I don’t even know what to do.

My friend is very depressed right now. He reminds me of how I was in middle school: sad and alone and hating myself.

I’ll never understand how a religion that is supposed to be rooted in loving thy neighbors could make kids want to kill themselves.

But I digress.

My friend has decided to stop ignoring the fact that he’s homosexual. He’s internalizing all the religious talk (from people who have their share of dark secrets) and he won’t make a decision for himself. He’s allowing other people’s thoughts to shape his mindset instead of doing it himself.

You can’t rely on people to define you. You must define yourself. His friends accept him, but his parents and the God and church that they exposed him to won’t. So because of this, he goes from being level headed (when he’s around his friends) to completely in the dumps and near suicidal (when his parents talk to him about it or when he thinks about the hell that’s supposedly waiting for him).

I’m at a crossroads here because I’ve gone through it myself. As I stated previously, in middle school I would cry endlessly for hours at a time, night after night wondering why God would allow me to have these feelings if he was so against it. I begged and pleaded and cried and did other things I’m not proud of…

But then one day I decided that I wouldn’t allow myself to feel like that anymore. One day I woke up from the depression for a split second, and told myself that I was worth something. Making these conscious decisions didn’t magically take the pain away—it took time—but after a while I was feeling more and more confident. The depression was falling away. I wasn’t relying on a book or doctrine or some other person to tell me who I should be because I was defining myself by myself.

But my friend is a different story. The way he sees it is that he has to make a decision between a version of a God that he believes he should love and serve because his parents do and that’s all he knows vs. his happiness. He keeps asking me questions that I can’t answer for him because he has to come to certian conclusions by himself to be able to fully love who he is. I can’t tell him who he’s supposed to be.

I guess I just wish that there was something more I could do for him. I hate seeing him like this. I know the pain. I know there are days when you wish that you would just never wake up. I know how it feels to wish you’d never been born. I wish I could save him. But I can’t.

He’s going to have to get through it by himself. He’s going to have to make a choice one day and tell himself that he’s worth more than a bigot’s bullseye. I can do nothing but offer words of encouragement that he may or may not even want to hear and just hope for a happy ending to this story.