If you’re asking me

Use your voice

Skyler Schad

More stories from Skyler Schad

If you’re asking me
October 4, 2023

Photo by Marisa Valdez

Fall time is the best time for improving your mental health.

Dear reader,

I can’t count how many times I’ve convinced myself my opinions are not worth sharing with others.

With 8 billion people in this world, I can’t seem to find any single reason that my voice is worth listening to. Why would my words make any more of a difference than the words of others?

But I’m here aren’t I? Sharing my all-too-personal stories with strangers on the internet, and I will never be able to understand why people would ever want to listen to me.

In my almost 20 years on this Earth, I have convinced myself to stand on the edge of every single room, my mouth sealed shut but my mind racing with thoughts.

I listen to every conversation and come up with a million things I can add, but an invisible glue always spreads itself across my lips.

I remember being younger, sitting in a room full of girls my age, wanting so badly to connect with them, but not knowing how to. Then they said the dreaded sentence, “You’re so quiet, Skyler.”

Quiet. I hate that word with a passion. It’s my least favorite word on this whole planet, because that has eternally been my label. It was so constantly tied to me that I would often use it to describe myself when asked about my personality.

I’ve spent so much time silencing myself that it’s basically second nature for me. It’s a sense of normalcy that I’m so scared to let go of.

What happens when I step out of my little bubble and viciously wipe the glue from my lips? I don’t want to be judged or hated for voicing my thoughts, but maybe the risk is worth it.

I try to convince myself of that fact, but I never seem to get anywhere. It’s something that is very frustrating, and I am fighting every day to get over my fear.

I always remind myself that I am making strides toward this. I remember when I used to be afraid of reposting political things on my Instagram story, but I realized that I didn’t care if I voiced my opinion, because I was finally showing my true self.

I don’t know how this action was received, but I was content with the fact that I was finally being honest about a part of myself. 

We connect with others through our voices, whether we are actually talking to someone or posting something on social media. By communicating, we create friendships and relationships that can last a lifetime.

But you always need to remember how much your voice can make an impact.

While you are only one person on this Earth, your voice does matter. Just saying one thing to another person can completely change their whole day.

I never thought that writing these stories would connect to people the way they do, but I’m so happy I started sharing my experiences to create that bridge of support.

The next time you are in a room full of people and scared to say something, just take a deep breath and remember that your opinions are worthy of being heard. You have a voice for a reason, so use it.

Find random moments throughout every day to put your thoughts out into the world. One of the ways I am trying to do this is by complimenting people more.

I remember every random compliment I have ever gotten from strangers, and I remind myself of those moments whenever I feel like I’m not speaking up enough.

I am in the learning process of using my voice, but I am tired of being afraid. It has been way too long, and I am ready for things to change.

Push yourself to utilize your voice, because you have it for a reason. I believe in you. We are in this together. 

Every voice is worthy of being heard and that includes yours.

Lots of love and hugs of encouragement,


Schad can be reached at [email protected].