The human brain is like a supercomputer; it is capable of processing and performing millions of operations every second. Similar to any computer, a minor defect in a brain can disrupt an entire system. However, when a computer malfunctions, it doesn't fear anything, cause heartache, nor grow concerned about not working the way it once did. We, as humans, have unconsciously linked our systems together through emotions. So, when my brother crushed his car into a utility pole Thanksgiving weekend of 2016, I shut down.
Ever since that night, my life has been ever-changing. But, I know that the accident has taught me a great deal. I found very quickly that I needed to focus on every fragment of positivity I could find, even if it felt like the world was beating me down. This lesson revealed itself to me while I was in the hospital waiting to find out if my brother was alive. At that moment, I felt broken beyond repair. But then my five year old niece walked into the room and I felt myself smile for the first time in what felt like an eternity. She had been playing dress up before the family was called to the hospital, and in the rush of trying to leave, she had no time to change. So, there she stood, in the hospital waiting room, with her bright pink doctor coat and a stethoscope. I couldn’t imagine a better outfit for the occasion.
“At any given time, up to 15 percent of children and adolescents have some symptoms of depression “( Bhatia, M.D). Whether you’re graduating soon or have four years left, many of you understand how stressful these years can be, and it is easy to fall into a pit that just keeps getting deeper and deeper. After the accident, I didn’t always keep my head up nor did I smile like nothing happened; however, I prevented the stress from spiralling out of control. Even after a temporary depression is over, effects can last another 6 months. To combat my negative feelings during this time, I got involved in more activities that made me happy and dropped extra things I was doing that just added to my stress. My biggest piece of advice during these years is to take time for yourself and remember that you’re allowed to feel however you’re feeling. If you find it hard to “look on the bright side”, add things to your life that are worth smiling for.
When a computer seems broken beyond repair, we give up and get a new computer. But, I never gave up on my brother or myself. The journey to his recovery was time consuming and strenuous, for him and everyone involved, but along the way we found a myriad of kind people willing to put their time into helping him rewire. Just like a microscopic defect can distort a system, a single spark can start it all back up.