By nature, I was always a curious child. My parents usually found this delightful, except for one disconcerting experience when I was just eight years old. As I played, I spotted a colorful bottle of my great-grandmother's medication on the table. I was fascinated by the bright colors and assumed it was a bottle of candy for me. Not wasting any time, I popped a piece of "candy" into my mouth and enjoyed its sweetness. Unable to control myself, I quickly finished half of the bottle and began to feel giddy.
Seeing me on the floor with the open bottle, my parents knew instantaneously what had happened. My fun experience with the "candy" quickly turned agonizing. I was gasping for breath and required immediate medical attention. During the short ride to the hospital, I was haunted by thoughts of death. I was weak, scared and could see shadows hovering over me.
Fortunately, we reached the emergency ward quickly, where doctors inserted tubes into my mouth and nose. I screamed from the intense pain. The doctors pumped out what was left inside my stomach, saving me from serious physical injury. Although the emergency was over, I stayed on for medical observation.
I was discharged from the hospital a week later, but was extremely fearful of eating ?candy?. I suffered mild depression, which responded well to pastoral counseling. Yet I needed more time to regain my concentration. My grades slipped for a short while and I felt miserable. Moreover, my shyness made communicating even more difficult. The thought of public speaking paralyzed me whenever I had to do presentations. I was jittery and nervous, the laughing stock of the class. Thankfully, my family and friends supported me and understood my frustration. Despite the setback, I...