In Abigale’s words:
Peyton Heart Project Ambassador Essay: By Abigale Bilotta
My name is Abigale Bilotta. I’m 13 years old and I live in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.
I have been affected by bullying personally. I was bullied during my fourth grade year. It made me very self conscious and not believe in myself as much as I should [have] and it made me very upset and confused why the person would be so happy to be mean and make me upset. I did go to the counselor’s office quite often just to talk to her. I didn’t start to get better with my self confidence until I started to gain more friends in the beginning of sixth grade. They are still my really good friends because they would always be so nice and would help me with anything.
I have been affected by self-harm not personally but I have a few really close friends who have self-harmed. One of them is in a suicide [prevention] clinic to try to get help with how badly she has depression and suicidal thoughts. One of my other friends has cut her wrists sadly but got help right away if it was a bad cut. Another one of my friends has tried once and he almost passed but he survived and he said it was one of the scariest feelings he had ever had.
I have been affected by suicide by my cousin dying from suicide [he] and I were very close and whenever he was around we would always have a great time. But he had eczema, OCD and many other issues. He was on pain killer medication and he became addicted. When the doctors took him off he thought he couldn’t live without it, so he decided to take his own life. It still affects me greatly on a daily basis.
I have been affected by other mental health issues not personally but my dad has anxiety and depression and a few of my friends have anxiety and depression they all are on medication to help it and they are doing better than they used to.
I heard about The Peyton Heart Project from my friend who found a heart and posted it on her instagram. Instantly, I was intrigued by it and wanted to learn more because I love to help people.
The Peyton Heart Project means to me that there is kindness and love in the world and you just have to look for it. It means that there is [help] for whatever you are going through and you just need to ask for help. With the hearts you can spread kindness and some people will get help from finding these hearts.
I want to be an ambassador because I would love to help more people and spread the word that you can get help and you don’t have to keep all of your emotions locked up inside of you.
Some ideas I have are to make hearts with my girl scout troop and I know my leader would love to help. Also, I am doing a fundraiser on June 22, 2019 for suicide awareness and the leukemia lymphoma society. I would also like to talk to my school to see if we could maybe do an assembly or something to spread the word.