This I Believe

Elise - Havelock, North Carolina
Entered on September 29, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: work
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I believe in perseverance. I have come to believe that anything that matters at all in life does not come without great effort. There have been times in my life where I have felt I am on a road going a hundred miles an hour and the road is dark. The only light I have is a flash light and the batteries in the flash light are just about to die.

Since the age of 16, I have been battling depression and extreme anxiety. I have seen so many doctors and tried so many medicines that I have lost track. I have spent many sleepless nights, and I have had days where all I could do was sleep. I have often longed to understand my emotions and where they come from. I have struggled to understand how a person who has had a pretty storybook life could have such somber thoughts. I have often wished I could go to sleep and wake up and no longer be a person who had to suffer from such extreme emotions. People look at others and wonder why they do not make changes. Through the eyes of the oserver, to make those changes would seem to be a simple thing. For me no change I make is simple. I have trouble not over-analyzing pretty much everything I do. I was raised and encouraged to be a positive person and to take everything as it comes. I have spent much time searching for the positive person I know I can be. I have to fight off my other side, the side that can only see the glass half empty and hold on to the side that wants the glass to be half full. For some, depression can be a temporary thing. For me it is a constant battle. If I am not on guard all of the time, it (the illness) can take over.

I believe in perseverance because I have had to persevere. If I allow the depression and anxiety to control me, I am giving my life to the illness instead of keeping my life as my own. I am not the only person in my family that suffers from chronic mental illness. I have seen the illness take over their lives. I had to make the conscious decision to not allow it to do the same to me. I do believe you can fight depression and anxiety. I believe with the help of medication and acceptance of the illness, I can survive. I often come across people in my life that suffer from a similar illness. I seem to be able to recognize it, and I am empathetic. It feels good to be able to offer the reassurance that it can be overcome. There are lots of days when I see the glass half full. There are lots of days I feel that the battle has almost been won, and I am the winner. Then discontentedly, I am reminded that it is not a game but a struggle. I am not sure where the struggle will take me. I am sure it will be right where I am suppose to be, but there will still be days I will have to say, “damn the journey”. I will persevere.