Just A Spoonful Of Self Love

Just A Spoonful Of Self Love

Makes the Happiness Go Round

One of the biggest challenges in my life was learning how to love myself. Not just my looks, but my personality, my traits, me as a human being. It is not easy, especially for girls like me who tend to compare themselves to unrealistic goals and images. Unfortunately, it is part of the society we grow up in.

I remember even as a little girl I would always look at my Barbie dolls and wonder why I didn't have long blonde hair or bright blue eyes and perfect teeth. Why wasn't my chest large and my waist thin? Why did I have frizzy short brown hair, lots of freckles, and a big belly?

I spent most of my childhood and school years trying to fit another mold. I distinctly remember in 6th grade sneaking into my mom's makeup bag when she took my brother to school early in the morning to use her eyeshadow and mascara so I could look like the other girls in my classes.

Even when I finally lost my baby fat that I hated so much, I didn't have the right clothes and I still had glasses. I would roll my shorts up super high and rip off my glasses as soon as I got into school after my mom dropped me off in the morning.

Then I was finally allowed to wear makeup and do my hair. I would wear such heavy foundation you couldn't see my freckles and such dark eyeliner that my eyes appeared black. My hair was dry and dead from putting heat on it so much. In my mind, the less clothes the better. Oh what little I knew.

When I began high school was the first time anyone told me that I didn't need to do all of those things to try and look "good". At the time I thought it was the rudest comment any guy had made to my face, but looking back now I'm thankful for his honesty. One of my guy friends had approached me one day, a day I thought I looked my best, and said, "Erin why do you wear so much makeup, you don't need to." That changed my entire outlook on what it mean to be beautiful.

It was in high school that I learned I am beautiful without makeup. I can love my body without having to show off every inch of skin to try and impress guys. I could eat and enjoy food without worrying about where the fat would end up on my body because looking like a human skeleton wasn't what I wanted anymore.

From the moment I accepted these things and made the choice to change my unhealthy, obsessive habits, I learned to be happy and slowly love myself. It was not until March of my senior year of high school did I truly make a change. I decided to overcome my mental challenges by challenging myself physically with exercise.

I found a passion in working out and pushing my body to new limits, and of course loved the results. It made my mind more positive, it gave me something to work for instead of something to deprive myself of. I nourished my body and cared for it. I dedicated time to doing things to make me happy and to make my body happy. I was finally able to look myself in the mirror in August 2016 and say "I love the skin I'm in". It may have taken almost all of my adolescence to overcome a monster that controlled my social life and my mental and physical health, but I can confidently say today that I am thankful for what it taught me.

I have learned that no mental illness or disorder will overpower me. I learned I am stronger. I learned I am beautiful. I may always have cellulite and large thighs and I may never be a size 0, but I am so incredibly okay with that. My freckles are beautiful. My crooked smile is beautiful. My fair skin is beautiful. My brown hair and hazel eyes make me, me. I am thankful for the person God molded me to be, but I am overwhelmingly proud of the woman I molded myself to become.

To the girls out there that still struggle to love themselves. Know that you are beautiful, just the way you are. Stop comparing yourself to what you see on social media or in magazines or even in your classes. There is only one you and you only have one body. You cannot change that, and do NOT destroy it. Do not feel the unnecessary need to change your looks, personality, or anything based on society's unreachable standards. Set goals for yourself and reach them, and if you don't, that's okay too. But in all things, put your happiness first.

Cover Image Credit: Evolving Wisdom

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

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. 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 there are some stuck in the gray area of 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're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Yet Found Herself, Keep Looking

You will eventually find her in all the right places, I promise.


They say you are supposed to go through your awkward transition phase during middle school, but you still feel like you haven't quite figured it out. They say you are supposed to join a club in order to "find yourself", but then you end up sitting in the back watching everyone laugh and catch up. You feel out of place--like you're existing somewhere you just don't belong. Let me be the voice telling you that you are exactly where you are meant to be right now. Every decision you've ever made has led you to this place. This is, of course, much harder to grasp than to just say. Really though, you're doing just fine!

Finding out the things you don't like to do are just important as discovering your passions when it comes to finding your true self. Don't be afraid to join that club, talk to the girl next to you in class, and explore your interests. You might hate it. You might want to run away, but at least you're learning about yourself and where your comfort zone lies. Finding yourself is a life long process, so don't expect an Aha! moment where you have finally hit your destination. Think of it more as a sense of confidence of comfortability in who you are and what you stand for.

Stepping away from friends and family for some time may also lead you to who you are. Often, we grow up and mature only to have the same beliefs, morals, and political opinions as our parents. It's not our fault and we aren't childish, we just trust our parent's judgment and see their conscience as nothing but truth. Part of gaining independence is questioning your own biased beliefs and reevaluating them so they reflect your character better. Same goes with friends. Try to spend a Friday night in with yourself. See what you do. Do you watch a movie? Do you catch up on homework? Do you paint your nails? What is it that makes you feel happy when nobody else is around? By considering the answer to this question, you're one step closer to figuring this whole life thing out.

You may also want to try stepping away from your phone. Your social media (this shouldn't come as a surprise) is giving you the false idea that everyone around you knows exactly what they're doing and enjoys doing it all. Not true. So not true actually, everyone else is struggling to find out just who they are. You and your phone need some distance.

Finding yourself doesn't just happen. You need to explore the world around you and you'll eventually find out where your place is. Be patient with the process and know the right steps will surface when you're ready to take them. Be kind to yourself and have the bravery to discover the girl inside you (I hear she's really cool).

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