Acceptance has always been a major conflict for me, both internal and external. As a kid, I’ve always thought of accepting myself was easy. I thought that there was no reason for me to not like myself, I never thought negatively about myself. But as I grew up, things changed, I became self-conscious about my appearance, intelligence, and I would constantly compare myself to others and what other people thought of me. My emotions started to feel like an artist’s sketchbook, each piece expressed me and how I feel, but I would be too embarrassed to share these pieces with others. This habit of bottling up my emotions created this whirlpool of colors, and everyone else was colorblind to them. Eventually, I was able to realize that what I was doing wasn’t healthy for me. I needed to talk to someone about what I was feeling and overcome these conflicts, but it wasn’t that easy. Some of these conflicts could make or break my relationship with others, how they view me, and if they’ll accept me.
One of these conflicts was me coming out to my family, my sister was the first person I came out to, then my mom, and then my dad. However, that wasn’t the hard part, coming out to my entire family was. I remember almost every detail of that day, it was my brother’s birthday and he was just turning ten. I remember pacing in my room and thinking of ways to tell them, my anxiety was through the roof and I felt like I would have a panic attack at any second. I began sketching on a random piece of paper to try and calm me down, but it didn’t work, I couldn’t control myself. It was like a painter using too much water in a painting, and you can’t control the colors from spreading everywhere. I remember my mom coming into my room and suggesting ideas while trying to calm me down at the same time. I began contemplating if I should even come out that day. I began thinking “I can do it another day” or “no, do it now and get it off your chest” and even “they don’t have to know, you can keep it a secret”. Eventually, I pushed those thoughts away and began practicing what I was going to say.
When I walked out of my room, just stepping one foot out the door made me feel nervous and scared. I began taking deep breaths and trying all of the techniques my therapist taught me at any time I felt anxious. My brother was opening presents, but I never paid any attention to what he was doing, all my mind could focus on was me coming out. Eventually, all eyes were on me; I remember my heart beating so fast it felt like it was vibrating. I remember stuttering, I remember my voice shaking as well as my entire body. When the words finally came out I felt fear, relief, confusion, shame, and guilt, hit me like paint spilling all over you. I looked at the floor still shaking, but I felt a wave of relief, happiness, and satisfaction as I heard everyone clapping.
My cousins, aunts, grandparents, everyone walked up to me and gave me hugs, I even remember one of my relatives crying tears of joy. Turns out that one of my relatives had a sibling that came out a while ago, he even asked me if I wanted to join them at a Pride parade that they were planning on going to. I realized that I have a very supportive and loving family, they all accept me for who I am. I felt like I was looking at an art piece that I was proud of, and all the colors on the canvas were visible to anyone. This wasn’t the only time my family had accepted and supported me as I’ve stated before, I’ve faced many conflicts, and even though me coming out was a big one, there was another conflict that would and still does affect me both internally and externally.
ADD, what is it, how does that affect me? According to Healthine.com, ADD is a disorder that affects the ability to focus and remember. People often confuse it with ADHD, and while they are similar, ADD is actually a type of ADHD called “Inattentive”. The H in ADHD stands for “hyperactive”, however, I’m not hyperactive, therefore I had ADD. I wasn’t diagnosed with ADD until around 9th grade. During my middle school years 6-8, I always thought I wasn’t smart, I would rarely pay attention and I was constantly asking my teachers for guidance on how to understand something. This affected my ability to learn, and it made me think that I was unintelligent and not smart. When we found out I had ADD, and that there was a medicine that could help me, I was both relieved and a little unimpressed. I thought the medicine wouldn’t work, but surprisingly it did, it helped me a lot actually. I was way more focused on both homework and artwork. I would draw nonstop and I would even start coloring a lot more.
Art has become my escape for whenever I feel down, or want to express what I’m feeling. We all have our moments of doubt and we all express it in different ways. Were like paintings, while we might look different whether its media, skill, color, shapes or size, we all have one thing in common, we are all beautiful works of art.
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