Hello everybody, My name is Randy. I’m 30 years old and I’ve been battling depression and anxiety for over 25 years. When I was growing up, I didn’t play with too many children. The only person that I played with was my long-time childhood friend before he moved from the block in 2002. He was my very close confidant, and when he moved, I shut down. We had an Unbreakable bond. When I started high school in 2002, I was notoriously shy and private. The kids thought there was something wrong with me cause I had very few friends. and plus, I was a loner to the end.
I was teased for being smart and intelligent. So to avoid the teasing, I stopped participating in class, letting my grades go down. I had failed 2 classes in the first semester of my high school debut. In the spring semester of 2003, I was still the same loner personality. So one day, my mother and sister complained that I needed to make some friends and they pressured me. So in my last period class, there were a bunch of Sophomores and Seniors. I was the only freshman in the class. So, to get my mother and sister off of my back, I befriended them, thinking that they were my friends. That was the worse mistake I ever did in my high school career. I ended up getting suspended indefinitely for beating up these 2 students for them.
After my suspension, I was cleared to come back to school. I missed over 3 weeks of school. My grades that I almost rebuild turned into straight F’s. When it was time to go to my last period class, the class that I got in trouble in, I ditched it to keep my word of not committing non- violent behavior. Since I was on citizenship probation. I failed to stay after school for those 2 classes before my infamous last period class. I ended up failing them badly. I now had 4 failing grades and 1 credit.
My sophomore year was a massive trainwreck. I had a class with the student I attacked earlier in the year. and 2 of the guys that told me to attack him had a class next door. What I did to continue my non-violent commitment, I ditched the class. In my second period class, I got into with this gang member. I avoided going to my second-period class. I just came for the third period and went home for the rest of the day.
And my grandfather passed away which didn’t help with my struggles, either. I started ditching school to smoke weed and drink.
I bounced back to pass 2 of my classes. but I’ve now failed 6 classes. After my senior year, I fought back to become 2 credits short, but I didn’t go back and get them. Due to the fear of getting teased by anybody.
I started to work as an 18-year-old high school dropout. I was making very good money to the point where it was my drug to function. Until in 2014, I left my job in the worse of terms, went back to school for GED classes. I passed every class on the GED, except for math. I didn’t pass the math part until March 1, 2016. So, after I passed my GED, my old boss asked me to work for him again, I accepted. Things were going well until he framed me for something terrible in May firing me. I was hurt. So, I stayed home a lot. I didn’t go out or anything. My depression came back 25 times harder than before. I was beginning to have anxiety attacks every 4 days.
To the point, there were times I was thinking about committing suicide to escape the nightmares that were dominating my sanity. On March 30, 2017. I went to the hospital to get some help with my nightmares. I stayed at the hospital for 7 days and received the help I needed. I was put on medication to function and take control of my life.
When I got home from the hospital, my whole outlook on things changed. with therapy and a better outlook on life. I began to do very well in therapy groups to the point I was conducting them on Monday mornings. Then I had to enter this work program for a full-time job. The coordinator there was a very condescending woman. So, one day, the group went to this job fair. I wasn’t feeling any of the jobs. but I saw the DeVry University kiosk there. I spoke to the representative and arranged to see her boss for an on-campus tour of the school. I told the coordinator of the job program that I will take my chances of going to school so I can make a future for myself. She said, “Well, how are you going to pay for school?” in a very nasty tone.
If it was my old, cowardly self, I would’ve backed off, but I didn’t. And said to her, “Ms. A****, That is between me and my family. so don’t worry about it. and if I fail, it was worth obtaining a college degree while trying.” She looked stunned.
Later in September, I experienced more heartbreak. My long-time dog had died from advanced canine cancer at the age of 11. I was sad, but I was better prepared to handle tragedy than in years past. So, in October of 2017, I made my debut as a 29-year-old college freshman. I ended up making the Deans List with a 4.0GPA. In January, I passed a tough computer coding class with a “B”. March, I failed my first college course. I was 3 points away from passing where you needed a “B” or Higher. And last month, I passed one of my classes with an “A”. I’m the first male in my immediate family to have 10 or more college credits with a 3.0 GPA.
And today, I mentor bullied children to get their GED’s and shine in whatever they do in life. And remember, It’s not about your start in life, it’s about how you finish your life. And I rather move around and enjoy life than to sit in the house all day like I’m a prisoner at a Supermax prison.