This I Believe

Sunnyrae - Irving, Texas
Entered on March 27, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that everyone has problems. Some worse than others. But every problem has happened for a reason. I believe you should be proud of where you come from and what is wrong with you.

Have you ever felt like you weren’t able to control anything that you should be in control of? I have been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, A.D.D, and major depression. The slightest thing will send me over the edge and I will have these “manic” episodes where I can’t control my mind and my thoughts and then my brain takes over I black out, like I am no longer in control. When it’s over, I become in control again and I don’t remember what happened. It is kind of like a bad hang over except I am not sick and vomiting everywhere. One time it happened and my mom said that I was digging my finger nails in my face and I looked in the mirror and I had finger marks near my eyes. I didn’t even know I had done it. I’m not really good at expressing my feelings. I am REALLY good at pretending to be happy when I was really thinking of cutting myself or committing suicide. For example, my parents never knew what I was really thinking for a long time. They thought I was this happy kid who had everything. Not as in a lot of money or a lot of fancy things. I mean they thought I had a lot of friends (which I did), had fairly well grades (I got a lot of Cs in math), and the occasional fright here and there (only because I didn’t take crap from anyone. That’s what my parents taught me. Also because boys thought that just because I was a girl, they could treat me any way they want. I changed that.), and that everything was hunky dory. They found out when I couldn’t hide my emotions anymore. I felt like no one else was like me and I was the only one with these problems. One time, I punched a kid in front of the teacher because he was messing with me and I walked out. I stood outside and cried for what seemed like forever. That’s what I did. When all my emotions became too much, I had a melt down.

Another problem I have is that my dad is a recovering alcoholic. I am a daughter of an alcoholic. My dad was also diagnosed with a bipolar disorder and major depression. It’s funny because I and my dad actually sometimes share medications when one of us runs out of something. My dad wasn’t the best dad in world when he drank. I saw my dad get arrested over three times in my life for either trying to kill himself or hitting my mom. One time he passed out around 4:00 p.m. and when he got up he was hungry. Well he was gong to have some left over tacos. He wanted some sauce to go with them. Well my sister ate them all. He went into our room, where my sister was reading and threatened to kill her if she ever did it again. Of course he went back into my parent’s room and passed out again. The next day, didn’t remember what happened and apologized to my sister. But he still got drunk that night. He cut himself too. He carved my mom’s name into his leg and cut up his arms. He also tried to kill himself multiple times. I was coming home from a party and when we walked in; my dad was in the bathtub with a shot gun in his mouth. He also tried to strangle himself with a belt and when that didn’t work, he tried to with a sock. I remember when the cops came to pick up my dad. A cop tried to explain to my sister and me what was going on. He didn’t know that we knew more than he did. My sister and I probably shouldn’t have seen these things when we were so young, but we did. I prayed to God every night to make my dad better and he did. He has now been sober for two years. I love my dad, no matter what he did. My mom says it is his illness and that’s true. My mom stuck with him even though he hit her and was completely crazy.

My family is far from the Brady Bunch. My dad and I are medicated for a bipolar disorder and major depression. My mom, too, is medicated for depression. My sister isn’t medicated… yet. My nana is a complete control freak. My grandpa always isolates himself when the whole family is together. My uncle is missing a finger. My aunt is pregnant again and so cranky. The only sane person in our family right now is my baby cousin and she will be three in September. But if I stand back and just look at my family, I realize that we are all happy and we get along. We may not have a lot of money or drive fancy cars, but I think that that is the reason we get along so well. If you look at families with a lot of money and they look happy, more than likely they have more families than we do. My parents have been together for almost twenty years and my aunt and uncle have been together for almost ten years. I have both of my parents, both my aunt and uncle and both of my grandparents. As far as I am concerned, we are the Brady Bunch. My family is crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

People look at me a think that I am a really messed up kid and they say “No wonder you’re medicated.” But I think to myself that everything that has happened has made me who I am today. A teacher asked “If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?” It was my turn and I said “Not a thing.” And that is the honest truth. I wouldn’t change a thing.