Out of Darkness, Triumph
by Dale Sczweck
At the end of my junior year of high school, I was very depressed and feeling isolated from my friends and family. I had been involved in a two romantic relationships in that previous year. They both ended badly. I realized my depression was stemming from romantic failure, so I decided to shift my focus from romance to something more productive.
I had been a musician all my life, and I wanted to keep myself occupied during the summer. I spoke with my high school band director about joining the marching band. He was somewhat trepidatious, because I have severe vision loss. I decided to take a chance and see how things went, so I signed up and went to the first summer practice. It was a match made in heaven. The physical activity, coupled with the intellectual stimulation game through music gave me a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
As the marching band season progressed, I noticed marked improvement in my interpersonal relationships. I had become much more self actualized, and the confidence I exuded made a difference in the way I was perceived by others. The difference was positive and has lasted into my adult years.