The power within

Natasha - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Internal happiness is like light shining on a barren pasture, the immense warmth emitted from a fireplace during the pinnacle of winter and the radiance of a woman’s smile on her wedding day. Self-esteem is achieved by appreciating myself, understanding my emotions and fears and loving my imperfections. Satisfaction brings a sense of accomplishment and consequently power and contentment. I believe being a self-cheerleader and motivator is imperative to take advantage of the planet’s endless possibilities. Life can be sinister and overcast, and obstacles may appear larger than can be tackled alone. Yet, with positive thinking, hope and vision, I can conquer all that life throws my way and achieve greatness.

Since I have entered my adolescence, I have battled depression and anxiety. At times, my symptoms have overpowered me and blurred my vision of the brightness at the end of the tunnel. Anxiety devours my self- esteem and consumes my consciousness. Worst of all, it forbids me from participating in activities I adore most, such as exercising, socializing, and attending school. Depression makes me numb, hopeless and frustrated. What did I do to deserve these terrible sensations? What triggers such irrepressible, random outbreaks? After studying the connection between my mind and body, I began to understand its functions. My emotions and moods are in my hands; I hold the keys to my fate. Although I may have a chemical imbalance, it should not hinder my zest for life.

The most essential clue on the quest for happiness is not to look for it in material possessions or outer variables but rather to discover bliss within me. A test grade or sports game may seem central for the moment, but in the future and in the scheme of life, they are only minor, insignificant occurrences and should not be a measure of my abilities. The adolescent years are quite stressful, and I am making them harder for myself. At times, cursed with being a perfectionist, I am never content with my successes and always strive to attain excellence. I have learned not to let what I cannot do interfere with all I can do. I have learned to weigh what is essential to my life and what is not worth worrying about. I have learned to heal my troubles that are obliterating my contentment. Joy is a state of mind and as extensively as one may search, it cannot be found until it is unleashed from within.

I identify who I am and what I feel passionate about. A confident yet sensitive teenager, I forever thirst for knowledge and answers to the wonders of the universe. I get overwhelmed when I struggle and elated when I meet my expectations. I have become aware of the signals and triggers of my illness and know how to hinder its onset. I know where I want to see myself and grasp that the sky is the limit; the sun is reachable, as long as I believe in myself, worry less and smile more.