This I Believe

Claudine - Chandler, Arizona
Entered on May 3, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I Believe You Can Create Your Own Happiness

It is definitely easy to let yourself get down in the dumps; being depressed is easy. However, it is very hard to pull yourself out of the dumps, but it is not impossible.

When a person is depressed they are lazy and sad and mope around and do nothing. Most people can find a reason to be depressed if they look hard enough. Some may feel they have more legitimate reasons than others, but almost everyone at one point or another has felt like it can’t get any worse than this, and then it does. I believe that there are some people who do have more of a reason to be depressed than other, and in my experience, those are the people who wake up day after day with a fresh outlook on life and are thankful that they can live it.

My aunt was born paralyzed from her waist down. She was born breech, and although days before she was born my grandmother has said that she could feel her kicking and moving around inside of her, cesarean births were not common practice and the doctor pulled her out by her legs injuring her spinal cord and causing the paralysis. She never had any feeling below her waist and lived her entire life confined to a wheelchair. She had three sisters, my mother included, and although they all had happy, loving childhoods, Jane was the most outgoing of all of them. I remember as a child being very excited to spend the weekend at her house because we would always do fun things that were not part of our normal lives. It was with her that I went to my first drive-in movie, we went shopping all the time, for my fifteenth birthday she took me to a rock concert and because of her handicap we were able to park backstage near the band and our nosebleed grass seats were turned into eighth row seats. “The girls”, including my mom, her three sisters and my sister and me went to Six Flags Great America every year for a long weekend getaway. My aunt Jane was the only one who would go on the scary rides with my sister and me and she loved every minute of it. She was never afraid to do anything; she was the first of all of her sisters to go downhill skiing. She always knew of the parties to go to and because of her outgoing personality and happy disposition had tons of friends who were always inviting her to go places. We could never go anywhere in town without running into someone she knew and had to talk to for at least 15 minutes. In my opinion, she is a person who would fit the description of someone who had a reason to be depressed and have feelings of hopelessness; but not our Jane. She has had many health problems and over the years has become less and less able to do the things she likes to do, but it certainly hasn’t affected her profuse sense of humor, and nothing can ever sound as beautiful as her infectious laugh. Her life expectancy at the time of her birth was twenty to thirty years and she is now sixty-one years old. I truly believe that it is due to the fact that she has never let her handicap rule her life and that she has made the decision to be happy.