A List Of Thank Yous To Those Who Broke Me But Made Me Stronger

A List Of Thank Yous To Those Who Broke Me But Made Me Stronger

Thanks for making me a fighter
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By your twenties, you usually have a handful of people who broke you but ended up making you stronger. Here are some of my 'thank yous' to those you made me a fighter.

1. My First Love

We were so young and got serious so fast. You showed me what love was and I don't think anyone else but you could have done that. But you know what else you did? You made me insecure. You made me feel like I wasn't good enough. You forced me to ignore those who were important to me. You took me away from my friends. You made me put all of my happiness in you and then you broke my heart. But thank you. Thank you for forcing me to love myself. Thank you for helping me realize that I am enough. Thank you for reminding me how precious friendships are. Thank you for teaching me that being toxic and controlling is not love. Thank you for showing me how to find happiness in everyday things.

2. The selfish friend

You were by my side for years. I could have sworn that we would grow old together and remain friends until the grave. But as the years passed, I started realizing that our friendship meant much more to me than it ever did to you. I started realizing that I was always the one who made plans, put you first, invited you to things, and put in all the effort. I realized that you used the term "best friend" very loosely. And I realized that I was never going to get what I was giving. So thank you for teaching me how friends are supposed to be treated. Thank you for showing me that I deserve better.

3. My first real boss

After having jobs in high school, I figured I knew pretty much everything about being an employee. But after getting my first serious job in college, I found out I had a lot to learn. You were my friend first. You were funny and witty, caring and selfless, and smart. You always remained professional but never stopped being who you were. You were hard on me but only because you knew I could do better. Your kindness coupled with your high expectations almost killed me, but you helped me grow. You didn't settle. You made sure I always gave 110% and if I didn't, I knew I was going to have to re-do the job. You challenged me in ways that I never knew I needed to be challenged. Thank you for showing me that new ideas should always be welcomed. Thank you for teaching me that nothing should ever stand in the way of your success. Thank you for being the perfect mentor, role model, and friend.

4. The boy who thought he could change me

~Backstory~ For about two months before I came out as gay, I was talking to a boy (Along with a couple of girls-oops!). He was very nice and funny. Once I was out to my friends and family, I knew I had to break the news and tell him I had been faking it only because I hadn't completely come to terms with who I was. Once I told him, he seemed very accepting and said that he wanted to still be friends. Since we had shared some laughs and good conversation, I wasn't going to turn down a new friend. ~Backstory over~

You took advantage of me. I told you things I had never told anyone. I confided in you. I trusted you. You told me you cared about me and that you wanted the best for me. But you didn't. You wanted the best for you. You told me that you accepted me for who I was but then you spent all your time trying to change me. You convinced me I was crazy for liking girls and only girls. You told me that by putting a label on myself I would be limited. But you were wrong. So thank you. Thank you for helping me realize how strong I was. Thank you for showing me that no one should try to stop me from being who I am. Thank you for teaching me how to build love from hate.

5. High school me

You were insecure and hateful. You were fake. You smiled and laughed, never complaining about you hidden demons. You silenced your thoughts for so long. You were lost, scared, and sad. But you pushed through. You trusted your feelings and stopped letting other control your actions. You rose from the ashes and fought for a life that was worth living. Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for deleting toxic people from your life. Thank you for learning to love and accept yourself. Thank you for making me who I am.


Cover Image Credit: Anthony Ginsbrook

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4 reasons how Drake's New Album May Help Us Fight Mental Illness

Increasing Evidence Points to Music as a Potential Solution to the Mental Health Problem.

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Okay, You caught me!

I am NOT just talking about everybody's favorite actor-turned-rapper— or second, if you've seen Childish Gambino's "This is America" music video. Unfortunately, current research hasn't explored specific genres and artists. However, studies HAVE provided significant evidence in possibilities for music to treat mental health disorders. Now, before you say something that your parents would not be proud of, ask yourself if you can really blame me for wanting to get your attention. This is an urgent matter concerning each one of us. If we all face the truth, we could very well reach one step closer to solving one of society's biggest problems: Mental Health.

