I worry | The Center for Public Policy and Health | Kent State University

I worry

Hope, Recovery, Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harm, Eating Disorders, Support

“Last november I was at a conference in Arizona

And I saw a man speak

One of the best neurosurgeons in the world

A leading scientist at the mayo clinic

He's saved hundreds of lives

He immigrated from mexico, illegally at first

Ended up at harvard medical school

They're making a movie about him.

When I heard him speak

He said that he worries every day about

Dying without making a difference.

HE worries. Dr. Q, who performs 300 neurosurgeries a year.

Who has directly impacted hundreds of families

Who not only conducts surgeries,

But leads a team of the best researchers in the world

Against cancer.

HE worries.

I worry about dying without making a difference.

I worry that every achievement I've had

Every award I've been given

Was a mistake,

And they'll stop coming anytime now

When people realize

That I don't deserve it.

I constantly fall short

Of the potential I know I have

Even if no one else knows I have it.

I know when I haven't given my 100%

and honestly?

I've never given my 100%

So just imagine how that keeps me up at night.

I don't KNOW what I'm capable of doing.

I burn and burn and burn with a need to help.

I toss and turn

Because I don't know what form that will take

But I will help.

my life has been a twisted tale of circumstances,

A fire that I have chosen to force to refine me

Instead of consume me.

People talk about the challenges of grad school

"oh, are you sure you'll be okay when your experiment fails?"

"what if your PI doesn't put you as first author?"

"oh honey, I don't think you understand the long days in the lab."

"sometimes (gasp) we even have to work weekends."

Do you think any of this registers with me?

When I have been told to grab the wall

And been beaten 39 times because 40 would be cruel?

With a belt, with a steel rod, with a fishing pole

Because we were on a fishing vacation

And it was the first thing

Immediately within his reach.

When the time between beatings is spent tiptoeing on eggshells,

Following every word of every command

Only to face his wrath again when

I signed "clean room" on my daily chart,

But there was a BOBBY PIN on my floor.

I usually laid on the floor afterwards

Because walking immediately was too painful.

But that was nothing compared to the pain the next morning

Once the welts and bruises had a chance to develop.

Can you imagine how it felt

To then have to ride my bike the 4 miles to school?

In short, I wouldn't recommend it;

Try to avoid the bumps.

Do you think I am dissuaded by working 50+ hours a week

When I moved out of my house at 15

And fought the world tooth and nail

To simply EXIST since then?

I faced a monster of a man for 15 years

And then I grappled with foster care

With lawyers and courts

And then with far scarier figures:

I almost emptied my reserves

In a two-three-four year battle against

Eating disorders, depression, anxiety.

Over 1000 days I woke up and viciously didn't want to exist

I hated the vessel placed on this earth to carry my organs

I refused to look in mirrors.

I wrestled with a pain so immense

The only way I found to deal with it

Was to physically slice my body open

So some of it could escape.

I bled and I hurt and I cried, for months.

Sometimes I'd run into the woods and just scream.

Those years were the fire.

And still I lived.

Honestly? I don't know how.

There are days when I cannot tell you

What kept me on this earth.

There is no reason I should be alive

But I think there must be a reason

And that's why I have to make a difference now.

I know the cliche rings true

"it gets better".

Because I'm still here

And I never imagined

Life could be as better as it is now.

I am free.

And I'm still afraid

Of dying without making a difference

But I spend every day

Working towards

Making sure that doesn't happen.”

--Y., Student

POSTED: Monday, April 9, 2018 - 7:18pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - 3:08pm