This I believe

Rhoda - Brooklyn, New York
Entered on March 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in happiness. Ever since I was little, my favorite thing to do was laugh. As I got older, I realized that in this world there are more reasons to be unhappy than there are to actually be happy. I believe that you can make your own happiness no matter how tough a situation may be.

During my sophomore year of high school, I juggled an after-school job, two honors classes, and other extracurricular activities all at the same time. I was so caught up with getting all E’s and making money that I completely forgot about my own well being. I had a panic attack that changed my whole life. Although I don’t remember exactly what happened I do remember feeling as if my head was vibrating and that I was gasping for air like a fish out of water, all in the comfort of my own home surrounded by the people that I love. After I was finally able to calm down I felt so light headed that I just wanted to collapse. My mom and dad looked at me with blank faces not knowing what to do.

The next day, my parents didn’t know what was wrong with me. I didn’t have the desire to get out of bed. I missed an entire week of school after that and to top it all off it was finals week. I was so depressed that I didn’t think that I would ever get my life back to the way it was before. My parents tried everything. They took me to doctors and specialists but the doctors were no help. The only thing they told me was to breath in a measly brown paper bag. I was hopeless. But then, one day, my father said something that truly stuck with me to this very day. He looked at me with worried eyes and said, “What’s so good about feeling bad?”

I thought about what he said all night, and I realized that life goes on. Life can’t stand still, and it was time to get back on that horse and try again. My life slowly got back to normal, and now I realize that there is nothing good about feeling bad.

That night, while lying in bed, I realized that I can control my own happiness. I learned that there are so many reasons to be happy. And even when it doesn’t feel like it, happiness does exist in this world even with all of the hardships that people must face. I learned to count my blessings every day and be thankful for what I have. There’s nothing good about feeling bad.