Saturday, September 4

Hey everyone, I hope you’ve all had a great week and you’re enjoying the weekend ahead. I’m doing pretty well here in Boston, and there honestly isn’t too much going on! If anything, my life is at a place that feels very under-control and placid. I’m not worrying about food or finances, my relationships with others are all very good, and my new job is finally starting to feel comfortable and familiar. I honestly was worried for a while that I could never get the whole barista thing down, but of course, all I needed was some practice. I surprised even myself when I did great on bar this week, and I’m looking forward to more time on bar next week, rather than thinking about it with dread.

I’m also really looking forward to next week because Nathaniel is coming back to Boston for school, and I will be able to see him a lot more often! Hooray for no more long distance (for now.) Who knows how long he’ll be at school until COVID forces everyone home again, but I have a feeling everyone will be sent home by Thanksgiving if students aren’t extra careful. And really, with a group of 18-22 year-olds, you have to know that things are probably not going to end very well. But anyway, my fingers are really crossed that he gets to stay in Boston and maintain his safety at the same time. After he graduates in May and my lease is up in July, we’d like to move in together and possibly end up in Vermont. But honestly, who knows where we’ll go? As long as I’ve got him, that’s all I need.

Sunday, September 6

It’s been a pretty quiet weekend, I’m happy with that. My goals for the rest of the day are to finish next week’s articles, and maybe do a workout if I can find the motivation. I’m actually really looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, even though the early mornings are gruelling, because I miss my lovely coworkers and the regulars who come into our shop. As you can probably imagine, I’ve been making a lot of pumpkin spice lattes.

Get a load of this dog I ran into the other day!

I’m also probably going to see Buck tomorrow, because he’s moving back into school and he and his family may swing by to see me at work. It will surely be lovely to see them all again, and of course, lovely to have Buck so close by.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

It’s no secret I’ve been very open about my struggles with insomnia and restful sleep here on the blog. There are a lot of factors behind my sleep issues: anxiety, periods, and stress from work, but sometimes, you’re just going to have a rough night of sleep for no reason. If any of these struggles resonate with you as well, or if you also deal with insomnia from time to time, I hope this article gives you some insight or inspiration! Obviously I am not a doctor or a professional, but I do feel like I have built up some helpful tricks and coping mechanisms over time.

Create associations with sleep. Have you heard of the theory of Pavlov’s dog? Basically, he trained his dogs to associate hearing a bell ring with getting food, so that eventually every time they heard the bell, they would automatically salivate with anticipation for food. You can train your own mind to do the same thing with getting sleepy! For example, every evening when I’m getting ready for bed, I warm up a heating pad and light an apple candle. Because my brain has learned to associate those things with sleep, I now naturally start to get very tired when I smell my candle and feel the heat of the pad on my chest. You can find your own little rituals and habits to associate with sleep- maybe for you that’s listening to specific music, spraying a certain room spray, or drinking herbal tea.

Find a vitamin/medicine combo that works for you. I try to look at prescription sleep medication as a last resort because taking it for too long can become habit-forming, and that won’t be good for your health in the long run. However, if you are looking for something over-the-counter to take that won’t be habit-forming, I have a couple of recommendations. First of all, melatonin is always a safe bet. It’s safe, reliable, and highly recommended from every doctor I’ve ever spoken to. That being said, you may have to give it a few nights to work. I’ve been taking melatonin every night for the past six months, and it’s been working wonders for me. If I’m having a really rough night, or if it’s imperative that I get a good night’s sleep, I will take a unisom tablet as well. You don’t need a prescription to buy unisom, and it’s also non-habit-forming. 

Maintain a consistent nighttime routine. Because I usually get up at the same time every morning, it just makes sense that I should go to bed at the same time, too. Even on the weekends, when I don’t have to be up early, I still try to get up and moving around 8 o’clock or so. Doing so can help train your mind to have a more consistent sleeping schedule, and thus, make falling asleep easier. As I mentioned earlier as well, I also tend to go through the same motions every night to instill a sense of routine in my body, such as with the candle and the heating pad. Of course, make sure you blow out your candle before you fall asleep if you choose to do that! 

