Tag Archives: pain

Hazel Eyes

The touch, the feel,

The heat, the sweat.

A hand running along the hip,

Feeling of rose petal lips against the heart.

 

Dark, spiraled hair of ebony,

The golden-green hazel eyes framed so well.

The soft, pale pink lips,

Often mistaken for a cloud.

hazel-eyes
“Those hazel eyes see horror and pain.” Photo from: www.muscledudelife.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those hazel eyes see horror and pain.

Her pale lips are lowered.

These curls hide the face of a girl.

 

Those who passed her over,

Who didn’t bother to look beyond her skin,

Far too self-centered to see the damage,

Unable to see the women she would become.

The broken heart syndrome phenomenon

According to Time magazine, an immense amount of research has shown that a death or the loss of a person close to you can not only break your heart metaphorically, but it can also cause physical damage that can lead to serious heart problems.

A new study published by Dr. Simon Graff finds that people who experience a partner dying are a much higher risk for atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, and the effects are life-long.

Having a broken heart is more than just a metaphor. Graphic from Pinterest
Having a broken heart is more than just a metaphor. Graphic from Pinterest

For many years, researchers have studied the phenomena of the broken heart syndrome, or stress cardiomyopathy. This occurs when a highly stressful event, such as the death of a spouse, results in a person feeling like they’re having a heart attack. The symptoms include the same ones that occur when having a heart attack: shortness of breath and chest pain.

When an emotional event happens, researches suspect a surge of stress hormones are released which cause this feeling of having a heart attack.

Researchers looked at citizens in Denmark who were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Out of the 88, 600 people, 41 percent of them who lost a partner were more likely to develop atrial fibrillation within the first month of their partner’s death compared to those who hadn’t lost anyone. The researchers also discovered that the risk is higher in younger people, especially when a partner as died suddenly or unexpectedly.

A cardiologist at New York University Langone Medical Center, Harmony Reynolds, states that “We can’t stop stressful situations from coming up in our lives but there may be ways to change the way stress affects our bodies.” She says regular exercise, things like yoga, meditation, and even deep breathing can increase the parasympathetic nervous system which increase our body’s ability to handle stress. However, these activities won’t be able to reduce the risk completely.

This study, as large and somewhat thorough as it is, can’t completely confirm that the feelings of grief or loss are directly related to atrial fibrillation. “Right now our work can only point to an association, but we hope to help make a shift in society’s mindset—that a time of grief is not only a mental state but maybe also physical,” says Graff, the author of the study.

Addiction: Tattoo addition

Are tattoos an addiction? Well my friends, in my opinion, yes they are. The second I received my first tattoo, I knew it was downhill from there. I don’t know if it’s something about biology, or mentality, that the pain of getting tattoos is addicting or if it’s the process of getting new things, but, for me, getting a new tattoo is something that I always want, no matter how recent my last tattoo was.

I got my first tattoo when I was 16. My mom signed for it and ended up getting a matching one. It’s on my ribs and says “let it be” with birds flying up my ribcage. I still remember the feeling I had before I got it, while I was being tattooed, and after I was done. It’s truly nothing like I’ve ever experienced. It hurts, of course, but it’s almost like a good hurt, like a feeling that it’s kind of uncomfortable but also enjoyable. It only took about 30 minutes but I remember looking at it, after it was finished, and feeling so happy. My body felt somewhat relieved, while also in a state of shock I think, but I immediately wanted another one.

About three months later, I got my next tattoo. It’s script on my right bicep that says “the mirror often lies.” That one hurt a bit more than the first one, but I loved it so much and I felt a rush of adrenaline afterwards, like I could do anything I wanted to and I would never get hurt. I felt invincible.

getting a tattoo
“Are tattoos an addiction? Well my friends, in my opinion, yes they are.”

My next tattoo was three months after that and it was much bigger than the first two. I remember thinking that this tattoo had to be epic, it had to be large and beautiful enough to last me for a longer period of time without dying to get another tattoo. I got a colored rose on my left shoulder. It took about three hours to do, and I almost passed out from the pain. It was pretty horrendous. Even still, I remember, when it was all said and done, that I was immediately thinking about my next tattoo, what it would be and where I would get it. After every tattoo, my mom would say “no more okay? At least not for a while,” and every time I would say “yeah mom, I agree. I should probably wait.” I genuinely meant it at the time, but the tattoo hook is so far in me that I can’t stop wanting more.

