By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter
In honour of National Pink Shirt Day, a local author who wrote a book on anti-bullying wants to remind victims they are not alone and that it’s okay to speak out.
Growing up in Oshawa, Ryan Doyle, now 33, was bullied badly, which he says defined his future in a positive way.
“Because I successfully overcame bullying, I felt the need to try to help other victims try to overcome bullying as well,” he says.
That’s when he decided to write his book, Tears of Loneliness: The Angel Within, which was published in March 2016.
A partial memoir, Doyle writes of his personal experiences involving bullying, followed by a self-help section which provides victims of bullying with effective coping strategies that can help them to overcome bullying.
“Through my experiences and being able to overcome bullying in my own life, I’m able to help other victims realize they’re not alone and it can help victims realize that there is hope.”
Doyle says Pink Shirt Day, which is celebrated on Feb. 24, is an excellent initiative that can help victims, noting he will be wearing his pink shirt proudly.
For those who are currently experiencing bullying, Doyle says he wants them to know they are not alone and that it’s about finding a way, although difficult, to not allow the words and actions of others to bother them in any way.
“Sometimes what it’s really about is loving and believing in themselves and realizing that people who are victims are not the problem, but that it’s the bullies in the world that need to change their ways. It’s not the victims that are in need of changing,” he says.
“I think they do it because something in their life is making them unhappy. It’s about realizing that and finding effective coping strategies for dealing with it as opposed to taking it out on other victims,” he continues.
He says bullies need to look into their victim’s eyes and see the suffering they are experiencing.
“Maybe if they can have some empathy for the victims they’re victimizing, maybe they can making those changes in their life,” he adds.
Looking ahead, Doyle has started working on his second book on anti-bullying and how former victims can develop an optimistic future for themselves.
For now, he says he hopes his book, Tears of Loneliness: The Angel Within, will continue to help other victims.
Doyle’s book can be found on Amazon.