I Believe In Growing Up

Alexandra - Wilbraham, Massachusetts
Entered on May 20, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

All my life, I’ve prided myself in following the mantra, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” My approach to life has been a generally very happy one. I have looked at life as something nearly always exciting and enjoyable, that is, until recently when life provided me with proof otherwise. Not everything will be okay in the end. The world is not that easy and life cannot be lived by thinking that the bad will always get better. I believe that you can pinpoint the time, down to the day, or even the moment, when you grow up. Where your childhood stops, and you begin the ascent into adulthood. When you see the world for what it is, and not for what you’ve been told it is. When you make your first conclusion about life that you can truly call your own.

My first conclusion about the world came in the form of a friend in need of my help. Someone who I cared about was in great emotional pain and I was faced with one of the first times that I could not find a quick solution. In that moment, I could feel a shift inside myself. When he told me that he had tried to commit suicide, I was overwhelmed by my own emotions. In retrospect, I find this to be selfish. My emotions exploded and changed multiple times in rapid succession. I was instantly sad that he had hurt so much as to try to take his own life. Then I felt angry at myself for not knowing, and not being able to do anything. I felt frustrated with him for not asking for help. I felt foolish for thinking he could have asked for help. I was then led back to anger. Anger at those who didn’t listen, anger again at myself for not being present enough in his life. All of a sudden fear snuck up on me. I was terrified that he’d try it again. Then I felt grateful. Grateful that he was still here to tell me about it.

I wonder sometimes: what if he had done it? I wake up shaking after seeing him in my dreams, unconscious, his hands blue; the way his brother found him, just in the nick of time. If he had succeeded, things would have just ended. There would be no “okay in the end” for him. There would be no “okay” for his family, or friends. He would just be gone. And everyone would hurt. I can no longer believe it will be okay in the end. I can only hope it will be and value the times when it is. Because now I have concluded, all on my own, that the world does not always give us that luxury.