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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Out Of The Tunnel

BY BRANDON MINIA

It took a whole lot of willpower to finally muscle my way out of one of the worst episodes I’ve had in almost two years.

I had almost forgotten. You stay well enough for so long that the anxiety doesn’t even feel so bad, even though you know that with anxiety, depression is surely lurking around the corner. And once it comes around and hits you, you turn into a mere shell of yourself.

Since February, my anxiety was hitting almost unprecedented levels considering how well hqdefault.jpgI had been for so long. And with how tense I had been, I knew that the possibility of me slipping down into that rabbit hole was a distinct possibility. It did.

I can’t name exactly what triggered it, mostly because I don’t know what it was. I don’t know if it was a combination of factors, or if it just happened. Or both. With me, as it is with so many others, my depression is hard to pinpoint no matter how mindful I am of my emotional levels.

The depression was beginning to creep in near the end of February. I started becoming more fatigued and my motivation to do work began to dissipate. In the back of my head, I knew of course that the danger of me falling back into that dreaded state was slowly becoming more and more of a possibility as every day passed. Still, I blamed my decreasing energy levels on my anxiety.

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Anxiety and Avoidance Behaviours

BY AYESHA KHALID

Despite my struggles with anxiety, I am lucky to have a strong support group around me – people I can reach out to when I am feeling stressed or in pain. I know that this is not always the case for some people who do not have social support and become very isolated; their road to recovery is much more difficult than mine.

But even with this support available, when I am struggling, it can be hard for me to reachf486b16e222ac0aa_dv1080013.preview.jpg out to others. I do not always take help when it is offered. There are a lot of reasons why I hold back. Partially, it is because talking to others means that I have to confront whatever is causing me distress, and I would rather avoid thinking about it. Another reason is because I feel bad for dumping all of my problems onto someone else. I know I shouldn’t feel bad, but I imagine it’s kind of exhausting to listen to someone talk about their problems all the time. I don’t want to be that person who is constantly complaining, so I hold a lot in.

So instead of reaching out if my anxiety/pain is getting worse, my first instinct is to retreat. To run away, to get into bed, to pull the covers over me and block out the rest of the world. A part of me thinks that maybe if I avoid my problems they will disappear, and by the time I get out of bed everything will be okay again.

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Stress: The good, the bad and the chronic

BY ZAKIYA KASSAM

The word “stress” is one that carries an extremely negative connotation. Being stressed is rarely perceived a positive thing, but the alternative – being stress-lessNervous_Man_Approach_Anxiety – can be harmful to your physical and emotional health as well.

Most people don’t realize that we need stress in our bodies in order to feel vital and excited. When your palms sweat upon seeing your crush, when you get butterflies in your stomach upon starting a new job, when you’re about to take a penalty shot and you can feel your heartbeat in your ears, these are all natural and manageable responses. These are also examples of positive stress or “eustress.” Without eustress, we wouldn’t be ambitious, motivated, or excited. These are all part of the ups in life that push us forward and shape our emotional development. 
 
Everyone experiences stress, and whether you’re experiencing it positively or negatively, stress can be taxing on your body and ultimately harmful to your long-term health. But your body is equipped to deal with the majority of your stress, so long as it’s acute. When your stress shifts from short-term to long-term however, this is called chronic stress. After a period of being chronically stressed, the body’s ability to return to homeostasis (its pre-stress state) becomes dulled. 

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When It’s Time to Walk Away

BY RACHEL WONG

Of all the relationships I’ve been in and the breakups that have followed, one in particular stands out as leaving the deepest scar.

Adrian* was everything that I had wanted in a guy: he was driven, motivated, intelligent,heart funny, and accepting of my flaws. But from previous relationships, I had learned a lot about myself and what I wanted, and the biggest lesson that stuck with me was to take things slow.

Both Adrian and I vocalized this concern to each other. We promised that we wouldn’t rush into anything because we wanted to take the time to get to know each other well before things got serious.

Needless to say, that didn’t end up happening. We both got caught up in the relationship quickly, falling head over heels before we could even remind ourselves of the agreement we had made to each other. I trusted him with my deepest and darkest secrets, and I was so certain that he was the one for me. We even made plans about our future together, from where we would study after high school to what countries we would visit once we saved enough money.

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