To The People Who Thought I Was Staging My Anxiety, I Hope Karma Bites You

To The People Who Thought I Was Staging My Anxiety, I Hope Karma Bites You

Why would I pretend to be anxious all day every day? Do you think that someone really wants to live their life like this?

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It is very typical in society for people to pretend to have a mental illness or other disorder in a crude attempt to get attention. I know of girls who did this in middle and high school because it was "cool" to have depression or "cool" to have anxiety.

These girls would post about it on social media constantly about wanting to die, being too anxious to move, or too depressed to leave their house. I know that they were fake about how they felt because in 2013 girls would do anything to get followers on Instagram. Not only that, but I personally know these girls who did this. You see, it was so "cool" and so "in" to have a disorder like these because they sounded cool. Their names were so long and our seventh-grade minds found that fascinating.

Not thinking that people actually suffer from these diseases and disorders all over the world. I can't say that I faked having a disorder, but I can say that I have been mocked for having anxiety and depression.

I didn't learn about mental health until my junior year of high school. I remember feeling myself deteriorate at a quick rate. My thoughts were consumed with the ACT, AP exams, a breakup, college, friends, etc. I found myself so busy focusing on everything around me that I forgot to focus on me. I never even put much thought into focusing on me until the summer before my sophomore year of college. Until I had learned the mental health stigma, people suck, and anxiety is a real thing, I had spent all my time isolated in my mind. I didn't talk about my feelings for fear that I would be called crazy, attention-seeking, or a liar. Just like what people called the girls who would post on social media faking an illness.

I didn't know of anyone who had a literally been diagnosed with any mental illness and I certainly didn't want to be the first one to talk about it. So I bit my tongue and stayed silent. I stayed silent until I went crazy. In the spring of my freshman year of college, I had a breakdown. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The way I felt, the way I shook, the way my mind STILL told me to not speak up about it made me feel like I had no use for the world. I felt as though I was suffering alone and nobody knew what was actually happening. Nobody knew until I broke down to the point of admitting myself to the psychiatric unit. Even when I got the treatment I knew I needed and was on my road to recovery, I still felt as though I couldn't talk about how I felt.

I couldn't talk about how I felt because my parents often mocked me if I told them that my anxiety was so high I couldn't breathe. I was mocked when I couldn't leave my bed for four days because my depression sat on my legs and paralyzed me. I was mocked when I finally decided to talk about what I was going through because "my life isn't that hard or stressful, so why do I feel the need to escape it by pretending to go crazy?" I was mocked when I finally came up with an explanation as to why I thought I was feeling as low as I was. I was mocked because pretty girls don't get sick.

Smart girls don't break down. Girls who have a strong support system don't struggle. I was mocked because the number of Instagram followers I have determines if I am allowed to be ill or not. I was mocked because nineteen-year-old girls don't get depressed. I was mocked before and after I came clean about my feelings and thoughts. This is why people don't speak up when they're struggling. This is what is wrong with society. We think that because someone looks a certain way or has a certain status in society that they couldn't possibly be sad. We think as a society that pretty girls can't cry. We think that people who talk about their dark times are faking it because who in their right mind can talk about the past like it's not a thing anymore?

What I don't understand is why we try to encourage people to talk about the hard times, the dark times, and the in-between times when all we're going to do is mock them right back. How dare I come forward about my struggles? Society has become this place where we can't speak our minds anymore. We can't say anything without fear of being judged or mocked, so listen to me when I tell you that you are allowed, you are entitled to talk about what you feel. And I won't judge you. I won't mock you. And I certainly won't tell you that what you're feeling is wrong.

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65 Truths College Students Need to Hear Right Now

Truth every college student needs to hear.
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1. The best memories are ones you actually can remember.

