Allow Yourself To Feel Your Sadness

Allow Yourself To Feel Your Sadness

It's okay if, some days, the only thing you did was wake up.
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One out of four adults over the age of 18 live with a diagnosable mental health disorder.

In college students, this number is even higher. A quarter of college women will experience an anxiety disorder, and 1 in 12 college students make a plan for suicide. I am that statistic. I am most mental illness statistics, in fact.

My mental illness developed around the time I turned 14, I am the one in four with anxiety, and I am the one in twelve who have made a suicide plan.

I am medicated, working through therapy and my own feelings and choosing to put myself first. But the most important thing I learned about my struggle wasn't about knowing when to scream for help at the top of your lungs, or how to talk about your struggles without triggering others. It was learning to accept my sadness.

My depression manifests itself in a soul-crushing elephant sitting on my chest, making it impossible for me to get out of bed. I can't do anything to change my brain chemistry, but what I can change is how I respond to my bad days. If I spend time beating myself up for not making it to my attendance-optional recitation, then the cycle will only continue rather than being interrupted.

You have to understand your illness, your mind, and your life -- no matter what medication you're on or how great your therapist is or how good things are going in your life, you're going to have bad days.

You're going to have those days where you wonder if you made any progress at all with all the hard work you've been putting in. Know that you are making progress, and recovery isn't true recovery without setbacks. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to forgive yourself.

Allow yourself to feel that sadness, allow yourself to take the time to deal with those feelings and that heaviness in your bones without worrying about the other things you have going on. A hard lesson to learn is loving yourself enough to put yourself first, and moreover, having enough respect for yourself to allow yourself to feel that deeply.

It's okay if, some days, the only thing you did was wake up. It's okay that some days you feel hopeless and like nothing is going right, and it's okay that sometimes you have to take a mental health day. It's okay to accept your sadness and use it on your journey to balance.

So put on your sad playlist, curl up in your favorite blanket, and have a good cry if that's what you need. Or surround yourself with friends who make you laugh. Or do whatever it is you have to do to work through what you're feeling so you can return to the long, painful but ultimately important road to recovery.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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From Someone Who's Wrestled With Self-Doubt, I Finally Learned I'm Enough

Everyone struggles with insecurity but I am here to tell you you're enough.

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Every human at some point in time struggles with confidence. If you are not part of the mass majority than I congratulate you. That is a true accomplishment in today's world. But most of us battle with our own insecurities the majority of the time.

The internal question of "am I good enough?" It's on a constant loop. Whether it pertains to your intelligence, relationships, body image; there is always that thought circling our minds. Building confidence is a long journey, however, I am here to say it is possible.

I am someone who has consistently wrestled with self-doubt. It is difficult for me to open up about, but the whole part of coming to terms with your reality is the vulnerability of sharing and allowing others to take away from your experience. So here we go!

For years I have struggled with body image, like many do. My whole life I have heard from health professionals that I am overweight. Too far past the healthy percentile for my height and age. Constantly being encouraged to watch portions and exercise more frequently.

I always thought to myself that my life would be better once I lost weight. That more people would find me attractive, my confidence would increase, and I would finally feel at ease with myself. All I needed was motivation within myself, to push for what I have been fantasizing over. I wish I knew that this was not everything.

I didn't start to lose extreme weight until my freshman year fall semester. Something that was an initial healthy outlet, became an obsession. I wasn't a moderate gym member and nourishing my body properly. Instead, I was going to the gym twice a day, running for two hours straight each session, and pushing my body to its limits. I was burning myself out.

Someone who used to always enjoy food dreaded the thought of eating. I would excessively exercise and convince myself that I was full and overeating after only eating an apple for an entire days meal.

As I once told myself that losing weight would change my life for the better, it was crippling to my mental state. I looked in the mirror, thinnest I have ever been, and all I saw was someone who was obese. My mind was messing with my reality.

The anxiety I had over eating was immense, starving myself to achieve beauty. I scared those closest to me. My friends and family, I am so sorry you saw me in such a chaotic phase in my life. I am sorry that I had worried you so much and hurt you while hurting myself.

With time, I caught an illness before it completely overcame me and stole all my joy. What people don't tell you about weight loss, is that no matter how many pounds you lose, it doesn't correct the burden and weight you carry in your heart.

Why do we focus so much on the external, when it is often our internal that needs remedies? It is because we all have insecurities we allow to fester. However, let's recognize that true confidence comes from within. You have to be satisfied with your innermost self first.

Months of healing and I finally realized; I like my soul. I am compassionate. I give back to my community. I give back to my friends. I love my family with my whole heart. I am kind to each person I come across. And that's what is truly important. That is what defines me. Once I realized that I appreciated me for me, my confidence flourished.

Now exercise is not a chore but something that genuinely fuels me! I run outside for pure joy. Not for the pressure to lose weight but to have gratitude for my bodies capabilities. How beautiful it is to know that you are alive, breathing in the fresh air. Feeling your lungs inhale and exhale. Knowing that your body is strong and capable of such movement.

Our minds and bodies need rest and deserve to be taken care of properly. There's no reason to focus solely on the physical because that is not what embodies who you are. There are more important things in this life.

Every single individual has something that makes them special, do not allow for your confidence to diminish by comparison. Do not let the world steal your light through societal expectations. Do not shrink yourself. Someone else's beauty is not the absence of your own.

Your heart is what makes you who you are, allow for the world to see it. Be confident, undeniably and uniquely you. The next time you're in a constant loop of insecurity, use this affirmation; "I am enough!"

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