This I Believe
I believe in second chances. Even thirds. There’s nothing like the power of a sincere do-over.
As a junior and senior high student, school was never my forte. It wasn’t for lack of effort on my parents’ part—my mother had been a fourth grade teacher and my father, a doctor, worked hard to keep me in one of the best districts in our area. Still, I bucked most school activities. Study groups? No way. Extra-curriculars? Not unless my friends were doing it. Math club? Please!
My junior year I fell into an anxious depression so severe, I required hospitalization. All I wanted was to sleep but my racing mind didn’t allow for rest. My kaleidoscope eyes—that’s what I called it—the ever-churning landscape before me that moved so quickly, I never had a clear focus on anything. The result? Everything of an equal, blurry confusion. I was as confounded about what to watch on television as I was about how to approach a biology quiz.
Doctors warned my parents not to expect much: “You’ll be lucky if she graduates from high school.” The dark waters of depression eddied around me, rising higher and higher until I could barely keep my head above water. Exhaustion overwhelmed me from my violent tread that led nowhere fast.
It only took a moment’s kindness to help turn things around. A staff member found a book for me somewhere on the unit: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
Copyright © 2011, by the author; any content reused from this essay in any form must be attributed properly.
This I Believe Inc.
Doench, Meredith, "This I Believe: The Do-Over" (2011). English Faculty Publications. 17.