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Why does life give you so many obstacles to overcome? Sometimes it makes it very hard to see its true beauty. Everyone has their ups and downs and sometimes the struggles keep you from doing what you love and enjoying every moment you have. My grandmother once told me that everything in life happens for a reason. At first I didn’t know what that meant. This past year has been really hard for me. But it made me look at life completely differently. All of my questions have been answered and each moment meant something very special.
A little over two years ago, my mom passed away. She was the one person I could open up to. Once she left me, it felt like the world had burst into a million pieces and I was floating around in the dark space alone. Even the stars around me could not keep me company. Her very last words to me were, “I love you.” When I went to bed that night, numbness took over my whole body. I kept waking up in the middle of the night. I was looking for some sort of sign from my mother. As I lay in the dark, I received nothing. I kept asking God, “Why did this happen to me? Why me?!” I never got an answer. The one thing that calms me when I’m upset is singing. A month later, I had my first performance without my mom there to support me. But that does not mean she missed out. I sang “With You” from Ghost the Musical and I dedicated it to my mom. I felt a tingling sensation fill my body. I have never felt that way before. I knew they were not nerves because I barely get nervous when I perform. No one had to tell me what I was feeling because I already knew. I believe it was mom’s soul filling my body as if she was giving me a hug. At the very end of the song, I saw a white light flicker at the corner of my eye. Ever since her passing, I have been seeing it whenever I feel down or make an accomplishment. Sometimes I see it on ordinary days most likely for her to just say hello. From now on I look for pennies. It means an angel is nearby. One time when I was at dance class, it was really hard to concentrate because all I would think of was mom. Suddenly, the door opened by itself, and then it closed. The class went silent. When the class ended, I found a penny under the door as I walked out. My cousin made me a jar to put the pennies in. When my grandmother was writing emails to her friends about my mom, random A’s appeared with a little halo above it (Â). My mom’s name was Annette. During Christmas we always put out these three bears that play music together. Both my parents and I all have our own bear. On the first Christmas without mom, and when the whole family was together, mom’s bear played by itself. Then when it was time to take my driver’s test, my nerves got a hold of me and I failed. The second time I took it was on mom’s one year anniversary since her death. I felt her hovering over the car and I felt very calm. I passed! I owe it all to mom for being there for me during good and bad times. I don’t need to physically see her to know she’s there. Sometimes it takes a single penny for me to know.
Days, weeks, and months had passed by. Everyone told me things would get a lot better. I waited and waited. I only got sadder and sadder. That was when my anxiety and depression started kicking in. School started to become difficult for me. I did not have any energy to study and I lacked motivation to do after school activities. All I would do is cry. It felt like there was nobody on this Earth that would understand me. That’s when I started going to a therapist and a psychiatrist. It helped for a while. But then everything went upside down again. I ended up going to GenPsyche, a place where I would have more support. I was being schooled there with other kids like me. We talked about our life stories and gave advice. I started feeling a whole lot better. Once I got back to school, I lost all of my friends. My life felt pretty lonely after that. Theater was the only thing I turned to to make me feel better. After rehearsal, I would sit alone in the auditorium to process my thoughts. I would even talk to my directors about my struggles because they are like family to me. I stayed with them late after rehearsals because I did not want to be at home all by myself waiting for dad who works really late.
During the second year of mom’s death, the medication I was on started to kick in and I was slowly getting better. I started making friends in the theater department at school. I threw a party for them so I make a stronger bond with the, which was the most outgoing thing I have ever done. New friendships were made. I decided to do a summer camp at Rider University to see what theater life at college was like for two weeks. I met a girl there who was just like me. She struggled with depression and she manages it. I learned a very valuable lesson from her; a lesson that answers all of my questions. God gave me so many obstacles because he knew that I was strong enough to handle them. He’s giving them to me now so that I will be ready for whatever life throws at me. The musical theater business is really hard but I can take it! Depression has made me a stronger person and without it, I don’t think I would have ever known life’s true meaning. Everything in life really does happen for a reason.