Blame It On The Brain

Blame It On The Brain

But not really.

I was consumed by its effortless beauty. The way the light reflected against it and allowed it’s golden color to truly glisten.

I wanted it. I needed it. So, I caved and got it.

Now you might be thinking I’m talking about a car, that new iPhone, a precious stone, maybe a horse? If this is somewhat the direction you were going, sorry to say but I’m actually talking about a crispy piece of bacon. Bacon that I’d told myself less than 24 hours ago I was going to stop eating because I was going to start eating healthier and for me, that meant starting by cutting out beef and pork.

As I bit into its crunchy deliciousness I wondered why I hadn’t lasted 24 hours. Why didn’t I get a salad instead? Why is it so hard to let go of things that we know aren’t good for us and break bad habits?

This goes for picking up that donut instead of that apple, drinking that glass of juice even though you haven’t had enough water for the day, watching tv instead of going on that run, sending that text to that number you know you need to block, staying in that toxic relationship or friendship, the list can go on.

Let's face it, it seems so easy to create bad habits, but so hard to break them.

According to Medical daily, habits are formed after our brains have learned, then repeated, something new. As soon as a behavior becomes automatic the decision making part of the brain stops responding. So, basically, you can make bad decisions without even really having to think about it.

Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, says that every habit starts with a psychological pattern he calls the “habit loop”. First, a trigger alerts your brain to let a learned behavior unfold then that behavior results in the habitual routine itself, and then your brain uses this to remember and replay the habit in the future.

Studies have even shown that 40% of the time we aren’t thinking about what we’re actually doing because our brains are trained to fall back on habitual behaviors.

It may seem like I’m suggesting you blame your brain for all the bad decisions you make, although this is partly true, I’m actually suggesting that you take control and start practicing and training your brain to fall into good habits.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s 2018 and it’s time to say goodbye to bad habits once and for all.

It’s time to identify these bad habits in our lives, switch things up and replace them with good habits.

Let’s repeat something good.

Cover Image Credit: Braelyn Diamond

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5 Things I Really Wish I Knew ~Before~ Losing My Virginity

Advice to our younger selves.

Everyone has a first time. We're all at different stages of our lives when it happens, which impacts how we approach the situation and how we feel about it immediately after and in reflections. Some people idealize their first time, some people regret it, some people feel nothing about it. I agonized over my virginity.

I wanted nothing more than to throw it at the first willing participant. I felt that it made me someone inferior to my friends who had already had sex, like somehow I was missing out on some great secret of life or somehow I was less mature than them. I spent a lot of time wishing it would just happen, and then one day, it did when I wasn't expecting it. I don't regret my first time, but because I had wished for it to happen for so long, I had built up this image in my head of how it would be that was completely unrealistic.

So, this is for those girls like me whose imaginations get the best of them. Here are some tips to ease your worries and prepare you for what it's really going to be like.

1. It's going to be awkward.

Not just the first time, every time. No matter how much porn or how many blogs or erotic fiction you read, you will not have any idea what you're doing. The other person probably won't, either. There are too many variables, and you're both so concerned with doing it well, you'll be focused on too many things to properly control your limbs.

2. Don't think about your body.

The angles that are required for things to work leave both participants in awkward positions with limbs in strange places. Don't look at your body; don't even think about where your limbs are. Just keep your eyes and mind on the other person and what they're doing and how you're feeling. If you're feeling bad, let them know, so you can change it. If you're feeling good, enjoy it.

3. Don't do it drunk.

Not even a little tipsy, at least not for the first few times. Alcohol throws in another variable and another reason your limbs are flailing listlessly on top of other unforeseen complications. Just wait until you've had a little practice to introduce alcohol into the mix. You want to actually remember your first time and understand what's going on.

4. You're not going to feel any different after.

I expected to feel a weight being lifted or some newfound maturity, but I really didn't feel any different at all. That's because I really was just the same girl as before. Finally having lost this imaginary flower didn't make me physically any different at all.

