101 Reasons To Stay

101 Reasons To Stay

The world may be a big place, but it'd be empty without you.
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As humans, we crave to be touched. We crave to have someone listen and words of advice. But when depression gets in the way it seems like it's never enough. You start to feel stuck and hopeless. Then feel like there is nowhere left to go. I remember a time where life was my worst enemy. Waking up every day and sharing breathing space with other people who “didn’t understand me” was the daily struggle.I fought with my family over the smallest issues. I shut out my friends. I saw a therapist. I was on anti-depressants. Emotion always trumped logic. At the end of the day, everything I did to try and improve myself would leave me feeling stable for only a few hours.

Now that I’m in my 20s, I often reflect back to those dark days, where I was almost stupid enough to take my life because I almost let my teenage woes get the best of me. I can talk so casually about this now because I know how common teen depression really is, and I’ve come SO far since then. I’m also evidence that, as the cliché goes, it all gets better with time. But also, I would probably give myself a list of things to live for and look forward to. It was a gradual process for me to learn that, above all, some things and feelings you just have to wait out. And while you’re waiting, it’s the small victories that begin to help you get a grasp on the fact that life has a lot to offer you.

1) It will destroy your parents.

2) Your siblings will never get over it.

3) What about your best friends.

4) People WILL miss you.

5) You can help people.

6) Be able to tell your story.

7) Travel the world.

8) Be able to publish a writing.

9) Think of all the new art you will miss out on.

10) Get a tattoo.

11) Be able to have a drink on your 21st Birthday.

12) Give it time to get better, it will get better.

13) Graduate

14) Get Married.

15) Have kids.

16) Go to concerts.

17) Being able to listen to music.

18) New movies.

19) That next CD from your favorite band/artist.

20) New Books.

21) Meet your idol.

22) Learn to surf.

23) New seasons of your favorite TV shows.

24) Visit New York City.

25) Be able to see yourself recover.

26) Watching the sunset.

27) Wake up to see the sunrise.

28) Be able to try new foods.

29) Be able to go to Museums.

30) Experience a haunted place.

31) Disney.

32) You are a beautiful person.

33) You are precious.

34) Starbucks coffee.

35) Bonfires with friends and family.

36) Being able to meet new people.

37) Hugs

38) Dancing

39) Singing

40) Beautiful beaches.

41) Holidays

42) Rainstorms

43) Being able to be your own hero.

44) Bath Bombs

45) Laughing so much it hurts with friends.

46) You are NEVER alone.

47) Future relationships.

48) Being able to finish your bucket list.

49) Dressing up for formal events and feeling like a princess or prince.

50) Being able to be rebellious at times.

51) Hearing the words "I love you."

52) Long hot showers.

53) Pain is only temporary.

54) Staring at clouds and finding shapes in them.

55) High school reunions.

56) Having the power to make someone smile.

57) Love Stories.

58) Being able to hold babies.

59) Snorting when you're laughing so hard.

60) No one will ever be able to replace you.

61) Hearing someone sing Happy Birthday to you.

62) Think about how many people would blame themselves.

63) One day, your smile will be real.

64)The smell of summer.

65) It is OKAY to not be okay!

66) Eating junk food at 12 am with your best friends.

67) Eating junk food at 12 am with your best friends.

68) The Butterfly Effect: Every time a butterfly flaps it's wings, it changes the atmosphere around it causing (or preventing) a major event somewhere else.

69) It's okay to break down sometimes.

70) Every struggle is the opportunity to grow as a person.

71) Think of the family you will gain blood or not.

72) Watching fireworks.

73) Being able to see rainbows.

74) Being stupid in public because you can.

75) Cuddling under the stars.

76) Making snow angels.

77) Showing your talent off to the world.

78) Need a friend, I'll be your friend.

79) Tree houses.

80) Being able to watch leaves fall in Fall.

81) Seeing shooting stars.

82) Fresh baked cookies.

83) Blowing bubbles on a sunny day.

84) Changing your hairstyle.

85) Making pancakes at midnight.

86) Finding the perfect pair of jeans.

87) Overcoming your fears.

88) Being able to finish a Harry Potter marathon.

89) Seeing your favorite sports team win.

90) Water balloon fights.

91) Being able to go camping.

92) Cute puppies

93) Bubble wrap.

94) Laying in a hammock.

95) Walking bare-foot in the sand.

96) Singing loudly in the shower.

97) Polaroid pictures.

98) Rollercoasters

99) S'mores

100) X-Factor, American Idol, The Voice (be inspired, disgusted or amused by performances)

101) Because you are destined for greatness.

Cover Image Credit: Laura Wright

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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My Story As A Recovering Self-Harmer

Content warning: Self-harm.

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Since high school, I have physically and knowing self-harmed as a way to distract myself. It has been almost 7 years and right now I have only been a few months clean. In the past 7 years, I have relapsed more than a couple of times. I have gone months at a time and found myself at a breaking point.

I know it's nobody's business and it might be oversharing but this is meant for primary readers. For those who are going through recovery or just began today. If secondary or tertiary readers stumble upon this then I hope it helps you understand from the other side.

I am still recovering. The thing about addiction is that you can never fully be "cured." You can be clean for years and still relapse. The key is to decide to try again.

I call it an addiction because it was. I grabbed the razor before I could even understand why I was numb. I did it multiple times a day and sometimes I didn't need an actual reason.

It was a sort of ripple effect. I couldn't stop the ripples into turning into the next one and instead, I just watched as they spread. One second I was OK and the next I locked the door.

Some people smoke and some people drink. I hate the smell of smoke and can't stand the taste of alcohol but I often wish I could use those as a distraction for my distraction. I do many things now to distract myself from getting too close to another relapse. I let out a scream to alarm my family or I start running. The first few seconds of the attempt are the hardest. It's an internal pain that makes you itch inside out.

After a few minutes have passed I can usually begin to calm myself. I sit down and remind myself that everything is OK. It isn't always easy so calling a friend is always an option.

Sometimes I end up crying in order to release all the built-up emotions. When minutes have passed and I am still filled with tears I force myself to grab something to eat. I have realized that I can't cry and eat at the same time. I grab anything. Sometimes my siblings make me something instead.

I am seeking professional help for those who are wondering. I am almost half a year clean and I have two caring and supportive friends and a family who does their best to understand and support me.

Recovery is not easy when it comes to mental illness because the results aren't always visible like a broken bone. Any amount of self felt recovery is amazing. It's a step towards a better you. Talking to people and seeking professional help are all steps.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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