This I Believe

Victoria - Paradise Valley, Arizona
Entered on December 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I had a bad foreign policy—how I deal with the world outside me. Heretofore, my foreign policy could be summed up in two phrases: “Don’t ask, don’t tell”, and “They’ll never know until it is too late”. I didn’t mean these phrases in the underhanded way that they sound. What I meant was, I avoided asking questions at all costs, and I avoided telling people anything I was thinking unless absolutely necessary. And when I had internal problems, I never told anyone until it came to the last straw.

Well, this is a bad foreign policy. No, this is a terrible foreign policy. Because I didn’t ask questions, I had to figure everything out on my own. This put a lot of pressure on me, especially since I had just started at my first job, and started driving, and started community college classes. Well, what with one thing and another, I had worked myself into a mire of responsibility and subsequently depression. But I kept doing my thing: going to school, going to work, playing the piano, playing chauffeur, because that was the other half of my foreign policy. Nobody was to know what was going on inside me. The worse I felt, the more I smiled. The more I smiled, the worse I felt. It was a vicious circle.

It is in the moments of darkest despair that God shines the brightest. Sure, I had been going to church all my life. But it was all just ritual stuff, the kind of empty religion that you hear ridiculed on the news. And now I turned my back on it. “I can’t believe a God exists.” But when I had reached the deepest trench of my depression—I had a bridge picked out to jump off of—I met him. Not God, my boyfriend. But he told me something I shall never forget: “You think that because you can’t believe in God that there’s something wrong with God. But did you ever consider that there might be something wrong with yourself?”

Now I have a new foreign policy for dealing with the world. If something is wrong, I run to God. Then I run to my boyfriend. Now that I’m not alone, I can deal with the rest of the world. This I believe: People can’t make it on their own. Period.