Take It From Me: Deleting Toxic People Is So Important

However, when you realize you’re stuck in a messy and bad relationship, it can be difficult to end things or escape.

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“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” – Robert Tew

This article was originally posted on The Odyssey on May 30, 2016.

Relationships can be tricky sometimes. When it’s good, it’s good, with problems that can be solved in a mature way and memories you’ll never want to forget. However, when you realize you’re stuck in a messy and bad relationship, it can be difficult to end things or escape. If you are confident in your self-worth and know attempting to fix something broken is a waste of time, this article probably does not apply to you. This article right here is for those who aren’t quite sure how to delete toxic people and break out of a toxic relationship. In this article, I will discuss my journey with toxic relationships, how I was able to escape them, and how others should go about deleting toxic people from their lives.

When I was a junior in high school, I became involved with a plethora of people that had all sorts of problems. I was that friend that everyone always went to for advice or to vent. I thought that this was a good thing at the time, and I thought it meant that people trusted me and depended on me. That is, until I realized that they were doing more than depending on me, but rather, leaning on me. They were latching onto me, asking me to fix their problems, not help them fix the problems by themselves. They were clinging to me for survival.

I began to feel very worn down all the time and feel extremely bad about myself. I entered what my parents thought was a phase, but was me feeling like I had let down every single person I had ever known. My friends would act happy and free when we would hang out, and the minute they went home, they would post something negative or dangerous online, which only gave me anxiety about their safety. I didn’t know where to turn. I thought telling my parents would be violating the trust bestowed upon me and asking for help from other friends would only betray those suffering. Any time that I had attempted to help a depressed friend, I felt like I was the only one trying to save them. If I didn’t succeed in making my friends smile or laugh, I thought that perhaps they would self-harm later and the blame would be on me, for not being good enough at helping them.

If I wasn’t able to succeed in “helping them,” I would instantly feel as though my self-worth was equal to zero. I felt as though I did not deserve to live because I could not even be there to help my friend who was on the verge of ending everything. I wasn’t trying to help them, simply because they weren’t asking for help. I was trying to fix them, to cure them, because they made me feel like I was the only one who possibly could. Those friends put me under a spell that I could not break, and so I fell into the negativity cycle that made me consider ending my own life.

Thankfully, I was able to overcome that consideration and realize that my life is valuable. I was lucky. I know others do not have the same luck that I do. Toxic people are like leeches; they will latch onto you and try to take you down with them. It’s not always intentional, and sometimes they are oblivious to the pain they put you through. While this explains the terrible way they treat you, it does not excuse it.

During this terrible year of high school, I was faced with several toxic relationships, that I dug a hole deeper into every time I was unable to fix a friend’s issues. Sometimes the separation you require from a toxic person is easy; sometimes all it takes is one last straw to be broken, and you decide that you are finished with all the negativity. Other times, it is excruciatingly difficult. Manipulative people will always try to rope you back into the situation, no matter how many times you try to leave. They will make you think that you are the problem and that everything is your fault. They will try and trick you into staying and continue to serve them. I am telling you now, right here, that you are not the problem.

Finally, I realized that I could not possibly help the toxic person and that they were beyond my help. We as people are not built to fix other people. We are built to hold other’s hands while others figure out how to fix themselves. We are built to support other people while they embark on the journey of recovery. Asking someone to be your only crutch in this world is not only selfish but harmful for both of you. Support systems should always be made up of more than one person. One person will not be able to handle the pressure, the overbearing anxiety, or the disappointment that often accompany recovery.

If you find yourself in a toxic relationship of any kind, whether it be a romantic or sexual relationship, a friendship, or literally any other kind of negative relationship, know that you are better than that, and you deserve better than that. Know that there are so many people willing to help you, and lend a hand. Remember that you are never alone, no matter how many times you fall down, fail, and don’t feel like getting back up again. You can get back up again, and you will.

