Think Twice Before You Cut Out The Negative People In Your Life

Think Twice Before You Cut Out The Negative People In Your Life

Always put kindness first.
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By now, Western culture has acquired a few staple selling points. These consist of a good amount of things including social media - particularly how one’s life appears on social media, our aesthetics regarding our bodies' shapes and sizes, and our self-love. Let me tell you, self-love is in right now. Along with green juices and Instagram themes, self-love is exploding with popularity. And this, in and of itself, is a great thing. I am so in favor of self-love, confidence and doing what you need to do to make yourself happy. What I’m not in favor of is how the media promotes self-love in the form of cutting other people out of your life.

If you’re at all present on the Internet, you’ve probably seen on some blog or forum how important it is to “cut out the negative people from your life to truly be happy” or “eliminate the toxic people.” I used to buy into this completely. I essentially believed that you should do whatever it takes to make yourself happy, even if that meant disposing of someone in your life. I paid no regards to the other side of this process -- that was until it happened to me.

I was cut out of someone’s life in a very precise and efficient fashion. The process of eliminating me from this person's life was executed quickly and easily -- for them. For me, however, it was hell.

But wait a minute, what constitutes a negative person? Is there a universal definition for someone who is no longer needed in your life? The truth is, there’s not. The definitions of these terms are completely up for grabs. For the sake of this piece, I’ll come up with my own definition: a negative person in one’s life is someone who, according to the person doing the cutting-out, is no longer contributing any positive attributes or benefits to the greater relationship and well-being of the other person. Basically, it’s when you realize that someone isn’t making you happy enough anymore that you need to, apparently, “cut them out.”

And defend this process all you want, but I argue that it is cruel by nature. And I’m not talking about eliminating a truly negative and toxic person who is just factually unkind. I’m talking about eliminating someone who you have deemed unhealthy for you because of something that is no fault of their own, but is a problem with the relationship, or better yet, with you.

People use the “cutting out” method as a mechanism to escape their own insecurities and struggles. Blaming someone else for a challenge you are facing internally is easy for you, but is truthfully terrible for the other person, and in general solves nothing.

To be “cut out” feels like going from safety to insanity, from being comforted to being tortured, from being happy to being literally non-functional. When the person who is cutting you out is important to you and your everyday life, that’s when it hits you the hardest. And that’s what happened to me. It changes everything. It has you questioning whether or not you can ever go back to being as happy as you were. You drive yourself crazy wondering what you did wrong and where you failed to make the other person sufficiently happy.

Almost all the time, there’s no explanation, or at least not a decent one. The “cut out” people are left to rebuild themselves while the person doing the cutting out is free to go make new friends who they have deemed “better.”

It’s like getting replaced by something newer and shinier than you. It’s not being good enough anymore, not quite making the cut. It’s punishment for something you didn’t do, and you can never figure out why. And while you can prepare yourself as much as possible and get yourself back to a happy place in your life, the “why” question, and the painful sting of memories cut short, never really ends.

Even now I believe in surrounding yourself with positivity, and people that inspire you to grow and be your best self. But there is a way to do this that does not involve damaging other people. And no matter how much harder it is, it’s worth searching for.

Cover Image Credit: Slate.com

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Take A Break, Trust Me, You Need It

It was something I didn't know I needed. And I feel much better from it.

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I recently went on a little mini vacation. Where'd I go, you ask? Nowhere.

That's the best part.

Thankfully, I have a full-time job with great benefits. One of them being paid time off. I recently used all of my PTO, plus the two days I get off a week, which turned into a long and well-needed mini staycation. I stayed at home, slept, caught up on my programs, did some homework, and decluttered.

And you know what? It was something I didn't know I needed. And I feel much better from it.

I wasn't sick. I was mainly just stressed out and overwhelmed. It was like getting the rest I didn't know I was lacking. It was like having all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. No due dates, no deadlines. No time crunches, no schedules to follow (except my school one).

I'm not telling you to take a week off work and school. But, if you have that opportunity—PTO, spring break—then take advantage of it.

You don't have to go on some extravagant vacation either. Doing something as simple as staying in bed all day, watching Netflix, and spending time with your loved ones is just as relaxing.

It also taught me the importance of self-love and taking care of yourselves. I was stressed, and I feel like I'll never be fully "de-stressed," but for a while, I was able to sit back and smell the roses. I was able to recollect myself, spend some time on me.

Sometimes, you just need a day. Whenever I feel like I need a day off, whether it be with work or school, I usually feel bad about it. I feel awful missing class, or having to call out sick to work. I eventually get over it, though, because at the end of the day, I'm taking care of myself.

Missing one day won't kill you. Take care of your mental health.

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