Rose

Rose

Every rose has its thorns just as every person has their flaws, and both are perfect just the way they are. You don’t need to wear a certain type of clothing or have a certain phone or smoke or do drugs or drink to be accepted by everyone else. All we need is to know that we are all perfect just the way we are, and if your friends can’t accept you for who you are, then they are not your friends.

James, Oklahoma

Resort

Resort

Don’t think that alcohol will solve all of your problems. It doesn’t. It hurts you and everyone who cares, and people do care. You’re loved, and if you don’t feel like it or you’ve never had anyone tell you that, well, I love you. Find happiness through music, writing, anything but alcohol, because that makes you feel worse. Stay strong.

Sara, South Carolina

Don’t Give In

Don’t Give In

Don’t give in. If your friends are doing it, you don’t have to. If you don’t think it’s right, say no. Keep true to you!!

Karah, Maryland

Drugs

Drugs

I have seen t0o many people die from overdosing or from drugs, and that will never happen to me, because I will never abuse drugs.

Autumn, Florida

Being yourself

Being yourself

In a relationship sometimes girls will try to change for the guy she likes (same for guys). But don’t try to change yourself for a guy or girl. If they don’t notice you before the change, then forget them. Only know people who will love you for you.

Cyerra, Florida

Be Yourself

Be Yourself

Be yourself. Do not fall in the traps of bullies who claim to be your friends but just make your life more miserable. Say no to what you aren’t. Give yourself a dream, be yourself and most importantly, make your OWN choices, instead of letting someone else do it for you.

Anthony, Florida

You are not that person

You are not that person

We all know the feeling of disappointment. The degrading thought of, “I am not worth it. All the things I have done wrong. Why am I so terrible?” But you are not that person. We have expectations for ourselves, and sometimes they are not helping us, and they could just be destroying us. All the peer pressure, expectations from others, and overall negativity or envy of someone or something has a huge impact on your self-image. But only you can change that. Love yourself because there is no one else like you. You are unique. And most importantly, you are you.

Sophie, Florida

Pure

Pure

Being above the influence is about being 100% pure you. You are the life of the party, not you + your drink. You are the reason for someone’s laugh, not you + your drugs. You are everything you need to be, no substance necessary.

Lauren, Indiana

Just be yourself

Just be yourself

Getting made fun of for how you like to dress? Whether you are in school or an adult in the work force; it will happen. What truly matters is how you handle it. If you are like me and like to wear black with crazy colored hair, then why not do it? People will stare. They will mock you, and make you feel horrible, but do their opinions really matter? No, they do not. If you like black and dress in rainbows because of fear; are you truly happy? No. So why let this fear of mockery stop you from being yourself. You are a unique individual. You are beautiful the way you are. If someone doesn’t like the way you are; that’s their problem. But should we seek revenge? Yes, but not with harsh words and violence. Living our lives to the fullest and making ourselves truly happy is the best revenge you can get. In short: be what you want to be and do not let others decide who you are as a person. Happiness kills.

James, Virginia

Be Who You Are

Be Who You Are

The only acceptance you need to be yourself is your own, not anyone else’s. Don’t feel pressured to be like someone else. As long as you know who you are and you feel comfortable being yourself, that is all that matters. You stand out just by being yourself. You don’t need permission to be you. Don’t forget that it’s OK to be yourself.

Kale'a, Florida

Enjoy Sober

Enjoy Sober

I got my 90 day tag after multiple failed attempts. I never got all the way to 90 days… till now. I feel empowered and scared at the same time. I’ve listened to Macklemore’s “otherside” and “starting over” about a billion times. I can’t believe I made it. In a month it will be a year since I last shot, it’s insane realizing how fast everything unraveled. I feel scared reading the statistic that 93% will have 7-13 relapses before it’s permanent. I will not be part of that statistic. I’ve seen drugs take too many lives to think that it won’t be me “just this time.” I’ve been away from home for almost a year and when I go back I will stay clean. The color in my skin is back, the scabs are gone, and the tracks are faded. I am no longer the “designated drinker” or the “ice queen.” It scares me to think that I will never have that feeling again, but I can do it. Whether it’s “Just for Today,” or I have to go to a meeting everyday. I will do it, Above the Influence.

CeCe, Texas

Addiction

Addiction

Addiction is tempting. To get away from it takes will power. Everyone has at least one addiction, from food to drugs. All addictions are a struggle no matter how common they are. The key to an addiction recovery is love from family and friends. Take the high road live above the peer pressure!

Mandy, Florida

Be original!

Be original!

You should always believe in yourself and nobody else. If someone wants you to do something and you don’t want to do it, don’t do it! And if you’re thinking about following in somebody’s footsteps just because they are “cool,” don’t. Be yourself, Be original.

