I Am What I Need

By , Minneapolis, MN
“Gizel, you finally have your hair out of your beautiful face!”, usually I’d put on a straight face, say thanks, then walk away since jovial comments meant nothing to me. Not this time, instead I looked up at Ms.Avera looked her in the eye, gave her a big dimpled smile and said “Thanks!” in the most girlish voice I’ve ever used in my life. I was in such a good mood that I even gave her a hug goodbye! Then as I walked by the departing buses I waved good bye to my friends who I would see later that week to go to the Mall of America. Life couldn’t be better; I was finally letting positivity and happiness take control of my life.

Up until that that moment I was the complete and total opposite of the word optimistic; Depression was the culprit. The funny thing is nothing traumatic triggered my sudden anguish. It was a normal summer, after 6th grade, that including activities such as eating watermelon on my hammock under the sun and swimming until I looked like a raisin. I was oblivious of the sadness creeping up on me that would soon become my best friend.

On a random day I unexpectedly cracked. I turned off the living room TV and ran to my room where remained for the rest of the day. The following day I awake to puffy eyes, red runny nose, and a horrible headache. I had lost my self control and could no longer be in command of my emotions. My daily routine had turned into wake up at noon, eat whatever my hand touched, watch cartoons, then return to my room to cry myself to sleep and wait for the next day. I continued this pattern for a couple of weeks without anyone noticing. Whenever they went out I’d stay home; I had unconsciously isolated myself from the rest the world thinking they were the reason for my sadness, which they weren’t.

My sister found me crying one day…she asked me why, but I didn’t answer. Then she left the room to go down stairs to tell my parents I was turning our room into a pond with my waterworks. Five minutes later their all in my room TRYING to figure out what’s up with my crying. Over and over again they asked, “What’s wrong?”, “Did someone hurt you?”, “Why don’t you tell us?” I began to get angry because they didn’t know I was feeling lost. They are my parents shouldn’t they automatically know what’s going on with their own daughter??

For a while my dad played psychologist and spend hours on the internet looking for possible causes for my weird sobbing. He’d make me read online articles to see if the symptoms matched what I was feeling, and none of them did. Pretty soon he gave up and took me to see my pediatrician Dr.Debra to get a professional’s help. She made me take this questionnaire that ended up diagnosing me with mild depression. When I heard her say that…I cried…again. I didn’t like how she had said it; she made it sound like I had a mental disorder.

Of course I went with a shrink; who wasn’t very much help. She was a nice old lady, but I had just met her, I was not about to spill my inner feelings to a stranger. Yes, I know that’s the whole point of going to a therapist, but I couldn’t help it, I felt muted. All she got from me was nods and shrugs, and after two visits I switched; my parents thought the elderly lady wasn’t very good at her job. The next therapist was more impatient and demanding, I could tell she became intolerant of me. Truthfully I became intolerant of her too, it’s your job lady calm down and do it right! I started to realize these visits with “specialists” weren’t very helpful, so I took a break from them.

During that little break I went on a family trip to Duluth. We stopped by many tourists’ sites, and one of those stops was Split Rock. There we were given a quick tour of the small area and then we were left to wander. We looked inside the tiny lighthouse then made our way down an extremely long stair case to the shore. Once we reached the bottom, which I think took us like an hour to reach it; I sat on one of the big rocks. I sat in silence, taking in the cool breeze, and enjoying the tranquil moment. I began to think about my depression, and after a while I made a decision that I would not be going to any more therapists. What was the point? They weren’t helping me and I didn’t want my parents to waste their money on something useless. I didn’t want them to be affected by something no one could apparently help me in. Then before we left I strolled to the shore and walked into the cold water. A slight shiver travelled through my body as I looked out onto Lake Superior. It looked so clear and peaceful; something I so badly wanted in my life at that moment. So then and there I promised myself to only think positive, practice breathing to relax, and push sadness away from my life as much as possible.

Maybe to some people my idea wasn’t very smart, but I felt like it was the best thing to do. I myself had to learn how to control my emotions, after all if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.





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