As an assignment for English in January when we were reading The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, my classmates and I were asked to reflect on 2013 as well as our resolutions and hopes for 2014. The following is (a slightly edited version of) my letter.
2013 was one of the most difficult years I’ve lived through in my young life. In February, I lost my grandfather. My grandparents, for the most part, raised me. Beginning when I was three months old, my parents would drop me off at my grandparent’s house at seven in the morning and would pick me up between eight or nine in the evening. My grandparents taught me everything from cooking basic meals to mowing the lawn, and they never judged me or put me down. My grandparents were the only people who I could say with absolute certainty loved me. My grandfather’s death was an extremely painful loss which to this day, over a year later, I am still mourning.
Leaving middle school was a sigh of relief for me. To say I disliked middle school is an understatement. Between grueling work as part of being in advanced classes, extreme bullying, and feeling as though I was losing my mind every time I set foot into the building, I was extremely eager to leave. This feeling came with a grain of salt, however, as it also meant saying goodbye to my best friend, my third pillar you could say. We met in 6th grade and she became the sister I never had. To this day, she still knows me better than anyone. My grandfather took half my heart when he passed away and saying goodbye to her was like losing the other half. I was starting high school completely on my own.
The entire week before the first day of school, I would go to sleep wrecked in anxiety attacks. The first day of school, however, put my fears quickly to rest. I made friends easily and before I knew it, the first month had gone by with smooth sailing, and I met my pillars. I found solace in my pillars, a place where for the first time in my life I felt like I belonged. I finally found a home and it was with my two pillars.
Towards the end of 2013, my aunt was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer, which has been yet another severe blow to my family. I’ve now resolved to cut any and all attachments I have to my family to avoid being so catastrophically hurt again.
In 2014, I aim to stop letting my anxiety and depression take control over my life. I want to spend more time with my friends, and do more of the things that make me happy. I want to do things for myself first. I hope for 2014 to be much better than 2013, but I know this will not happen if I just sit by and watch as time passes. I need to make moves to make this year better myself.
So far, instead of cutting ties with my family, I’ve actually developed a better relationship with my brother. I only hope that I will not regret this in the future. My aunt’s cancer has spread and she has begun chemotherapy sessions. My anxiety, if anything, has only gotten worse as has my depression. My mother has received phone calls advising her to take me to a therapist.
I haven’t seen as much progress in these months as I would have liked to have seen, but there are still 7 months left of 2014 and I aim to make use of this time to get some of these issues sorted out. My only wish is that my grandfather could still be here; I’ve forgotten what his voice sounds like.