This I Believe

Kristen - Sammamish, Washington
Entered on July 4, 2006

I believe everyone struggles with a personal burden, big or small,

and that everyone deserves someone to listen to them.

I have always been happy, bubbly, little Kristen. My whole life everyone counted on me to bring fun and happiness and I was always more than willing to deliver. With a smile on my face at all times, no one could ever really tell if deep down I was hurting. No one could tell if I was having a bad day and with no one to listen or notice, no one knew that I secretly suffer with manic depression and anxiety disorder. My parents thought something was wrong but not wanting to admit their oh-so-perfect daughter may have a flaw, they never took the time to ask, let alone comfort or listen. Like many others I struggle with a personal burden everyday. I struggle to find happiness and defeat sadness every single day of my life. My illnesses has a huge impact on my life and I wonder if I had had someone to listen to my feelings when this first started, would it be like this today? If my silence had ended earlier, would I be as emotionally unstable as I am? I believe that anyone, no matter who they are or what their setback is, deserves someone to sit down and listen to them. I believe every personal problem is recognizable no matter how serious or petty. One day in first period English, my friend looked really down and upset. I asked her what was wrong and she tried to brush it off like it was stupid or not a big deal. I continued to gently push her, knowing that although the issue may not be an entire worldly problem, to her it was a big deal and was affecting her. Finally she confessed that her and her mom had had an unresolved argument that morning and she was sad that they hadn’t made up before she had left for school. “Stupid huh?” were the last words out of her mouth. I believe my friend’s problem is just as important as anyone else’s and I was more than prepared to listen and provide any advice I could. To someone, an argument with a parent may be an everyday occurrence and not a major concern, but to another person with a different life and different feelings, it could be the world. Everyone carries a personal burden that sticks with them everyday. Whether it is a small argument with a parent, a death, an illness, boyfriend problems, or abuse, it should matter. I believe no one should go unheard and no one should have to battle a problem alone. I know what it’s like to be alone with no one there for you and I believe no one deserves to feel helpless. You may think you have someone figured out, like everyone thought about me, but you never know what lies underneath. Everyone should take the time to listen to words unsaid. This I believe.