Hey guys! Today’s blog post is based on an idea I’ve been playing with in my mind for atleast a year. But truly, I’ve been running from it. Why? Because, sometimes I’m ashamed of the person I was at 16. I made some rough choices and I often feel like I’m still living out the consequences. So, young readers, make wise choices. They follow you. I do understand that every decision, bad or good, shapes who we are, but I really do wish that I had made the journey a little easier. Anyway, let’s get to my list (we all know how much I love my lists).
1.The things people mock now will someday help you find your community.
As a teenager, I wasn’t into the latest hits in music, or tv, or whatever. I was the bookworm, the girl obsessed with listening to The Script, gospel music and reading Nicholas Sparks. Not exactly equipped for high school popularity. I got laughed at a lot for my interests, so much so that I started to hide what I liked. Yet now, I’ve found such a rich community of bookworms, Potterheads, and even God fearing individuals who I am so happy to interact with. Just because I couldn’t find my comfort place in high school, does not mean it didn’t exist. I just had to grow up, own who I am, and find like minded people.
2.Depression won’t always control you.
Around the age of 16 was when I first started to feel my life altered by depression, even though I didn’t know what it was then. I was withdrawn, socially awkward and completely lost. Unfortunately, growing up in the wrong church, I was led to believe that my depression was “demons possessing me” , and I even had an exorcism performed on me (no, I’m not kidding). All this mumbo jumbo made me unaware of what depression was and how much it could affect me, which landed me in ICU a year later after my first suicide attempt. It was only after this did I realize I was so depressed for so long and had no idea. I felt so controlled by it. I wish I could see who I would become. I wish I knew that a day could come where I could make decisions and introduce practices into my life that would allow me to take charge of my depression.
3.Sometimes mum and dad are right.
I always hated when my dad would tell me that a relationship or friendship was wrong. We fought so hard for much of high school because of this. Obviously I thought he just didn’t understand, but he did. Better than I did. Sadly, it took me many years to learn this. But I know now. Sometimes listen to objections to your actions.
4.You’re not less intelligent, you just have different capabilities.
All through high school, all I ever heard was “why can’t you be as intelligent as your sister?” in some form or the other. It annoyed me so much, but more than that, it gave me the belief that I was incapable of intelligence. But here’s the thing; sure, I’m utter crap at math and science. But someday you grow up, and you find what you excel at. I went to university and excelled at language and creative aspects of studies. I found my fit and suddenly, I wasn’t the failure in the room.
5.Life does get better.
Without going into too much detail, let me explain where I was at 16. I had been raised in a church that much resembled a cult. Public humiliation, control, manipulation. This was my everyday. I woke up, and didn’t know what the day would bring. If my pastor decided to come over, I didn’t know what that held. He constantly labeled my depression and social awkwardness as demon possession and I was punished for it. It was pure hell. But there is grace in the universe. I didn’t see a way out. But it came. And now, my family is free. I belong to a church that is so encouraging and supportive of exactly who I am, and I see grace in that. At 16, I thought my whole life would be that same punishment. Ten years later, I see that there was a plan all along.
So, these were my lessons. Some of them, anyway. I hated writing this. Reliving this. But now, I feel better. There’s always something therapeutic about writing things out, isn’t there?
Until next time,