Don’t force yourself to sleep if you’re restless. Honestly, forcing yourself to try to sleep when you’re not sleepy is one of the worst things you can do. In most scenarios, all that’s going to happen is that you’re just going to get frustrated and have even more trouble dozing off. If you’re having trouble sleeping, change your goal from falling asleep to simply relaxing so you can take some of that stress off of yourself. Read a book, listen to a podcast, or even watch some tv to take your mind off things. Eventually, you’ll just get sleepy again and you should have an easier time going back to bed. 

Listen to audio. This sort of ties into the “don’t force yourself to sleep thing,” but listening to audio when you’re falling asleep can be a great way to distract your mind. My personal favorite thing to listen to before bed is Vsauce videos, because they’re interesting but not too stimulating that I can’t fall asleep. Nathaniel, on the other hand, does not like listening to Vsauce before bed because he “gets too interested in the videos.” When we’re together, we like to compromise by listening to the podcast 36 From the Vault, which is a podcast about the Grateful Dead. Regardless of what audio I have going in the background, it’s just helpful for me to hear anything to keep my mind occupied.

Anyway, those are my tips for falling *and staying* asleep. Like I said, I’m not a doctor or anything, but these are tips that have worked for me and I hope you find some solace in them as well! Sleep tight.

Most of you know by now that I’m really interested in human psychology, emotions, and how our relationships with others can influence our internal views of ourselves. And sometimes, a specific word will get stuck in my head that I feel inclined to write about, such as “honesty,” “growing pains,” “grief.” or “stubbornness.” Today, the word that’s stuck in my head is “pity.”

 Before even googling the actual definition of pity, I’d like to try and craft my own interpretation of what that means. In regards to self-pity, I think what that means is you’ve reached a point in your life where you feel unnoticed and unappreciated for the hardships and privations you go through. Maybe you don’t think your entire life is awful, but you think most parts of it are hard, and the only thing that makes you feel like you’re getting any sort of attention or validation for it is through feeling bad for yourself. So it’s not healthy, but it’s usually not malicious. I don’t think people who self-pity are bad people. I think they are damaged and haven’t developed healthy coping mechanisms for their stress or grief.

Webster says that pity is “the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortune of others.” (I suppose in a situation of self-pity, the only word you would have to change is “others” to say “one’s self.”) When I was a bit younger, between the ages of 14-19, I would say I really struggled with self-pity. A couple of the aspects that contributed to this unhealthy cycle was a low self-esteem and a poor support system, and throughout the years, both of those things have improved enormously. Even though I was dealing with a lot of factors and stresses that were out of my control, like my parents splitting up, not being ‘popular’ or well-liked in school, and not being happy with my round face and my oily skin, it was still essentially my own responsibility for the way I felt about these things. I couldn’t change the fact that this was me and this was happening to me, but I could change the way I responded to it. So I learned to understand, accept, and even love the “broken” parts of my life. Although my mom and dad getting a divorce was a difficult change to adapt to, it actually turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. Turns out, we’re all much happier in my family now that my parents are separated. I can’t change the fact that other girls and boys didn’t want to be my friend in high school, or the fact that I had acne and frizzy, curly hair, but I could change the way I felt about myself. And gradually, I was able to drop the self-pity. It wasn’t something that happened overnight, but that seldom happens with any self change. It was a slow, soothing process of letting go of the sorrow and disgust I felt towards myself. Instead of trying to change myself to better fit my peers, I tried to say, “You know what? I’m going to like myself today. And I’m going to like my face and my body today.” Eventually, I did start to feel really good about myself. And then one day, I realized that I was truly happy for myself and happy with the person I had become. Other people noticed, too. Change really starts from the inside and works itself outwards, like a spiral. I didn’t realize how much the way I perceived myself could affect how other people viewed me, too. And then, after I started to feel better about who I really was, I started having an easier time making friends and feeling confident in my interactions with others. Having a strong sense of self-esteem does wonders for your social abilities, even if you’re typically shy and reserved, like I am.

