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Mental Health Center

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A Conversation With a Columbine Survivor

Marjorie Lindholm on Life After Columbine and Advice in the Wake of School Shootings

What helped you heal when you were going through it? I know it's a journey.

Not a lot did. I dropped out of high school and at that time, my parents divorced, so I didn't have a whole bunch of support at home at all. And then it took five years for me to tell my mom where I was [in the school when the Columbine shootings happened]. But after that point, since she's a counselor, she had mentioned that journaling helps, and so I started to that, because I couldn't talk about it yet. But writing about it was different and I was able to do it. ... And then eventually, I was able to talk about it. And that's kind of where that book came from. And now, when I do interviews, it just kind of lets me release it more and more. And I think that it's always ... a process and it's still going to be a lot more years till I'm at the point where I can really live with it every day and not be upset.

Are there things that you do on a day when a school shooting happens or an anniversary day -- things you do to take care of yourself?

Absolutely. I really think on those days, you do need to find comfort in something. My thing is ice cream, of course, like most females (laughs).

Any flavor in particular?

Oh, cookies and cream, for sure. (laughs) I love it. But I just treat myself. Even after the shootings, for, like, six months solid, all I ate were Peppermint Patties and Mountain Dew. And although it's unhealthy, to an average person, it mentally got me through it, and that's what mattered. Because so many of my friends at that time got into drug use or alcohol use or even killed themselves. And it's easy to do that when you go through something so traumatic at such a young age when you're just not prepared. Anything you can do to keep yourself still on track I think is so good. So during my harder days or the anniversaries or even when another shooting happens ... you know, my thing's food. (laughs) So I just do that, the ice cream, and maybe take myself to a movie or call a friend. But definitely, I don't push myself those days.

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