Cael, Florida

Respect

Respect

People bring you down. It’s a fact of life. They tell you that you are ugly or stupid and use a derogatory term to hurt you. You have to learn to move past these things and not care what they think. You aren’t a part of this world to please them. Some people find pleasure in treating people horribly which personally I will never understand. All they are doing is putting a label on their forehead that says “I’m mean.” They lack the self respect to treat others properly so their criticism shouldn’t factor in to how you feel about yourself.

Leah, Florida

Loving Yourself and Pressure

Loving Yourself and Pressure

People tend to want to pressure you into things. They tell you it’s okay, or that whatever they want you to do is safe. They will promise you that they won’t tell anybody or spread it around, but they are lying. They lack the respect for themselves and others and feel that it is okay to pressure somebody to do something that they don’t want to do. Please don’t let them pressure you. You may be feeling terrible at the moment, but it will get better. You have to learn to love yourself and believe in your own judgment because when it comes to your safety, there’s no such thing as being a “baby.”

Leah, Florida

YOUR JOB IS TO BE YOURSELF

YOUR JOB IS TO BE YOURSELF

“Just be yourself because everyone else is taken.” -Unknown. I live by this quote and you should too. If you dislike coffee then you don’t have to order the Java chip frapp like your friend always does just to look, “cool.” So you post a picture of your frappuchino and tag it with #Starbuckslove. Did you really order it just for the appearance of you buying it? You really want to throw it away inside but you instead force it down your throat to look… “cool.” You don’t have to do things everybody expects you to do. It’s so sad how in today’s society people try so hard to fit in. You don’t have to do these things just to fit in, you WILL ATTRACT THE WRONG FRIENDS. You won’t be happy with yourself. So please, be yourself and don’t order Starbucks next time if you don’t like it. Go to the fro-yo place down the block; I’m sure they have delicious flavors.

Olivia, Florida

Stuck in Society?

Stuck in Society?

I think many people feel different compared to other people in their community. I just don’t think people understand that being different isn’t bad at all.

We work so hard to be a part of something so that we feel loved, but we shouldn’t have to change ourselves to be loved or feel pressured. If a person is making you feel negative about yourself, let them know, or just stay away from them.

Whether they like it or not, you should be able to express yourself to the world without anyone pushing you down.

Marilyn, New York

The Mind

The Mind

We are all given a mind to create. The mind works on repetition. Lets repeat the things that make us feel good.

If we do not look closely into the thoughts we let into the mind it may begin to create someone inside of you that you do not like. But why would you allow the mind to not love you when You are creating this mind?

Rise above thought, not below.

Angela, Massachusetts

be yourself

be yourself

I know it’s hard to be yourself in our society today. But believe in yourself and just know that the people who are talking about you, you can be better than them. Don’t stoop down to their level. Be the bigger person. You can do it, I know you can :)

jinxx, Maryland

Not getting high

Not getting high

After prom all of my friends decided to smoke weed. It was being passed around and when it got to me I was afraid to say I didn’t want to. My best friend gave me the stare… saying just do it. I passed it off when the bowl came to me, no one really cared. One guy asked me why, and I just said, “I’m not into that stuff.” No big deal. I was glad I didn’t do it. That’s just not me.

Stefani, Illinois

help yourself

help yourself

Even when times are hard and you’re under a lot of stress, keep going. Not being cheesy and typical… things honestly DO get better. Be yourself and love who you are.

Paige, Tennessee

Follow your own path

Follow your own path

A teacher of mine once said “Don’t blend in. When you blend you disappear.” Don’t follow others just to be a part of a group. Have goals and dreams and chase them. Even if they seem impossible chase them anyway. You only have one life in this body; don’t waste it getting drunk and high.

Melissa, New Jersey

You can do it

You can do it

The world can come with struggles and pain. But drugs don’t make things better. Do not be ashamed to get help. It’s what you need in order to better yourself. I personally have faith in anyone who is fighting an addiction; they need as much support as they can get.

Paige, New York

Stress

Stress

I am 14. Most of my friend’s are either depressed or stressed. They call them selves ugly, unwanted, unloved, and not cared for.

Me. No, I know who I am. I know my strengths and disabilities. I know that, no matter what, I will always be me. Even when I am to be judged by another. I am me. I am who I want to be. I choose who I am, not others. I define who I am. Not that bully who says you’re weak or not wanted. I am wanted.

To those who feel unloved: You’re loved. You’re wanted. You always will be.

Kevin, Oregon

strength

strength

You are you, and that is all that maters. You might have friends that could use your help, so be strong for them and your family. They need you more then ever. Be proud of who you are. Know that you are loved, and that’s all that maters.

sarah, Oregon

It’s NOT worth it

It’s NOT worth it

I first smoked pot with my older brother when I was 14. I didn’t want to at first, but I let him talk me into it. I started to enjoy it. Before long it became the only way I could enjoy myself. Every spare dollar I had was spent on pot. Eventually my brother and I did shrooms and ecstasy together. Looking back, I feel like he was using me, taking advantage of his status as an older sibling role model to have someone to use drugs with and to feel validated in his behavior with drugs. No matter what happens, you MUST stay true to yourself and don’t let anyone manipulate you.

