Senior Reflection: Sean’s confession


Submitted Sean Neusch

Sean Neusch, A&E Editor

I have a confession to make.

To those of you who know me well, I apologize for the sheer amount of lying I have done to put up a more ostensibly favorable appearance.

As many of you probably know, I have missed a gross amount of school days because I was ill. I really was physically sick a lot throughout my entire life including high school (I even wrote my college essay about it), but to say I only missed school when I was physically ill would be astronomically false.

Truthfully, I missed school for seemingly every reason imaginable.

I was too tired, I didn’t study for a test, I didn’t do the homework, I just didn’t want to go and many, many more excuses. Most embarrassingly, I skipped school after I was sunburnt so badly that I couldn’t wear a shirt without agonizing pain shooting across my back and shoulders.

These excuses are admittedly trivial, but that’s not what I’m really confessing to and they’re not even the real reason I missed so many days.

I’m conceding to the fact that I was a burning mess of emotions for the entirety of high school and I tried to hide it from anyone who might care. My hope was to convince everyone that I was stable and well-adjusted even though that’s wildly untrue.

I have struggled and continue to struggle with a vicious cycle of anxiety that has taken control of my life on multiple occasions.

It has resulted in countless sleepless nights leaving me exhausted in the morning, panic attacks that prevent me from getting out of my bed halting any school work I was trying to finish, a convincing feeling of being completely incapable of anything which strapped me to my bed and innumerable lies to anyone who loves me in an attempt to hide it.

To say I was ashamed of my mental illness would be serious understatement. It made me feel weak and lesser than my peers so I didn’t want anyone to know. I realize now that that only made it so much worse because I was isolating myself slowly and I wasn’t getting the love and support my friends would have offered me.

That was probably my biggest blunder.

On top of the emotions that plagued me, I felt like I had to face it alone: one man and his internal conflict.

Why am I sharing this now? I don’t want to earn the pity of my peers, or to make anyone feel like they should have done something to help me. My wish is that someone relates and learns from my mistakes as I have, but more selfishly I hope that I can give some explanation to my lying tendencies.

More specifically, don’t close yourself off from your friends. I consider doing this one of the biggest mistakes in my life and I’ve been working to undo the effect it’s had on my life. It’s easier said than done, but personally once I opened myself up to my friends life got a little easier.

When my friends finally knew what was going on, a lot of my strange behavior made sense and they were more tolerant of it. They also made sure to reach out if they thought I was having a rough day. These small gestures would completely turn my day around and keep me going until the next hard time.

Now I do have a very special group of friends, but I’m confident everyone has at least one person in their life who would do anything to brighten their day. It could be your parents, friends, siblings, cousins, grandparents, or anyone in your life. That person exists and you shouldn’t block them out like I did.