Spreading love and positivity as women.

A Letter To The Girls

You never know what someone could be going through if they do not express themselves verbally.

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Sometimes people lose hope, but remember, girls, someone out there does love you.

To the girl who stays home from school because she's too depressed to get out of bed, I love you.

To the girl who stands in front of the mirror, unable to fight the tears as she criticizes every inch, I love you.

To the girl who can't keep her dinner down because she only lost two pounds, I love you.

To the girl who cries on the tile of her bathroom floor, razor in her hand, I love you.

To the girl who wears a long sleeve shirt in the middle of August to hide all of her scars, I love you.

To the girl who pops a handful of pills just to feel normal for a while, I love you.

To the girl who drowns her feelings in a bottle of booze, I love you.

To the girl who watches the one she loves fall in love with someone else, I love you.

To the girl who has a mother that tells her she isn't good enough, I love you.

To the girl who locks her bedroom door whenever dad's been drinking, I love you.

To the girl who won't go home tonight because her parents are always fighting, I love you.

To the girl who feels hopeless and alone, planning to take her life, I love you.

Lastly, to whoever is reading this letter, wherever you may be, remember somebody out there does love you. (Even if it's only me.)

In life, we go through many different stages and changes. We have many bumps along the way, but that shapes who we are. Many girls in this world suffer from the feelings of being alone due to their circumstances or experiences. I am here to tell you, you are not alone. We have all stayed up at night waiting for the boy of our dreams to text back. We have all felt insecure in an outfit before. We have all felt like never leaving our beds some mornings. Everyone will experience different things and at different points in their lives. However, the similarities within it all are that we ALL know how you feel. Someday, somewhere, someone does love you. Every single human being is loved. Whether it is your family, friends, significant other, or even me after reading this letter, you are blessed.

I know life can knock everyone down sometimes. I know the feeling of being unsure what to do. I know the feeling of heartbreak. I know the feeling of happiness.

I feel that we need to unite as women and build each other up. We need to be there for one another because we ALL go through these things.

Big problems or small, they are all important. Many people think that if depression is not apparent then it is non-existent. That is false. You never know what someone may be going through deep inside. I am lucky enough to be able to write this letter to all of us girls and raise the awareness for our kind. We are special. We have been brought to this earth to glow the faces of many, spread love to others, and influence younger generations to do the same.

Being a girl is a blessing.

We have the power to love unconditionally.

To all the girls out there, WE can make changes by simply spreading love little by little each day. WE can stick by each other's sides and assure our relationships with one another. WE can unite as a whole to let that abandoned girl know someone out there does love her.

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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I Went From Losing Weight To Lifting Weights, And Now I'm In The Best Shape Of My Life

How a change in my fitness goals changed my life.

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I am in the best shape of my life...or at least I think so, and that's what truly matters.

I look in the mirror and feel confident.

I finally feel comfortable wearing crop tops, and I'm even starting to show visible abs. But getting here has been such a difficult journey filled with eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and other physical and mental struggles that hindered my ability to achieve my goals.

I have been on this health and fitness journey for many, many years now. I've been a size 00, a size 12, and every size in between.

Through it all, I have learned so much about myself, as well as fitness and nutrition in general. My biggest takeaway that led me to overcome all these obstacles was learning to let go of my perfectionism. When I'm old, I don't want to look back on my life and realize that I spent it all trying to lose weight. So, I changed my mindset.

My new focus was to be as strong as possible—to lift the heaviest weights, rather than losing the most weight. If you too, want to be in the best shape of your life but have struggled for so long, read my tips below.

1. EAT MORE

I know, it sounds crazy. As women, we are constantly told about diets and cutting calories. If you just want to be skinny, you can do that. But if you want to be strong, you need to eat to be able to put on the muscle.

2. ALLOW YOURSELF TO HAVE CHEAT MEALS

If you have struggled with eating disorders like me, satisfying your cravings will prevent you from having major setbacks.

3. LIFT WEIGHTS

Get your butt off that elliptical and into the weight room.

4. DON'T WORKOUT EVERY DAY

Again, especially if you want to build muscle, you need rest days. These are the days where your muscles are "actually" growing.

5. DON'T RUSH IT

You will not see abs overnight. It takes a long time. But if you want sustainable results, you must treat your body right.

I hope these tips are helpful. With positivity and patience, you can achieve anything.

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