Negativity is a virus.

The Metaphors In 'Zombieland' [Part II]

As the virus spreads...


"You have once again entered… The world of survival horror." – Resident Evil

If you've already read the previous, accompanying article to this one, welcome back. If not, let's catch you up to speed. Zombies are not alive, not dead, bloodthirsty creatures with severe anger issues. They look to tear down anyone in their path, accountability nowhere in sight. Some real-life humans could be, and probably have been, described as the walking dead; bloodthirsty creatures with severe anger issues who look to tear down anyone in their path, accountability nowhere in sight.

Zombieland follows the cowardly Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), as he navigates his way through the United States of Zombieland. Flooded with ravenous, flesh-eating freaks, a few questionable survivors, and a ton of laughs in between, Columbus explains how he has survived this long on his own. He strictly follows the rules. His rules.


This rule lines up right behind Rule #1 from The Metaphors In 'Zombieland' [Part I]. To refresh your memory, Rule #1 is Cardio. Cardio wards off stress. Toxic people (zombies) cause stress. Ipso facto, keeping in shape is a great way to deter the stress caused by these types of people, or at least minimalize it. Limbering up is a precursor to cardio. Staying loose will help ensure you don't experience any strain while working out. Keeping limber and practicing cardio are both great on their own, but exponentially better together. This is the same in a metaphorical sense. As I said, keeping in shape is a great way to deal with stress. However, you don't want to turn into an uptight gym freak (that's the opposite of what we're going for here). Not to mention, you can't necessarily run to the gym every time some toxic douche bag decides they want to take you down a notch. So, aside from stretching, a great practice is limbering up your mind. Practice meditation, yoga, breathing exercises- whatever keeps you even-tempered and ready to be your best self. When you combine mindful practices with exercise, dealing with stressful people becomes easy. You'll likely start to pity them. You have to keep in mind people aren't just born assholes. Perceptions and personal circumstances have a lot to do with why people are the way they are. But at the end of the day, we all have a choice. Limber up before you make yours.


This one is simple enough. While Columbus is checking for backdoors, you should be checking your instinct. Whether it be at work, home, class, whatever, If you're regularly in situations where you have to deal with toxic people, but you can avoid them, check your gut instinct. If you're doubtful that the potential experience you're about to have is going to be a positive one, what's the point of being there? As the famous author of 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' says, "If it ain't fun, don't do it."

I think the biggest, or maybe easiest, targets for toxic people to hit are people pleasers. If you're reading this, and you're a people pleaser, I'm telling you straight up, you're allowed to say no. You're allowed to cancel plans you've made. You're allowed to ignore your phone. You're allowed to decline doing things without giving a reason, especially if those things entail a bunch of stress, sans fun. You are in control of your own life. Remember that and live by it. And for those situations you can't avoid, know your way out. Compromise. If it's work, interact with the person(s) as little as acceptably possible. If it's social, make an appearance, stay an hour or two, and leave. It's your life. Make it a good one.

Bill is a 31-year-old writer/game developer from Boston, Massachusetts. He's a content creator in Southern New Hampshire University's Odyssey community, a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and is wrapping up his Game Development program in October 2018. With an Associate's in Liberal Arts and a forthcoming BS in Game Development, he is ready to excel in the gaming industry. Outside of work, Bill can be found supporting local bands in the greater Boston area.

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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 or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.


Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.

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Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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