This I Believe

Chelsea - Middletown, Connecticut
Entered on January 14, 2009

There will always be times in life where you are faced with problems that you don’t want to deal with, and as humans, we would rather settle for whatever has been thrown at us, and wait it out until the storm passes. I believe in challenging the storm and never backing down.

A few years ago, my mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was in the middle of the worst depression I had ever seen her fight. It had all begun with a little anxiety over family funds but, over time the nervous feeling worsened and she was headed on a downward spiral. It seemed as if she had become another person. She stopped enjoying the things she used to love and never up for anything. Things started to go from bad to worse as my mom traded her nine to five for her queen sized bed. Soon after, my mom was diagnosed as clinically depressed and prescribed medication, but it didn’t seem to help. Eventually, the depression got to the point where the only thing we could do was admit her to the hospital. When my dad told me the news I was shocked, I really had no idea that it had gotten that bad. Finally, doctors diagnosed my mom with bipolar disorder, which means that she has lesions in her brain that cause a chemical imbalance and can easily trigger a depression. This situation took a toll on my entire family.

During this time, my dad and I would occasionally escape the house to get some air and clear our heads. I will never forget when he told me, “We can’t just lay down, and we’re not giving up, we’re stepping up.” I have tried to live by it ever since. We couldn’t give up on my mom, and we couldn’t stand by and watch our family slowly fall apart. We had to fight it and win.

From that day on I was determined to make the situation better. I took it on myself to take care of my younger sister, because my mom wasn’t capable. I let my mom know that I loved her no matter what and I told her that if she ever wanted to talk I was there to listen. I did everything I knew how to to try to make things better for my family.

I knew there wasn’t much that I could do to help my mother’s condition but, I had to try to make the situation better. I learned I could be strong and that there was no situation too tough to handle with the support of family and friends. I learned that it is never acceptable to give up on a situation, no matter how hard it seems.

Even though I could do nothing about my mom’s depression, or disorder, I changed my attitude, and my behavior. I didn’t back down from the problem, I faced it head on. Never back down, that’s what I believe.