Sometimes I worry I’m not the same person I was before I used drugs. I struggle with depression and anxiety, and it’s difficult for me to find joy in my day-to-day life the way I used to. Letting by brother talk me into drugs is the biggest regret of my life. He’s overdosed on heroin twice and almost died because of it. Drugs are a gamble: with your personality, and ultimately, your life.

Sarah, Washington

You got this (;

You got this (;

Hey, you don’t have to do something to be cool. You’re cool when you make a decision and stick with it; showing your friends that you’re independent and you do what you want, not what they want you to do. Be a pimp without taking hits! (;

Maegan, Arkansas

I Love you Daddy !

I Love you Daddy !

I remember the day the doctor came in for what we thought was a regular doctors appointment. Turned out to be the worst day ever. It was Jan.06,2014. She told you she had bad news. There’s no more time. It’s cancer. The x-ray showed spots like a dalmatian. She asked if we would like to see it. We both replied “no!” at the same time. She said this was the time to mend things with people you had problems with. Write letters to those who couldn’t understand, to those who don’t want to listen, to do whatever it takes to leave in peace. That’s when you asked her how much time do you have. She replied “I don’t give death dates,” but she could assure you its only a matter of weeks, months if you’re lucky. Your eyes full of tears, you just nodded up and down in disappointment. Then you replied “What can I say? I’m dying, right?” Still trying to grip onto the reality. My father died on Feb.26,2014,  just a month after discovering he was battling cancer for 8 years, totally unaware due to alcohol and drugs.

DARLENE, California

Be yourself

Be yourself

Be yourself. No matter what people think, be you. If your friends don’t like it, don’t change yourself, change your friends. I know it’s hard sometimes, but keep your head held high. XX

Iza, Georgia

Love can be a drug

Love can be a drug

Love can overcome any obstacle. My gf saved me. She made me see what I could do with my life… Which was help people and let them know there is way more stuff to be doing than getting high. Be yourself. Love someone. Be there for someone. Help someone. Put the drugs down and open the world to your arms and dont let go. There will be times when it gets rough as will there be times when it’s easy. Just always keep your head up and keep on loving. This world can always be changed for the better.

Zachary, Michigan

A light in the darkness

A light in the darkness

These days, people (especially teenagers) are surrounded by a darkness, which is caused by stress. Your family and friends are your light to keep the darkness at bay. If you have any problem, let them know. You may feel like you don’t want to burden them with your problems. I feel that way too sometimes. But, they WILL listen to you and help you. If you don’t seek help from them, that darkness will form a demon, which manifests itself into a negative emotion. From there, if you constantly try to ignore that problem, it will feast on your will, then you. Yet, if you tell your family and friends – your light – about your problems, then that demon will slumber, and the darkness will burn away to a safe distance.

Vincent, Michigan

Only you decide what you’re worth

Only you decide what you’re worth

I was home schooled until fifth grade when I went into a classroom for the first time. I didn’t understand how other kids worked. I didn’t understand what was socially acceptable and what was not. I was made fun of. I was told that nobody likes me, among many other hurtful things. You know what I learned though? People can only decide what you are worth if you allow them to. You can tell them no. You can decide that yeah, I know plenty of people who like me. In fact, you can decide that YOU like you. You can dance through the halls and sing and feel sorry for them because they are not having as much fun as you. Be carefree. Define your own worth. Live your own life. It is not theirs to control.

Katelyn, Oregon

what keeps me above

what keeps me above

Working with friends, family, sports, and my job is what keeps me above the influence of drugs and alcohol. If I were to upset my friends or family by doing drugs, they would be disappointed with me, and I don’t like when that happens. I also stay above the influence to be able to participate in my school sports such as tennis, volleyball and soft-ball. The last thing I stay above for is my job. If I were using drugs and going and drinking alcohol they would fire me on the spot. Since I have a car that I need to pay for, I can’t afford to lose my job.

Makayla, New York

You mean something to someone

You mean something to someone

No matter how down you’re feeling about yourself, there is always someone out there admiring everything you do, and that’s a life worth living for.

Lucas, Pennsylvania

Be Yourself

Be Yourself

I know that bullying and teasing can be so painful and upsetting. Try your best not to let it get to you. Find a positive way to channel your energy like writing in a journal. People say all the time that things will get better. I know it may seem hard to believe, but things really will get better. I promise!

Jeremy, Minnesota

Change

Change

Don’t let others tell you how to look or how to dress. Be YOU. Do YOU. Don’t follow the crowd, sometimes the strays are better than the entire herd.

Captain, Wisconsin

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