I’ve noticed people in my own life getting sucked into a cycle of self-pity, so this next paragraph is for those people. Sitting around and feeling bad for yourself gives you a burn in your stomach- a hot, mournful, painful, yet somehow self-satisfying burn that you start to feel like you deserve. Even though you may feel like you don’t deserve anything better in life because of what has happened to you or what your circumstances are, it’s unfair to yourself and others to self-pity. In the long run, you are only going to continue to perpetuate a low self-image and drive away your loved ones. And trust me, this is coming from someone who felt bad for herself for years. It’s a selfish thing to harbor so much self-pity. It makes other people feel like you’re unhelpable. And you don’t deserve to feel like a burden and a waste of a life- you deserve to feel like you are a worthy life and you have potential for growth and happiness. You don’t want to lay in a hospital bed alone someday, cold and gray, wishing you had just given the act a rest and enjoyed your life a little bit. Because at the end of the day, it’s not that deep. As Pam Muñoz Ryan once said, “You don’t have to get over it, but you do have to get on with it.”

Sunday, August 9

Hi everyone! Hope you had a really great week and you’re looking forward to the days to come. My week has been much better than the one before, and I really feel like I am slowly healing from the pain and stress I was going through. I didn’t have anywhere to be this weekend, so I took advantage of that and caught up on a lot of sleep and “me time.” I remember this past Thursday night I essentially slept from 6pm to 7am, and that was a huge wake-up call for me that last week took a huge toll on me. I was exhausted, so hopefully that will provide some insight into why I was falling behind on everything else.

Today my main goal was to get my new phone set up, which my mom very generously sent to me in the mail (thanks, mom!), and I’m currently in the process of backing up my data onto the iCloud. It’s apparently going to take 4-5 hours, according to my phone, but at least it’s happening! I’m also passing the time by watching Leah Remini: Scientology and The Aftermath, which is my current favorite show to binge-watch. I’ve also been really enjoying The Last Dance, which is a documentary series about Michael Jordan and several other basketball stars who played for the Bulls. No, I would have never picked this documentary to watch on my own, but Nathaniel put it on when I went to visit him, and I just got suckered into it. I honestly feel like I could get invested in any subject if the documentary was interesting enough- does anyone else feel that way?

Self-Care Quotes - Because You Deserve Them | Hallmark Ideas ...

As for other ways I’m trying to heal from my depressive episode, I’ve been trying to do a lot more journaling and raw, unfiltered writing in my notebooks to feel more in-touch with myself and my feelings. It’s been so, so helpful, and it’s really helped me to appreciate myself more and understand how my past traumas have intertwined with my current stresses. If you’re also going through similar stress and anxiety, I would highly recommend finding a list of depression-specific prompts and answering one per day. I also made a bubble/flow chart of everything that’s on my mind lately, and discovered through making arrows that several of them were interconnected. That has been really helpful for me to break my stress into smaller pieces and tackle the smaller issues first, working my way into the bigger issues.

So basically, the sparknotes of what I’m trying to say is that I’m really proud of how I’m doing and the healthy coping mechanisms I am taking to better myself. Nathaniel has also been absolutely wonderful throughout this time, remaining patient and loving even in the moments that I’m hard on myself. 

I am working tomorrow through Thursday, per usual, and then my good friend MJ is coming to visit me from New York. Don’t worry, we are fully intending on keeping ourselves safe and socially distancing. I’m really excited to see them, because the last time I saw them was last August on the day we met. So this weekend is going to be our one-year friendversary, and I’m so overjoyed to be reunited with such an important friend in my life.

Anway, I’m going to try pre-scheduling all my content for this week so that I don’t have to worry about it while I’m working. I do like blogging and writing online, but sometimes, I just don’t have the energy to get it done! So here’s to hoping this week goes smoothly and painlessly, so that I can find that little bit of “me time” to get it done. 

Monday, July 27

I’ve always striven to be really transparent about how I’m doing, so I’m not gonna lie, the past couple of days have been tough. It would make a lot of sense if I was entering some sort of PMDD-related episode, but I’m also trying to avoid getting into the habit of blaming every bad mood on my period. I felt fine for most of the day yesterday, but around the evening is when I began to struggle with feeling irritable, agitated, angry, depressed, anxious, paranoid, fatigued, and crying inconsolably…so, sounds like some pretty severe PMDD to me! Poor Nathaniel, he’s such a saint staying on the phone with me and being kind and encouraging when I’m really struggling and crying and putting myself down. I know it hurts him to see me go through hard times, especially since he can’t be here in person, but I really appreciate how lovely and understanding he is. He stayed on the line with me for over an hour while my scream-crying slowly evolved to silent crying, which then evolved to sniffling, which then evolved to snoring. Someone give this man an award ASAP. 

