An Open Letter to the Person With A Toxic Friend

An Open Letter to the Person With A Toxic Friend

It's sometimes okay to be selfish

Most people have been in a relationship with someone who was toxic. A person who was so self-consumed they couldn’t see, or just didn’t care, how much they were hurting you. A person who made you feel worse instead of better. A person who made you cry more than they made you laugh. It always feels impossible to get rid of these people, especially if they meant something to you at some point (as most friends do). Although, there comes a point where you just have to let go.

You can’t let people like this consume you because usually they somehow do. They know how to get at you and abuse you and how to make you somehow feel terrible all the time. It’s not okay to be in relationships like this, but the good moments make it feel like it’s worth it. I promise you, it isn’t. Getting rid of toxic people is better than living with them. You will find people who give you those good moments without the toxicity and they will make you realize that you can’t keep the toxic friends.

“People change”, but you can’t wait for someone to change when they’re making your life so much worse. I’ve had friends ruin entire years for me or ruin other friendships and my biggest regret was not letting go of them sooner. I always worried about how they would feel, even though they could care less about how I felt all the time. Maybe letting go of them will make them realize they are abusive or at the very least, they will get over it. It’s okay to be “selfish”- if someone is making you feel worse about yourself and consumes you somehow, you need to get rid of them. It is never okay that someone makes you feel worse about yourself to feel better about themselves.

However long you stay in that friendship, you aren’t alone. You can be in a toxic friendship for years, but you will still feel better getting out of it. It is so impressive to be able to let go of people who aren’t good for you no matter how long you were with them. There will always be people who went through something similar and can help you.

The most important thing is to put yourself first and realize that if someone doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, it is okay to let go of them.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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21 Things I Learned By The Age Of 21

The age of 21 is so adventurous, terrifying, and crazy all at the same time.

1) Fake friends go, real friends stay

In reality, we don't want to actually say that some of our "friends" really aren't there for us. We give second chances, we succumb to peer pressure, and we sort of lose ourselves in people who have no real energy for us. Your real friends will always love and support you, and be there for you when you fall. If you have to give more energy into a friendship than the other person, it's not healthy.

2) Patience is a virtue

As someone who seems to get irritable the more time passes, patience is super important to have as you grow. I've learned to let little things go, but also discovered when to not be walked on. I can focus on small and large tasks without become frustrated easily, and I can also work on bettering myself as time passes.

3) Asking for help is important

I've let so many things slip out of my grasp because I was too afraid to reach out and grab someone's hand. From missing an assignment in class, to letting my depression get the better hand, I've finally learned that asking for help is healthy. Asking for help does NOT make you weak, or helpless. Trust that those who love you will really be there.

4) Trust your gut

Over the years, I learned that my gut is usually right about many things. Whether it's telling you to eat, or dump somebody, trust that your gut is telling you what's right for you. Trust in yourself that you are capable of making hard decisions and ending out on top.

5) Take care of your body

Eat regularly and healthily, and drink plenty of water. I understand that coffee and other fancy drinks may be more tasteful, but when you eventually become dehydrated and starving, your body begins to age quicker and stop responding to signals. Shower. Clean your hair. The more you take care of yourself FOR YOU, the easier it becomes to love and want to take care of yourself.

6) Take care of your mental health

If you need a break, take one. If you need to do something that helps you, do it. Understand that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Coming from someone who self-harmed, it's important to engage in positive and healthy activities to help your mental health. HURTING YOURSELF ISN'T THE ANSWER, I PROMISE.

7) Actually do what you say you're going to

Don't make empty promises. You will lose valuable people in your life over a hollow phrase. If you're going to do your homework by a certain time, do it. If you're going to take better care of yourself, do it. Don't tell yourself or other people you'll do something if you have no real intent on doing it.

8) Practice what you preach

I know this is so overheard, but it's true. Being a hypocrite is not a fair way to live. Stand up for what you believe in, and don't let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do. Give people advice you'd give yourself, and take that advice.

9) Cut negative people OUT

It's so hard, but once you do it, it's so relieving. Don't let anyone tear you down, and make sure you have no room or time in your life for people who don't see the best in you. Humbly understand that you are the most important person in your life, and that negative people will take that away from you.

10) Pay attention in school

Actually listen to your professors and supervisors. The less you pay attention or go to class, the more you fall behind. You're wasting your time and money by not listening or caring enough to be there. If school isn't for you, make a change and do what's best for you. You're here to learn and grow, so don't hinder your chances of that.

11) Listen to advice

Whether the advice seems stupid or really credible, listen to what people have to say. Taking the advice is another thing. Most people share stories and advice with you because they want you to succeed without making similar mistakes they've made. Granted we all make mistakes, but hear people out.

12) Step outside of your comfort zone

Some days it's great to stay comfortable, but stepping outside of comfort can be super healthy and beneficial. You begin to push your own personal ideas of yourself with how much you conquer by straying from comfort. Understandably it isn't always a good idea to leave your comfort zone, but don't knock it until you try it.

