It was 12:27 a.m. last Sunday when I called my little sister.
I didn’t want to call her—she had had a long day, she was stressed studying for the GRE, and she really, really, really, likes sleeping. I didn’t want to bother her. Stress her out even more. Interfere with her precious sleep schedule.
But I was scared.
I was in the middle of my first major panic attack in about two months, and it was almost like I had forgotten how to cope with them. Tears were streaming down my cheeks and I couldn’t figure out why. The room seemed to be spinning around me. Just minutes before I had had a run-in with self injury and for the first time ever, I hadn’t felt satisfied with a few little cuts.
I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to stop. That I would get even dizzier and even sicker. That I would just keep crying and crying and crying. That I would end up doing something really stupid.
So I called.
It took my sister all of 5 minutes to get to my house, where she stayed until I had finished crying, brushed my teeth, and climbed in bed.
Before my sister left last Sunday, she found a tube of my Chapstick and scribbled something on my bathroom mirror with it.
“Don’t erase that until you believe it,” she said as she walked out.
I turned into a blubbery mess when I woke up 8 hours later and read what she wrote. She wrote something I forget pretty much every day—and because of that, I couldn’t NOT use her example as reason #2 to be happy. To keep fighting. To live.
But the point of today’s blog post isn’t how great my sister is. I mean, don’t get me wrong, she’s hella dope. The real point of today’s blog post is about the power people have to save lives. To make differences. To, quite literally, be guardian angels.
For all we know, my sister saved my life last Sunday morning.
For all we know, the message she scribbled on my mirror saved my life every single morning I read it as I prepared to take on the world this week.
For all we know, each and every single one of us has the power to save lives each and every single day.
And that’s pretty empowering, right?
If there’s anything that should make us feel good about ourselves, it’s the potential we all have to affect other people’s lives for the better. If there’s anything that should make us feel worthwhile, it’s the power we have to make other people feel worthwhile. If there’s one thing that should help keep us happy, it’s that thought.
So next time you’re feeling crappy and sad and worthless, try to get outside yourself and go do something nice for someone else.
Say hi to the cute guy at the gym. (Who knows? He might be having a bad day.)
Buy a sandwich for the homeless guy sitting outside the grocery store.
Compliment a coworker’s outfit.
Like your kinda-friend’s Instagram selfie even if you think they post too much. (They’re probably posting it because they, too, want to feel worthwhile.)
Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and invite them over for a Netflix marathon.
Write a letter to one of your long-lost cousins.
Wash your roommate’s dishes.
Say yes when your friend (or sibling) who’s having a shitty time asks you to come over at 1 in the morning.
Whatever it is, just remember that you have the power to change a person’s life. You have the power to lift yourself up while you’re lifting someone else up. You have the power to be someone’s guardian angel.
And I just have to give a major shoutout out to my little sister for being a total badass. In addition to saving my life numerous times, she’s a rockstar athletic trainer, makes really good chocolate-caramel turtle bars, has an amazing sense of humor, and doesn’t take any shit from anyone. And she has really, really great ankles so that’s pretty cool, too.
Thanks for always being there, Cam.
Who is your guardian angel?