I didn’t get a ton of sleep last night, as you could have probably assumed. I fell asleep around midnight and had to be up at 4am for work. I wasn’t crying or feeling angry like I had been the night before, but I still felt sort of cloudy and fatigued, like my brain was still swimming in tears inside of my head. And then at work, even though my trainer and my manager said I did a great job, I did not feel on my A-game. I was forgetful, I was slow, and I was really blanking on how to do basic things I had learned the week before. I managed to hold it together without bursting into tears, but there were a few moments where I thought, “Am I good enough to do this? Am I too stupid to learn? Should I quit so I stop wasting everyone’s time?”

The first thing I did when I got home was conk out for about two and a half hours (a bit longer than I wanted to sleep, admittedly,) and now it’s after 4pm and eating a late lunch while I chug water. I definitely feel like my head has cleared up a lot, and I promised Nathaniel I wouldn’t be “a weepy mess” on the phone tonight. I feel like I can hold myself together again. However, I am really stressed about my work performance and I wish I was learning things faster. I know if I had all the time in the world to practice, or a way to keep learning everything at home, I would be fine. But it’s because all my practice comes from a fast-paced, stressful environment, I feel easily flustered and I forget what I’m doing. That being said, I remembered something today while I was making my lunch that I haven’t actually had a discussion with my work: I have learning disabilities which affect my memory and my processing skills, and the reality is, my brain is probably working twice as hard as it should be to get by. (By the way, I haven’t really told any of the jobs I applied to because I was afraid I wouldn’t get hired for being neuroatypical.) Reminding myself of that made me feel a bit better about myself and my progress. Like, no, I’m not a wimp or a moron or a “bad person” for feeling the way I feel. I am a person who is honestly just trying her best to hold everything together, and even though I’m also a weepy, tired mess, I think I’m doing pretty okay. 

So yeah, that’s been my Monday. Nathaniel’s work schedule is a bit tough this week but I really, really hope I can see him because it’s been more than two weeks and the thing I need more than anything else in the world right now is a hug. I’m really hoping the rest of the week is not as dramatic and emotional as these past few days, so I’ll do my best to take care of myself. I am also going to try to practice everything I need to know at Starbucks as well as I can at home without having any equipment, aka I’m going to rely on memory to write out tasks. Thank you all so much for reading today and I’ll be sure to update you on how the rest of my week goes. 


Monday, August 3

Hey everybody! Hope you’re all having a great Monday. I’ve been really behind on posting here on my blog, but honestly, I didn’t have time to sit down in front of my computer at all this week! I really don’t like getting behind on my goals, so today and tomorrow are going to be all about playing catch-up.

The past week was rough with PMDD, but things are starting to look up a bit now that my emotions are getting back on track. I spent most of last week feeling irritated and sad, and to be totally honest, the weekend didn’t make me feel much better. But like I said, things are on the right track now and I’m trying to stay as positive as possible. I’ve also been feeling like I can’t tell the people I love how I feel and what I’m going through, because it seems like everyone else is going through their own mess right now and I don’t want to stress anyone out even further with my problems. So that’s been really frustrating, but I definitely think having a therapist and paying someone to listen to my problems will help. I’ve been trying to find one via Psychology Today, but so far nobody has returned my emails. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how the rest of my week goes and if skipping my sugar pill week does any good for my PMDD down the line! Sorry I was a bit of a downer and unproductive this week, I’m going to try to keep my mind busier and more positive in the next few days.

 

Tuesday, July 21

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a great week, I’m doing much better today than I had been in previous days. Change makes anyone nervous, for sure, and for me, I was having a lot of trouble sleeping in the days leading up to my first day of work on Monday. The night before, I didn’t sleep at all, and then my uber canceled and I was late, but besides that, my training was great and a lot of fun! Obviously it was stressful, but it was actually more comprehensive than I expected. However, the second I stepped outside and plopped down onto the nearest bench, I just burst into tears. I was exhausted, I was stressed, and I had just received a fairly rude text message from a good friend. I probably looked a bit strange crying by myself on a bench in a shopping plaza, but I honestly really needed that cry. I got home, chugged some water, and actually managed to take a one-hour nap. And I really felt better after that, especially after I called Buck and told him about my day. Hearing his voice and him strumming the guitar actually made me calm and sleepy, too, so I was able to fall asleep last night and sleep for a FULL NIGHT! I was so overjoyed when I woke up this morning and realized I felt great. And since my shift started at 7:00 instead of 5:30, I was able to catch the first morning train instead of relying on uber. 

