Living A Life Of Stable Instability

Living A Life Of Stable Instability

Life Post-College, And The Reminder To Keep Pushing Onward
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Almost every morning, upon waking up, I struggle to find the meaning in life. Yet, every morning, against the mind’s hazy desire to remain stationary, buried by the warmth of my comforter, I will myself to get up and move onward, into the day.

I rise, and follow through with a morning ritual that has changed little over the years—only has become more involved. Put the filled kettle of water on the stove, grind the coffee beans while awaiting the kettle’s whistle, cook two eggs, toast two slices of bread, prep the avocado, tomato, greens, then assemble the sandwich. Silence the kettle, and pour the boiling water over the freshly ground coffee. Steep, remove the filter and used coffee. Pour. This, now, is the most recent rendition of that ritual.

On Mondays, I water the plants scattered around my house. Laundry is tended to, as well as some cleaning. Eventually, should I have the money, I may leave my house to go grocery shopping. The time that is left open in-between these acts is filled with reading, attempting to write, and the search for a stable job.

This, mostly, is how my days off go.

Slowly, as the days pass by, turn into new months, I feel the growth of anxiety spreading throughout my mind. I’ll be twenty-six this year, and though it’s young in the grander scheme of life, I feel as if life is passing me by.

There are mornings when this thought becomes heavy and renders me immobile. Each day has become, more or less, the same. I look forward to my morning routine that I’ve honed, but once the morning has ended, it is hard to hold onto hope for much else to occur. I go to work. I come home. I repeat.

Time feels as if it has come undone, and I’m reliving the same series of events time and again.

Unsure as I am as to when things will change, I push onward. Go on with the morning routine, then the day, then the night. Each time I try to change the history of my life, it tends to repeat itself. Quite a few people have told me that I have to make things happen for myself; we must carve out our own pathways.

I believe this, and for a time it seemed to work. But the past few years have been a horrific struggle with depression, with anxiety, with loneliness, and it was only recently that one of those three issues has subsided, or transformed; I’m fearful for the day that I must share living space with another. There are days when I feel as if I’m a fish, hooked, and the more I fight, the more I struggle, the deeper the hook sinks, the closer I come to the surface of something terrifying.

The most stable and consistent aspect of my life is the instability and inconsistency I experience.

I push onward though through the uncertainty, into the unknown.

At times, when I was younger, I would have a recurring dream that I was stranded on a boat in the middle of some great body of water. Fog shrouded my sight. Waves rocked the boat, violently. Fear constricted my lungs, making it hard to breathe. This dream—nightmare—persisted for years. When I was about fifteen, this was the last time I can recall having the dream.

All previous occasions, I sat in the rocking boat, below the deck in the small cabin, and cried as water slowly poured into the boat as it washed over the sides. This final time was different. I felt fear, and I cried, but then I stopped and walked up the short flight of stairs to the deck. Without seeing any distant lights, hearing any distant noises, I moved. I pulled the sail—which I didn’t realize I knew how to do—and began sailing the small watercraft through the fog, over the swells, off into the distance.

There was no way for me to know how long I’d be moving through the fog, or if I’d run ashore, hit something and sink. All I knew was that I couldn’t remain still, or else I’d drown. So I moved. And, remembering this dream, I will move again.

Cover Image Credit: Coty Poynter

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An Open Letter To The Girl Trying To Get Healthy Again

"I see you eating whatever you want and not exercising" - Pants
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Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Trying To Lose Weight In College


The important thing is you are doing something about it. I'm sure you get mad at yourself for letting your body get this out of shape, but life happens. You have made a huge accomplishment by not having a soda in over a month, and those small changes are huge. I understand how hard it is, I understand how frustrating it is to not see results and I understand why you want to give up. Being healthy and fit takes so much time. As much as I wish you could wake up the day after a good workout with the 6 pack of your dreams, that just isn't the reality. If being healthy was easy, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't feel so good when you got there.

Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

Tired of starting over? Then don't give up.

You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

To the girl trying to get healthy again, I am so proud of you. It won't be easy, it will take time. But keep working out, eating right, and just be patient. You will be amazed with what your body is capable of doing.

Cover Image Credit: Stock Snap

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Dealing With Self-Harm And Overcoming It

Mental health matters and overcoming it is possible.

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Recently, there has been a controversy over whether mental illness is a real illness or not. After dealing with depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts since I was 13, I can give my opinion that mental illness IS, in fact, an illness.

This past Monday, I reached an extensive milestone in my life. I am now one year clean of self-harm. Whenever my issue first arose, I never believed I would be able to pass it. I believed that it would be something I dealt with for the rest of my life. Mental illness is not something that you choose. It pops up out of the blue one day and takes control of your life. You let it manipulate you and take advantage of your weaknesses and hold power over you. I let it hold power over me for six years. Finally, I found the courage to break out of that manipulation and take control of my own life again.

Self-harm was a part of my routine for such a long time that I never expected it to go away. It was there in my times of sadness, my times of anger, and my times of need. I believed it to be my only source of comfort. I believed that it would solve all of my problems. In the end, I found out I was wrong. Hurting and damaging myself and leaving behind scars was not going to help me out of this state of mind, even if it felt like my only option. I had to hide underneath sweaters and jackets and cardigans for so long that I didn't want to do it anymore. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and hoodies in the dead of summer and being asked why I was wearing them never got easier. I figured the first step in starting my recovery was to stop hiding who I was and to let my scars be free.

Being free was what I decided to do. I let my scars be seen, which was completely terrifying at first. I thought that everyone around me would notice them and have something to say about me. I expected to be called a freak. Luckily, no one even noticed. That was almost comforting to me–to realize that I didn't need to hide what wouldn't be noticed. After a while, though, those closest to me took notice. They asked me "Why would you do this to yourself?" over and over again with tears in their eyes. I told them that I felt like it was my only solution to deal with all the hurt and the pain I had collected over the years. That's when I noticed I wasn't hurting just myself. That was when I decided to try becoming a happier and healthier person.

Now here I am, one year later: No self-harm, no thoughts of suicide, and feeling less depressed and anxious. I took back control of my own life. Being public about my problems was something I never believed I would do, but I realized that it actually helped me grow as a person. It was freeing to be able to share my experiences and not be embarrassed. Sure, every once in a while I had a few mental breakdowns, but I held back the "need" to harm myself to make the pain go away.

I turned to another thing to make the pain go away: My friends. I never realized how much love I had around me. I always pushed it away. I had someone to listen to me and help get me through my tough time. I didn't need to keep everything bottled up and harm myself to make it feel better. I had love and comfort–two of the strongest things in the world. I had finally started on the road to health and happiness and I wasn't making any pit stops along the way.

Mental illness occurs more often than you think and signs are being shown everywhere. If you know someone suffering, don't be afraid to reach out and give them some help or just a shoulder to cry on. If you or a person you know is having suicidal thoughts, please don't be afraid to call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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