My daughter, A, says she is not an optimistic person. I would have to agree that she is a bit of the glass is half empty kind of girl. No matter what I’ve tried to tell her to encourage her to become more optimistic, she says it is a lost cause. Some of you may know from my previous posts that A is ADHD, OCD, Anxiety Disorder, and is having some personal difficulties right now. She is a walking conundrum, a lesson in opposites, a problem that seems to have no answer. On one hand she is doing great. She had an adjustment of medicines, and a new one added. She is doing better in school and on the surface is showing signs of being happier. At the same time she is still depressed and still has thoughts of suicide. Her trigger for depression and suicidal thoughts is very specific. She has one thing in her life that causes her to feel this way. Since as of right now, I can’t control that one thing, medications help to take the edge off of the anxiety, worry and depression. She is like someone recovering from a traumatic event, except for her, she cannot heal as of yet because her event is still occurring. A’s seventh grade class was invited to participate in an oratorical contest for the local Optimist Club. Their speech was to be on optimism. Participation was not mandatory, but anyone who wrote an essay for the contest would be given credit in class. At first A said she wasn’t going to participate. After all, what did she know about optimism? I encouraged her to try, as a lesson in what life could be like if we thought about the good side of things. When she decided to give it a try, she told me that she had decided to write loosely about her life. Her teacher had approved, telling her she had a powerful story to share and a voice that made people want to listen to what she had to say. She brought me her essay today, and though she said it still needs a bit of tweaking, she agreed to let me post her words here. She says she decided to write about what things could be like if she did possess optimism, and how she would think as an optimistic person. I believe that she found she had a bit more inside of her than she thought.
My heart pounds as if my life will end. I jolt upright in my bed, sweat pouring down my face. I try to go back to sleep, but I know I will hear the buzz of the alarm clock at any second. I dangle my feet off the bed while I wait to hear the alarm. BZZZ-BZZZZ! I jump off the bed and get ready for another day. I still hear his voice in my head, but with my optimistic self in charge, I will get better.
On the way to school, I really don’t talk because I’m usually so tired. I hear the laughter of the children before I even walk in the door. My school is kind of like my get away from life. I don’t have to think of the bad things while I’m there. I walk in the double doors and I am greeted by the nicest people in the whole world. Then I sit down with my amazing friend. Usually I sit right in front of her, and she gives me tips about books I would like and really cool music I should listen to. I get interrupted by a chorus of laughter that sounds like a monkey. Most people look at my crazy gymnast friend like she is insane, but I don’t. I smile and laugh with her. “Hey, guess what? I have a riddle for you. If a man says something in the forest and there is no woman to hear, is he still wrong?” She grins and I say, “I hope so!” We start another chorus of animal sounding laughter. People have said my laugh sounds like a deranged dolphin. That’s okay. I think to myself…I am lucky to have so many crazy friends to help me stay optimistic.
When I walk into my seventh grade classroom, my day has already started. OWWWWW!!! My best friend pounces on my back. “What are you, a cat?” I ask in a loud whisper. “No, I’m a unicorn!” Screams my best friend. I laugh and sit in my chair and drift off into the land of daydreams.
I’m at his house. I hear him yelling at me. “You are an awful person! Why do you lie?” He yells. I see my own face wrinkle at his obnoxious, hurtful words. “I don’t lie,” I try to say in a stifled sob. I watch myself curl up in a ball on the bed, wishing I could just disappear and make it all go away. I can’t help but cringe at the memory of the last time I saw him. I was crying, his words too much to bear. “I want an answer!” He yelled in an enraged voice. “I don’t have an answer for you. Just leave me alone, I don’t need you!” I scream through another gasp of air. I watch from afar as I cry myself to sleep. Then I watch as I fade away into a mist. I’m back at school like usual.
I blink. I feel as if I’m surrounded my a hazy mist. I look around and see the classroom. I realize I’m going back into the land of daydreams. So, here we go!
I look into the future. I see my older self look and smile at the newly born babies I helped deliver. I am tall with brown hair and green eyes. I smile because I know that my older self has a great life because I got over all the bad times and I will lead a life full of optimism. My older self looks back at the hospital before she leaves work and laughs. Being a nurse was what I always wanted and I accomplished it. I think to myself, homeward bound. I appear in front of a quaint, white house in the country. All of my dreams came true because I remained optimistic.
I smile when I wake up out of this daydream. I think, despite all my hardships, my optimism helped me get through. I can’t wait to grow up and see what an optimistic person I’ll be. My optimism will set me free. —-A—-
I’m proud of the job A did on this essay. She says she could have written much more, but since the speech had to be a certain time, she had to cut it down. I hope that by doing projects like this, she will see what she has to offer, and that she can overcome her diversities and that one day I have no doubt she will be free.