The worst period of my life began right around the time I was getting ready to go into high school, so when I was in 8th grade. And, it continued up until the end of my sophomore year.
When you get into 8th grade, this is the time you start to worry about your future. This is the part of life where shit gets real. Let’s say I did not handle that too well. I began to overthink and form negative thinking patterns (I got anxiety, and I got it bad). My mom always called me a worry wart, but I think the amount of anxiety I was getting in 8th grade even made her worry. I began to think that I had reached my peak and that it was all downhill from there. Well, my life did start to go downhill, hence the picture of the rollercoaster. Yeah, I was at that point in my life at the age of fourteen. Good news is, and I didn’t realize this at the time, that after you reach the bottom you go back up to the top, and then you might come down again, but that is just the way life goes, for a while. Eventually though, you will be able to get off the rollercoaster and become grounded. The ride ends, once you realize you are in control. Well, you will still have those highs and lows. They give life balance. Maybe not everything in your life will be in your control, but at least you’ll have control of your mind and be rid of the constant cycle of self sabotaging thoughts and depression.
There is nothing wrong with the choices my parents made, but looking at their lives scared the shit out of me. There was no way I would ever be satisfied continuing on the stressful path of going to school, getting a degree, choosing a career, sticking with it, finding a husband, and raising children to live the same kind of life. I wasn’t certain of what I wanted and felt I lacked purpose. I did not just want to fit in. A part of me knew life had more meaning. Life could be more than this. It should be more. This cycle of living simply and secure had to end. Good thing I had an older brother who deviated from literally everything that was considered normal.When I was only fourteen, his refusal to conform was truly shocking to me. I looked down on him for it, honestly. But, he was two years older. I didn’t understand, yet.
I was trying to figure out who I was, which is hard, when everything you do is to fit in and gain popularity. I had no idea of what I wanted to become. I feared what would happen if I didn’t get into a good college.I feared mediocrity. I hated the idea of going to college to be more stressed and getting a 9 to 5 job to be even more stressed.
At this time, I also had family issues that I avoided. One of the most important bonds I have now is with my brother, but at this time he was my enemy. There was a lot of chaos and basically, I couldn’t handle it. So I drowned it all out and “went to sleep” or “shut off”, whatever you want to call it. I was depressed. “Sick” was the term I liked to use. I never felt good enough to go to school. Either my head or my stomach was always bothering me. My family liked to say that I was sick as well, but I don’t think any of them truly believed it. But, it’s better than admitting someone is lost and empty, and you don’t know how to fix them. The only person that could fix me was me, and I did, kind of. There will always be room for improvement, but I love the idea that I am constantly growing, changing, learning. There is always some way I can live my life better today, than the way I lived it yesterday.
I still have my days. I occasionally fall into negative thinking patterns, but instead of resisting this aspect of myself, I accept it. I am human. I feel. One thing I learned coming out from that period of my life was that it is important to let yourself feel. Feelings are there for a reason. They tell you about who you are, what you need, and what you desire. They give life purpose. Our emotions are an important source of inspiration. They connect us to our creativity and connect us to one another. We should be encouraged to express our emotions freely, not suppress them to the point where we don’t feel, we don’t desire, and there is no emotion to ignite a passion for life.