This year has been one that I will remember fondly. It began with a bang, drunk out of my mind with my high school friends that I vaguely remembered while actually in college. I was always too consumed with my studies or some boyfriend, and eventually work, to actually pay attention to the people around me. So I met a lot of new people that night and eventually ended up falling asleep on the couch (from too much liquor, of course). I found my phone the next morning hiding in my girlfriends dresser drawer, and quickly ran back to my bed.
A couple of days prior to 2013, I had made 2 lists, one of substantial things that I wanted to accomplish, like to be on dean’s list in the spring and fall, join every scholar greek affiliation that I could, lose 25 pounds, run a marathon, stop smoking, etc.
And then there was another list of things that I wanted to do, but it was stuff that I wanted to do for myself that I couldn’t prove to anyone else: find God, learn to love myself, get happy. This was the portion that I wrote for fun, just to see it written down on paper.
I have long suffered from depression and social anxiety, which are both mental illness that run on both sides of my family. I have dealt with these things since I was a child, like when I would get stomach aches before I went to school because I did not want to be around other people, and I was too upset to be happy. I would always somehow get over it, but the symptoms would worsen as I would involved with boys or have substantial relationships with friends and I would feel betrayed. It was often my own personal insecurities that led me into some sort of spiral to a point where I was out of control, but nonetheless, it would often happen.
2012 was a year where I felt depressed, constantly. It began almost as soon as the clock struck twelve on January 1st, 2012. In December, I had been sexually assaulted and date raped, and neither were the first experiences of either of these things. I felt pretty worthless, especially with how often I was sleeping with some guy who had a girlfriend who was in love with him. So I just kept drinking, and kept experiencing the same type of emptiness that comes with not having any true friends that actually care about you, and the loneliness that inevitably comes with being depressed. I eventually found myself in a relationship, which helped mask a lot of the problems that were building up inside of me. So when it ended, my heart and brain began colliding and I could not control my emotions, which led to a suicide attempt and losing almost every friend I had because they did not know how to handle my reactions. Thankfully it did, because now I know who really are my friends.
So my list for 2013 began, and I had a list at hand. I ran a 5k on January 2nd with my mom and her girlfriend, and applied for a few different greek societies. I was accepted and went to a couple of meetings. I was ebbing along, thinking that I was accomplishing all of these “goals” that I had put forth for myself. But it wasn’t until April, when I felt as if I had lost everyone, that I really made changes in my life.
I had gotten into a fight with one of my girlfriends, my best friend at the time, over my ex boyfriend and rumors that were being spread about me. I confronted another girl, and in the process made a terrible mess of emotions and relationships. I lost all control, hyperventilating, crying hysterically, when I made the decision to call a long time friend of mine. He answered, which I was not expecting, and I fell weak into the phone as I began explaining to him everything. I told him that I didn’t know what to do; that I felt numb. I needed something, someone, to make me feel better. I was at the breaking point of my emotions and I hurt so much, that I didn’t know what to do.
He quietly listened to everything I had to say, and finally said, “Mary - firstly, I need to tell you that I am happy you felt comfortable calling me about this. Secondly, you’re way better than this.” I stopped weeping a bit to listen to more he had to say. “You have so much going for you, you are such a caring, loving person, and you do not need to be dealing with this. God, and I do not want to preach, but God is giving you these challenges to let you know that He loves you, and that you will overcome this. He does not give challenges to people that He does not feel are able to handle.”
I was quiet. I had never heard someone be so genuine to me, and say all of these nice things to me, and then tell me everything was going to be okay. He accepted my feelings, but he also let me know that God was there. He was letting these things happen because He loved me enough to let me experience this type of heartbreak.
We talked for a while longer before we hung up, but after that conversation I began to find myself in God, and through that process I found myself. I began to love and accept myself for all of the terrible things that I had done, and I forgave all of the people that had done terrible things in my life. I learned to love again. I learned to be happy again.
I found my 2013 “To-Do” list a few weeks ago, and was looking at all of the empty boxes that had been left unchecked. I never re-read the Harry Potter series like I had hoped, and I never ran a marathon. But then I looked at the bottom, the section I had labeled “Soul” and I realized that although I had not lost 20 pounds and got a 4.0 last semester, that I had truly had a year full of accomplishments.
I traveled the Caribbean with my amazing family. I met new people that drastically changed my life from a simple conversation, and was never given the opportunity to learn their name. I hiked mountains in Colorado with a dear friend. I often stepped outside of my comfort zone. I fell in love with a person on a level I never thought I could. I found a woman that I can call a best friend, and a girl I plan to have in my bridal party. I found my voice again, and learned to stand up for myself when I felt like I was being put down. I accepted my flaws, and I gained confidence that I never had before. And most importantly, I found God again. And that has been the most amazing experience that I have had.
Sound therapists and Manchester band Marconi Union compiled the song. Scientists played it to 40 women and found it to be more effective at helping them relax than songs by Enya, Mozart and Coldplay.
Weightless works by using specific rhythms, tones, frequencies and intervals to relax the listener. A continuous rhythm of 60 BPM causes the brainwaves and heart rate to synchronise with the rhythm: a process known as ‘entrainment’. Low underlying bass tones relax the listener and a low whooshing sound with a trance-like quality takes the listener into an even deeper state of calm.
Dr David Lewis, one of the UK’s leading stress specialists said: “‘Weightless’ induced the greatest relaxation – higher than any of the other music tested. Brain imaging studies have shown that music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions.”
The study - commissioned by bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa - found the song was even more relaxing than a massage, walk or cup of tea. So relaxing is the tune, apparently, that people are being Rex advised against listening to it while driving.
The top 10 most relaxing tunes were: 1. Marconi Union - Weightless 2. Airstream - Electra 3. DJ Shah - Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix) 4. Enya - Watermark 5. Coldplay - Strawberry Swing 6. Barcelona - Please Don’t Go 7. All Saints - Pure Shores 8. AdelevSomeone Like You 9. Mozart - Canzonetta Sull’aria 10. Cafe Del Mar - We Can Fly
my muscles stopped functioning
I was so relieved this wasn’t a trick. Very soothing.
I found something on my facebook that I wrote several years ago
And I’m actually really impressed with my writing abilities/my wisdom. It was just a facade, because I am obviously still growing as a person, but I was still very enlightened by myself.
”going to instill some wisdom into you children:
1) Love is not a hallmark greeting card, nor a relationship full of arguments - it is comfort, it is understanding, it is compassion, it is forgiveness, it is warm.
2) If someone never loved you, they will more than likely never turn around and wish they had.
3) You are more important than any other boy/girl in the world, and the only true people that you should care about are your friends. If someone breaks up with you, hurts you, cheats on you, etc… well, screw them. Don’t try to miss them.
4) Do not chase after something which will never be there for you. If you need to beg them to love you, obviously they’re someone not worth begging for. 5) Finally, if they leave you, do not go back. Even though the distance is clearer traveling home than traveling away, the travel is overall rewarding.”