by gabrielle gayle
Sandara wakes up at 6:00 every morning to go to school. Her mom always makes her cook breakfast, but she often skips it in order to be on time for school. She studies each morning so she never falls behind—Sandara prides herself on how much she focuses on her academics.
During lunch, she monitors for her favorite teacher. She’ll tell you it’s the best part of the day, and her teacher would agree. Soon however, her teacher began to worry. She noticed Sandara bringing less and less for lunch each day.
Sandara has a lot on her plate. Student Council meetings keep her at school until 6:00 in the evening, and soccer practice drains her. After her extracurriculars, she goes home and completes assignment after assignment, often staying up until early in the mornings. Her parents begin to worry. Sandara always makes sure to finish her work on time and she rarely takes breaks, worried that if she does, school work will overwhelm her. On weekends she tutors local elementary school kids at the local library. She always liked to keep a strict schedule. After tutoring is homework and anything else she could do to clear up her week. Her parents often scolded her for having too much on her plate but she felt that if she distracted herself her thoughts could never overwhelm her. If she never allowed herself to think or do much beyond what she knew was good she would never have to experience her thoughts as overwhelmingly as before
Some days though, no matter how hard you try, the thoughts do not go away on their own. Sandara gets called down to speak with her guidance counselor. Ms.Wilson’s worry seems to only increase while asking Sandara why she never eats lunch at school.
“Have you been eating breakfast at home? What about dinner?
“Not really. I haven’t had much time.”
“That’s not good Sandra. What about sleep? How long did you sleep last night?”
“About 30 minutes.”
“What were you doing all night?”
“I started on some work early for my classes.”
“Your grades are amazing Sandara,” she says, as if that was the only reason anyone could ever be sad.
“I really don’t understand why you seem so stressed.” Sandara could not possibly feel more frustrated in this moment.
“It’s more than that. It feels like if I stop everything will just come crashing down. I can’t let everything stop.”
“Sandra I want you to know this is not something you can solve on your own. Now I’m going to give you a post-it with a bunch of numbers on it. They are all therapists that I personally recommend in the area and when you go home make sure to give it to your parents.”
As Sandara walks out of the office to return to class, she starts to worry about the idea. New thoughts run through her head worried that she might be staining the picture she painted of herself. Questions about if anyone she knows will find out and even how her parents are going to react. But what she does not see, is a future where she is happier waiting for her to give the post-it to her parents.
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