Optimism through struggle

Jordan ZangaroJordan ZangaroI like to think I have a reputation of being an optimistic writer. Every week, I try to give the readers some glimmer of hope when trying to relate to the issues that most college students are dealing with daily. It is not always easy and I was not always that way.

There was a time in my life, an actual specific moment, that I hit rock bottom. I thought my life was over and I had enough of the constant struggle day in and day out to try to find the silver lining of my pathetic story.

I was 18 years old. I was sick, no one knew how to fix me and I was losing a lot of weight all the while trying to continue with my basketball season. It was the Hampton Holiday tournament and it was half-time. I spent the majority of my coach’s pep talk in the bathroom throwing up whatever was left in my deflated stomach and when I came out, they told me I would not be starting the second half.

I was furious. I stormed out of the locker room and went to my mom, who was teary-eyed in the stands. She had nothing left to say to me because she knew I wasn’t quitting.

I finally got my coaches to let me play, probably because they were scared of my reaction and making a scene. I remember feeling like I was running under water, and I remember trying to shoot a three-pointer, and then it goes dark.

I passed out and apparently was carried off the floor. When I came to, I was scared, confused and nauseous. I tried to run to the bathroom and I will never forget how I felt crumpled up in that bathroom stall. I had enough. I was done. It was the lowest point of my short life as I gripped the toilet seat. I felt powerless. I quit that day. I couldn’t continue living that way and I was depressed.

I have been healthy for a while now, and I felt the need to share this part of my life with you because it took this struggle and the horrible memory of my childhood ending to get me to look at what I have.

I appreciate a lot of things differently because, for a while, I had no idea how bad my health really was and had no idea what was going to happen to me. I choose to look on the bright side because for so long all I had was a terrible, depressing outlook.

Life doesn’t always go as planned. There are a lot of things out of your control and there is no way of telling the struggles that lie ahead in the future. My thought is you can learn from the obstacles you have overcome or let them blur your vision for the rest of your life. The choice is yours.