#FoodPoisoningEpidemic2016: 7 Lessons I've Learned from Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning Epidemic 2016 in all it's fullness, affected roughly about 30 of my friends and fellow students of UTC. It's source- get this- a free lunch served to us from one of our favorite student ministries. It's not like we can be that mad, right? They feed us every Tuesday for free and serve us exponentially beyond that the rest of the week. Everyone started to see symptoms within the next day or two. Mine started about 3 AM Wednesday morning. I'll spare you the details but I will tell you this, this might be the sickest I've ever felt. Not only during the 6 hours I was physically getting sick, but the following two days were physically and emotionally draining. Nonetheless, this experience has taught me a lot, so much so it would be a shame to not write about.

1. It's okay to not be able to do everything. It's okay to be weak, It's okay to need help. It's okay to stay in bed all day and skip your classes. It's okay to handle situations differently than others. It's okay to admit that you can't do everything yourself. It's okay.

2. It's okay to ask for help. I think so often we are hesitant to ask for help in fear that people won't deliver in the ways you want or that you will become a burden on others. What I've learned is that often times, friends delight in being needed. There is nothing more gratifying than one of my friends asking for my help or saying that they need me. I'm there. So I've learned to be more open about asking for help from my friends (shout out to Miley's tattoo "with a little help from my fwends") and I've learned to extend grace when they don't come through on being there for you.

3. Embrace it. Live it up. You can't change the situation, so make the best out of it. Go to Dollywood two days after and hope for the best like I did. Food poisoning might suck but what better way to experience it than with 30 of your friends. And although I would never ask for this experience again, it's been quite humorous to my friends and I and now we have quite the story to tell. 

4. You're favorite book really can solve all your problems. You know I'm kidding but it's undeniably true that your favorite book really can make any situation better. It's almost so comforting to pull out your favorite book that captures you, distracts you from reality, and brings an unexplainable peace with it all at the same time. I'm reading this amazing fiction series right now called the Mortal Instruments and it has changed my life. This is the effect a good book can have on you.

5. You're never too old to call Mom. Mom's have this unexplainable reassurance to them, as if the whole world could be falling apart and no one understands you but your mom is there, she understands, and she somehow always knows how to make it better. I'm all about being independent and for the past few years I've spent much of my time proving to my parents that I can stand strong on my own. I'm just now learning there is strength in admitting you needing your parents every so often.

6. Don't let FOMO control you, do you- always. Food poisoning may be an extreme, but anytime your body is trying to communicate to you, listening and responding should be your number one priority. This may mean skipping out on super fun events to sleep. Be okay with that. Be more than okay with that and cut yourself some slack. 

7. Laugh.  Just do it. Get your friends to make you laugh. Laughter (+water and ibuprofen) is the best medicine for feeling under the weather. 

Until next time,