Lifestyle Blog: living with fear & anxiety

A Lifestyle Blog and Podcast on Mental Health

What happened after I realized I don’t like myself — November 15, 2018

What happened after I realized I don’t like myself

I was in my therapy session, as per usual back then. Once a week. And I felt the air become dense as I voiced the same complaint about my situation and my life again. My therapist paused and asked me a question I never thought to ask myself. She said, “do you like yourself.” And that’s when I lost it.

I cried and couldn’t stop crying. I left the session and cried some more. I had a revelation that day. I don’t like myself. I don’t like who I am, what I stand for, how I live my life, who was in my life, my circumstances, my past, my everything. I realized I don’t have many friends because I was not a good friend to myself. How could I be my own friend when I didn’t even like myself? I couldn’t. So I sabotaged my life. I pushed people away. I was elf-destructive. I complained. The cycled repeated.

After this realization, I decided to make a change. I decided to not only like myself, but fall in love with myself. I am still on that path today. But this path, for me, meant doing things I once loved doing in order to take care of myself. I wanted to do fun things. And in doing those fun things, I have gotten better. I am a work in progress and that is OK.

 

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Looking back — November 13, 2018

Looking back

It’s easy to look back and think that a different path or a different choice would have been better for you. Hindsight is 20/20. To think that you have somehow made a mistake is a great way to get down on yourself. Inundating yourself with regret for a path not chosen is a perfect way to spiral into a depression. Saying “I would be happier today had I done xyz…” I’m not one to say whether you are right or wrong in your evaluation, however for myself I can easily enter this frame of mind and be stuck in my own web of thoughts. It does nothing for me except make me feel badly about myself. This is not productive for myself and not conducive to a happy life. Something that can help me is to think about all the people I’ve met and opportunities I got from the path I did choose. If I didn’t go down the path I did choose, other things wouldn’t have happened. And, back when I had the choice to make I made the choice I did for a reason. And now, to empower myself, I can start making changes today to change my current circumstances. You have the power. You are in control. Make a change.

Leisure Time for Self-Care — November 8, 2018

Leisure Time for Self-Care

Some of us may feel the pressure to always be productive. I know for myself I never used to want to do anything unless it had a purpose. I would be asked to go somewhere for the sheer goal of just… going and having fun. This was too stressful to me with my burdensome work load. I pushed people away to avoid being asked to go to activities. Unfortunately, after a while they stopped asking me to do things altogether. I also avoided doing things I once enjoyed like drawing just to draw. Playing music just to play music. Eventually it became so overwhelming to even think about having fun.

This lifestyle left me burnt out and yearning for personal connection and a creative outlet. Just know it is never too late to turn around and pick up a hobby you once enjoyed doing. Create things just because… You will feel so much better and you will relieve the pressure to constantly be productive. All work and no play makes for a tortured soul.

This is a form of self-care. Having down time and doing leisurely activities just for the sake of fun is part of life. I forgot this at one point. But I have found my way back. Don’t feel the need to constantly be productive – it will burn you out. Plus, doing creative activities has helped me be more creative and see things a different way in my everyday work life. A different perspective and a change of scenery will do you good.

“What ifs” vs What is — November 6, 2018

“What ifs” vs What is

what ifs

Some of us are very imaginative. We tend to create scenarios that have not yet happened and we play the entire thing out in our head. We think about all the possible negative outcomes and we spiral into a ball of worry. This ball of worry entangles us and leaves us with anxiety for the future that trickles to our present state, thus ruining our day, our week, our month, or even our year (couldn’t not make this Friends reference!).

But you don’t know what will happen in the future. Try not to think about all the possible ‘what if’ scenarios. Take things as they come, then tackle them. Worrying won’t help you create a game plan for a possible future scenario because worrying is not productive it is destructive. Worrying has never helped me solve a mishap in my life. It has only left me nervously on edge.

Instead of thinking about all the ‘what ifs’ try to focus on ‘what is’. Focusing on ‘what is’ helps keep us grounded in reality and in the present moment. You can solve any problem that comes your way. Trust in yourself.

I was sold a dream — November 1, 2018

I was sold a dream

I was told I could do anything I wanted. I was told I was the greatest, the best, the smartest. But I’m not. No one is. I was sold this dream that didn’t exist.

Either way, we lose. If we are told we are amazing or told we are scum, it is always up to us which to believe. Some are told they are amazing, but think they are worthless. Some are told they will never amount to anything but become a huge success despite all odds.

Nothing works unless you do. I wish I was told this dream. This dream that you need to work towards what you want in life. That college doesn’t mean you will be handed a nice 9 to 5 and work your way up in corporate America in a nice neat package. In reality, we have to fight for what we want. And it is not easy. We have to carve our own path. We won’t be handed anything because the world owes us nothing. I wish someone sold me this dream, although I may not have bought it back then.

Finding my path — October 30, 2018

Finding my path

For the first time in my life I know exactly what I want to do with my life. After countless hours agonizing over not knowing what my passion is and not owning my own business, I finally know what I want. I feel this is my first, and most crucial, step in the process of becoming the independent person I long to be.

I didn’t know what my dream(s) were, even a year ago. I thought I didn’t like anything. But now I want to do so many things that I don’t know what to focus on first.