Work itself has been really interesting and intensive, but in the best way. It’s complex and fast-paced, like I knew it would be, but I thrive in those environments. I’ve already learned so much in a two day span, and I’m looking forward to work tomorrow! 

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Sunday, July 26

Hey guys, I’m happy to report that my sleep schedule has definitely returned to normal and I’m feeling much less stressed about work. I do have another 5:30 shift tomorrow, but my coworker is very kindly going to give me a ride so I don’t have to worry about finding an uber or walking at 4:30. I’m also going to have Nathaniel go over some drinks with me tonight, even though we’re technically not supposed to “work off the clock.” I have really high processing skills but really low memory skills, so when I am trying to learn a new routine or sequence, I need a LOT of practice!

My mood has been predominantly fine, but also a bit of a rollercoaster. Sometimes I wake up feeling bright and cheery, and other times I feel like my eyes are going to roll out of my head every time someone annoys me. I’ve been missing Nathaniel a lot lately because I haven’t seen him in more than two weeks, and that definitely affects my mood. However, we are both working really hard to plan something out this week. I know it doesn’t do any good to think/feel this way, but whenever I see pictures of him having fun and hanging out with his other friends, it makes me feel…bad? Not in a sense that I don’t want him to have friends or anything- of course I do- but I guess I just feel bad that I’m not them. When I want to see my boyfriend, we have to basically plan out an entire operation of when and where we’re going to see each other. We don’t get to just casually “hang out” whenever we want, and I sort of envy the people who do. Like I said, I know that could easily become a toxic sentiment that evoles into “Maybe if I was a little bit better, X…”, so I’m trying to talk myself out of it whenever I feel that way. I’m sure a lot of people in “long distance” relationships can relate to that burning feeling of missing someone. 

Anyway, after I publish this article I’m going to go to Starbucks to get an Iced Guava Passion Fruit drink (highly recommend,) and then I’m going to work on Tuesday’s article, get some cleaning done, and practice learning drinks. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a fabulous week ahead of you!

Monday, June 22

Hi, I hope you guys are doing okay and staying positive. I’m sort of not, as you can probably tell from the title, so I figured writing furiously about my feelings might help me to relax and let out a little bit of steam.

I’ve been feeling simultaneously tense and deflated for the past 15 or so hours, probably due to a lot of smaller factors that are all just adding up to one monster Stress. I found it really difficult to feel comfortable and secure last night, so I didn’t sleep well for the first time in a while. I dozed off around 2am and woke up at 6am, and my body decided that was it- it was time to be awake. And since I now had a couple of extra hours to get ready before my job interview today, I decided to drop off some journals I needed to mail at the post office. Which would have been all fine and dandy, except for the fact that I got off the T and FORGOT MY PACKAGES ON THE TRAIN. 

If I hadn’t taken an Ativan this morning, I probably would have just knelt down on the sidewalk and started crying at that point. I know that sounds dramatic, but when you work really hard at something, like an Etsy shop, and then you lose orders, it feels like you’re just throwing your proud work into a burning trash can. So I was pretty bummed about that, obviously, but I did still have the envelope I needed to mail out to my old bank, so I figured I could at least drop off the envelope and get that finished. Problem was, the line was literally out the door at the post office I visited, so I had to speed walk all the way back to where I started for my job interview. And the interview itself went fine, I think, but I was feeling so shaky and stressed and frazzled on the inside, I burst into tears the minute I stepped out of the building. So to make up for all of the unnecessary stress that had been building up inside me for the past few hours, I decided, you know what? Fuck it, I’m going to go to tj maxx and buy a candle. I’m going to buy a luscious fall-scented candle, I’m going to go home and light it, and I’m going to flop out onto my bed and smell my candle and have some me time.

So the candle and the good sob I had this afternoon did actually help a little bit, but I’m still feeling pretty on edge. And I think one of the things that’s making me self-destruct a little bit inside is this: I feel like I’m not getting enough genuine attention from anyone.

