Fear often dominates our lives, and for good reason; a lot of the things we fear are scary because they can kill us. Spiders, snakes, alligators, the list goes on and on. We fear other things – like school, work, and change – for reasons that are not so clear.
I’ll be honest, I’m terrified of change, and that fear is what ended up making my depression so much worse to deal with. When someone loses a leg and has to use a prosthetic replacement, it takes a lot of time to get used to the new leg. Everything is different – walking, standing, showering, and so on – and the person almost always wishes that they could go back to their “normal”, two-legged lives. Now, my situation was not nearly as unfortunate as the loss of a leg, but it affected me in a similar way. I always wanted to return to the life I had before my depression; I wanted to work at Publix, I wanted to challenge myself in school, and I wanted to run as fast as possible for cross country. When I was in better health, that wasn’t an overwhelming amount of things to manage, but once my depression and anxiety started to take their toll on me it was a different story.
An Inconvenient Truth
The more I struggled against my new situation and tried to return to my old life, the more I failed, and the more frustrated I became. It wasn’t until months after my diagnosis that I finally realized what I needed to do. I needed to focus on being happy. As hippy-ish as that sounds, it’s true; I was pushing myself to be the best that I could be at school, work, and cross country, but I hadn’t taken enough time to enjoy the fruits of my labors. All of the activities that I cared about had become chores because I only focused on getting better at them instead of enjoying the experience. If I was going to stop feeling so awful all of the time, I needed to change my ways.
I’m taking a lighter schedule at school this year, I’ll soon have resigned from Publix, and I haven’t been running with the cross country team much. Don’t get me wrong, once I’m in better health, I’d love to return to my old job, my teammates, and my more challenging classes. I know that I’ll still enjoy those things, but until then, I’m going to run for the simple pleasure of it, work hard in school for the sake of learning instead of grades, and I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t have a job. I’m proud to be Donovan Duchene, whether or not I have a job, run fast, or make straight A’s. It’s just like J. Cole says, “Love yourself, or nobody will.”
Leanne and I aren’t the only people who know how to write. I’m also going to bring you this poem from my friend Caitlin all the way in England, since it fits in with this week’s theme of accepting change. If you like it, check out her website at https://exampleword5863.wordpress.com/!
You’ll be a couple forever
That’s what my friends would say
You two are cute together
I believed it until one day
I got a text and it was him
He said he was over me
I’d been so busy all week that
He never got to see me
Instead he spent the week with my best friend
And they both said they hoped it would never end
So I got my heart broken by him after five months together
He left me for my best friend
But we will always stick together
I have to watch them kiss and hug
Doing all the things we used to do
My heart has broken and I’m going to fix it
That’s the best thing for me to do
So from now on I’ll smile
And embrace the good things
It might take a while
But that doesn’t matter
I’m going to cheer up and do everything I can
I may have to go out of my comfort zone
but that’s the only way
to leave my house once again
With a smile on my face .