13) Embrace your strengths

You know yourself better than anyone else. Use your strengths to your advantage, and take pride in yourself for having these strengths. Use your strengths for personal goals, rather than harming others or putting others down. Utilize your gifts and make them stronger.

14) Understand your weaknesses

While you have great strengths, your weaknesses as also crucial to notice and accept. Just like your strengths, however, your weaknesses DO NOT define you or your capabilities as you grow. By knowing your weaknesses, you can start to gradually change and overcome them.

15) Strive for happiness

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let anyone stand in the way of your own happiness. Put yourself first. Realize that life isn't perfect, or near perfect. Grow in the fact that no one can make or break your happiness besides you. You have the power to be happy. Let yourself be happy.

16) Do your best

Doing the best you can do is really all you can do. Putting in all of your effort and devoting time to doing your best pays off. Even if doing your best falls short, you still tried your best. Don't let yourself fall short of achieving things because you weren't trying.

17) Treat yourself

No, I don't mean spend all of your money at once. If you see something you want in the store, buy it. If you want to spend a little extra on a special drink at your coffee shop, do it. It's totally normal to spoil yourself with whatever you want- just be warned. I've spent all of my money at once on treating myself, and while it was nice in the moment, I didn't have money for essentials.

18) Rough times will come along

Honestly, you will experience rough times your entire life. By accepting this, you can work towards taking these times and using them to grow. Yeah, it sucks losing a friend or falling short in classes, but know that this isn't the end and it will get better. You have survived 100% of your worst days so far.

19) Don't hinder your own growth

Please don't stop yourself from changing if you want to change. Change is hard, and sometimes change is terrifying, but you have the ability to grow with change. Don't stop yourself from doing something you want to do. Want to chop your hair off? Lose weight? Eat healthier? Study more? Whatever it is, don't be afraid to do it.

20) Appreciate and respect the world around you

We are inhabiting the world, and frankly, we don't respect it. Appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. Don't litter, don't vandalize, don't harm the nature and animals within it. You may think it's funny now, but the world is crumbling and will only crumble quicker from our actions.

21) Love every part of who you are

You are uniquely you. No one else can be exactly who you are. Embrace, understand, love who you are. We are all who we are for reasons beyond us, and by accepting yourself, certain parts of life become easier. Love your stretch marks, love your scars, love the wrinkles on your face from all the emotions you've experienced. Understand you are human, you will make mistakes, and you'll have downfalls. Find it within yourself to love everything about yourself. Even the parts you hate the most.

In 21 years of living, I never thought I would be who I am today. You may have a completely different view, but sharing personal experiences can potentially reach others. I'm thankful for everything that has happened and will happen, because I know the greatness I can achieve.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Higdon

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11 Things People Who Take Medicine Would Love For Everyone To Stop Saying

Our prescriptions aren't our personalities.

Anyone who takes medicine knows what it’s like to sit in silence through people voicing their strong opinions about medication. So, here are a few opinions of our own about what others have to say.

1. “People who take medicine are weak.”

Um, no, it actually took a lot of mental strength for most of us to even get to a point where we could admit to ourselves we need the help.

2. “Medication only numbs your problems.”

No, that would be self-medication, and that’s a whole other issue. Psychiatry saved a lot of us from that road, actually.

3. “I won’t medicate my kids even though the doctor says they should be on ______.”

If your kid is suffering from something, maybe listen to the person with the medical degree.

4. “People only take _______ to get high”

Actually, no. Taking certain medicines can get you high, but only if you don’t have whatever it was meant for in the first place.

5. “I don’t think medicine works.”

OK. We know it does. Honestly, if you don’t take medicine, your opinion here should be irrelevant.

6. “Only crazy people take medicine.”

A lot of us are completely normal people living completely normal lives. You even felt comfortable saying this in front of us, which means you thought we weren’t crazy. So...

7. “Doctors just want to prescribe people's quirks away. Everyone has something these days.”

Actually, one-third of Americans have some sort of mental illness. So, no, people have always been mentally ill, we just have solutions to it now.

8. “Doctors are just making money off of all these people.”

If a doctor can help treat my illness, I’ll gladly pay for that peace of mind.

9. “Medication is just a way to not face the real problem.”

Actually, medicine makes it a lot simpler for people with mental health issues to face the problem in therapy or even by themselves.

10. “The real medicine is mental strength.”

You can't have mental strength and take a prescription? FAKE NEWS.

11. “Medication takes people’s personality away.”

Depersonalization can be a side effect of medicines...but honestly, most of the time medicine helps people be themselves without whatever mental health issue was affecting them.

The moral of the story here is if you don’t take medicine, or you don’t like medicine, your opinions about the people who take it should be irrelevant.

Cover Image Credit: Tabitha Stevens Photography

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