I cannot tell you how difficult it was to cut off and delete all the toxic people in my life. I am going to be a sophomore in college and I am still in the process of it. Toxicity is sneaky, it will hide behind the nicest smile, the most soothing hug. The minute you start feeling like you are the only one responsible for someone else’s life, mental health, and safety, is the minute you need to wake up and realize that you are not in a healthy relationship.

All relationships should maintain positivity, happiness and love. Even through all the bad stuff, you should never have the fear of having someone’s blood on your hands for something you could not possibly fix. Mental illness does not disappear with love. Mental illness is something that needs to be survived by an entire team of people, supporting and encouraging baby steps of success. Toxic people often bloom under the duress of their mental illness and tend not to operate under the love and positivity aspects one would usually expect from a healthy relationship.

Sometimes it is not their fault, and like I said, they are not always aware. Remember that if you are unable to handle someone’s mental illness and the anxiety of the whole situation, you are not a failure or a quitter. Mental illness is hard, and if it begins to affect you negatively, you know it is time to leave. The other person may hate you for leaving. They may not understand, and they may try to put you down in any such way that they can. If this is the case, just hope that one day they understand why you left. If you find yourself bereft of hope, remember that you did not give up, you just let go.

While the deletion of toxic people is a long and emotional process, the aftertaste of freedom is amazing. The weight that will be lifted off of your shoulders will be extreme. You may not know who you truly are without that toxic person and you may get lost finding your way back to yourself, and that is absolutely OK. There are many bad people out there in this world, but believe me when I say that there are so many, if not more, good people out there as well. You deserve to be free, happy and healthy.

If you feel that you are anxious or depressed as I once felt, I encourage you to reach out to someone for help. Just as that toxic person should not have depended solely on you, you should not depend solely on yourself or another. Life is precious, and we were all put on this Earth for a reason. I believe that we were all put on this Earth to change the world in some way, shape, or form. Whether it be on a large scale, or simply changing someone’s world, you are here to make a change, so before you think about ending your life, remember that there is an entire world out there with an infinite amount of possibilities willing to help you make that change. Remember to put yourself first. You deserve it.

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‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ — Cute or Boot?

The Bennet sisters are equally as feisty as the original, but essentially more badass.

A review of the new adaptation of Jane Austen’s love story.

Originally published on The Odyssey on May 24, 2016.

Everyone loves a good love story, and if you’re a fan of Jane Austen, she often delivers when it comes to such a story line. The original “Pride and Prejudice'” narrates the charming love stories of two Bennet sisters who find perfect husbands in the most roundabout ways. Jane Bennet is acquainted with the wealthy and charming Charles Bingley early in the novel, while her sister, Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Bennett finds herself annoyed and revolted by the ever-present and gloomy Fitzwilliam Darcy. The movie adaptation was just as lovely as the book, too.

What could be more perfect than curling up with a blanket, hot tea, and “Pride and Prejudice?” Doing just that, of course! The movie, also based on the novel by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, was released in February of this year and has already made over 16 million dollars at the box office. Though the name of the film suggests gore and filth, there is nearly no blood shown at all.

The suspense-filled movie can be described as gruesome, but also incredibly awesome. The Bennet sisters are equally as feisty as the original, but essentially more badass. Instead of fighting over ribbons and stumbling over words, they now sharpen their knives, polish their guns, and slay zombies like there is no tomorrow. Mr. Bingley, is perhaps still the awkward young man he was before, but now has military experience and Mr. Darcy is a colonel and expert zombie hunter.

The movie stars Lily James, the newest princess in the most recent version of “Cinderella,” who plays Elizabeth, Sam Wiley, who starred in “Maleficient” as Diaval, debuts as Mr. Darcy, and Matt Smith, who joins us from the “Doctor Who” series, portrays Parson Collins. The rest of the cast is filled with equally as talented actors and actresses, including Douglas Booth (Mr. Bingley), Lena Headey (Lady Catherine), Bella Heathcote (Jane) and Emma Greenwell (Caroline Bingley). It was also directed by Burr Steers, who directed “Charlie St. Cloud,” and “17 Again.”

