How It Really Feels To Wake Up In The Morning

How It Really Feels To Wake Up In The Morning

Your mind grasps reluctantly for reality while keeping one foot still planted in the peace you had just a moment ago.
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Yanked from peace by the harsh electronic sound—a sign of the chaos to come. Fumble with your phone, your eyes squinting at the screen, swipe to silence.

Take a deep breath, head still resting comfortably on the pillows. Your breathing is the only sound that fills the room—in, out, in, out—steadily waking your mind. Roll over under the blankets and messy hair falls in your face; your eyes flinch. Half-heartedly brush it away and with your hands, or let it remain there—frizzy strands tickle your nose.

You close your eyes in denial of what you know you must do. Your mind grasps reluctantly for reality while keeping one foot still planted in the peace you had just a moment ago. Inside the darkness, there are no expectations to meet, no work to be done, no social lives to be lived. Just you, and you alone.

You force your eyes back open a moment later, remembering the last time you accidentally slipped back into slumber and the terrible rush that came when you woke again, so close to missing class. You shift to lie flat on your back, staring at the ceiling. Eyes start to un-focus, mind wishing, longing for the comfort and simplicity of this moment to remain inside you forever.

You search for a reason that you should rip yourself from the security of this moment, the only place you feel truly comfortable. Ask yourself why it matters so much that you go join the rest of the world. Does forcing myself to go through this routine really make a difference? Will any of the work I put myself through actually matter in the long run?

These thoughts keep poking at your mind, sticking their tentacles out from the wall behind which you try to shove them. Finally, the only way to stop them is by forcing yourself to fight their weight. Make one, swift movement. The blankets clump as you sit up, a mound of textures curled in your lap. Your shirt is twisted and wrinkled all around your body. Hair falls to your shoulders and cascades down your back, disheveled and knotted.

Everything feels heavy; your hands rest lifeless at your sides, arms refusing to lift them. Back straining to remain upright and hold the weight of the world. Make yourself slowly ease your legs towards the edge of the bed, leaving the warmth of the blanket pile behind. When your feet finally hit the cold floor, a bolt shoots through your every muscle.

Every nerve in your body fires off at once; suddenly the eyes don’t feel so heavy anymore. Hands find your face and rub the last remains of comfort and sleep from your eyes. The tips of your fingers having some feeling in them, your arms feel alive again, enough to stretch towards the ceiling, reaching for the motivation to rise.

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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I'm Afraid of Taking Medication Even Though I Shouldn't Be

There's nothing wrong with a little Advil.

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Throughout my childhood, my parents ingrained in me that taking medication was not only unnecessary but actually poisonous. We never had anything like Tylenol at home, and common cabinet inhabitants such as Mucinex and Tums were strangers to our walls.

Instead, they believed in healing the body through chakras and edible plants. If I ever had a stomachache, my father would break out his healing crystals and lay them on the flat of my back, chanting some song with made-up lyrics as my mother prepared essential oils for me to sniff before bed.

As a kid, I never really got sick, but my four-day vomit fest when I was six years old was only treated with spoonfuls of water, and the rash that broke out on my neck in elementary school was wrapped in a blanket of cabbage (yes, my mother truly believed cabbage could cure my hives). Since I was never really exposed to medication, I thought this was normal for most of my life. Once I got older, I noticed children popping Advil as if it was candy in middle school, and my friends were shocked that I had never even heard of it.

When I broke my wrist in the eighth grade, the nurse asked me if I wanted a prescription for any pain-relievers, and I adamantly refused. Not only was my father in the room (who also would not have approved of me receiving medication), but I believed that there was no benefit to it. My body would heal on its own, it did not need any assistance from outside chemicals.

After about a week, the pain became so intense that I no longer could sleep comfortably at night. This to be expected for anyone who breaks a bone, but every physical movement was virtually unbearable. My mother knew that I was desperate, so she purchased a small bottle and gave me a single pill.

Even though I felt almost instantaneous relief (as someone who never had medication, I knew that a little bit would go a long way), I was riddled with guilt. I thought I was weak for requiring medication to help me feel better. It wasn't that I believed people who took pills were inferior, but I was convinced that my body was strong enough to self-soothe.

Later into high school, I watched students around me ingest anxiety medication and anti-depressants, whether it was for legitimate diagnoses or during a party. I still didn't understand how or why they worked. How could a little pill somehow relieve the burden of a mental illness? How could an orange bottle be the solution?

I did not shame these people for using medication because I could see all of the benefits, but I was simply uneducated. I decided to do a little discovering and began to understand the (basic) science behind the process. Sometimes, the solution is adding more chemicals (in the form of prescribed medication, of course) to the balance.

Still, beyond medication for mental health, I find myself skeptical when someone offers me something as simple as low-strength ibuprofen for a headache. Every time I consider taking an aspirin, I am terrified it will somehow "taint" my body. Realistically, I know this is not true, but the voice of my parents lingers in the back of my mind.

I'm not suggesting that I should throw a pill-popping party, but the idea of taking something when my body needs it should not scare me. Our bodies are resilient, but we also need assistance every now and then. I should be okay with helping myself heal.

But I won't be taking one from that miscellaneous plastic bag that "helps you stay awake" during exam week.

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