For a long time, I struggled with very low self esteem and it lead to a pretty nasty bout of depression. My essay os about how I changed my perception of myself and the world around me and how it lead to my emotion healing. I hope you like it!
A Look in the Mirror- This I Believe
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, but only if one remembers to turn on the light.”
- Albus Dumbledore
As a die-hard Harry Potter fan, the wise words of Albus Dumbledore speak to me on a variety of levels. I truly believe that if one puts their mind to something then they can conquer just about anything. More importantly, when facing a difficult time it is in your best interest to be an optimist. At the end of the day, it’s all about perception. I know I had to learn that for myself.
When I look in the mirror every night before I go to bed, I see more than a typical teenage girl. I see a girl who would rather spend her Friday and Saturday nights in bed with a good book or endless Netflix than out partying. Further, I see a fighter. I see a conqueror. I see strength. However, I didn’t always have that perception of myself. In fact for a long time, it was quite the opposite.
I’ve always been “that shy girl”, the one who was really nice and could crack a witty joke but in most cases, had trouble finding her voice in a crowd. When I was six years old I was diagnosed with A.D.D. and then with Apraxia when I was twelve. I felt that because of my learning disabilities, no one would want to be friends with me, they would think that I was weird, a freak. I felt dumb when all my friends who had straight A’s and complained about a B, while I was over-joyed just to barely get a C in Algebra. My grandmother (whom I love dearly) actually tried to help with my self-esteem issues by telling me that I would look adorable in plus-size dresses and swim-suits since “you just don’t look right in standard sizes” while also administering advice on flirting… Thanks Grammy. Naturally with all of these negative thoughts circulating my brain, I became depressed and my grades suffered. My head had manufactured thoughts that made me convinced that I was less than...everything.
It wasn’t until several years ago when I had the amazing opportunity to travel down to New Orleans, Louisiana for the ELCA National Youth Gathering when I truly learned to accept myself. It happened as I heard powerful speaker named Nadia Boyles-Webber. Her moving speech struck a chord and made me realize that it was okay that I had several learning disabilities. At the end of the day, they do not define me as a person and I should not let them get in my way; rather I should embrace them instead. Others noticed too. In fact, upon returning home my pastor asked me to share my experience, and deliver the sermon the following Sunday. It brought many, including the Pastor, to tears.
The truth of the matter is that my past grades do not fully showcase me. I am far more than my G.P.A. I never gave up and faced my own Mt. Everest by climbing back into my own skin. Now I am proud of my learning disabilities because while they may make life more challenging at times, they make me stand out. They’ve helped me cultivate creativity in a world of whitewashed walls. This past year, I actually did really well in school. Most of all, I have discovered that true happiness is found within. Now, there is a beautiful, strong fighter staring back at me in the mirror – flaws and all.