My next tattoo was even bigger than the rest. It’s on my left arm and it’s a sugar skull girl. She’s almost the length of my upper arm and covers the entire front of my arm. That tattoo took about nine hours, including the prep time. The weird thing is, this tattoo didn’t hurt as badly as I thought it would and think it was because I had waiting so long between tattoos, that my body was craving the feeling.

My most recent tattoo is on my left bicep and wraps all the way around. It completed my half sleeve and I feel very badass. At the moment, however, I’m dying to get another one. It’s been about two months since my last one and I can’t wait any longer. I need it and I will make it happen, for my body’s sake and for the mental health of everyone around me.

Misconceptions about love

Love can mean so many things to so many people. It has a different definition for every situation. It can mean “I care about you, deeply” or “You are my one and only” or even “You are my best friend and I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

However, many people think love is the almighty power, that it can heal a broken heart and cure all pain in the world. This is a misconception. Love isn’t suppose to complete you or fill the void of self-loathing. It isn’t suppose to tell you your worth or how you value yourself.

Love is suppose to be something extra to enhance your life, not be the sole reason for your happiness. It allows you to share your life with another person, to tell them about the success you are having or even the hardship you are dealing with. Love should be the icing on the cake, not the ingredients.

One of the most common things I hear among my friends is “why can’t someone just love me? Everything would be so much better if I had someone to love me.”

First of all, one person cannot be the solution to all of life’s problems. Why would the love of somebody else make everything in life better? I feel as though if you need to love and affection of someone else to make you happy, then you are lacking in self-love and need to take a step back and find the strength in you to love yourself.

No one should feel like they need to depend on someone else to feel love because who knows how long that person will be in your life and when they’re gone, what will you be left with?

"[Y]ou don’t need to find your other half because you aren’t a half to begin with." Image from someecards.com
“[Y]ou don’t need to find your other half because you aren’t a half to begin with.” Image from someecards.com
Another phrase I hear frequently from my friends is “I want to find my other half, someone to complete me.” What I have to say to this is, you don’t need to find your other half because you aren’t a half to begin with. You are a whole person who can depend on yourself and love yourself. You are a complete person. You are not broken. There is nothing wrong with wanting another person to share your life with, to come home to and love with all that you are. But making another person your sole person in life and the only reason you can find your self-worth isn’t healthy.

Self-love should come first before you find another person to share your love with. There needs to be enough to go around.

Love can be life-changing, miraculous, and beautiful all at the same time. It can make you a better person, a happier person, but love should come from everywhere, not from one single person. Remember who you are and what you stand for before allowing yourself to share that with someone else.

Say yes to tattoos

Tattoos or no tattoos– that is the question. For some, getting a tattoo is a big decision. You have to choose what to get, where to get it, if it really means that much to you, and so on and so forth. For others, it isn’t as big of a deal. They don’t need a specific reason for getting a tattoo or care as much of where. They see their body as a canvas, creating art through images and script lining their body. That type of person is me.

I love tattoos and the way they look on my body. Some people disagree, but I believe tattooing is an art and everyone should get one.

Despite that fact that I believe anyone can get a tattoo for any reason, picking the right tattoo artist is very important. Having a tattoo artist who doesn’t have much experience or someone who doesn’t take pride in their work is someone who you shouldn’t associate yourself with.

Just like drawing or painting, passion is a characteristic that every tattoo artist should have. If someone doesn’t enjoy what they are creating, more than likely they won’t put 100 percent into the tattoo that you want, making it less likely to look good.

my tattoo
Image from Ana Frederick

Experience is equally as important as passion. If someone only has a year or two of tattooing under their belt, they most likely haven’t learned all the techniques and skills that someone with ten years of tattoo experience has. Experience also allows for understanding what places on the body are most sensitive, making it easier for them to know how to treat more sensitive parts of the body.

If a tattoo artist hasn’t been practicing for very long, then they haven’t drawn many tattoos in general. Would you want someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing to put needles in your body in hopes that the tattoo comes out correctly? I know I wouldn’t.