2. God isn’t going to ask you if you were in a top-tier sorority or fraternity at the gates.

3. You failed a test, not your life.

4. Numbers don’t define you.

5. That includes the number you see that is your grade.

6. Also, how much you weigh.

7. As well as if you are a “7/10” on a so-called “hot scale.”

8. Or if you can bench press 200 lbs. (@ all the guys at the gym, please chill.)

SEE ALSO: 7 Reminders Every College Student Needs To Hear Before The Semester Ends

9. Innocence is nothing to be ashamed of.

10. Neither are mistakes.

11. But learn from your mistakes. Mistakes can be lessons, which can be the biggest blessing.

12. Your metabolism isn’t what it used to be and that is okay.

13. You may not always understand what God is doing, but I promise He has a plan.

14. Every person you meet is battling their own struggles.

15. Life isn’t always great moments.

16. But you have to walk through the forest to get to the mountain top.

17. Your heart isn’t damaged. It is temporarily broken but it will be fixed.

18. However, the only one who can fix a broken heart is the one who created it.

19. So a cute boy or hot girl can’t put the pieces back together.

20. Neither can ice cream.

21. But ice cream can totally help.

22. Stop texting your ex. He/She is your ex for a reason.

23. Loving Jesus means loving people.

24. Loving Jesus also means loving the image of Him in the mirror you see.

25. Stop hiding your emotions. Stop crying in the bathroom or behind a locked door. You have people in your life who care about you.

26. Suicide is never the answer.

27. Breathe in, breathe out.

28. Do you feel your heart pump? Do you feel the air exiting your body? That is a sign you are here for a purpose. Your life is no mistake.

29. Just because you doubt, doesn’t mean you don’t believe in Jesus.

30. However, when walking on the water scares you, look to Jesus and keep your eyes on Him.

31. If you have the opportunity to go to school go. There are young girls around the world who would do anything to sit at the desk you are complaining about.

32. Don’t pick a career based on money.

33. However, I promise you can use any passion or gift to serve a purpose bigger than yourself if you allow yourself to give it to the One who gave it to you.

34. You don’t need pretty prayers to please God.

35. Talk to Him like you are talking to a friend.

36. Look for the good in everyone.

37. That includes the mean girl who no one likes. Chances are she is mean for a reason. Someone was once mean to her. Kill her with kindness.

38. Pray to have the Lord’s eyes. See people with love.

39. Try to have the Lord’s hands, always be reaching out to others.

40. Each morning, pray to have the Lord’s feet and go where He calls you.

41. It is a bad day, not a bad life.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Be A College Student In April

42. You don’t need a six-pack to find a man who loves you.

43. You need a spouse who will be able to look at you when you are 80, and wrinkly and maybe a little chunky, and you need him to love you then. If he loves you for your body and your hair, I promise he doesn’t actually love you. Looks fade, but love is eternal. Find someone who loves you like Jesus.

44. Do some squats.

45. But squat so you feel good about yourself, not to attract the opposite sex.

46. You are never too old to find a new hobby.

47. You were beautiful before someone told you.

48. If you don’t know if you are in relationship or not, leave. You deserve clarity, not insecurity.

49. You deserve friendships that are mutual.

50. The best Friday nights are spent with a puppy and food. It is okay to not always be social.

51. Stop worrying about whether your crush will text you back.

52. Stop over analyzing everything in general.

53. Pray for your future spouse.

54. However, also pray for your future bridesmaids/groomsmen. Some of the most influential people you may have in your life you may not have even met yet.

55. Storms bring strength.

56. And storms bring rainbows if you are patient and observant.

57. Stop Pinteresting your dream life and start living it.

58. The Bible is actually extremely relatable. Open it up. Read it.

59. Romans 8:28 “and we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is on your team. He wants you to have moments of celebration. He has a purpose for you greater than your bad day.

60. Never forget what Jesus did for you on that cross. When he died for you, it was painful and brutal. It was ugly. It was love. Don’t let that truth ever become numb to you no matter how many times you have heard the story.

61. There is nothing wrong with carbs.

62. Study. And don’t wait for the night before.

63. Find someone who you can look up to.

64. Also, never forget that there is always someone looking up to you. Act like someone you would want your future children to be. Act in a way that reflects wisdom.

65. Smile more, you are loved by the one who hung the stars and painted the sea. He created puppies and carbs–yet still loves you more. That is something to celebrate.

College is tough and life is hard. You are going to have moments where all you want to do is celebrate life with your best friends, but you will also have moments where you just want to lock the door, ignore everyone, and have a good cry. Never forget that your worth comes from something greater than your Biology grade, and from Someone greater that the one who broke your heart.