The Problem:

As our nation continues to bleed from tragedies like the horrific shooting that shattered the lives of 70 families whose loved ones just wanted to watch the "Dark Knight Rises" during its first hours of release, as well as the traumatic loss of seventeen misfortunate innocents to the complications of mental health disorders in the dear city of Parkland— a city mere hours from our very own community— it's impossible to deny the existence of mental illness. As many of us can already vouch, mental illness is much more common than what most would think: over 19 million adults in America suffer from a mental health disorder. Picture that: a population slightly less than that of Florida is plagued by hopelessness, isolation, and utter despair.

Disease in the form of depression holds millions of people prisoner, as anxieties instill crippling desperation and too many struggles with finding peace. This can be you. It could be your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, your cousin, your aunt, your uncle, your friend, your roommate, your fraternity brother, your sorority sister, your lab partner, or just your classmate that sits in the corner of the lecture hall with a head buried into a notebook that camouflages all emotion.

I hope we— the UCF community— understand the gravity of the problem, but it's clear that some still see mental illness as a disease that affects only a handful of "misfits" who "terrorize" our streets, while the numbers reveal more to the issue. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental health disorder. The problem is so serious that suicide has risen to become the second-leading cause of death among 20 to 24-year-olds. While many continue to ask for more antidepressants and even the occasional "proper spanking," recent studies indicate increases in occurrence, such as one in depression from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. So, clearly, none of that is working.

The Evidence:

If we really want to create a world where our children are free from the chains of mental illness, we need to think outside the box. Doctors and scientists won't really talk about this since it's still a growing field of research, but music has strong potential. We don't have any options at the moment, which means we need to change our mindset about music and to continue to explore its medicinal benefits. If you're still skeptical because of the title, then please consider these 4 pieces of solid evidence backed by scientific research:

1. Music has been proven to improve disorders like Parkinson's Disease.

Researchers sponsored by the National Institute of Health— the country's largest research agency— saw an improvement in the daily function of patients with Parkinson's Disease. This makes patients shake uncontrollably, which often prevents them from complete functionality. The disease is caused by a shortage of dopamine— a chemical your neurons, or brain cells, release; since music treats this shortage, there's an obvious ability to increase dopamine levels. As numerous studies connect dopamine shortages to mental illnesses like depression, addiction, and ADHD, someone could possibly use music's proven ability to increase dopamine levels to treat said problems.

2. Listening to the music has the potential to activate your brain's "reward center."

In 2013, Valorie Salimpoor and fellow researchers conducted a study that connected subjects' pleasure towards music to a specific part of the brain. This key structure, the nucleus accumbens, is the body's "reward center," which means all of you have experienced its magical powers. In fact, any time the brain detects a rewarding sensation— drinking ice-cold water after a five-mile run in sunny, humid Florida, eating that Taco Bell chalupa after a long happy hour at Knight's Library, and even consuming recreational drugs— this structure releases more of that fantastic dopamine. So, with further research into specifics, doctors may soon be prescribing your daily dose of tunes for your own health.

3. Listening to Music may be more effective than prescription anti-anxiety medication.

In 2013, Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel J. Levitin— two accomplished doctors in psychology— reviewed a study wherein patients waiting to undergo surgery were given either anti-anxiety medications or music to listen to. The study took into account cortisol levels, which are used daily by healthcare professionals to gauge patient levels. This "stress hormone" was actually found to be lower in patients who listened to classical music rather those who took the recommended dose of prescription drugs. Sit there and think about that for a second: these patients actually felt more relaxed with something as simple as MUSIC than with chemicals that are made specifically to force patients into relaxation before surgery. Why pop a Xanax when you can just listen to Beethoven?

4. Music may release the chemicals that help you naturally relax and feel love.

Further studies continue to justify music's place in the medical world as results demonstrate increases in substances such as prolactin— a hormone that produces a relaxing sensation— as well as oxytocin— the substance that promotes warmth and happiness during a hug between mother and child. So this study basically showed us that music has the potential to actually make you feel the way you did when Mom or Dad would embrace you with the warmest hug you've ever felt.

