Statistics

Everyone on my mom’s side suffers from depression. Some members on my dad’s side are alcoholics and suicidal.

Addiction is 50% genetic and 50% due to poor coping skills.

Depression is 40% genetic and 60% environmental.

Due to this, I am 90% screwed.

Mental health is something that has affected my life for years and will continue to.

When I was thirteen I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and OCD.

By fourteen I was engulfed in an eating disorder that controlled and altered my life. My eating disorder was a blend of all evils, a coping skill for all my problems.

I hated my body, felt out of control in many aspects of my life, experienced great anxiety around food, and believed people would love me if I was skinny.

Starving myself fixed my problems, or at least I thought it did. I lost weight rapidly. I felt in control when I refused to eat. I got hooked in my ways.

But like for all things, the high only lasted so long… Even after losing sixty pounds, being underweight, and having every rib and bone in my spine visible, I still looked in the mirror and thought I was fat. My anxiety began to get worse, the panic attacks were hourly occurrences, and my heart began to fail due to the lack of calories and nutrients. I felt out of control once again, so I restricted even more.

It was a vicious cycle, and it continued… leaving me falling deeper into darkness, insanity, and sadness.

By the summer of that same school year, I was in the hospital. My struggles with mental health were close to taking my life.

Years have gone by now, and much has changed.

I no longer cope with anxiety and depression by restricting my food intake, I no longer weigh 80 pounds. I’m back in school, back in sports, and am much more emotionally stable.

But some things haven’t.

I still have anxiety attacks weekly, I still hate my body and worry about weight, and I am still extremely insecure and it affects how I act (making me seem full of myself when in reality I just need someone to reassure me that I’m not absolute shit). And lastly, I still feel out of control around food. I am unable to stop myself around certain types of food and it scares me.  I feel like my previous ability to say no to food has disappeared, and it scares me. I feel like I have gone from starving my self to binging. It scares me a lot.

I need to find balance and balance is hard to find.

Due to statistics and my past, mental health is something I am going to have to deal with for the entirety of my life.

I don’t like this, but I can’t change this. So every day I strive to find healthy ways to cope with the way my brain thinks, the emotions I feel, and my general outlook on life because I believe, with effort and dedication,  everyone has the opportunity to be happy, no matter how hard it may be.

Photo via usablilygeek.com
Advertisements

Can’t Forget About Jew

I have always considered myself a person of faith. I was lucky enough to be born a Sephardic Jew in one of the most welcoming periods in world history. Because of this, I never had to hide my beliefs, I had the opportunity to inform countless masses of friends what the laws of Kosher are, sharing stories about my main man Moses, and having a global network of strangers and friends alike that I could rely on, that I could confide in. But that’s not what I wanted to highlight today. Recently, I went to Yom Kippur services for the “Jewish New Year” where I fasted the whole day and prayed in repentance of the misdeeds committed by me and fellow Jews this last year. At the end of the second night, after nearly 30 hours without food, water, or bathing, as night falls, your fate for the next year is sealed, your past year is wiped clean and are given a chance to start anew. As I left services with my father, I felt invigorated, I felt fresh, I felt strong despite my thirst and hunger, and it was all due to this faith of mine. I realized I possessed a luxury that many of my friends grew up without and still live lacking. 
 
My faith has always been something I could rely on. From a young age, when I questioned something, I found my faith would always give me a confident answer, giving me a sense of closure, a peace-of-mind not afforded to my peers. When my friends grew to understand the finality of their mortality, when they struggled to find meaning in their lives, when they tossed and turned trying to comprehend our loneliness in our vast expanse of the universe, I had Judaism to fill the gaps in my young mind, sheltering me from the despair. Now I’m not saying it by any means encourages ignorance, some of the best Jewish scholars throughout history have integrated the scientific understand of our universe and Judaism because “[Both] were understood to be two different manifestations of the same divine truth.” (MJL, 2007) I was always encouraged by numerous Rabbi and teachers from my Jewish primary school to find my own truths, but if I couldn’t find a why for any of these, an explanation for my truths, Judaism would always be there to support my conclusions, to give me confidence about my role in our universe, no matter how small. I can go to sleep every night knowing if I were to not wake up in the morning, it would be because I have served my purpose and my job is completed, for this I am incredibly grateful.  
Photo Credit: Kenzie Bruce, The Denver Post
Mjl. “Judaism & Science in History.” My Jewish Learning, My Jewish Learning, 4 Feb. 2007, www.myjewishlearning.com/article/judaism-science-in-history/.

Canvas Man

I once saw myself to be a bystander in no one else’s story. I was there, obsolete, silent, watching the world unfold around me, witnessing what my peers were experiencing, but not having any of that for myself. I was tired of being a supporting role in my own life, adding to other people’s conversations, assisting people when they might need it, but never bringing anything to the table myself.

I didn’t feel like I had any identity as an individual, I relied on the people around me to define who I was and I hated it, I couldn’t stand the fact that when I was alone, I knew nothing about myself that was uniquely mine, that I had created a version of my self that was only a convoluted mosaic of the people I associated myself with.

