Your Own Worst Enemy

Your Own Worst Enemy

"Do you have the time, to listen to me whine--about nothing and everything all at once?".

Fran
Fran
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"Do you have the time, to listen to me whine--about nothing and everything all at once?"

Did you know according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the third leading cause of death among individuals from age ten to about age twenty-four? In addition, fifty percent of mental illness begins by age fourteen and seventy-five percent by the age of 24.

For me, my biggest obstacle is getting out of my head. It takes just a little gesture or small innocent comment to send my anxious thoughts on a frenzy. Some of the most common symptoms are: feeling nervous, restless, or tense; trembling, sweating, and difficulty concentrating or thinking (Mayo Clinic). I've decided that I no longer wish to let my anxiety control my life—I still deal with my symptoms every day but I also continue daily activities of a "normal" twenty-two-year-old.

The wheels in my brain are always spinning. Just as soon as I think I've calmed myself down I'll remember something I was worrying about, a text exchange for example. Why aren't they answering my texts? Did I say something to make them mad? When in all reality they are just busy living their lives. Tip: If you know someone is dealing with anxiety; reassurance is one of the biggest alleviators of anxious thought.

I've been a people pleaser basically my entire life. I make things personal that don't need to be made personal. Anxiety finds your insecurities and feeds off of it. For me, it's a balance between recharging my batteries to making sure I'm not sitting and dwelling on nonsensical things. Let me tell you, anxiety is absolutely exhausting. On the days my anxiety has gotten the best of me I must decline invitations to be social, even though I know it might help boost my mood.

I am happy to see mental illness being brought up in the news. Mental illness has always had a negative stigma. Our society has reinforced this stigma time and time again. I find a little bit of relief after the suicide of Kate Spade. If someone as high profile as Kate Spade can battle with mental health and substance abuse issues—why is it unacceptable for a normal person like you or me to share their stories?

I will never stop talking about mental illness. My anxiety is only a piece of me, it does not define me. Most importantly, it does not define me because I do not allow it to define who I am. Yes, some of my personality traits coincide with my anxiety but it's who makes me who I am. I'm sorry if this upsets people but I've learned self-love and self-care are SO important and not just a person dealing with a medical condition like anxiety.


Ask me questions about my anxiety. Ask me how you can help me feel better during an anxiety state. Remind me that I'm a bright, sweet, and caring young woman destined to do great in the world. It may seem silly to you—but it's very important to me.

Cover Image Credit:

New Internationalist

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My Friend Got Sick In The Dominican Republic

From visiting the beautiful beaches to spending six hours in a hospital of a foreign country.

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I visited the Dominican Republic from June 7 to June 14 this summer for my high school graduation trip. My family and best friend Jordan stayed at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana. I'm not hopping onto the bandwagon of all these stories coming out about this country that relies so much on tourism. I'm not here to condemn the resort or the country, because despite all the trouble I went through, I had an amazing time. I'm simply here to tell my story about what happened.

Right before we left for the trip, we heard all the stories about people dying in the country. This obviously made us all paranoid because we didn't want to end up like those people. We wanted to be careful. Most of the people who died at resorts had a drink from the minibar in the hotel and were poisoned by insecticides, had bloody diarrhea, throwing up blood, and had eventually had respiratory problems. We were aware of the symptoms and were knowledgable before going into this foreign country.

The first four days of the trip we were all having an amazing time. We enjoyed the beautiful beaches, swimming in the fourteen different pools, and eating like gluttons. I met so many beautiful and kind people from the Dominican Republic. Every person welcomed us as "familia", Spanish for family. On the fourth day, we decided to go on an excursion through the hotel. We went snorkeling and swam through the clear blue water. Jordan and I danced with the crew members on the boat. We shopped for souvenirs from locals and finally called it a day.

When we got back on the bus to the resort, my dad was shivering and was short of breath. His stomach was cramping and his forehead was on fire like he had a fever. After the longest thirty minutes of my life worrying about him, we finally made it back and he rushed to the bathroom. For the next twelve hours, he rested in the hotel room. The next day he was fine and had seemed to just catch a twenty-four bug.

Then, the next night Jordan was spending a lot of time in the bathroom. I figured it was just because she was adjusting the spicy food of the Dominican and that it would pass. In the morning when I had woken up, she told me had a fever and had been going to the bathroom every hour. My mom gave her anti-diarrhea medicine and she felt better the next day after resting in the room. We got her dinner of a small pizza and we went to bed, an uneventful day.

Jordan woke me up at 2 A.M. that night calling my name from the bathroom and asking for a trashcan. It was coming out of both ends at this point. After calling my mom and her dad, who was still in the U.S., we decided to call the resort doctor and have her come to the room. The doctor then determined that she was extremely dehydrated and needed to be transported to the hospital.

We got there at 4:30 A.M.. and Jordan had an IV put into her with anti-diarrhea medicine and saline. After multiple tests, the doctors said that she had a bacterial infection in her stomach. They gave her antibiotics and multiple packets of pills to take home and we left the clinic at 10:30 A.M. at last. She's going to be fine, but we were all scared because of all the news stories going on.

When we got back to the resort, multiple people who we had seen at the clinic came up to us and told us how their relatives experienced the same thing Jordan had. When I did some research, an article stated that 45 people had gotten violently ill from eating at the Toro restaurant at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana, which is where we ate the night before Jordan got sick.

We were lucky, you could say. I'm not sure it's necessarily all the resort's fault or the country's though. Although all these things happened to us, I believe that it's a matter of doing your research before you go to any country. Any country's food could make you sick. We don't know exactly where Jordan or my dad got sick from. All these bad news stories coming out could've played into why we reacted so harshly.

Saying all this, I would still love to visit the Dominican Republic again. I want to visit so many other countries across the world. For anyone else that is reading this and is scared to visit a country like this, I say just go for it. Know the risks, but know that there are rewards. You can't let fear hold you back from living your life, because dying in America is just as likely from other things.

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A Review on "36 Questions: A Podcast Musical"

Jessie Shelton and Jonathan Groff Star in a Musical Podcast.
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“Jase Connelly, answer me honestly. Right now, given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?”

I’ve been listening to podcasts for about a year. I enjoy The Moth, the official Steven Universe podcast, and other storytelling podcasts. I found 36 Questions a couple weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to keep the songs out of my head! It is a podcast musical, meaning all of the music and sound effects are in the podcast, meaning it not supposed to be performed live. I am a huge fan of musicals, so just the phrase “podcast musical” had me ready to download it.

The premise is relatively simple. A couple attempts to complete 36 questions, a scientifically proven way to make people fall in love, or at least become closer. Judith and Jase have been married for a couple of years, before lies are discovered that challenge their relationship, as well as their values as a whole. The cast stars almost solely Jessie Shelton and Jonathan Groff. It also involves a duck named Henry, so if that’s not enough for you to want to listen to it, I don’t know what will be. Jessie Shelton is a musician and actor, while lesser known than her co-star, she is definitely talented. You may recognize Jonathan Groff from Hamilton, Glee, or as the voice of Kristoff from Frozen.

The story is engaging, and I found myself on the edge of my seat after the first two acts, figuratively speaking, of course. I was actually on walks while I was listening to the podcast. The story takes you on an emotional story that stays with you long after your first listen. I found myself considering my relationships in my life, and have now done the 36 questions with my girlfriend and step-dad. I hope Two-Up, the podcast who created the musical, writes more podcast musicals in the future, I look forward to listening!

Cover Image Credit: Bandcamp

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