The Lion's Roar

The Good, The Bad, The Homeless

Hanna Ruiz '20, Staff Writer

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What if you could achieve and accept every challenge that came your way? Wouldn’t that seem like a perfect world, or at least easy? I certainly would! Once in a while, I deeply wish life was like that. But, at some point, you’re going to have to face the reality head-on if you want to overcome anything. At least that was what I learned personally at a very young age.

When I was still in elementary school my family had gone through what I like to call, a Financial Abyss. Meaning we just did not have the money to pay bills and most importantly rent. This was not our first time in this type of dilemma, and certainly not our last. Eventually, we were evicted from our home with no place to go. At this time, this was about the second or third time that my family and I were homeless. Luckily we had family and older siblings that took us in but that meant we had to split up. When I was younger my older siblings were my only foundation. After the separation, I was completely engulfed in depression and self-pity. Soon after, I developed separation anxiety that was also caused by another event but that’s another story.

Due to these events I went through school with a fake smile, prepared lies, and “friends” I wasted my time on. All of this was because I wanted to forget my home situation no matter what I had to do. So, I let my emotions get to me and I shut everyone out; including some people that were very close to me. I was a hollow shell with no desire or vision of the future. I guess you can say I completely lost the will to live. I know this may sound like I was overreacting, but I assure you this was no dramatic performance. I had no “real” friends. I could not keep the friends I made. Most of all I was separated from the people I needed the most, my siblings. When I was growing up my eldest sister on my mom’s side was like a mother to me; considering my mom was busy trying to gain my father’s attention. And to be completely honest she was all I needed. When I was separated from her that crushed me.

Going through these experiences throughout my life has taken its toll on me mentally, emotionally, and physically. This and many other events that took place pushed me to the point where I considered suicide as one of my solutions. Sometimes to “cope” with that mindset I would refuse to eat, cry myself to sleep, and I would watch week’s worth of anime in one day. Of course, it did not help my situation, but it did assist me in forgetting my problems for a while. I was in a really dark place where I 100% thought I was too far gone for anyone to help me. I thought, “Even God can’t help me at this point.” Luckily I was wrong. I was entered into multiple mental health programs that taught me how to fight my lions and mount them on the wall. Thanks to those people I was back on my feet with a new desire to live. I even developed a stronger bond with my mom. My relationship with my father still needs some work, but I’m not backing down just yet. I still got a fire in my belly that needs to be released and I intend to use this fire on him.

My life has been quite different compared to most people, but that’s OK. That just means I have more advice to give and stories to tell.

Paul Valéry once wrote, “Le vent se lève!… Il Faut tenter de Vivre!”. The translation is, “The wind is rising!… We must try to live!“. I have been living by this quote for some time now and it has helped me in so many ways that it seems unrealistic. If you are struggling with what I mentioned throughout this article, please, stop where you are and look around you. Notice who’s around you, may it be a significant other, a parent, etc. Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, and just think about where you are. Because I can 99.5% tell you that you are not alone. And with that knowledge, you can fight your lions. You just need someone willing to help you. If you are struggling with homelessness, anxiety, depression, please inform someone you trust may it be a teacher, school counselor, parent, friend, etc. You need this help. Let the wind guide you because you must try to live!

You might be thinking that I may be stronger than you and you doubt yourself, but I assure you that I was just as lost as you and probably still am. But, if you just talk to someone they may not be able to give you a house but they can either lead you in the direction where there is help for mental health or lead you to where there is support. Just don’t ever give up! You are not alone! Don’t ever think that, because help and people you can relate to are closer than you think.

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The Good, The Bad, The Homeless