And Why We're Not Doing Enough As a Society To Stop It

Bullying is simply defined as "use of superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone)" but it is not just that simple. There is both direct and indirect bullying and within these two are many forms. Physical which most obviously deals with harm to the body and harming of a person. Verbal which is the use of derogatory terms, violent language, and aggressive speech to demean and belittle a person or cause emotional harm. Relational deals with the efforts of someone to trash another's reputation through rumors, postings, etc. Last but not least, there is the classic form of damage to property which is not just limited to egging a house, but deflating tires, breaking and entering, smashing phones, glasses, stealing clothes, etc. It's funny that with all of these different forms of bullying displayed every day and clearly outlined on the Internet, that people still try to find ways to justify the actions of bullies.

I will be the first to say that I blatantly do not give a shit about your past or any excuse you will come up with for being a horrible human being. I do not care what you have been through in your life or who made you hate yourself so much. NONE of this is an excuse to defile or treat another human in the same way. I know it must be a foreign concept to many because we live in a selfish society where everyone is constantly stepping on others to try and reach some untouchable shrine of popularity and social acceptance and will do whatever it takes to keep people below them no matter the effect it has on that person. Well here's a news flash, such a thing doesn't freakin exist people so give up the act!

It does not make you look cool by being a bitch to someone for no reason. You are not cool for inflicting harm on someone else just for you and your buddies to record it and post it on Snap. I don't care if you don't like their hair color or outfits. I don't care if he is athletic or can reprogram an entire video game. I don't care if she prefers to read books and sit alone or has to post all over Instagram in order to receive satisfaction from others. Let people do whatever they want and stop trying to act like someone died and made you the queen or king of everyone. Because if your parents haven't broken it to you yet, the world doesn't revolve around you, sweetie.

We have all been through our awkward stages and experienced the glances, whispers, rumors, nudges in the hallways, and just feeling like we're not good enough. If you claim that this never happened to you then be considered lucky. For many of us, this was a reality at some point or other in our life. In fact, 80% of girls and 79% of boys have reported being bullied either online or in school. That's a pretty big percent huh, yeah I thought so too. Only about 30% of students actually admit to bullying themselves, ironic isn't it? Even more shocking is that 40% of boys who were identified as bullies continue the trend of abuse into adulthood. Coincidence, I think not.

Now time for the chilling facts. According to ABC News, about 160,000 kids stay home to avoid bullying each DAY. Bullying, both physical and cyber, is one of the leading factors in teen depression and anxiety nationally. Such mental health issues are also linked to leading factors in teen suicides. Suicide is currently the 3rd leading cause of death among young adults and is responsible for nearly 4,500 deaths per year according to the CDC. Additionally, for every suicide that results in death, there are at least 100 suicide attempts.

I'm not here simply to write an informative article about bullying. My goal is to provide some chilling statistics as to how severe bullying has become in this day and age and why it is one of the top THREE leading causes of death in our youth today. If that doesn't scare you then maybe you need to reference my other statistics. The next teen suicide could be one of your friends, a sibling, cousin, someone you know who you had no idea was having to go through such trauma every single day.

My hometown recently witnessed the tragic death of one of our teenage students who had been dealing with bullying for years on end, beginning in elementary school. On November 2nd, 2017 Angelo decided to take his life and relieve himself of the pain he lived in due to the effects of constant bullying. No mother, father, family, or friend should ever have to deal with the grief and pain of knowing that this was the reality for their child. It is time for school districts, bullies, and bystanders to STOP making excuses and exceptions for the pain that these victims of bullying have to experience in their daily lives. You can always be doing MORE to help.

It starts by educating everyone on the reality of bullying. A bystander should never be able to sit there and watch another person be harmed, belittled, or intimidated. Say something, tell someone, take action. School districts should be implementing programs to help students who experience bullying and taking REAL action to penalize the bullies for their malicious acts. Excuses are just excuses and words are simply words, it should never take the loss of a human life for action to be taken. The time is NOW.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-government-report-finds-pervasive-anti-lgbt-bullying_us_591c9c91e4b0e8f558bb2336

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Depression Is A Balancing Act That Is And Isn't In Our Control

Managing depression can sometimes feel overwhelming.


*Warning: Before reading any further is that this article will be talking about heavy topics such as depression and suicide.*

Depression in this day and age is a very sticky topic to talk about. Yes, we are becoming more aware and accepting of the issue, but we still have a long ways to go in terms of really know how we can be there for people in a way that's most effective and where they don't feel judged because of it.

I have dealt with depression most of my life and especially going through college. It didn't become a big thing for me till I came to college, and then having to navigate my issue of it. Whether that's talking about it friends vaguely about it, bottling it all in, going for professional help, etc. It's one of the many reasons why I'm afraid of meeting someone new, or wanting to be in a relationship, I was afraid of the judgment and feeling that if I told someone they either might not want to do anything with me, say it's too much for them, etc.

Now some of those fears, in my opinion, were unjustified in a sense that yes even though it is important for people to be there for me in my time of need, I need to be conscious of how much I share and whether they can take that piece of me I shared. It's a balancing act that is hard to manage, but it allows me for a much-needed look into myself of what actually makes me happy, what doesn't, what triggers my depression and going out of my way to make sure I don't let it take control of me.

The depression took me to places, very dark places that I'm happy to have push through, with my depression it made my thoughts go into suicidal ideation, and even hurting myself, an act that I never thought I would ever do but thankfully I had people in my life that helped me overcome that and going to talk to a professional.

Depression is a mental health issue that most everyone struggles with regardless of where they're at in life, it can come like a tidal wave, or not at all. It's an internal struggle with ourselves, and we do our best trying to get through it. I know that I'm not alone in this, and if you're reading this you're not alone either.

Don't be afraid to talk about it, but be mindful of other people and how much you can share in order for them to be able to process it, go for professional help, exercise, hang out with friends. Don't let depression fully control your life, it won't go away but if we can manage it in a way that helps us be able to keep it under control then that's a win.

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

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