Mental Health Is Important, Too

Mental Health Is Important, Too

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There comes a time in your life, maybe a few different times, when something in you just clicks. You know, the moments when you can't really explain it but it all just seems to make so much sense but you still don't understand it. But in it, you understand that you get to move forward in the next chapter of whatever it is you have been working toward.

The element about this that makes it so frustrating is not being able to understand it or explain it. It is one of those things you just have to trust is good and then build on it. It is really hard sometimes to just "trust" that the feeling of reassurance or peace (maybe?) is something you can depend on when you struggle so much with uncertainty.

I am almost 23 years old, and I have experienced these feelings a few different times, mostly in the last few years. But there are several people (some that I knew personally) who don't ever, and won't ever, get to experience these moments in their lives. There is a sort of pain and suffering that comes along with never being able to feel or reach that next chapter. The feelings of being stuck, being trapped, sometimes moving backward and further away from goals.. it can be the loneliest place to be.

Add in the factor of labeling- labeling someone a loner, someone who pushes everyone away, someone who never accomplishes anything, someone who is a loser, someone who is a nobody, someone who is nothing, someone who is a mistake, someone who did something they never did.. these are the types of things that contribute to people feeling like there is no "next chapter" to reach and strive for.

I am honestly not sure what to take from this article... Do I take from it that there are people in this world who strive for greatness and they do nothing less until they reach it? Do I take from it that there is darkness in this world that consumes people so much that it destroys them? Could I take from this that there are people in this world who experience both the need for success and the feeling of never-ending darkness? I will leave that up to your interpretation.

I just know my story... I know pieces of others' stories... I know of a young girl who took her life way too soon because of labels... I also know those labels to push someone toward success. I know of a young boy to be bullied to death, and I know of people who continue to be labeled even though they are no longer with us because it justifies some peoples actions.

I wish that there was a way to make a difference- a difference in homes, in communities, and in schools to help authority figures and children realize that this behavior is not okay. I wish more teachers cared as much about the conversations in the hallways as they do their low salary. I wish principals cared as much for the wellbeing and whole story of an entire student rather than the grade they see on a test or the undisciplined actions they present in a classroom. I wish parents would understand that it all starts at home- discipline your children but don't be so strict that you are abusive; neither of these things produces good qualities.

I hear all too often, with a brother in a public high school, of the amount of superior behavior that goes on in schools with little to no attention paid to the actual problem. When will state education systems recognize the importance of mental health, bully and suicide prevention systems, and assemblies addressing the deaths of students and actions of abusive behavior going on within their education systems and communities?

I truly do not understand why we are still talking about some subjects but not others. Mental health is no less important to that of equality of race, gender, and socioeconomic status. If anything, it should play a bigger hand seeing as though it is usually because of race, gender, and socioeconomic status that bullying lays a foundation and builds on.

Let us pay attention to everyone getting a fair and equal shot at life and reaching those moments that we cannot quite describe but understand when we feel them. Let everyone get that opportunity to reach their next chapter in life. Don't be a part of the period that ends their book, be the sentence that makes them want to turn their page

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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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