Carry Your Baggage Instead Of Bragging It

Carrying Your Baggage Instead Of Dragging It

Learning to work and rise from our inner issues rather than having them anchor us down is the first step in moving past the things that hold us back from who we want to be.

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Baggage: we all have it.

Whether it stem from our past, present, or self doubts about the future, being bonded to certain traumas can prevent us from moving on in life in a healthy manner.

Although this type of baggage may not be physical, the true weight of it can feel heavier than any three-piece luggage set. While "carrying" sounds similar, if not identical, to "dragging," there is actually a distinct difference. By dragging your baggage, you allow it to pin and slow you down in ways you may not realize. Even in a sense other than ourselves, dragging things rather than carrying them has always been simpler.

We are all guilty of taking the easy way out and choosing to pull our problems behind us instead of picking them up and striving to move forward. For example, by using your past emotional turmoil as an excuse to your current-day actions, you are not only hurting yourself, but those you come in contact with. Say you grew up in a situation where everyone you knew mainly used anger to express their feelings. While this may have affected how you react to strong emotions as well as changed your perception on the meaning of the phrase "'tough love," it still does not serve as an excuse to treat others around you in the same aggressive manner you once experienced. Everyone has been through instances like so, times where it may seem easier to allow that negativity to stay and accumulate rather than putting it to rest. You are entitled to take as long as needed to heal from your trauma, we all grow at different paces and no one has had the same exact experience. In the process of healing, it is important to slowly but surely work towards feeling safe within yourself again, however long that may take. Our baggage that we hold on to can be difficult to just "let go," it is easier said than done. However. carrying it little by little is still better than spending your life in a constant state of dragging and grief.

Hanging on to anger and allowing it to consume you leads to cases of anxiety, depression, and an overall idea that the world is "out to get you." While it may seem difficult, almost impossible even, to let go of the things or people that have wronged us, not doing so will cause more harm than good. Dragging your baggage gives you have the toxic backup of "Oh well the reason I'm like this is because of ________" and therefore prevents you from owning up to your mistakes.

Carrying your baggage, however, puts forth the opportunity to learn from what has held us back while giving the chance to "fix" yourself for the better. Back to the previous example, by choosing to understand that yelling and frustration is not the proper way to address one's concerns, you are able to recognize how to be a better person when it comes to having relationships with others. Carrying those issues from the past and using them as tools in lieu of simply having them there as emotional paper weights teaches you to be more compassionate and caring, as well as an overall more happier individual.

Being able to bear with those frankly useless emotions aid in helping you move past those empty feelings of shame, regret, or guilt, and replaces them with a fresh slate as you let them go to the place where they belong, in the past. Instead of saying "I can't do this because of ____," start thinking, "Because of _____, I will be able to be more aware and successful the next time."

Carrying your emotional baggage also serves in showing that you have matured as a person and do not need to play the blame game when it comes to how you conduct yourself. Being able to pick up that metaphorical three-piece luggage set in your arms and continue on with your life in a healthy manner instead of dragging it is vital. Like I mentioned before, we all have our baggage, some of it may be bigger or smaller than others but that's okay, you are not any less valid. What we all share in common is the wish to move past those pushed-down feelings of sorrow and be in a place where we feel we are in control. It may take you a week to carry your baggage, maybe a month, a year, or most of your life, there's no strict time limit on when you should be at peace with yourself. It can be difficult and maybe painful to accept what has happened to us, yet allowing yourself to be vulnerable is important on the road to acceptance.

Don't expect fast results, healing is a journey, not just a one-stop destination. Be patient and teach yourself to lift the extra emotional weight and carry the baggage rather than it leaving you with one foot in the past and one in the present.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

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


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.

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Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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