It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t entirely a unique individual. That although I had a mixture of physical traits that made me intriguing, I didn’t have the personality that supported that. I realized it was fine to inherit these traits from those around you but to keep an eye on what those are.

I found myself adopting unhealthy mentalities that I drew from those I looked up to, these forced me to reflect heavily upon what I had become, I was no longer true to myself, I became a canvas upon which my peers could splash their negativity, and I would mindlessly carry it around, displaying it for everyone to see.

It took me a long time to rid myself of the bad habits I had accumulated. I was alright with adopting traits from other people that I respected, I realized that that process is fundamental to our growth as individuals and not detrimental to it as I had originally thought. I realized instead that the issue I had was that I was adopting traits that I didn’t like in an attempt to somehow further my personal development without considering the fallout of these actions.

Credit: woodshedartauctions.com

Yet another piece of unsatisfactory writing!

I know today should be the day

the one where i take care of it

where i get it out of the way.

I give you the closure you need and i start anew.

But this happens too often

I think someone’s different and that I’ve fallen out of my pattern

and that’s when I tend to fall right back in.

It’s selfish to give myself the benefit of the doubt.

Capable of love,

capable of getting close,

capable of staying there.

At this point it is selfish to give myself the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe the September blues just have my tongue

but then again it’s almost October

and my feelings change with the month.

Everything I know is an extraction of someone else

of something else.

I’m off to a slow start this year.

And I couldn’t ask you to try and understand why that is.

There’s so many things I want done but

I don’t want to take the steps to accomplish those things.

So instead I bite my tongue,

pace back and forth,

stare at the ceiling,

tune people out,

bounce my leg up and down,

speak the same empty words that I do every fucking day (and yet I continue),

crack my knuckles,

evaluate lyrics.

I spend time dreaming about how I should be writing and how I could and how I hate what I’ve created here but I won’t change it

It’s easier to glide by,

like so.

And until I have the time,

until I have the headspace ,

this is how it has to be.

Even if I hate what it makes me do

High school wasn’t designed to make you love yourself.

photo credit: Pinterest.com

Thoughts from a Balcony

something has changed.

colors are duller

even flowers look sad.

my eyes feel like a melancholy ocean,

and my cheeks the sand; waiting for the waves to rush on to them.

tears have replaced laughing,

smiles feel hollow.

my face has a different complexion,

more pale, more hopeless, less me.

my body feel lethargic, corpulent, and ignominious,

i am rotting from the inside out.

i have lost a part of me; the will to push, the will to continue, the will to strive

and it shows.

things that barely phased me are now barricades.

it’s hard to exist when you feel like you have nothing to live for.

oh me, oh life, oh self… where have you gone?

photo credit: weheartit.com

Drink Water, Live Longer

I love Diet Pepsi. If I order a food delivery, a 2-liter Diet Pepsi will definitely be in it. But lately, I’ve announced farewell to it. 

Looking at a can of Diet Pepsi, it’s the word “Diet” that will capture your eyes. It means no sugar is in Pepsi. In other words, Diet Pepsi has zero-calories. It means you can feel guilt-free when drinking a can of soda, it means you can drink ten cans of Diet Pepsi and still stay in shape… but it also means cancer.

Cancer? Yes, cancer. Like I said, Diet Pepsi is sugar-free. However, the Pepsi company replaces the sugar with a kind of sweetener called aspartame. Studies on aspartame have shown that the use of aspartame can increase the chance for an individual to get blood-related cancers. 

On the Diet Pepsi company’s response to the studies on aspartame was replacing aspartame with other non-sugar sweeteners. This alone shows the dangers aspartame triggers. However, most Diet Pepsi I see out there still state the use of aspartame. While I’m no professional in studying sweeteners or the soda industry, I do care about my own longevity. And honestly, even if they use another kind of sweetener in soda, I don’t think I can trust its safety anymore. That’s why I’ve decided to stay off the product.

Looking at all those soda cans, with labels like “sugar-free,” “caffeine-free” or “aspartame-free”… I have a question for all of us—why not just free yourself by drinking water? 

Drink water, live longer.

credit: amazonaws.com

Education Abroad

Nowadays, personal knowledge becomes much more important with the high development of technology, since the machine and robots can replace the manpower.  Almost everyone is eager for studying more knowledge or letting their children get a better education. Based on this, more and more people choose to attend a boarding school overseas, and the most popular destination in America. However, attending a boarding school in the U.S. is still a controversial issue.

From my own experience of studying and living here, my feeling is very great. I remember the first day I came here, I was so nervous and confused. A totally strange environment with unfamiliar people speaking a language that I could barely understand. But with time, I felt more and more comfortable. I started to laugh again. I could communicate in another language and make my own opinion in class. I made a great number of new friends and we have fun every moment. Without my family’s company and help, I started trying some things that I had never done before. I can put my room in order and sweep the room by myself. I can pack my things for a trip and go to homestay during the break. I can take care of myself and know what do to when I get sick. I feel much more independent and confident than before.

To sum it up, although studying abroad will cost a great amount of money and stay so far away from home, in my opinion it is worth it. What you will learn and what you will experience in studying overseas can not be bought by money. It will make your own life become unique from others.

Photo credit: eliteoverseaseducation.com