The Truth About Some Days

The Truth About Some Days

Although every day isn't filled with anxiety, some days are harder than others
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Some days it feels like a weight on your chest, all day, just sitting there waiting to crush you. And it's not until late at night when you're alone and something triggers you, that the weight crushes all the way down, and tears come flooding out and the thoughts won't stop and all the negative thoughts you've worked so hard to keep at bay all come forward in full force.

Some days are the best days. Nothing negative slips in your head everything seems possible, and everything is possible. That's the thing about anxiety. It comes to you when you least expect it, but it's always there. It's there when you're driving to work, or when you're just cleaning my room. It comes with no warning and sits dormant in your mind until it feels ready to surface. There are ways to talk it back down into your chest with the burning tears that come rising with it, but the more you push it down the harder it comes back up.

Some days the only thing that fixes it is crying until your eyes are puffy, your face is swollen and your head pounding because there's nothing left to give.

Some days are filled with unneeded apologies and feelings of inadequacy.

Some days despite how hard my boyfriend holds me as a cry until I have no more tears, and despite his patience and his strength to stay with me through the worst of times, and despite his unwillingness to let me feel anything less that worthy and beautiful, my anxiety tries to take that away from me.

Some days it's easier to say “I'm tired” than to try and find a way to configure all the thoughts and worries that are playing in my head into words.

Some days constant reassurance is needed because despite me knowing my self-worth and all the things I am capable of and all of the things I've achieved, the weight of my anxiety and the need to be better still rings in my ear

Some days, I'm okay. Some days, everything is okay. And even on the days that aren't okay, I have to remind myself that it is just a day. That tomorrow will be better and that my anxiety does not control me. It does not make me less of a person and it does not make my emotions any less real. I have to remember that my anxiety does not define me, but only makes me stronger and that the moments I feel the weakest are the moments I need to fight back harder.

And some days I have to remind myself that the love that surrounds me is stronger than any of my darkest days.

Cover Image Credit: WeHeartIt

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I buy? There are currently eight flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I get it? You can find BANG energy drinks at your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Amazon, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How do they compare BANG to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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Trigger Warnings Are More Important Than You Realize, And Here's My Personal Story To Prove It

Your mental health can be affected in many ways, and it is important to remember that it is just as important as physical health.
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As it is Mental Health Awareness Week, I felt it was only fitting to recount one of the most difficult periods in my life. I think it presents another side to the conversation that is often overlooked and proves how multifaceted mental health is. You can’t confine it to a box because not everyone reacts the same way or has the same experiences.

Towards the end of my junior year in high school, my APUSH teacher decided to show us the film called “Iron-Jawed Angels.”

Initially, I was excited about it and found the film engaging and exciting, but I did not anticipate how deeply one of the scenes would affect me. This scene in the film revolves around one of the main characters being force-fed, and for reasons I can’t explain, this triggered me. The rate of my breathing accelerated, I started shaking, black splotches began appearing in my vision, and I couldn’t bring myself to calm down.

I was having a panic attack.

I remember looking around at my classmates and wondering why none of them had a similar reaction. I remember thinking that something had to be wrong with me—that I was weak for not being able to handle watching the scene.

And then I fainted.

This wasn’t the first time I had fainted. I’m no stranger to it, but there’s always an overwhelming wave of embarrassment each time it happens in public. I hate drawing attention to myself, and collapsing in the middle of class is one of those things that you can’t look away from.

I went home early that day. The school nurse forced me to head to the emergency room, and after being checked out, it was confirmed that there was nothing wrong with me. The entire practice concluded that it was a simple panic attack spurred on by the on-screen image.

This frightened me. I had never expected a scene of someone being force-fed to have such a negative impact on me, and suddenly, I was afraid to watch the shows that I would usually watch. I didn’t want to have another panic attack, and I did everything I could to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.

But this instilled fear wasn’t the only after effect.

I went back to school, hoping everything would be back to normal, and that year, it was—for the most part.

But I’d realized something: I was less motivated to eat what I usually ate. My mind had made a subconscious connection between the force-feeding scene and my everyday life, and eating my usual portions felt impossible. Thankfully, my mom realized, and we worked together around the problem. I could eat soft foods, so for a month, my diet changed, consisting of fruits and crepes that would be made that day.

After a month, I was able to wean myself back onto my usual diet, and I could eat without thinking twice, but I remember how stuck in that mindset I felt. That is terrifying. My mind had controlled me without my consent, and it proved how your mental state can affect the rest of your body.

Junior year ended, and I returned for the senior year. I had enrolled in a psychology class, and I thought it would be a class that I could breeze through.

Of course, I was wrong.

That fear of being triggered had returned in full force on the first day of the class, in which my teacher showed us a real 9/11 documentary with imagery of people jumping to their deaths and going through the trauma.

That first class reminded me of how I’d panicked so easily last year, and it became the only thing I could think of. Every day, I went to that psychology class (and my other classes) worrying about what she would show us in class and how I would handle it. It wasn’t just a side thought; it consumed about sixty percent of my mind to the point where I’d go home and sigh in relief that I’d made it through another day.

This anxiety had taken over my life. I tried convincing myself that all I needed was to “calm down” and that it was all in my head. This was the truth, but I’d underestimated just how complex the problem was. Looking back on it now, I wish I’d gone to see a therapist if only to talk about what it meant. I didn’t understand it, and because of this anxiety, senior year was miserable for me. When I finished classes, my first thought wasn’t “Thank God that’s over”; it was “now I don’t have to worry about having a panic attack in class again.” That is messed up.

But because my situation and my experiences were so unique, I didn’t know how to talk about it. I’d lash out at friends on days when it got worse. I’d started breathing heavily in order to keep myself calm. It was miserable, and it was torturous. But it wasn’t noticeable.

Now that I’m in college, this anxiety presents itself to me in different forms. But that’s a conversation for another time. I was reminded of how awful my senior year was earlier this semester in my speech and hearing sciences class, in which my professor showed us a video of a woman having a panic attack.

I had to leave the classroom. It felt like such a step backward, and I had hated myself for it. All of these old thoughts and feelings had returned, and there was nothing I could do about it. I went back to my dorm that night and watched Youtube videos in an attempt to calm myself down. Thankfully, it worked, but it doesn’t erase how disappointed I was in myself.

But I’m learning. No matter how dejected I felt that day, I’m learning to handle my mental health, and I’ve realized that the things I consider difficult will continue to be difficult until I make the conscious decision to challenge them. I’m in a much better and happier place now than I was senior year, and for that, I’m so grateful.

If there is anything you should take away from my story, this is it. Recognize that the limits of others are not identical to yours. Add trigger warnings to your content because you don’t know how much it’ll affect your audience. Understand that mental health is just as important as physical health. Be kind to others as you don’t know what they’re going through.

If you do struggle with mental health, remember that your feelings are valid and important. You are not alone, and help is always at reach. I believe in you. I hope you believe in yourself too.

Cover Image Credit: Carolina Mendes

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