Sometimes in life you find yourself in a hole and the best solution is to stop digging, but you don’t always know how. At a fairly young age my mother became extremely ill with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), and with her bed ridden in the ICU for months and my father working overtime just to keep a roof over our heads, as the eldest, it was innate – I needed to step up and help with my younger siblings. Not having my mom around was beyond difficult and my dad, the nest best thing, failed to be present at home. The space of home was foreign and something I floated through, it smelled like home and looked like home, but didn’t feel like home. With the constant influx of people stepping in as parents, but their lack of sharing information regarding exactly what was going on was frustrating. I was too immature to understand.
I was desperate and seeking attention, so my freshman year the digging began. I stopped caring about everything and started to drown in school, my dad made me quit dance and socializing. I went to school, sat emptily with my headphones in, went home, slept and repeated the same routine every day for a year. My mom was getting better in a rehab facility, learning to walk again, but I was getting worse. My grades were atrocious, my attitude worse. I had finally hit rock bottom, came to the realization what I was doing to myself and my future; this was neither who I am nor who I was raised to be. I wanted to be the first in my family to go to college, discovering my purpose in life.
While the only love and support I was receiving from people in my generation was through hashtags, emojis and novels on social media the one thing that kept my family going was community. My community saw what was happening, came together and lifted me up from something I thought would never get better, their support through the littlest things made all the difference. They came together and a different family would bring us dinner every night, people would come over to help my siblings and me with our homework, and we were given rides anywhere we needed. If it weren’t for the love and support from our community we would’ve completely sunk. There are still amazing people out there and even though I’m a typical teenager who uses social media and texts constantly, the meaning and blessings behind community will forever be a huge part in my life. In the future, I know I will support my community and the people in it, just as mine did for me.