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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My Struggle with the Freshman 15

BY RACHEL WONG

This semester, I exposed myself – quite literally – in one of the most personal pieces that I have ever written for my student paper. The paper is circulated widely throughout each of Simon Fraser University’s three campuses, and has a massive online presence as well. In the article, I came clean about my unhealthy struggles trying to avoid putting on weight in my first year of college. As post-secondary students, we always joke around about the infamous freshman 15 – pigging out to no end and having a terrible time managing our weight due to stress eating and a lack of time to cook or do adequate exercise. Though the term is often used lightly, in my case, the freshman 15 was ultimately what pushed me to developing an eating disorder. 400300p2999ednmain1840avoid-the-freshman-15.jpg

I was never really happy with my body at any point in my life. Looking at old photo albums would make me cringe at terrible fashion choices, chubby cheeks and a core section that I didn’t hide very well. Puberty was good to me I guess, as I had stretched out (and have since stopped at the ginormous height of 5’2″), gained some pretty reasonable sized breasts, and developed somewhat nice hips.

But I lamented day and night that I wasn’t skinny enough. This was my struggle all throughout high school – I wanted to be skinny, but I didn’t want to give up my eating habits or my relationship with the couch and the TV. My only real activity was gym class and running late to class.

Then senior year rolled around, and I reminded myself that at the end of it all, I had to be in front of all my peers in some sexy dress that made me look like a princess. So at the beginning of my senior year, I made it my goal to slim down by any means – even if it meant cutting back on some junk food, eating more healthy meals and actually taking physical activity seriously.

Throughout high school I had fluctuated between 110 and 120 pounds. By the night of my graduation, I was 105 pounds. 18 years old, 5’2″, and 105 pounds.

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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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The Power of Movement Returns to Toronto on March 6

BY ZAKIYA KASSAM

On Sunday, March 6th, the Power of Movement returns to Toronto. The Power of Movement is Canada’s largest yoga fundraiser, benefiting 4.6 million Canadians living
with arthritis and autoimmune illnesses. Proceeds from this event will go towards
 the Arthritis Research Foundation. 
 
Since this event aims to bolster awareness, let’s be aware! So what is an autoimmune disease? autoimmune-01.png
 
There are more than eighty known types of autoimmune diseases, which can affect almost any organ, gland, muscle, or nerve in the body – regardless of age or gender. When you have an autoimmune disorder, your body’s immune system is essentially attacking and destroying healthy body tissue by mistake. These illnesses often present themselves in ways that are non-specific and as a result, go unnoticed or untreated. Autoimmune disorders have become one of the leading causes of death and disability in the Western world. 

Anxiety – The Aftermath

BY BRANDON MINIA

Now that a year has passed since my experience with emotional abuse, I’m still rattled at just how bad the fallout can get. It still feels surreal no matter how long it’s been. And five years down the road, I’ll probably still be thinking the same thing.

My anxiety reached its fever pitch last week, hitting all-time high levels for the first timeimages
in a while. An unanswered text can leave me nervous. An accident that displeased a friend can follow me for a long time. Asking to see a person has never been so frightening.

I know exactly what causes me to experience these spells of anxiety. No one forgets being chastised for asking to hang out when the other person is tired. It’s impossible to forget the feeling of humiliation when someone turns your feelings of anger around so that you look like the bad person, despite the fact that your anger is very well justified. No one forgets being violently pressed into believing that you were overthinking something that you were right about all along about…

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