Overcoming It All

February 28, 2010
By , Franklin, IN
After finishing the book Three Little Words, I began to think about what I was going to do to make a difference. Ashley Rhodes-Courter has given speeches and written essays about her journey living in the foster care system, paving a new path for children all over the world in the same predicament she was in for nine years. She has even inspired me, who has grown up in a privileged home, to make a statement about something I believe in. Hopefully, this will show people of all ages that even the worst events can bring the best out of you.

My father has been fighting a losing battle with depression for numerous years. When I was little, I never paid attention to his short temper or sudden mood swings, or maybe I was just hidden from them. Just last year though, I was thrust into reality, the cruel world throwing everyone around like a rag doll, with me getting caught in its tsunami. I had been told little about my father’s illness before February 19th, 2009, but after that gloomy day, I will never be in the dark again.
It was a Thursday, a regular day at school. At lunch, I felt sick, forcing my mother to pick me up and take me back to the house for a nap. I quickly rush over to my dad’s to get some clothes before heading back to school. I saw him sitting on the couch, laptop in his hands, but I ran up to my room without saying anything. I think we weren’t on speaking terms from an event the previous day. I grabbed some jeans and a few shirts, and ran back down the stairs. At the last minute, I yelled, “I love you, Dad!” while running out the door. Those very well could have been the last words I had ever spoken to my father. Looking back, I’m glad I had a change of heart to break our silent treatment.
My mother picked me up after diving practice, phone up to her ear, crying. As I was waiting for my step sister, I had jokingly asked my mom who died. She replied by saying my father had overdosed on over 5 different kinds of pills and was in a coma. The smile that had been on my face five minutes before was ripped off. I couldn’t believe what my mother had said to me. So many things were running through my mind that I couldn’t get a grip on anything. I immediately started to tear up, but I held the tears back as we discussed what would happen when we showed up at the house. My mother parked a few houses down to stay out of the ambulance’s way and told me to stay in the car. I had never really been a rebellious child, but at that moment, I threw open my car door and sprinted down the street, tearing open the front door to the house. The sound of the paramedics pumping my father’s stomach in his bedroom stopped me clear in my tracks. My father was comatose for three days. When I went to see him, I grabbed his unconscious hand and prayed to God that he would survive; If not for me, then for my eight-year-old brother. After what had seemed like an eternity of worrying, my father came to. Luckily, he had not damaged anything, except for his children’s spirit and trust in him. Three weeks later, my boyfriend got into a fatal ATV accident, killing the other boy who was hit head-on.
After those two major pinpoints in my life, I lost control. I had previously been watching my weight, but after those two incidents, I became bulimic. One year, and 5 counselors later, I am back to my prime health. I still try to relapse every few months, but I will never again go back to how I was before. Healing is a timely process, but with each day, and my family’s encouraging words, I will keep moving forward. As I sit here today, I realize that I needed to go through these hardships in order to help other people with the same problems I have gone through. As a strong human being, I am ready to take on the responsibility in helping myself and others from this day forward. I hope to speak to other people who have been through some of the same events I have gone through in the near future. Before reading Three Little Words, I didn’t believe that just because I have before been bulimic, or have someone close to me try to harm themselves, that I could help other people and make a difference. I now plan on standing up for people who have gone through what I have, and I hope that with just getting my story out there, other teenagers won’t be ashamed for crumbling under the pressure as I did.

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