The Phoenix Rises

The phoenix, a mythological creature, is said to be a large, beautiful, immortal bird. It lives a long life and after perishing, it rises from its own ashes. Reflectively, the phoenix symbolizes my struggle with MDD (Major Depressive Disorder). For the past three years, my illness has interfered with everything important in my life. It came to a point where I couldn’t even attend school on a regular basis. I went from being an honors student in the magnet to a student barely passing. After three years of agonizing emotional pain, the summer of 2014 came and I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself and did something with my life. As a phoenix rises from its ashes, I rise from my depression.

Because the phoenix is mythological, we can all believe what we want about it. I believe the phoenix is born and lives its beginning years strongly and majestically. As it lives longer, it becomes weak. Therefore, it must perish. However, the most extraordinary aspect of this bird is that it is immortal. It rises from its ashes to, once again, live a life. As a kid, I was happy, strong, and confident. In my early teenage years, a close family member got severely ill and it made me lose my way. Before I knew it, I was depressed. Having MDD has impacted my life greatly. I lost every bit of motivation for everything I ever wanted and dreamed of. Not only did it affect my schooling, but it affected my friendships and relationships. I became very distant from everyone, including my parents. It wasn’t until June of this year that I ‘rose from my ashes’. I came to the realization that for as long as I continued to not care about my life, the more depressing my life would become. I got rid of everything that made me unhappy. This included getting rid of all negative aspects of my life and even breaking up with someone I truly cared about because I realized no one could make me happy but myself. I needed to work on myself and positive affirmations. The life of a phoenix symbolizes my life and my dreams and the ashes are my depression of which I have risen from.

The most significant lesson I learned about my experience with MDD is that no matter how hard you fall, you can get up- or rise from your ashes- and you are capable of anything you set your mind to. For my last four months of high school, I didn’t go because I hated myself so much which led me to the re-evaluation of my entire life, especially my future. With my summer of growth and new-found positivity, I went back to school this fall and I’ve never felt more motivated and determined in my life, or at least not since I lost my way. Now, I’m chasing my dreams and doing everything I possibly can to achieve my goals. I’ve come across kids who drop out of school and/or go through similar illnesses, and I want to help them in every way I can. Others can learn from my experience because I was in a very dark place, but now the darkness is gone and I am free from burden. I have every intention of helping those in need and I would like to encourage people around my age to stay strong and remember that a phoenix always rises from its ashes.

This was a 3 paragraph reflective essay I had to do for an assignment. I just wanted to share it because writing this was important to me and it took me many drafts before I finally came to this. Thanks for reading! Have a great day! 🙂

-Kathryn Bundoc

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