Colin, age 17
Peanut, Milk, Tree Nut, Shellfish Allergies
One of the worst thoughts you could have when you are allergic to a type of food is that someone out there might risk your life for a joke. That thought became a reality one day at school when I discovered peanut butter on my locker.
When I saw the peanut butter on my locker, I didn’t know how to feel. I think I was in shock.
I have learned a lot throughout this whole experience. I have learned that my parents have my back no matter what -- with all that has happened, they never stopped believing in me and listening to me. I have seen many parents immediately side with other adults and not listen to their own children.
I have also learned that there are many immature people out there. You just have to ignore them, and realize how much you have going for you and be proud of who you are as a person. That really helped me through this event. The most important value I have learned would probably be how lucky I am and how I know who I am.
When something like this happens to you, you really learn what kind of person you are. At first, I really did not know if I would be able to handle this mentally. With a lot of reflection, I learned that this kind of thing could happen to anybody at any age. It is not how you respond at first, but how you handle it when you really think about it. The incident really helped me see how strong I really am, and I can prove it through my actions. I am, of course, painfully reminded that this is my reality, and I need to watch out for myself and be aware, but not to the point where I stop living my normal life. I now realize how this made me aware of some of my strengths and how I want to help other people with food allergies. I want to make some lemonade out of the lemons I was handed.
When you have to get over obstacles like food allergies, such as not being able to eat at parties, or eczema so bad you know people are talking about you, you learn to be focused and strong. Please ask for help if you need it. I was scared for my life and I had to recognize and deal with all the emotions I was feeling.
Would I call this a bad experience? Yes, it is a terrible experience for anyone to go through, but I choose to focus on what I have learned. I just want to let those kids that are going through similar situations know that they are not alone and are much stronger than they think. I would encourage anyone having a bad experience to reach out for help. We all get a little stronger when we ban together.