Understanding Monsters and Why People Cheat

BY BRANDON MINIA

For the first time in the almost two years since I finally broke communication with my ex, I feel like I can now fully sympathize with her for something she did that I never thought I ever would.

I understand now why my ex cheated on me with my best friend.

Granted, she’s still a monster. It’s still despicable the way she deceived me for months, largewith my best friend at that, and that when it was finally convenient for her, she disposed of me and almost pretended that our relationship never happened. But there were a few moments in the months leading up to discovering their secret affair that I have never understood until now.

I’m going to reference an anime I finished last night (Thursday morning to be exact) called White Album 2, so for anyone who cares, there’s some major spoilers for that show coming up. (I also hesitate to recommend it, because as good at it was, it was the first piece of media I ever consumed that really punched me in the gut).

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We’re all feeling those damn winter blues

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a highly emotional girl in an oftentimes sadness.jpgunforgiving world, is that every feeling you have is only temporary. You can choose to look at this one of two ways: 1) that feelings of lucidity, clarity, and maybe even happiness are only fleeting; or 2) that feelings of desolation, bleakness, and hopelessness are only taking over your brain for a period of time; a period of time that will indefinitely run its course. Either way, I’ve found a certain peace in accepting that these turbulent ups and downs are out of my control. They’re out of everyone’s control. 

I know that I’m not alone in often thinking: Is something really wrong with me? It can’t be normal for me to feel this unhappy all the timeJust yesterday my neighbour dropped by and the very first thing she said was: this winter is really starting to get to me. I think it’s getting to all of us, and short of getting on the next flight to Cuba and becoming a beach vendor, there’s not a whole lot we can do about it.

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Please Don’t Kick Me When I’m Already Down

BY RACHEL WONG

No one can possibly be happy 24/7. If anyone is offended by this opinion, then I apologize. But the truth is, there are always things in life that will inevitably bother us. And at the end of the day, as the optimists of the world will tell us, it is how we react to these things that really matters. We have the capability to make our own decisions and to choose how much we are going to let things affect us.

People with depression aren’t pessimists all the time, though we surely aren’t optimists.depressed-woman-hand-touching-head-350.jpg We see the world through foggy, rainy lenses, but we still have this small inkling of hope for a better tomorrow. Though it may not be evident in the way that we act or present ourselves, it’s there – hidden way below the surface. We know that our behaviour can bring other people down and we know that others generally just want to help. But people with depression are also very solitary. For whatever reason, we think it’s a great idea to be left alone with our emotions. Occasionally, we come out of our shells and we talk to people that make us feel good about ourselves, and other times we might actually feel happy.

But when people with depression open up to family and friends, we don’t expect psychiatric wisdom or diagnoses that you’ve gathered from WebMD. We just want someone to actively listen to us. We need someone to give us an affirmative nod and let us know that we’re being supported.

Because the weird and twisted thing is: we want to be happy too. Not like an overnight, 180-degree turn from sad to happy. We just want to feel better about ourselves and the world around us.

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What To Do When Someone Walks Away

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

Losing a friend or partner, even temporarily like in the case of a disagreement, can be extremely hard on people living with Social Anxiety and other mental illnesses like Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder.

I am no expert in how to get people to stick around. Clearly, I am terrible at that. But I do consider myself a little bit of an expert in how to deal with the aftermath, because this situation just keeps happening to me over and over again, at least once or twice a year. And every time, I am emotionally destroyed, but every time I somehow get back up again. At first, it seemed to me like this was an accident and I only started to feel better because something good randomly happened to me. But at this point I think it’s safe to say that I am pretty resilient.

I’m sort of going through one of those situations right now, and it occurred to me that although I am basically a ball of constant anxiety and I’m a lot lonelier than I was before, I am actually doing kind of okay. Not great, but okay. I’m doing better at this, and I’m also doing better at actually resolving conflicts. So it prompted me to take a closer look at my habits to figure out what was working and what wasn’t, and I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned with you.

Try to see the bigger picture

It can be hard to give someone space because you don’t know how you’re going to cope without them for all that time, or you might fear that this will only make the situation worse and they will forget about you and move on. But if you take a look at the bigger picture, a couple of months apart is nothing in comparison to the years you could be friends in the future (or have been in the past). This is also helpful when someone has hurt you – you may initially feel like the only option you have is to end your relationship with that person, but in looking at the bigger picture you might find that it’s actually better for you to just spend some time apart or talk things out with each other. Continue reading

I Am Not A Phoenix

BY LACHLAN CRAWFORD

I’m a big fan of end-of-year rituals. I like the ‘best of’ lists that circulate the Internet in December and the memories that everyone shares about their past 12 months. I love how people tend to describe their whole year in one fell swoop, like “2015 was great!” or “This year kicked my butt.” However we do it, I think that reflecting on the past year is an important exercise that gives us perspective and helps us shape our goals for the year ahead.

Enter: the New Year’s resolution.2015-01-11-newyearsresolutions

Now I’m not one to make huge commitments to things just because it’s the last few days of December. But when I  looked back on my past year, I found that I learned something really big for me in 2015 – something worth rolling into the new year.

For me, 2015 was the year in which I began to slowly emerge out of a lingering depressive episode. I won’t delve into my experience with depression in this post, but I will just briefly say that I was able to make it through because I sought out and received the help I needed. For anyone reading this who needs help, know that taking this step was crucial to my upward swing. In the remainder of this post, I’ll share what I learned from the second half of that curve, starting from the day I began to feel better.

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