Tips for sharing your story with a friend or on Teenage Grief Sucks.
I started writing articles for Teenage Grief Sucks almost a year before it was released. At the time, I felt comfortable sharing all of my thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper, but on the day I released this website, I started panicking. What if people judge me? Why was I so vulnerable? Was this all a mistake?
That day, part of me wanted to not release it. To call TGS another failed project of mine, and never think about it again. But I didn't listen to that part of me. Instead, I went through my articles, removing some details and stories I wasn't comfortable with sharing online, and then released my website.
Sharing my grief has been much more complex than I expected. I never thought I'd have to decide what parts of my story to share, who to tell it to, and that I wouldn't always get positive reactions. Even with that, though, I've never regretted sharing it.
Whether you're sharing your story with a friend or on our website, it can seem really scary at first. It actually isn't usually as bad as you may think, though. This article gives advice for sharing your grief with friends and on the Internet.
After reading this, if you feel comfortable, I'd love to share your grief on Teenage Grief Sucks. Click here to learn more.
Tips for Sharing Your Grief with Friends
1. Figure out what you're comfortable sharing beforehand. You never have to share more than you're comfortable with. Try imagining yourself telling someone your story, and see what bothers you to say. It's okay to wait to share some of your story - or just not talk about it with certain people.
2. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. It's okay to share complex emotions with people and admit that you may not be okay.
3. Write it all out beforehand. If you haven't told your story before, it may be difficult to figure out how to share it. Writing it all out can help you decide how you want to share your story, and what you do and don't want to mention.
4. Write key parts down. If there are details that you don't want to forget, be sure to write them down on your phone or a piece of paper. That way, if you get stuck while telling your story, you can reference this to remember what to say.
5. Practice! Beforehand, figure out what you want to say and how you want to say it. It's a lot easier to talk about something once you've done this.
6. Talk individually with a person. This eliminates distractions, may make you feel more comfortable, and makes sure that your friend is completely focused on you.
7. Know that, just because someone reacts negatively, doesn't mean that everyone will. Some people just don't get grief. However, there are people who do. If someone reacts negatively to you sharing your story, chances are they just don't know a lot about grief, and it has nothing to do with you.
Tips for Sharing Your Grief Online
1. Read other TGS articles if you want ideas about how to format your story (but you don't have to format it that way).
2. Your first draft may not be your final draft. I usually write two or three drafts before publishing an article. The first draft is just me rambling about an idea I had, the second is removing extra details that I don't need, and the third is editing it. Just start writing, and don't worry about your first draft being perfect.
3. Have people read your story before you send it in. This can ensure that you're okay with people knowing the information in it and that it makes sense.
4. Choose a story that you're comfortable with sharing. If you're unsure about publishing something online, don't. It's okay if you're not ready to share some details with the world yet.
5. Use Grammarly if you need grammar help.
If you're comfortable, we'd love to hear your story. To share your grief on Teenage Grief Sucks, click here.
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Written by Natalie Adams, the creator of Teenage Grief Sucks. Follow her on Twitter @natalieladams.