You aren’t too cool for Christ in college. Christ is a necessity for you in your life. He can hold your hand during your heartbreaks and failures and celebrate with you when you get the text back or a passing grade in foreign language. He loves for you and cares for you more than your sorority or fraternity ever will.

So buy your books, do your homework, but never forget when you are walking to you 8:00 a.m. you regretfully signed up for, to look up. Look at the clouds and the sky and thank your creator that in a big big world with many beautiful things, He still loves our messy hearts even more. So this one is for the boys for the King. This life is for the One who laid down His life.

I promise college is more fun when you dance with your Savior. Follow His lead and let him take you on a journey where you can find your purpose. You may not know where you are going, but you do know who you are following.

So never forget that although classes may be hard, and your metabolism may be slowing down–God is still good. He turns our ashes into beauty and our trials into our testimony. Do life with your creator and I promise you that you will have more than you need.

Romans 8:28 “And we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Check out my website for more articles on self-worth <3

Twitter: gracev96

Instagram: lemmebeyourvalentine

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Let's Use Our Brains To End Epilepsy

Epilepsy affects millions of people, including my loved ones.

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I'll never forget the first time I saw my sister have a grand mal seizure. We were on vacation so my sister and I were sharing a room. I was sleeping on a couch, she was in a sleeping bag on the floor, and our parents were in another room. I had recently gone through lifeguard training in order to be able to start working that summer. I was half-awake on the couch and everyone else was sleeping. My sister was asleep but I heard her make a noise. I thought she was trying to talk to me, so I looked over and said, "What?". She sat up, made another sound, and then started convulsing.

I knew immediately what was happening and got up from the couch and ran into the room my parents were sleeping in. I shook them awake and told them my sister was having a seizure. But when my parents ran into the room, my sister was back asleep, laying down peacefully. Even though I kept insisting I knew what I had seen, my parents were doubtful because they had nothing to go off of. For a period of time, that was the end of that.

A few weeks later, my sister had another seizure while using the bathroom. I was home in my bedroom and I heard my parents shouting at each other. I came out of my room and my dad confirmed she was having a seizure. "I think you were right," he told me.

Thus began the series of testing and medications being tried out. Unfortunately, during this process, I did witness her have a few seizures, including one afternoon while we were playing a game together on our PS2. I've always wondered if the graphics of the game triggered it. Eventually, she was diagnosed with epilepsy and we learned that she had had seizures all throughout her life up until that point. There are many different kinds of seizure events and the grand mal, or tonic-clonic, that most people associate with seizures is just one of them.

We discovered that prior to the onset of the grand mals, she had experienced absence (or petit-mal) seizures. These are nonconvulsive, however, a person may become unaware of his or her surroundings and may stare off in space or freeze, lasting only 5-30 seconds. When the doctor confirmed this, we felt frustrated having never noticed it before. I had seen her in the past "zone-out", where her eyes would slide out of focus for a few moments. We had always associated this with her other disabilities and never thought it was a sign of another problem.

Even though her epilepsy has proven to be quite treatable with a daily pill, there are many people who have yet to find a treatment that helps them. My sister has other issues that prevent her from being able to work or drive, but many people who live with epilepsy live in fear of experiencing an event while driving, working, or while with family. Watching someone you love have a seizure can be a heart-wrenching experience because there's often not much more you can do but watch and wait for it to end. I've seen my mom have to inject my sister during a really awful one. I don't live with her anymore, but when I visit with her I often worry if she's remembering to take her daily pill.

One in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy, but it doesn't just affect humans. My dog is also epileptic. The first time I ever saw him have a seizure, I thought he had injured his leg because it happened right after he had jumped off the bed. I thought he had broken his legs by his scared, spastic movements. Again, after the episode, I didn't think much of it because he was back to his normal self after a few moments. Until it happened again. My dog is my best friend and it's really difficult to watch him experience a seizure. I am still looking for the best treatment option for him.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, there are 3.4 million people in the U.S. living with active epilepsy - that's more than Autism Spectrum Disorders, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy combined. Yet, Epilepsy receives one-tenth the research funding than any one of those neurological disorders. November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month so consider doing something to help the cause this month. Find out some things you can do to help on the Epilepsy Foundation's website!

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