The Future:

The evidence I present you with today is ultimately just a collection of individual situations where specific people found specific results. There are a lot of variables when it comes to any research study; therefore, data is never truly certain. We should take these findings as strong suggestions to a possible solution, but we must remember the possibility of failure in our search.

The neurochemistry behind the music and its medicinal properties is just beginning to unfold before the scientific community. In fact, extremely qualified scientists from the National Institute of Health— the organization that basically runs any important medical study in the United States— continue to remind us of the subject's youth with the constant use of "potential" behind any and all of their findings. Therefore, it's our responsibility as a community to look into this— not just that of the scientists at the National Institute of Health.

We're all surrounded by music. It's at the bars. It's in our ears during all-night sessions at the UCF library. It's keeping us awake through East Colonial traffic at 7:00 AM while hordes of students focus on their cell phone screens instead of the paved roads ahead. It's in the shoes we wear, the actions we take, and the words we say. IF YOU'RE READING THIS: it's accessible to you. So, don't be shy, and try to play with your Spotify account, or even just on YouTube, and gauge the power of music. As more and more of us see the light, we can promote the movement and carry on as more research comes out to support us.

Drop the bars, drop those addictive pills that destroy your body slowly, and pick up your headphones and press PLAY.

Just relax, close your eyes, smile, and live.

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi

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I'm Turning 20 Tomorrow and It's Kind of Freaking Me Out

When I was younger I couldn't wait until it was June 14th as it would approach each year, because on that day I was born and I would throw a party with all my friends.

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When I was younger I couldn't wait until it was June 14th as it would approach each year, because on that day I was born and I would throw a party with all my friends. I would write down all the gifts that I wanted on a list and give it to my mom. I would capitalize and emphasize the ones that I really wanted and would continuously bug my mom about it. I would always ask for a cookie cake because I was absolutely obssessed with Mrs. Field's cookie cake and would want it every year. Every birthday when I was younger I would want the best cake to have and also ate it with my friends. I truly miss the days that you would plan just about everything and pick out your cake and go out to dinner with all your friends and open all the presents they gave you.

To be completely honest, I miss being genuinely excited about it all and celebrating with my closest friends. I still get really excited about but not like I used too because it was extra special when you were younger. The older you get the less you care about it because you get busier and your age isn't always constantly on your mind. This year I am spending my 20th birthday working for my job and that tells you that you are bascially an adult and life is changing every second. Please keep in mind that this Itself isn't bad but you get busier you are, the older you get.

Overtime, my perspective has changed because I know it is hard to celebrate your birthday once you get older because of jobs or whatever you are doing at the moment. I wish that every year it could always be when you were young because you enjoyed it much more. Sometimes I also fid myself taking advantage of my birthday since you I am old and it is just another regular day in the life. Its kind of sad and I really do wish that I was young for the rest of my life. Another perspective I have is that my birthday is just another way of telling me that I am getting older which kind of freaks me out to be honest.

Especially from me currently because I am 19 today and will be twenty years old tommorrow so I am officially in the 20's. I am not a teenager anymore and it comes with a lot more responsibilities. I have two years left until being done with college and getting a job as well as finding my place in the real world. It's pretty exciting once you think about it a little more because you are starting your life and finding something interseting that you actually want to learn about. Instead of learning a subject that you have to take in college or high school that is required that you won't need for the rest of your life.

At the end of the day birthdays are a special time for you and I as for us all. It is one of the only days that you can celebrate yourself and get away with it. It's a celebration for you and making memories with all your friends and family. Its about you and just loving the day and everyone around you.

"Cakes are special. Every birthday. Eevery celebration ends with something sweet. A cake, and people It's all about the memories." Abishek Bachchan

http://www.flokka.com/22-inspiring-birthday-quotes-celebrate-life/

Cover Image Credit:

c1.staticflickr.com

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