I've Been Robbed

When I was a sophomore in High School, my iPod was stolen. I loved that iPod. It was a replacement gift from my dad, as I had accidentally run my own bright-pink nano through the washer and dryer. I listened to it all the time on the bus and at home. It was  It was my fault, really. I left it in my backpack out in the open in the girl's locker room during gym. I trusted people too much and didn't think that I could ever be robbed in Bountiful, Utah. When I came back from class and saw that it was missing, I started crying. In front of everyone in the locker room. I tried to hold back tears as I walked to file a report with the school officer but I wasn't very successful. When I went home, I cried some more. I felt dumb. I I felt like my privacy had been violated. I was angry because it just wasn't fair.

For me, one of the hardest parts about having a mental illness is feeling robbed. I've felt cheated by God and the universe. I had the perfect plan for my life. Go to school, go on a mission, get married, and start a family. A simple request. A normal life. A safe plan. Obviously, that hasn't happened. I've gotten angry at God so many times for "cheating" me. Granted, my challenges are nothing in comparison to the trials that so many go through. But I have still felt like my mental illness has robbed me not only of my perfect little plan, but of who I am. I'm not who I was before I got sick. I used to be so much more kind and thoughtful. I enjoyed going to parties and being around people. I was more driven in academics and I thrived off of success. But then my mental illness came around and stole those parts of me. Because of this I feel dumb. I feel violated. I feel angry because it just isn't fair.

I never got my iPod back. It was gone for good, and I was pretty peeved about it for awhile. I learned from that experience, though. I started locking things up. The next iPod I got I appreciated so much more. I treated it better and kept it safe. My mental illness does the same thing for me that my stolen iPod did. It teaches me to appreciate the things that I do have and to work hard for the things that I don't. When I am depressed and hopeless, I have to work hard to get back up. When I am happy, I appreciate and enjoy it so much more. Just because I haven't gotten what I thought was rightfully mine doesn't mean that I haven't gotten was I actually need. Without the absence of the things that my mental illness has stolen from me, I wouldn't have grown in the ways that I have. My mental illness has caused voids in my life that were filled by things much more important and meaningful than I could have ever imagined. Getting robbed by my mental illness has been something that has changed my life for good, in ways that I am just now beginning to recognize.

Yes, mental illnesses suck. They steal things from you. They hurt. But there's an upside to it all: you have the experiences that you need to have to become who you need to be. It's just up to you to recognize it and do something about it.