Please Stop Telling Me That I Am Worrying For No Reason

Please Stop Telling Me That I Am Worrying For No Reason

While my pain may not be visible, it is still real

In my 19 Years of life, I have become my own worst enemy. I am my toughest critic, and my most faithful hater. I am the person who breaks myself down the most, and I am the person who sees every flaw that I have as a failure.

Looks can be deceiving and almost all of the time, things are not what they seem. From the outside, my life looks as if I have everything going for me. I am in a great sorority with sisters who mean the world to me, I am doing well in school and I have a great family. I volunteer regularly and I give back to others as much as I can. I am one person who believes in serving others because that's what Christ wants us to do. From the outside, I am a happy and servant hearted girl. In reality, I can't even stand to look at myself 50 percent of the time.

Life tends to sneak up on people and sometimes we aren't ready for it. I remember being little and I had more friends than I knew what to do with, but as I got older my friends got slimmer. I remember being in middle school when I told myself for the first time that maybe I just wasn't good enough to be their friend. I went on with that mentality for the rest of my middle and high school career, thinking that I had to earn my worth in the eyes of others. I left myself extremely vulnerable but most importantly I was breaking my own heart. I believed that everything had a limit, and no one was truly going to see what I had to offer.

I was tearing myself down because I didn't feel worthy of anyone's attention or love. I would look in the mirror and point out everything I believed needed to be fixed. I was hurting on the inside but from the outside I put on my best fake smile and fooled everyone.

I struggled with this feeling for a long time, and I can't remember the last time anyone asked me if I was genuinely okay. I can't blame them, because from the outside I looked fine. But the truth was that I was hurting and I was broken and I continued to be broken. I was losing a war against myself and I was In need of back up.

The only way I can describe the way I felt, is to imagine being in the bottom of a pool having a competition to see who can hold their breath the longest. From the outside you look as if you are having fun, and maybe even you are winning. But that feeling of losing oxygen quickly and needing to go above water to get air is becoming overwhelming. While you are being consumed with the idea of how to get the air, you are trapped and have no way to get to it.

I knew what was wrong, but the problem was not being able to achieve what I ultimately needed in order to be able to "breathe" again.

I worried a lot about the way others saw me, I worried about my future, and I worried about how I was going to get to where I needed to be. I wanted to run and hide, I didn't want to be messed with. I wanted to sit and wallow in my thoughts and for a very long time that is just what I did. It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I realized I was not okay and I needed to reach out. Often times I was met with the words,

"you are worrying for nothing, you'll be fine."

while I was glad someone took the time to talk to me, I just wanted to scream. I wanted them to understand that it wasn't nothing and I wasn't okay. They didn't take the time to understand that I was broken and while my life looked put together, I was truly falling apart on the inside.

Next time you encounter someone that is hurting or worrying, please remember that while you may think its nothing... To them it is everything. It took everything in them to come to you for help and by belittling their problems you are not only disregarding everything they're trying to do, but you are sending them back into the hole they are so desperately trying to crawl out of.

To anyone who is broken and in need of a glimpse of hope, I have stood where you stand and I support you. You have every right to be hurting, and it will never be "nothing." Your feelings and state of mind matter to me and they always will. Please reach out and seek the help that you need. I am enclosing a link that truly put things into perspective for myself.

Cover Image Credit: photo taken by rachel

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.

I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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I Never Thought I'd Have To Attend A Classmate's Funeral Two Weeks Before He Was Supposed To Graduate

Teen suicide is a taboo topic where I'm from, even if we have lost two members of the community to it in the past two years.


One of the hardest experiences of my life happened just this week, at the funeral of a boy I barely even knew. I had gone to school with him since kindergarten but hadn't had a class with him since fifth grade, and I don't think we had talked since then. All I had ever thought of doing with my classmates two weeks before graduation was complaining about finals and maybe going to a few graduation parties.

Instead, we all left school midday to head to the largest Baptist church in town. I sat in the middle of a row of pews, surrounded by two hundred or more people that I had either gone to school with my whole life or had gone to school with at some point in the past thirteen years.

There was not a single one of them that did not have tears in their eyes. We listened to the pastor share memories of our classmate that had been shared online, and some of us even got up to share our own and to thank his parents for raising such a kind and caring, young man.

He was the type of guy to invite you to go out to eat, even if he knew you had to work, just because he didn't want you to feel forgotten about. Every single person who spoke said, "There wasn't a single thing I didn't like about this kid." They spoke those words in full truth.

The senior class was named in the obituary as honorary pallbearers. We followed the eight football players and the rest of the football team and our classmate's closest friends to a hearse waiting outside. I watched as the hearse pulled away, and I believe that is when it truly hit everyone.

He was gone, and he wasn't coming back. As the hearse pulled away, all I could see on the other side were tears streaming down the faces of some of the toughest guys I know.

We called the football team the Thunder House. The phrase "Thunder House" went from something normally said with a smile or a chuckle to something said with a melancholy tone. No one cheered when it was said anymore, they only gave sad nods and tight, depressing smiles.

Teen suicide is a taboo topic where I'm from, even if we have lost two members of the community to it in the past two years. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article stating that Americans in rural areas are more likely to die by suicide, also stating that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.

The week before we lost our classmate, there was a walk at the school on a Saturday to raise awareness for teen suicide and depression. I only heard one teacher say anything about it beforehand. There were no signs around the school. There was no mention of it on the morning announcements. There was not a post on the school's website inviting members of the community to join us.

I truly believe that more could have been done that could have possibly prevented the heartache that has impacted a school, a family, and a community. Reach out to those you feel may be in need, and even those that you do not feel may be in need because you never know what someone is going through.

Articles on suicide prevention or recount stories of suicide or suicidal thoughts should end with the following message, written in regular weight font, styled in italics:

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

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