I feel horrible and entitled even saying something like that, but there are only so many text messages from friends that say “Cheer up! Things will get better” and “I care about you” before you wonder how much people actually care about you, or if they’re just trying to get you to stop complaining about your life. Because I don’t want people to just say that they care, I want people to show me. And I know I’m limited for options because I’m in a pandemic, but I guess what I’m really saying is I wish the people I truly care about would maybe step it up a little bit. Because right now, I feel like just lashing out and fighting everyone so they give me more attention, and I’m embarrassed to even be feeling that way.

I know that probably all sounded really dramatic, and I know there are worse things going on in the world. I’m an adult and I can figure it out on my own. I just wish I had someone to hug at the end of the day, or talk with face-to-face, because getting encouraging text messages just means nothing to me at this point. And like I said, maybe people do care, but the signals I’m getting back is that people are only saying nice things to shut me up. 


Sunday, June 28

I thought about deleting those last couple of paragraphs when I was getting ready to post today, but I’ve decided it’s important to let myself feel my feelings and my frustration instead of backspacing on it and pretending it never happened. I am feeling much better and more optimistic this week. For one thing, I have a job interview at Starbucks on Wednesday! I am really looking forward to that, because I have wanted to work at a Starbucks for MONTHS now and I applied to 25 different locations in Boston. So I’m hoping that goes well; I do feel well-prepared.

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I’ve spent the last few days with Buck, which has been lovely. We’ve been doing the usual- watching movies, hanging out with his family, visiting the cows, and listening to a lot of podcasts and Grateful Dead. I love spending time out here with him, but I’m also really looking forward to him spending more time at my apartment. I love taking care of people, and I am so excited to cook for him and take him to all my favorite little spots around the city. I’m also looking forward to our vacation next week, which, of course, I will be sure to take lots of pictures of. My Polaroid camera is loaded and ready for adventures.

As many of you know, I’ve struggled with anxiety for my entire life, and I am very open and vocal about my struggle with it on this platform. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that there are so many misconceptions people have about anxiety, and I’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight on what it’s really like to live with generalized anxiety disorder. That being said, everybody who struggles with anxiety will have a different approach and journey, so please know that anxiety can be vastly different on a case-to-case basis. What I personally feel about this issue could be completely different than the thoughts and feelings of another person with anxiety.

Self-Care Quotes - Because You Deserve Them | Hallmark Ideas ...


Misconception 1: “If you have anxiety, you must have depression, too.”

While it is true that anxiety and depression can go hand in hand, that doesn’t necessarily mean it always does. Even though I struggle with anxiety and it plays a large role in my life, I have actually never really struggled with severe depression or been diagnosed with it. Of course I have gone through rough periods in my life, in general, I am able to naturally uphold a positive, cheerful, self-loving attitude. I genuinely love life and view it through an optimistic lens- I just also happen to deal with anxiety along the way. 


Misconception 2: “If you eat healthy foods and meditate, your anxiety will go away.”

Improving your diet and your routines can help with anxiety, but if you have a real anxiety disorder, it’s not very likely that you can cure it just by eating more vegetables and practicing yoga. I’m not saying it’s a worthless practice, but if you suffer from severe anxiety such as myself, it takes years of therapy and even medication to maintain my health and help my anxiety become less severe. When people tell me to try exercising or drinking more water to “cure” my anxiety, I recognize the positive intent, but it is still frustrating to hear these things.


Misconception 3: “Oh, I have anxiety, too!” or something along those lines

Everybody struggles with anxiety from time to time, and it’s completely normal to do so. However, not everybody has an anxiety disorder. What differentiates normal anxiety from a serious medical condition depends on how severely it impacts the quality of your life. For example, it’s normal and expected to have anxiety before a big test or a presentation. But if your anxiety prevents you from enjoying your everyday life or if it interferes with your daily tasks and productivity, then it could qualify for an anxiety disorder. It’s important to understand that difference, because as with any mental disorder or condition, it’s common for those who really suffer to feel invalidated or one-upped. 


Misconception 4: “Taking medication for anxiety can make you become addicted to it.”

There is no evidence to support the claim that SSRIs or other antidepressants can cause dependent tendencies in those who use them, so the idea that anxiety medication can become “addicting” is a huge misconception. With that being said, it is possible to become dependent on benzodiazepines- or tranquilizers, such as Ativan or Xanax. However, just because you have a prescription for either of these medications does NOT automatically mean you will become addicted to benzos. I have a prescription for Ativan which I use very responsibly, and I only take my benzos if I am having an absolute anxiety emergency and I am afraid of passing out or having a panic attack (which only happens a handful of times per year.)