The number one tattoo parlor I recommend is Seventh Sin Tattoo. They are located in Charlotte, North Carolina and have the best and most experienced tattoo artists around. I know that Charlotte is somewhat far away, but the drive is worth the talent these artists have. I have gotten all four of my tattoos done by Chris Toler, and I would never dream of going to anyone else.

If you are one of the people who needs to think about getting a tattoo for a long time, then please do.  Don’t rush yourself into something that you’ll have for the rest of your life.

If you do end up wanting one, find the right artist for you. It’s amazing what an impact finding the right person can have. Tattoos can make or break a person, so take your time, go out there and make the right decision for you.

Aspirin cures cancer?

People around the world use Aspirin in their daily lives, whether it’s to treat fevers, inflammation, arthritis, or just general pain.

New studies would like to add to that list. Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands ran a multitude of tests on those with gastrointestinal and colon cancer and found that taking Aspirin after cancer treatment often increased survivability of the individual.

Through rigorous testing post-diagnosis, Aspirin users were twice as likely to survive gastrointestinal cancer than those who didn’t take the drug.

What is unique about this number is that it was determined after taking into account confounding variables such as age, sex, cancer stage, and form of cancer treatment.

Dr. Frouws, the head of research behind this project, came forth stating that he wants to change the medicinal formula that we as a nation have come to accept. The formula we currently have is that medicine should be personalized, which leads to an extreme increase in price and a decrease in effectiveness over the general population.

Dr. Frouws thinks that we need to reverse this idea and instead of personalizing medicine, we need to take a step toward the generalization of medicine.

image1 (2)
Photo By: Danielle Johnson

The benefit of a cheap, well established, and over-the-counter drug such as Aspirin is the key to treating the masses. It’s because that Aspirin isn’t a personalized drug, it can treat a larger group of people all while focusing in on the treatment of a select individual.  

In today’s modern economy where the number of middle class citizens increases daily, this is a step in the right direction. There has to be a trust between government grade pharmaceuticals and the citizens of the country or infrastructure begins to falter. We see people on the news like Martin Shkreli, who bought out Turing Pharmaceuticals and raised the price of the drug Daraprim (a drug used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis) from $13.50 to $750, receiving colossal backlash from the general population. We as a nation can’t have people doing that because it breaks the bridge that took years to set up which is why this study done by the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands is so vital to the progression of medicinal science.

Highlanders Anonymous: Aches and pains

“Why does my back always hurt?”

Sometimes your back aches because of bad posture. This can be caused by slouching during the day and while you walk. That same pain can be caused by the positions you sleep in each night. Back pain is basically inevitable, if you want to deal with it, here are some quick tips:

  1. Be more mindful of your posture when you walk and sit.
  2. Do some research and find back stretches that can relieve your pain.
  3. When doing any heavy lifting, lift from your knees, not your back.
  4. Make sure to sleep in positions that do not put weight and stress on your spine.

“One of my friends keeps posting things on my Facebook through my own account when I leave my phone on the table. It really drives me crazy! How can I get them to stop?”

If it’s a true friend, they’ll respect your wishes for them to stop if you simply ask. If you’re still getting to know them, or don’t want to confront them, don’t leave your phone lying around. That’s probably good advice for any time. Our phones have lots of sensitive information on them, like your bank passwords, email passwords, and often private conversations between you and others via social media, just like Facebook.

“My feet hurt a lot after work! How can I make it easier on my feet?”

In active jobs like waitressing or even retail, you are often running around to get things done or standing for hours upon hours each workday. To soothe your feet after a long day, I’d suggest a foot rub and a soak in the tub. If these options aren’t enough, I’d suggest getting insoles from a local pharmacy or Walmart.

High heels can also crush your toes and cause blisters and aches in your feet. The shoe you choose to wear will also determine the shape of your feet at the end of the day! Standing in one place for long periods of time can also cause back and feet aches. If you are able to find time to stretch sometime during your work, that can go a long way. You could even try doing it during your break.

 

The leading killer is ourselves

Many RU students probably noticed a heartbreaking email (if nothing else) indicating the loss of Kristin Greene due to suicide on Oct. 22. Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.

