Mac Miller

It Seems Like Addicts Would Rather Leave This Earth Than Be Attached To The 'Addict' Stigma

We have to stop the stigmatization around addiction.

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Addiction is a problem that many had faced or is facing right now. The moment I had heard that Mac Miller passed away, I knew that it involved drugs. Even though I don't know a whole lot about his personal life, his struggles, and what was on his mind, I knew that he was struggling as a person.

What bothers me so much about his death was that nobody knew that he was struggling internally and needed help. It angers me that he had to keep his addiction on the down low because of what people would say if he came out as an addict and tried to seek help.

I learned that addiction has no color or status. It doesn't matter if you are white, black, rich, poor, unpopular, or famous- addiction is still frowned upon.

In the U.S. it is punished more than helped, and that is why addicts have a bad reputation. That's why addicts die every day. They have to face a bunch of criticisms while they are recovering or still struggling just to stay sober for a day. They would rather leave this earth and have people know the truth afterward than live knowing that they have a stigma attached to them.

Mac Miller's death made me realized that there is still progress to be made and that addiction is a problem that is not that easy to fix. If addiction was a choice, we would not have thousands of people die from overdose every day. Rehabilitation centers or AA/NA groups would be non- existent.

If addiction was so easy to avoid and "get over," then addicts would never be a thing. Many do not realize that addiction stems from various circumstances. Each person/addict needs more love than hate or criticism in this world. They are already hating themselves enough.

This had also impacted me personally because it reminded me of my own issues. Alcohol was and is still my friend to this day because of a lot I had gone through. I remember my junior year of college like it was yesterday. That year was when I turned 21 and I hated life. I would go to alcohol to drown the negative emotions and thoughts I had from situations that affected me.

At the time, my relationship with my father was not good and I felt like everyone around me hated me. This had caused me to act in ways that were unhealthy and self- destructive. People who looked on the outside would think I was just some drunk college girl who loved to party, but nobody knew that drinking was a way I could escape the pain that I felt.

I cannot speak for Mac but I can understand that like me, his life and choices was a cry for help that no one heard. I hope that one-day addiction will be met with compassion and that people do not have to suffer alone in fear that they would be judged.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The Kate Spade Foundation Follows Through On Their Million Dollar Promise

One year and a million dollars later, the fight against mental health issues continues.

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Going through a mental illness can be one of the most isolating and lonely feelings known to man. When you're in that state of mind it's hard to imagine that anyone could feel as bad as you do right then and there let alone have gone through something similar. Not only that, but many people will suffer in silence, avoiding speaking up or asking for help. Which, if anyone who's battled a mental illness would know, is not an uncommon feeling.

It's hard to speak up and ask for help, especially with something that feels so deeply personal and at times hard to describe. Many people find ways to cope and regain a balance in their lives. Many others never find that balance.

Roughly one year ago, on June 5, 2018, Kate Spade took her own life after battling depression and anxiety for nearly her entire life. It seemed completely out of the blue and nearly everyone was taken aback. But that's the nature of mental illness in some ways. We don't understand the severity or how deeply someone may have been struggling with their mental illness until it's too late.

The reality of mental health is often harrowing, especially when it comes to access to help. An increasing number of Americans are seeking help for a mental health condition but millions still remain with unmet needs or an undiagnosed condition. Many states with a mental health work provider workforce have only one worker for every four individuals requesting therapy.

But there are organizations across the nation who are working to make mental health care not only more accessible but affordable as well. The Kate Spade New York Foundation has just completed their $1 million donation pledge to mental health services such as The Jed Foundation and the Crisis Text Line.

Kate Spade's death, alongside those such as Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams, proved to many of us that mental health issues affect us all regardless of our wealth, fame or status. In the time following their deaths, I felt that we've become more honest with ourselves and worked hard to destigmatize mental health as a whole. Her death raised the conversation surrounding mental health to new levels that I don't think had previously been touched. Regardless, there's always more work to be done and we should all aspire to live in a world where those affected with these illnesses no longer feel alone.

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