撰文:胡芷欣Victoria Wu



Growing up, my life seemed perfect, I had everything and anything my heart desired. So I had to be happy, right?

Wrong, so wrong. Happiness does not exist on its own, it comes from within.

This is something I have struggled to understand throughout my life. The notion of being happy seemed so simple at first; like many and most 5 year old children, I associated happiness with tangible items, but it came a day where—it wasn’t enough.

My parents spoiled me rotten and at the time it was amazing. Little did I know that the satisfaction and “happiness” I felt would only last for that brief moment before it would dissipate, and I would be left with utter dissatisfaction and disappointment.

All my parents ever wanted for me was to be happy; but as I aged that feeling became more and more distant, till one day it felt nearly impossible.

At age 15 I experienced my first documented depressive episode and was diagnosed with depression. It wasn’t long till I was also diagnosed with general and social anxiety, attachment disorders, OCD, ADD, and ADHD.

I felt like I had failed my parents and broken their hearts, as all their expectations of me turned into disappointment. They had given me the life they never had and it still wasn’t enough.

Most don’t know this, but I was on the verge of not being able to graduate from high school. I saw more doctors and adults than kids my age during my medical leave and was the first in my family to go to college, so had no guidance or understanding of anything. But, being able to get through it all when no one thought I could taught me more than I could ever imagine.

Anxiety had always controlled me. Growing up I thought everyone had these thoughts and worries. Since age 5, I would worry about something terrible happening to my parents every time I wasn’t with them, such as them dying in a car accident. There aren’t words to express the emotional pain and heartbreak I felt every time my mom had to leave my side. It was so unbearable that at age 12 I flew to Hong Kong alone to see her after she had been gone for 3 days. I was afraid of life in every aspect and didn’t even know I wasn’t letting myself live.

While anxiety took over my childhood, depression consumed me once I hit my teenage years. I had always wondered what the point to life was and if there even was one. I felt as if something were missing; I tried filling that void with material goods and relationships, but that only made things worse.

My freshman year of college was hell.

Depression and anxiety was all there was left of me. Not only did it feel like I had lost everyone around me, but I had lost myself and my will to live.

I started to go down a really rough path even though I was getting help for my depression and anxiety. The guilt of not wanting to live and not knowing why killed me. I numbed myself from life and would feel no emotion or everything at once. I thought I was fine, until I ended up in the hospital.

I am not proud that it took multiple near death experiences for me to truly realize the value in life. I am not saying that all my problems disappeared, they are still VERY much real, but they no longer control me. Because now I know that—perspective is everything because perception is reality.

Without the bad there is no good.

The opportunities that come with life’s adversities allowed me to appreciate life again and taught me that: happiness is within your control, it just depends on how you choose to look at life.

Even though I still struggle with depression and have suicidal thoughts at times, I now know that I am the only one in control of my life and have the ability to change it by simply changing my—perspective.

I don’t know what the point of life is and I will always wonder if there truly is one, but for now I know it doesn’t matter because life is not supposed to be perfect, if it were then you wouldn’t be living.

Not only am I happy now, but I can also say that I love life again and that is priceless. In my mind, life is a lot like stocks, you never know when it’s going to go up or down, but you know if you invest wisely it will be worth it in the long run. And that is why—perspective is everything.






















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