I See So Much Pain

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-Not mine, from google-

I see so much pain, so much misery and so much struggle.

It all started in 8th grade.  I was on a brand new drug for a skin condition.  One major side-effect of the drug included depression.  I can’t say for sure if I ever reached the point of major depression (I never saw a psychologist), but it changed me.  I began seeing the darker side of things.  My attitude became increasingly pessimistic.  And my life became filled with negativity.  I never really talked about it, not even to my parents.  I couldn’t bear to tell them that there was something wrong with their “perfect” little boy.  I was afraid.  So I kept my thoughts and feelings to myself. 

When high school started, things got worse.  My grade school friends went to other high schools, so I came in knowing nobody, and being a rather brainy student, my social status started out pretty low.  I felt very alone.  Many dark ideas crossed my mind that tempted me to do terrible things to myself and others.  I never did anything drastic, but it was a very dark time.

Over time, I did meet a few people who I seemed to relate to.  They were an odd bunch, but we all seemed to understand each other.  Once I came to know them better, I learned that their lives had also been marked with darkness.  I found out that my closest friends all had struggles with depression, substance abuse, anxiety, self-mutilation, suicidal thoughts and anger.  The funny thing was that we all came to this realization about each other around the same time.  It seemed like we were destined to meet at this place and time in our lives, and we became each other’s support.  Over the following years, we taught each other to cope with our problems.  We comforted each other in our darkest times of relapse, and we helped restore each others’ sense of self-worth.

By the time I graduated, I was still the same person but functioned much better socially.  I found enjoyment in volunteering to help the poor and mentally challenged.  I developed a passion for art, music and technology.  I even got accepted to my number one choice of college.  I had gone from a quiet shut-in to a Starter on the Varsity Football Team, President of several school organizations and class valedictorian.  I don’t even want to think about where I’d be if it weren’t for my amazing friends.

Today, I still see a lot of pain, misery and struggle.  I still battle every day with my own problems, but now I appreciate this fight as a gift.  I turn it into a new perspective and draw creative inspiration from it.  My perspective allows me to see the world for what it really is.  I’m not blinded by ignorance or prejudices.  I remain humble and focused.  And most of all, I’ve learned to appreciate the people who are closest to me in my life.

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