Soft as a Rock

Describe a setback that you have faced. How did you resolve it? How did the outcome affect you? If something similar happened in the future, how would you react?

It was ironic that my dad always called me “Rock,” because a year ago I felt like a piece of clay. I remember the nights I spent in my room, crying in the silence, mulling over the value of my life. It was only months after my lifelong friend committed suicide, and it wore on me every day from then on. I remember the overwhelming anxiety I created for myself by requiring absolute perfection in every activity – school, soccer, even social stature. I had created an impossible situation for myself during a time in my life in which I felt susceptible to every outside force. I did not want to do anything. I felt the unbearable burden of depression upon my shoulders and I just wanted to be set loose. One September night, I broke down. I sacrificed my reputation as a self sufficient “Rock” and confessed my feelings to my mother. Although at the time I felt like I had lost a battle, I now realize the strength and importance in such a decision. For the first time in my sixteen years, I entrusted my life to other people. I began regularly talking to my parents about my feelings instead of confining them within myself. I even agreed to see a psychiatrist, despite my past belief that any person has the power to control his or her thoughts and feelings. While I thought I would cure this depression and go back to living my normal life, communicating with others opened my eyes to the importance of relationships. By sharing my sufferings with those close to me, I realized that through relationships these burdens that I feel do not have to be carried alone. In those times I was astonished by how others invested in my pain and vulnerability, and how meaningful it was to be able to share compassion with another individual. Furthermore, I recognized that humanity thrives because of relationships. Needless to say, this experience completely revolutionized the way I looked at every relationship, even the way I looked at my life as a whole. I applied this awareness by investing my time in tutoring others instead of only using my intelligence as a way to earn good grades for myself. I coached elementary basketball, rejoined my travel soccer team, and began working again simply for the enjoyment of engaging in community activities. By June, I was experiencing joy in every day situations, simply because I learned what it meant to love people. I know that I am genetically prone to depression. With college beginning next fall, I will be put in a new stressful situation and I am sure to relive some apprehension and anxiety. However, now I realize that I do not need to plaster on an act of complete self-confidence, but rather through sharing my weaknesses with others I can actually be made stronger through the love and support that they offer.

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