And finally, Misconception 5: “Anxiety is not a real medical condition.”

Even though anxiety is an invisible illness, that does not make it any less valid or severe than any other condition. 

Anxiety disorders are serious medical conditions- and should be treated just as seriously as any other condition, physical or not. Additionally, anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive of disorders in the United States. If you also struggle with having an anxiety disorder, your feelings are valid, and most importantly, you are NOT alone!

I hope you found this article helpful and informative. In the midst of the political climate and the pandemic surrounding us right now, it is totally normal and valid to be feeling anxiety. Remember that it is good to feel your feelings, even if they are not always sunshiney, and there are always people out there who want to listen to you and support you.

It’s hard not to feel impacted and potentially forever changed by a TED Talk. As someone who deals with anxiety and PMDD, I find hearing other perspectives on mental illness to be extremely enlightening and clarifying. Today. I’ve compiled what I believe to be the top five best TED Talks for discussing mental health topics, though there are several more amazing ones on YouTube and the official TED site. 

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Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com


I Am Not A Monster: Schizophrenia | Cecilia McGough

Of all the TED Talks related to mental health that I have come across, I believe this was the first one I watched. I think that this is a great introductory video for those who don’t know very much about schizophrenia, like I didn’t when I first watched the video. I was absolutely amazed and shocked by Cecilia’s story, and she painted her life experiences in such a vibrant, graphic way that I was able to easily empathize with her and her struggles. Most importantly, the video shines some light on the unfair prejudice projected onto those who deal with debilitating illnesses, such as schizophrenia, and breaks the stigma that those with the illness are inherently dangerous or violent in some way. It’s an extremely important video, and I highly recommend it to everybody. 


Imagine There Was No Stigma to Mental Illness | Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman

I recently came across this TED Talk on YouTube, and what I enjoy most about this video is the fact that Dr. Lieberman explains the stigma against those with mental health in such a clear, well-thought way. I admire that he has spent a substantial amount of his career researching mental illness and how the societal stigmas against it can be damaging to vulnerable communities, and how we as a community can continue to advocate for those with mental health struggles. I agree with Dr. Lieberman that less stigma and judgment would lead to the improved treatment of millions of individuals, so I really hope this TED Talk receives more traction and attention.


What is Depression? | Helen M. Farrell

Kind of going off of the stigmatization of mental health, there seem to be a lot of preconceived notions about what exactly depression is. I’ve spent a lot of time with friends and family who are clinically depressed, and one important thing in particular that I have learned is that depression does not always equal sadly moping around. Often, people with depression can put on an upbeat face and even feel happiness, but predominantly, they feel numbness or disinterest in the outside world. I really appreciated this TED Talk because Helen Farrell summarizes this notion much better than I can, and her use of visuals in the video is really helpful as well. If you know someone who is struggling with depression, or even if you simply just want to educate yourself better on the subject, I highly recommend watching this TED Talk. 


How to Cope with Anxiety | Olivia Remes

I’ve struggled with anxiety for all of my life, and that’s initially what drew me into this video. Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders, and according to Olivia Remes, very few people who struggle with anxiety actually receive the help they need. My own journey with being diagnosed with GAD was a long and often painful struggle, so I really appreciate that Olivia Remes validates this experience for us. Although I personally have found medication to be extremely helpful, I understand where she is coming from when she emphasizes trying other alternatives first. For those who also struggle with anxiety and may want to learn more about it, I really recommend watching this video from start to finish.


How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime | Nadine Burke Harris

I’m very interested in childhood psychology and how the traumas of our past can influence the people we turn into, so it’s no wonder I was quickly drawn to this video. I’m really happy that society is shifting its views on how childhood trauma is handled; what was once viewed as something you can simply “get over” as an adult is now being treated as a legitimate source of trauma on young, developing brains. Incredibly, Nadine Harris also reveals that those who have gone through extreme trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. It’s an important reminder that we need to take PTSD and other severe trauma disorders seriously, and I really appreciate that this video is getting the attention it deserves.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this article! Let me know if you have watched any of these videos, and what you thought about them as well in the comments. 

