self-reliance and confidence. In short, a lifeline is a loyal friend who is willing to sit in the darkness and nudge their friend toward the light.