February 8, 2013

The Effects Of Labeling

“Labels are meant for soup cans, not people.” For most people, this is where their troubles start. Parents are calling their children, “stupid,” “pigs,” or saying “why can’t you do anything right?” Students at school are telling each other that they are fat, ugly, or attention seekers. We can’t get away from labeling. What happened to if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?

We don’t have any idea how badly words like these affect us. Sometimes you cannot see the pain you leave on someone. For some people, it can be brushed off easily; others take it to heart and store it in our brains. We can remember who said what and when they said it, even if it happened years ago.

It is hard to forget that someone called me fat in 7th grade, even though I was nowhere close to hitting my weight range. That I was told I was a disease in 5th grade. Or that even just last semester a girl told me I should have killed myself. I will never forget what you say to me. It hurts being told all these things and given these nasty labels.

So, if you are being given these labels, I want you to know that they are wrong. I know, I know! It’s hard to ignore them.  If you think about it, someone probably did it to them too. But that does not make it right. Just know you cannot keep it inside you. It hurts you mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Even medical diagnoses such as Depressed, Bi Polar, Suicidal, Cutter, Borderline Personality Disorder are a type of label.  Never let anybody use these against you.  And do not use them as an excuse to do get away with anything.

When you have been called these names, you sometimes start acting and feeling like these labels. Just because you are called fat does not mean you are fat and that you should watch what you eat or how you should exercise. Words do not define who you are. You define who you are. You are stronger than those labels.

So I have another little exercise I wanted to share with you all. Maybe you have heard of it; The Heart Movement.  Draw a heart in color on your wrist. Different colors represent different things: red-self harm, purple-anxiety, blue-depression, pink- eating disorder, orange-suicidal. Then out line the heart in another color: yellow-recovering, green-recovered, and black- not recovering (need help). No one will know what they mean unless you tell them and you do not have to.

If you want you can send me an email. Maybe you have a subject you would like me to talk about or if you just need someone to talk to and have support.

“You are a human being. You have value. You have worth. And you have the right to exist.” My counselor told me this. What does this mean to you? How does it feel to be told this? Think about it for a few minutes. I would really like it if you would write it down somewhere and read it every day. Of course you do not have to, but I know it helps me out.

Stay Strong <3

Image Credit: Photos.com

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