How Jada Changed My Life

Decent Essays
We stopped going to church when I was in third grade. I was never really into the whole thing, but my mom loved it. Loved belonging to something so deeply rooted in our family: Sundays at the church my great grandparents helped build.

In January of 2007 my sister Jada was born two months premature. Her short life, fifteen days spent in a NICU hundreds of miles from home was completely deprived of senses. Although silent and desolate, her presence had a devastating and lasting impact on my family. When Jada died our world stopped. We stopped going to church, my mom stopped going to work, I stopped sleeping. The ground under my feet became unstable. My mom was told I had Acute Stress Disorder, commonly diagnosed in adolescents experiencing
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With no place in the social hierarchy and no close friends, I put my focus on school which allowed me to keep my grades up fairly easily. However there was another war waging inside me that I wasn’t even fully aware of until almost two years later. For nine months I failed to see the way my body was fighting fiercely against itself. I struggled to keep my eating habits in check. My weight fluctuated drastically. All my life I had been a meticulous, compulsive person, so I never thought twice about the counting and journaling, the nail biting that evolved into skin picking and scab covered fingers, the panic driven insomnia that kept me awake for days at a…show more content…
In my years as a student I had always been bright, above average even, so when I came home with Cs and a D on my report card my mom knew something wasn’t right. That summer a pediatric psychiatrist put me on antidepressants and I was sent to spend six weeks on the east coast with my aunt.

When I came home in late July I knew what I had to do. I ran into junior year head on, I did not let the adversity I was facing scare me from continuing to challenge myself. I decided to use my past as a stepping stone rather than a roadblock, and, watching my peers dwell on the small inconveniences in their own lives, I knew that I could succeed no matter how monstrous of a task it seemed.

Though my anxiety and impoverished upbringing may seem like hurdles to others, to me they are reminders that I am strong and capable of tackling any obstacle that comes in my way.

Hopefully, one day they will be reminders of all that I went through to become the first college graduate in my family and to finally have stable ground beneath my
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