Fans of the novel may feel some hesitancy or perhaps disgust when regarding this movie. However, I am an extreme “Pride and Prejudice” fan and I absolutely adored this rendition of the story. Every story has the capacity to be recreated and reborn, and while it may seem that this adaptation should be watched in irony at best, I assure you it is worth giving a chance. If you adore the original novel and film for the beauty in detail, characterization, and romantic plot, you will be pleased to know that the zombie version also pays close attention to these traits. However, if you were pleased with the original’s peacefulness, tradition, and historical resemblance, you may want to avoid this rendition.

When I first heard about this movie, I was also extremely hesitant. Some masterpieces should not be recreated, just in case they are butchered in the process. When buying tickets for this movie, I mostly intended to watch it ironically. I expected the absolute worst and found that I had misjudged the movie entirely. The acting is not incredible, and Elizabeth Bennet mumbles quite a bit, but I believe that adaptations such as these should be able to stand alone if needed, and this film certainly has the ability to. I absolutely recommend reading and watching the original “Pride and Prejudice,” but if you have an open mind and feel like opening the door to a slightly more action-induced rendition, you are sure to enjoy the zombie edition of this beloved story.

In my experience so far, I have only read good and intrigued reviews regarding this new film. At the very least, people were surprised whilst watching, and encourage other viewers to take a chance. While it is definitely a little creepy and veers off from the original story line, it is still witty, funny, and different. If you’ve seen this movie and enjoyed it, prepared to be excited. Steve Hockensmith, who wrote the prequel for the zombie adaptation, has also written a sequel, titled “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After.” The title alone secures an interesting plot, to say the least. Though there have been many rumors, director Burr Steers says there is no sequel in the making at the moment, though he would jump at the idea if requested. I hereby declare this film to be cute.

To All The Seniors That Have Inspired Me

To all the seniors, past and present, that have inspired me: Thank you.

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” –Voltaire

Originally posted on The Odyssey on May 2, 2016

Having an older brother has always given me the opportunity to have an interesting perspective on age and the different ages of the people that surround you. While I dealt with my melodramatic troubles in middle school, like most seventh-grade girls my age, I remember hearing my brother talk about all the great people, mostly his peers, in the school who had really made an impact on his time there. I remember envying him for his experiences and wishing that I were in high school too.

When I finally became a freshman, I tried to make friends with as many different people as I could. I found myself talking to new freshmen, sophomores I had known from middle school and even my brother’s friends who had not graduated yet. While I realized that I was at the bottom of the food chain and had little to no meaning in the upperclassmen’s lives, I was still very aware of the seniors who presided over me in the different clubs I had joined. I saw them as leaders, role models and generally people whom I would look up to in the future.

Those seniors would become my mentors, my peers and would play a role in some of my favorite memories from high school. Being very active in both theater and the literary magazine, these students became the ideal that I would strive for as I grew older. I remember thinking to myself, Wow, I can’t wait to be just like them. As cheesy as it sounds, I wanted to make a difference in other students’ lives as they had in mine. They inspired me to take that extra step and become a member of something that transcended the idea of leadership.

My senior year of high school, I was able to stand in the shoes of those leaders and hope that I had influenced underclassmen as the seniors had once influenced me. Becoming a leader and mentor was never about leaving behind a title, name or legacy, but instead a family. As my freshman year of college comes to an end, I find myself recognizing the amazing upperclassmen I have been granted the opportunity to work with this year alone. In what seems like a few short months, I have learned so many new things and have gained so many amazing friends just from the events that I have participated in with these students. Between a literary magazine and theater, once again, I have had the pleasure to meet some influential people. I can only hope to be as accomplished and significant as the seniors I have met this year. I cannot wait to see each and every one of you change the world.

To all the seniors, past and present, that have inspired me: Thank you.