It’s that time of year again where we gather to learn about issues affecting young people’s lives from experts,guests and friends and most importantly from young people themselves. Next week beginning Tuesday May 2nd we will welcome guests and speakers Deirdre Burke(The Guardian Children’s Project), Shane Griffin (Care Leavers Ireland), Tony Bates (Headstrong), Ruairi McKiernan(Spunout,Uplift) and PJ Coogan(Opinion Line 96fm)
It is a huge privilege that all the above guests and speakers are taking the time to come and be with us next week. It is our privilege also to work with talented, creative and resilient young people daily. It is they who will take centre stage next week when we launch student album ‘Reflections’ by Colm O Brien and a student’s book ‘I’m Fine’ by A. Wootten.
‘I’m Fine’ is a brave and accomplished piece of work chronicling a difficult journey through the school system, through mental health struggles, self harm and thoughts of suicide. The book will be launched by Tony Bates founder of Headstrong on Wednesday May 3rd at 12 noon. For dates and times of other events see Cork Life Centre’s facebook page. Below an extract from ‘I’m Fine’
24th of May 1.17 pm
I knew it. I knew mum was going to ask me about yesterday. I went to bed too soon for her to ask last night. Hopefully she believed me when I said I was fine. Hopefully she doesn’t push it any further!
It was fine!
I am always fine!
I have to be fine!
In reality I’m not fine. …….
But I’m FINE
Isn’t it both amazing and frightening what those two words can hide?!
After a while, “I’m fine” becomes an automatic response when asked how you are. It’s like a mask, a form of defence.
You know that you are far from fine, that you are hurting and struggling. Yet you want desperately to protect the other person. You don’t want to burden or hurt them. People want to think that everyone is okay. They are more comfortable believing that everything is ok;and you do not want to the shatter that. So you play along and pretend that everything is fine, you lie.
There is a part of you that wants them to push you, for them to look in your eyes and to tell you that you aren’t. You want them to insist that you tell them the truth,to show that they care about you and want nothing more than to help you. At the same time though, you don’t. You don’t want to have to admit to them that you aren’t fine. You don’t want to burden them with your crap. You don’t want them to see how messed up you feel or you think you are. Nine times out of ten, you’d just say you are tired anyway, I always have.
“I’m fine”-Those six letters are both your best friend and your worst enemy. They bring you comfort and also terrify you….