Column: Getting rid of toxic people will help you get to know yourself and find inner happiness

Sarah Milks, Staff Writer

A year ago everything was different. The softball team I played for, the people I would hangout with every weekend, the time I woke up, my love for God and the way I looked at myself: all different.

Every morning, my alarm went off at 6 a.m. I would roll out of bed and walk to my mirror to get ready for the day. In front of me stood the outline of a girl I didn’t know. I had brown hair, brown eyes, played softball and loved a boy, but that was all I knew.

I had a friend group that seemed great and a relationship everyone wished they had. High school was going amazing; I was happy, I thought.

Then one day it changed in what seemed like a matter of seconds. The boy I loved broke my heart and the friends I thought I had stabbed me in the back. I experienced my first ever panic attack during second hour and then I knew, I wasn’t living for myself.

I left school during second hour that day, not sure what to think. I talked to my mom and she reminded me that I am amazing and don’t need toxic people in my life. Five minutes later I was telling myself the same thing while looking in my mirror. My reflection became a little bit clearer. I picked up my Bible, one I hadn’t touched in years, and started reading. I came across the verse “God is within her, she will not fail,” and knew that I had to get to know myself.

From rock bottom, it looked like a trap, but I knew I had to crawl back to the top.

— Sarah Milks

From rock bottom, it looked like a trap, but I knew I had to crawl back to the top. I had to learn how to look at myself in the mirror and be able to laugh and smile and say that I am proud of the person I am. Right then and there, I couldn’t.

I didn’t know where to start, and I was lost with the world going on around me. I would come home and say “hi,” to my parents, but when they asked me to eat dinner with them I would say no. I spent every second in my room, thinking about how I could fix things so I was never in this situation again. I put all the blame on myself.

Day by day things got easier, but then I would see one of my old friends roaming the halls and be back to where I started. I prayed for summer to come sooner.

High school softball season approached at the perfect time. Getting through the school day wasn’t easy, but having softball every day after school kept me going. At practice, all my struggles went away and my smile and laugh were back. Having something to occupy my mind made me realize that life isn’t meant to be lived in a state of sadness.

A year later, I roll out of bed at 5:45 a.m. and walk to my mirror to put in my contacts. My reflection is clear. Now I know that girl with brown hair and brown eyes better than ever. I know that being in a huge friend group isn’t what it’s made out to be and having a relationship that everyone wants can make you second-guess the things around you. I was constantly living for the people around me and never did things for myself. I was so worried about what other people thought of me, so I did anything to please them.

Now, I can look at myself in the mirror and think about all the things I want to accomplish in life and stay strong to myself because I am truly happy. Happiness isn’t how you laugh, how you love, or how you feel. It’s how you present yourself, not only to the people around you, but to the person that means the most: yourself.