I have never been an outstanding student. My best and favorite subjects are creative writing and art, which haven't been much help in high school. Nearly a year and a half ago, I developed health and academic problems.
I was diagnosed with epilepsy and several learning disabilities, all within one week. The two combined caused me to become extremely depressed. I felt as if I were wearing a label that said, "Reject," or "Idiot." To this day, I still have difficulty accepting the fact that I am epileptic. I use to shudder when I knew that word was connected to me. I was utterly embarrassed to admit that I had it. My mother even makes me wear a Medic Alert bracelet that I find morally degrading because it resembles a dog collar. Perhaps the learning disabilities were the reasons that I have had so much difficulty in school. But that hardly helps when you're lying on the floor crying because you can't understand the math homework, again, and you feel like your entire life is going down the drain. No matter how hard I tried I could not grasp the math. I was tutored, I studied, I even contemplated suicide. I didn't want to die or anything, I just wanted to be free of my problems. I would speak to God, not to make me an honor student or to heal me completely, but just to help me get by.
Healthwise, I've been getting by all right. It could be worse, at least epilepsy is not terminal. It's just difficult to be grateful for what illnesses you don't have when what you have has been a real burden in your life. Academically I'm just as troubled as I've always been. I still have crying sessions now and then. I cry or throw things across my room to get out my frustration. Another thing I do is to type out my aggressions in a story. I'm just counting the days until I graduate and won't be tormented by these nonsensical mathematical equations. I'm sorry, but linear functions will never be a part of my life. I still speak to God, but not as frequently. I want him or her to know that I am still here and appreciate everything that has been done for me.
My life isn't perfect yet, but it's getting there. My self-esteem has risen immensely, thanks to three of the best friends a person could ever have. Their encouragement, kindness, understanding, plus my increased faith in my religion have helped me to survive. This has just been a crack in the road considering some of the potholes life will have in store for me. I've since become stronger, and feel now I can handle anything. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.