This I Believe – Donna Bondoc


Sidney Moyers, Associate Editor-In-Chef

Donna Bondoc is a strong believer that friends can absolutely change your life. While all of us have that “bad influence” friend, the creative friend, we also have that one, or few, friends that are there for us whenever we need them.

Donna had this realization last year, when she had a tough year with her family and school. Her father was never home, her mother was impossible to talk to, her grades were lowering and she was missing more and more school. Her life seemed to be falling apart around her and she was completely and utterly lost.

Plunging down the hole of depression, she couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. She went to her school counselor, but found that their advice didn’t seem to help. That was until she decided to open up to her friends after months of silence. “They were really worried,” Donna told me, recalling the faces of her concerned friends. “It led to them crying.”

Her friends were quick to assist her and did whatever they could to make her feel better. Her friends would write little letters to her, encourage her throughout the day, and give her coping methods to deal with her depression. She said that even the simple hugs that her friends would give her made a huge difference and brightened her day.

Some of the coping methods she shared was to try to sleep off the bad thoughts, listen to music, keep busy, and work on various projects. She decided to focus on writing so she made poems and even started her own novel. But most importantly, she emphasized the need to talk to someone about how you’re feeling – whether it be your friends, a family member, a teacher or even a therapist if you need it. She says, “people will understand your situation.”

This is her essay:

Recently, I’ve learned that being alone and isolating yourself from everybody isn’t the best thing to do to solve your problems. The past year was pretty rough: disappointing my parents, getting horrible grades as my parents said, my sisters criticizing me for every little thing, ending a relationship. Others may not see it as anything but trivial yet it still got to me. For nights, I would lie awake staring at my ceiling listening to my heart pound against my chest waiting for it to pop out. I wanted to sleep forever. Every single day, sleeping was impossible and I couldn’t even rely on my parents because they wouldn’t understand the conflicting emotions I felt. It was the last thing on my mind but I had to get better somehow some way and it led to me missing many days of school. I wanted to get better but I was in a haze. I believed that nobody could love a disgusting, fat, and disappointing human being and I had no one. I was alone and I wanted to disappear. My mother told me it was nothing and that it was all in my head. My dad hardly talks to the family and is always away. She would always remind me that I’m the eldest and should provide an example for my sisters, but how am I supposed to do that when they disrespect me every chance they get? My sisters don’t care and they’ve sometimes forgot about me. I’m nothing in their eyes. Every little joke they say about me for example, was that I’m adopted because we all don’t look alike and so it led to them making up a whole story of how my Chinese mother gave me up and sold me to the Russian circus. They found it hilarious and I couldn’t do anything but stand there and take it because I took everything so seriously. However, my friends gave me a chance. They loved me for who I was and encouraged me to keep going.

Cliche as it sounds, they gave me hope. I had a shoulder to cry on, I can express my true feelings and get free hugs when I need them. They cared and I was happy that I could finally talk. They gave me something to look forward to every day and I will never forget what they did for me. I was relieved that I found a group of friends who would listen to my every whim and help me when I needed it. I probably wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for them.