The most common cause of suicide is untreated depression; other health problems (such as mental illness, physical pain, or substance abuse) can be a factor. Although 1 in 7 Americans are affected by depression and 1 in 5 college students express their depression level is higher than they’d like, less than 10% say that they have or would seek treatment.

DSC_0062
“Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.” Photo by: Danielle Johnson

Up to half of those who complete suicide have previously attempted it before and males are 75% more likely to die by suicide than females. Statistics show that race and ethnicity play a large role in American suicide rates with Whites being most likely at about 14% of suicides, Native Americans coming in second at about 10%, and other minorities following with only half the statistical likelihood.

While significant research on suicide is available, the warning signs can be hard to see. These signs include talking about suicide or feelings of being trapped, being in pain, or being a burden to others. The person’s behavior may change to include substance abuse, acting recklessly, researching suicide methods, withdrawing from activities and relationships, aggression, giving away possessions or saying goodbye, and abnormal sleep patterns (such as sleeping too much or too little). Anxiety can often be a major cause or symptom of depression and suicidal thoughts. While this may not be as easy to distinguish from stress, it should be taken seriously and dealt with properly in any capacity.

Additionally, it should be noted that those who have had a history of suicide in their family are more likely to be at risk. Those who have lost someone to suicide (no matter the relationship) should also be monitored for suicide warning signs as they too are more likely to consider killing themselves.

In college students, specific signs to look out for are those individuals who are normally good students but suddenly do not complete their work or show up to classes. Friends who suddenly withdraw from regular social activities and relationships, or those students who never had many friends to begin with, are at a higher risk of depression and suicide. Significant changes in weight, diet, or exercise can indicate depression, and those in abusive relationships (whether with family, friends, or a significant other) are at a higher risk.

If you witness any of these signs or feel concerned about another student’s state of mind, don’t take it lightly. Ask them how they are and be a good listener if they choose to open up to you. What a person considering suicide needs more than being talked out of  acting on feelings of self-harm is to have their feelings heard.

If you are concerned, RU urges you to follow these guidelines in order to provide the most effective help:

  •    DO listen and offer support in a non-judgmental way
  •    DO help the person explore feelings
  •    DO widen options and explore alternatives for problem solving
  •    DO ask direct questions about the person’s intentions; ask if the person is considering suicide
  •    DO communicate your concern for the person’s well-being
  •    DO recommend that the person contact a mental health professional
  •    DO call a professional yourself and offer to accompany the person to an initial appointment
  •    DO call the police if you believe the risk of suicide is immediate
  •    DON’T say “everything will be alright”
  •    DON’T dare the person to “do it”
  •    DON’T tell the person about someone who “has it worse”
  •    DON’T promise secrecy to the suicidal person
  •    DON’T leave the person alone if you believe the risk of suicide is imminent

Above all, don’t blame yourself for missing signs in a friend or family member who completes suicide. It isn’t about you or what you could or couldn’t have done. The bottom line is that suicide is usually a symptom of an emotional illness which a person was unable to find suitable treatment for. A person needs to want help in order to receive it.

For more resources on- and off-campus you can reach out to several organizations:

Student Counseling Services are open to any student and sessions are free. You can call 831-5226 to set up an appointment or find them in person to schedule or commit to a walk-in appointment by seeing them in the lower level of Tyler Hall.

Additionally, the following campus departments are willing to assist students in concerns for themselves or others:

  •    The Student Health Center, 831-5111
  •    The Dean of Students Office, 831-6297
  •    The Radford University Police, 831-5500

Finally, if you think someone is in immediate danger of self-harm or harm to others, do not hesitate to call 911 and report it.

The leading killer is ourselves

Many RU students probably noticed a heartbreaking email (if nothing else) indicating the loss of Kristin Greene due to suicide on Oct. 22. Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.

The most common cause of suicide is untreated depression; other health problems (such as mental illness, physical pain, or substance abuse) can be a factor. Although 1 in 7 Americans are affected by depression and 1 in 5 college students express their depression level is higher than they’d like, less than 10% say that they have or would seek treatment.

