I believe in regaining what you have lost. I was hurt as a child by circumstances I couldn’t control. Because of it I lost confidence, the ability to smile easily, care freeness, and some of the joy of childhood. These are hard things to lose. I spent several years burdened by the lack of these things. I became shy and quiet. It was hard to make friends. I could not recover because of the reoccurring pain and the responsibility placed on me, and then my parents got divorced, adding to the trouble.
But I gradually found confidence again, and a smile returned to my lips from time to time. I understood that I had to move on and recover my life. I couldn’t change what happened, but I could reverse the affects it had on me.
I worked on making friends. We had just moved, so it was a good time to start. That sounded like an easy place to begin my journey. It wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. Talking to people I didn’t know was hard at first; it still is. I talked to kids who had a couple of classes with me and to girls my age at church. They were the easiest to talk to because I saw them the most. Soon I found myself with a best friend and several other good friends. Having friends made me surer of myself. I could speak more freely around them. I definitely had more fun. My friends and I played and talked. I laughed and smiled.
However, the responsibilities and fears that pressed down on my still weighed heavily in my mind. As I got older I realized how burdensome they were, but that didn’t stop me from worrying and getting stressed over them. I still had a long way to go.
Then I went to a camp called Especially For Youth. The counselor I had was able to understand my predicament and helped me reach out to the other campers. She helped me see that I could look past the stress and turmoil around me. I could break free of the bonds life had given me. I left camp a confident, carefree person, ready to face the world. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but I could stay out of the pit that had controlled my life. I could overcome obstacles and be who I wanted to be. I had regained what I had lost.
And, I did it in such a way that the responsibilities I gained and the things I learned do not clash with what I have earned back. I am still working on the fine details of this recovery, but I am happy. I try to stand tall and face whatever comes my way. What is lost can be found, even if it takes time and effort and the help of others to get it.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.