Sunday, April 19

Hi everyone, I hope you are healthy and well. I know it’s a strange sentiment to say, but I’ve been feeling much more like a woman and a grown-up this past month. I looked at myself in the mirror a few weeks ago, and I’m not quite sure why I felt so different, but it seemed to me like I had gone through some sort of metamorphosis without even realizing it. It’s also been tripping me up a bit that I entered high school seven years ago, and I haven’t been a teenager for so long. I know it doesn’t sound like a very important matter, and it’s honestly not, but sometimes it’s really clarifying and freeing to realize how much time has passed.

I have a bit of work to do today, including *another* ethics paper, an outline for my capstone class, and I need to get started on a presentation for my Wednesday business class as well. I’ve been feeling pretty productive the last few days, which is awesome, and it sort of feeds into my new realization of feeling like an “adult.” Even I am sometimes amazed by how positive and forward-moving I can be during these odd times.

Speaking of, does anyone else feel like they’re getting used to this new life now? I almost forget that the coronavirus is out there, believe it or not, because I’m so wrapped up in my little isolated life and busy with my projects. It’s really amazing what we can adapt to as humans, isn’t it?

In other news, I recently updated to a premium plan here on the blog, so you’ve probably noticed that things look a lot different. I’ve been wanting to upgrade for a while now, but it never felt like the right time to drop all that money. Now, even though it made a dent in my wallet, I’m so happy that I decided to upgrade! I absolutely love this theme and I’m really excited to see how my blog grows and evolves from here.


Monday, April 20

I feel obligated to say happy 420, even though I don’t smoke weed and I also don’t plan on it any time soon. It’s also Marathon Monday, but of course, there aren’t any festivities going on here in Boston. I can only imagine what college campuses would be like right now with the combination of these two holidays! I’m pretty sad to be missing it.

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty good today. I thankfully haven’t exhibited any symptoms of coronavirus yet (though my allergies are quite bad) and I’m extremely grateful for that. My mom hasn’t shown any symptoms either, so I’m hoping things stay that way. I’m pretty excited to be moving in 11 days, but of course, I’m feeling a bit nervous as well! Of course I’ve been away at college, so I know what it feels like to be on my own, but I’ve never paid rent or had so many responsibilities placed on my shoulders. I have no doubt I’ll be just fine, but it’s still a bit scary not knowing what to expect. I’m lucky that my housemates are lovely, supportive friends from college, so at least we’ll have each other throughout this life change. I’m really excited for meal-prepping, decorating, and just being in the heart of the city in general.

By the way, being 21 is so weird! I feel like I’m breaking the law every time I pour myself a glass of wine. 


Thursday, April 23

Hey everyone, hope you’re holding up well. I’m doing pretty well today, albeit I was in a bit of an unproductive/anxiety funk for the last couple of days. I noticed while looking at my medication that I accidentally took a double dose of my combination pills some day this week, so that probably had something to do with it.

Related to that, I occasionally go through short periods of ‘brain fogginess’ where I just feel totally disconnected from everyone and everything around me, and I find it really difficult to be productive and get things done when I’m going through funks like that. Feeling like you don’t even know the people you love can also make you really paranoid, even if you know you’re being ridiculous, so I spent the last couple of days wondering if my loved ones even liked me at all. The best way I can describe this kind of anxiety is feeling like you’re about to hear some terrible news, or feeling like someone is going to leave, but the terrible news never comes and you don’t know what the terrible news is. So you just sit around in a state of paranoia and wait for awful news that never comes, essentially. It’s really not a fun thing to go through, and admittedly, I would have liked a little bit more support during that time, but you do what you can and you get through it. And I’m happy to say I’m coming out of that funk now, and I feel very comfortable with others again. 

Anyway, I wasn’t really blogging or doing a lot of writing during that time, but I did start my junk journaling hobby that I’ve been wanting to get into! That mostly occupied my time yesterday, and so far, I’ve completed three journals. I’m hoping to finish binding two more tonight, which I would then like to sell. 

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Some of my journals!

So in conclusion, I was going through a rough patch of anxiety but I’m starting to finally feel better. I still slightly feel like something terrible is going to happen, but I think everybody feels that way during a global pandemic, particularly other highly sensitive people such as myself.