DSC_0062
“Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.” Photo by: Danielle Johnson

Up to half of those who complete suicide have previously attempted it before and males are 75% more likely to die by suicide than females. Statistics show that race and ethnicity play a large role in American suicide rates with Whites being most likely at about 14% of suicides, Native Americans coming in second at about 10%, and other minorities following with only half the statistical likelihood.

While significant research on suicide is available, the warning signs can be hard to see. These signs include talking about suicide or feelings of being trapped, being in pain, or being a burden to others. The person’s behavior may change to include substance abuse, acting recklessly, researching suicide methods, withdrawing from activities and relationships, aggression, giving away possessions or saying goodbye, and abnormal sleep patterns (such as sleeping too much or too little). Anxiety can often be a major cause or symptom of depression and suicidal thoughts. While this may not be as easy to distinguish from stress, it should be taken seriously and dealt with properly in any capacity.

Additionally, it should be noted that those who have had a history of suicide in their family are more likely to be at risk. Those who have lost someone to suicide (no matter the relationship) should also be monitored for suicide warning signs as they too are more likely to consider killing themselves.

In college students, specific signs to look out for are those individuals who are normally good students but suddenly do not complete their work or show up to classes. Friends who suddenly withdraw from regular social activities and relationships, or those students who never had many friends to begin with, are at a higher risk of depression and suicide. Significant changes in weight, diet, or exercise can indicate depression, and those in abusive relationships (whether with family, friends, or a significant other) are at a higher risk.

If you witness any of these signs or feel concerned about another student’s state of mind, don’t take it lightly. Ask them how they are and be a good listener if they choose to open up to you. What a person considering suicide needs more than being talked out of  acting on feelings of self-harm is to have their feelings heard.

If you are concerned, RU urges you to follow these guidelines in order to provide the most effective help:

  •    DO listen and offer support in a non-judgmental way
  •    DO help the person explore feelings
  •    DO widen options and explore alternatives for problem solving
  •    DO ask direct questions about the person’s intentions; ask if the person is considering suicide
  •    DO communicate your concern for the person’s well-being
  •    DO recommend that the person contact a mental health professional
  •    DO call a professional yourself and offer to accompany the person to an initial appointment
  •    DO call the police if you believe the risk of suicide is immediate
  •    DON’T say “everything will be alright”
  •    DON’T dare the person to “do it”
  •    DON’T tell the person about someone who “has it worse”
  •    DON’T promise secrecy to the suicidal person
  •    DON’T leave the person alone if you believe the risk of suicide is imminent

Above all, don’t blame yourself for missing signs in a friend or family member who completes suicide. It isn’t about you or what you could or couldn’t have done. The bottom line is that suicide is usually a symptom of an emotional illness which a person was unable to find suitable treatment for. A person needs to want help in order to receive it.

For more resources on- and off-campus you can reach out to several organizations:

Student Counseling Services are open to any student and sessions are free. You can call 831-5226 to set up an appointment or find them in person to schedule or commit to a walk-in appointment by seeing them in the lower level of Tyler Hall.

Additionally, the following campus departments are willing to assist students in concerns for themselves or others:

  •    The Student Health Center, 831-5111
  •    The Dean of Students Office, 831-6297
  •    The Radford University Police, 831-5500

Finally, if you think someone is in immediate danger of self-harm or harm to others, do not hesitate to call 911 and report it.

Addictive Love

Laughter floats in the air

The warmth of skin radiating under finger tips

The soft caress of lips

Words unspoken

Feelings exposed

Addictive bliss

In the moment

A snapshot in time

Never to be rewritten

Wallflower
“The snap shot is tattooed on our hearts Forever wishing for the past.”

 

I hear the whispers trickle down the hour glass

I feel the slice of every invective word

Your unsheathed anger

A storm never passing

Emotions always swirling

Confusion

Self blame

Pain

 

The winds slow

The hour glass stills

Frozen in time

A snapshot from the past

Salt streams formed from regret and guilt

A villian’s plea for redemption

Like an addiction to a drug

Unable to see the truth

 

The eye has past

The cycle continues

Happiness 

Pain

Love

Indifference

An insatiable craving

The relentless storm rages on

But

The snapshot is tattooed on our hearts

Forever wishing for the past