This I Believe

Danielle - Nashua, New Hampshire
Entered on January 13, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks
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I am not going to tell you a story about the catastrophic turn of events that changed my life forever. I am not going to do that because everyone has had a tragic time in their life that has changed things for them in indescribable ways. However, I am going to tell you about how that tragic time in my life transformed my most inner-self. I believe that you never know what you are made of until you are broken apart; that is when you find out what is inside.

I do not know when everything started; I do, however, know when it all came to a screeching halt. The date was April 16, 2007. I was confronted by some of my family and friends in some sort of “intervention”. They thought it would help. The problem was that there was a rift among those family and friends. Two groups formed; one group that believed me and wanted to help me through everything, and another group that denied everything and told me I was lying. As you might suspect, this was a very hard thing to swallow.

I became depressed, and with me, I dragged one of my very best friends. Our reactions to everything were completely in sync with each other’s. We became numb together, cried together, and didn’t cry together. About two months later we decided that we were making things much worse for each other. We needed the time apart to find some of ourselves again and begin to heal before we could be back in each other’s lives.

It was at that time that I realized the true feeling of emptiness. I felt so alone. I stopped talking to most of my friends. Finding the strength and courage to get up everyday and fight through the opposition and find myself again was almost too painful.

This was when I had to reexamine who I thought I was. I do not want to put anyone through what I went through. Based on that, I now go through life with the belief that, while yes most people lie at some point, they do not lie to me. If it turns out they do, well I will cross that bridge when I get to it. I now also recognize the importance of one person’s opinion and how it affects another. I am more careful with what I say, who I say it to, and how I say it more than I ever was before, and that has saved my butt many times. I started, very slowly, to tell people my story. It has gotten easier and easier each time, which is why I value healing through talking. Also, through telling my story I was surprised in a completely unforeseen way. Astonishing wisdom has come from some of the least expected sources and has truly helped me on my journey.

During this time, my faith was also tested. That is something that is still recovering, but it gets stronger every day. At first, I found it very difficult to talk to anyone and trust them. That is also still in the recuperation process. On the other hand, the people I do trust, I trust more inclusively than I could before. The other values that I held before this trying time are now felt on a more complete level.

Today, my very best friend and I are still the very best of friends. Because my beliefs and my inner most struggles were brought to the surface and challenged, I have discovered myself in a deeper way than I ever thought possible. It is through struggle, opposition, and defiance that our beliefs, values, preconceptions, and sense-of-self are challenged; that is the point in which we change and grow into the people that we are today. This I believe.