So, this is an essay that I turned in today for my 'final' which I thought turned out really well. I ended up getting an A in the class and I got a 95% on this assignment and it ended up being about jaw surgery.
Honestly, it was really personal to read in front of the class because well, I never realized how personal and how much this surgery really did affect me. I honestly thought, "It's just another stupid surgery". I knew I was going to be scared, I knew it was going to hurt, and I knew that it took some time to heal from but I didn't realize the emotional change I would have.
So without further a-do . . . here's my essay
This I Believe
Have you ever sat in a math class and stared at the teacher, confused as ever? And then suddenly, everything made sense and you’re overwhelmed with a feeling of satisfaction? Or maybe you just got home from the doctor and the news struck your family with grief and sadness? And despite the outcome, you and your family have learned to overcome everything that the situation threw at you?
Throughout life I’ve always heard that “life is a climb, but the view is great.” And to me, that signifies the majority of my life, but even more so, I’ve learned that just because I’m struggling doesn’t mean I can’t be happy. I’ve learned that happiness is conditional and it comes and goes as it pleases. Bliss comes from myself and how I view the rest of my life.
I was born with a birth defect called cleft lip and palate and that alone is a struggle. Even though I had it ‘fixed’ when I was younger through surgery, it still continues to shape my life today. I’ve had to deal with speech issues and I’ve had to overcome seven years of braces while I’ve watched my friends get them off in a year or two. I’ve dealt with numerous amounts of surgeries and the worrisome effects of being self-conscious about my appearance.
Recently, I’ve gone through maxillary surgery and that alone has been one of the biggest struggles I feel that I’ve overcome. After waking up from six hours of surgery I felt everything hit me at once. Large amounts of pain or numbness overcame my entire face. I felt my opinion on my personal image change. I knew the sudden change in diet, or even going through a lot of emotional challenges would change me. After the first few days I felt unbelievably self-conscious. I was swollen, I couldn’t talk clearly, I drooled constantly, I didn’t have the independence that I personally thrive upon, and I looked different and as time went on, it got to the point where I didn’t even want to smile. Smiling became something I was ashamed and self-conscious of because I thought my ‘new’ smile looked horrible. I had been so used to the smile I saw in the mirror for the past 17 years and the sudden change wasn’t easy .
Now, seven weeks post-operation, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I’ve overcome
maxillary jaw surgery and even more so, I’ve become stronger because of it. I’ve learned that
happiness doesn’t come from other people or through aesthetic, materialistic ideas--it comes
from my state of mind. Not only that, but I feel that I can see the beauty of everything else in my
life. Through the battle I’ve learned to appreciate what my abilities and my circumstances are.
Struggle has allowed me to progress and learn more about myself. Struggle taught me to fight
even when times get hard. Struggle has taught me to become passionate and appreciative.
Struggle—that’s what I believe in.
And there you have it. I hope you guys like it, as I'm sure some of you can apply what I said in other ways, but yeah.