5. You're going to feel something.

There wasn't some profound emotional release afterward, either, but I did feel a little different. Again, not in the sense that something had actually change, but I felt different because I had placed so much importance on this, on having sex, and now it had happened. I wanted there to be some big release or celebratory moment, but really, I just felt the same. I didn't even feel a little more mature or experienced. I was positive that if I ever did it again, I would still have absolutely no idea what to do (which was true).

Cover Image Credit: Seventeen

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Nobody Told Me How Depressed I Would Be After Surgery

This is hands down the hardest part of recovery.


To say my summer has been filled with adventure is an understatement. I had hopes of going on vacation with my family down to South Carolina and just spending time with friends. However, I had to push back my ACL reconstruction surgery to this summer, which has been the only exciting thing that has happened so far.

Originally, I thought about getting surgery last summer when I initially tore it. My doctor recommended for me to do physical therapy before surgery so I would have muscle memory and be able to bounce back sooner.

By the time I was finished, I had only three weeks before going off to college. There was no way I could miss my first semester.

I pushed to get surgery during Christmas break. My university had other plans since I only had a little bit over a month in between semesters, which didn't give me much a recovery time. I didn't want to rush getting better just to come back to Philadelphia in the winter when I might fall and hurt myself again.

All of this meant that I had to come home back to the Pittsburgh area to have surgery. I was excited to get my knee fixed, so I could get back to swimming and doing Zumba classes.

I was really anxious that something might go wrong and I wouldn't be able to walk properly ever again.

Look, I know what you're thinking. Yes, I was a bit overdramatic and thought of the worst-case scenario thanks to my anxiety. You've got to understand that I've never had a surgery like this before.

Sure, I've had my wisdom teeth and tonsils removed, but that's it. I've never even broken a bone before (knock on wood).

Fun fact: Mental health issues and a major surgery do not mix.

Obviously, I survived my surgery. It wasn't as bad as I thought, especially since I had the nurses who explained everything they did step by step, and my parents to keep me company until they wheeled me back to the operating room.

My surgeon also helped relieve some of my anxiety and stress by reassuring me it was actually a minor surgery and he was a professional. I ended up getting to go back home that evening so I could begin recovering.

I was advised that I would be on bedrest for 48 to 72 hours, which seemed great. But once again, I was wrong. This was the beginning of when I felt depressed.

My leg was wrapped up tightly and I had to constantly run this weird machine that pumped ice water through the bandages to help relieve some of the swelling. I've been stuck in a knee brace as well since I was unable to walk for the longest time. I was then told I might have to use crutches for four weeks, which I've never done before. This was a whole new world to me where I had to rely on other people to help me.

I still remember how I bawled in front of my house because I couldn't even go up the steps properly.

For the next week and a half, I had to rely on my mother for everything. I had to call my mom to help me out of bed, to help pull up my shorts, to help guide me up the steps, and to help with whatever else I needed.

I felt useless and just absolutely miserable. I felt like I was a burden because I couldn't do things for myself or help around the house.

I also wasn't able to shower for about two weeks, which just made me feel even worse about myself. I just felt disgusted especially when I started physical therapy because I wasn't able to shave or wash my hair, and everyone could tell.

I was insecure since I wasn't able to take care of myself. My hair was so knotted from only brushing every now and then just to be put back up in a messy bun.

I'm not normally one to obsess over my appearance, but I just don't like seeming sloppy or weak to anyone. It's just not who I am.

On top of all of that, I was worried if my knee was healing correctly. I had a panic attack one night when I was adjusting my position in my bed and my knee bent a bit, nothing extreme either. Yet I was convinced that something was wrong and had to make an emergency call to my surgeon, who confirmed nothing was wrong and I was just gaining feeling in my knee.

I was worried just because I couldn't see what my knee looked like. Like before, I was imagining the worst-case scenario in that I might have an infection and might need more surgery.

Nobody told me the effect all of this would have my mental health. I was nowhere prepared for how reliant I would have to be on other people since I was so used to looking out for myself. I've also tried to push myself to be this strong independent person, so this surgery really forced me to look from a different perspective.

My mother was the real one who helped me get through this tough time by reassuring me it was only temporary and it was okay to cry because it was tough. She might be acting as my nurse for a majority of this summer, but she always has been able to encourage me that I can get through life's toughest moments.

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