Liv used to think that dealing with grief followed five clear steps. But after experiencing her sister’s death due to gun violence, she learned that grief was a mix of intense emotions, which she didn’t expect. After the loss, Liv began experiencing many sleepless nights, toxic friendships, engaging in reckless behavior, and increasing depression. She wondered if she’d ever feel better.
When she ended up in the hospital, Liv was assigned to a therapist. That unhelpful experience made her hesitant to try again, and she continued suffering. But then her parents got her into counseling at Youth Eastside Services (YES). With her new YES therapist and the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy groups, Liv learned new ways to manage her trauma, calm herself through breathing exercises, and get support from others her age who were also struggling.
“Through all the ups and downs, my dad has told me that “life is a journey and not a destination”. At some points in time, my emotions have taken a toll in my daily life. I was always the person who supported others, but I quickly realized I needed support as well,” said Liv.
By involving her family in her therapy, they learned the importance of supporting each other. Emotional waves often affected their daily lives, but they were able to find comfort. The family’s experience with gun violence brought them together to become advocates for gun safety. Their bond helped them recover together as a family.
Even though Liv experienced difficult challenges, depression, thoughts of suicide, and hospitalizations, she found the strength to keep going. Taking care of her mental health became a priority and helped her grow stronger. As she approaches adulthood and gets ready to leave for college, she is committed to honoring her sister’s legacy with courage and determination.
“I’ll be 18 this Fall and will be leaving my nest to venture into the real world, that scares me due to the homicides and dangerous people out there, but I will keep my head up – for Taylor.”
Liv was a client speaker at the 2023 Invest in Youth Breakfast. You may click below to listen to Liv tell her story from the event.
HELPING YOUTH LIKE LIV
Recovery stories like Liv’s are made possible through the generosity of many YES donors. Supporters provide ALL children, youth, and families in East King County with a chance of recovery.
You, too, can be a lifeline in a young person’s life today by making a gift to provide families with hope for a brighter tomorrow! Whether you donate $5 or $500, every gift will make a difference in the life of a child or youth seeking hope and recovery.
Thanks to donations like yours, no youth is turned away because they can’t afford to pay for services.