How did I go from dreamless to full of dreams? Well, I tapped into something that motivates me – positive feedback. I’ll come back to this later.

I’ve been writing this blog for 3.5 years now and have 100+ posts, and I love it. I love writing and connecting with individuals who are engaged with my writing and I with theirs. I love being inspired and being inspiring. I love helping people. I love hearing that I helped someone get through a tough time or realize that they can move past difficulties and step into success. I recently moved onto a different platform to get my ideas out there – podcasting. Although I don’t like hearing my own voice played back to me, I love podcasting. I love receiving feedback from others saying they went through similar experiences.

I love positive feedback because I gain my own confidence by being helpful to others. If I help someone and do a good job at it, I feel useful and therefore I feel confident.

What do you do that makes you feel good about yourself?

 

You’re still special — October 25, 2018

You’re still special

We see it time and time again – new loves post endless photos on social media only to break up at some future time. Us spectators may laugh and think you knew they were headed for breakup-ville. Well let’s take a step back… our whole concept of dating has been skewed the past few years and the whole culture of dating makes staying together extremely difficult. Dating apps make it so easy to find someone knew that piques our interest when we get bored with our current relationship. Relationship-hopping seems to be the norm and short term flings are even more prevalent.
Ghosting is now a thing that most people have experienced from both ends – being ghosted and being the ghoster. Avoiding confrontation and leaving a relationship status pending is the easiest way to pick it back up with minimal repercussions other than a “hey where have u been why haven’t you returned my texts/calls” and then it begins again.
One of the main problems with ghosting is the shot in the gut to your ego. With social media and these dating apps, we can see that the person is in fact on their phone and they are deliberately ignoring you for some reason such as: you are not good enough, you are not pretty enough, you are not smart enough or fun enough or worthy of or interesting or special enough for this other person. The real problem is when one party has led the other one to think that they have a shot in the first place. Maybe they go on a date or two or three and text every day – the ghoster shows their best side and that they care to know you when in reality you are just passing their time and they want their options open and their egos fed. And the ghosted person is then dropped…for no apparent reason. Because sometimes there is no reason other than the person was not interested in you. After we realize this fact, then we feel we are not special enough. Because what do we see when people post about their new love, they say things like “you mean the world to me, you’re so special to me” or some other derivative of “finding that special someone”.

So we are led to think subconsciously that if we are not loved then we are not special. But the real truth is that we are all special. Someone may be more special to someone than another…but that doesn’t take away your special, unique qualities. You will be that special someone to many different people at many different times throughout your life. Just don’t give up hope and fall into the bitterness of reality.

What to do if you fear failure and success — October 23, 2018

What to do if you fear failure and success

I think I am one of those unicorns that fear both failure and success at the same time. I am scared to start anything because I don’t want to do it wrong. I know in my rational brain that a job done is a job learned. But mustering up the will power to begin seems to be my toughest part. I procrastinate. I fear that by beginning without all the facts then I might miss something and it will be sub par. Sometimes I am just lazy and don’t want to do anything (I’ve been in this rut for some time). But on the flip side, I not only fear failure but also success. I am scared of doing something and being vulnerable, being laughed at or ridiculed, and being praised for something. This used to hold me back. Amidst my graduate degree I grew a procrastination bug inside of me. This procrastination bug tormented me daily. It told me I am not good enough, that I am on the wrong path, that I’m wasting my youth. Post my graduate degree and pre the current moment, I was in this limbo of wanting to do everything yet nothing at all. Wanting to be uber successful but never beginning the process to make my dreams come true.

Now to the current day. I have taken steps towards making my dreams come true. I have begun to blog more frequently. I have begun to figure out why I am the way I am. I have begun battling my anxiety. I have begun challenging my negative thoughts and damaging self-talk. And I have started a podcast along the way. It is called Pod for One. And I sometimes am too lazy to post a new episode, but I come back to it. I give myself leeway to relax but remind myself I need to persevere. And when I see results and positive feedback, it reminds me to keep going because I am helping people out there.

So my advice, if you fear failure or success, is to simply take that first step. If you can’t find your footing or feel unsure of what the first step might be, do some light research. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You will figure it out. Thank you all who read my blog and listen to my podcast and support my endeavors. I am fueled by you.

On the pursuit of happiness — October 18, 2018

On the pursuit of happiness

Chasing happiness will be an ongoing effort if you approach happiness as some sort of destination. Because no matter what your circumstance, your position, your thoughts… you already have the ability to be happy within yourself. Because as long as you are happy with yourself, everything else is a bonus. But if you have those external happiness makers – the perfect job, tons of money,  beautiful hair – without having the internal happiness, you don’t really have lasting happiness. The only way to true happiness is in accepting yourself for who you are and being happy with the person you see reflected in the mirror. The rest is a bonus.

Doubt and Indecision — October 16, 2018

Doubt and Indecision

5-Ways-to-Stop-Self-Doubt-in-its-Tracks

When I find myself at a crossroads, when I need to make a decision whether it be big or small, life changing or as simple as what do I want to eat for dinner, I find myself inundated with indecision. I can’t seem to commit to a choice. I feel I really have no preference, but do I deep down? What if I choose something and it is the wrong path?

How can I overcome my doubts and fears? For starters, I need to trust in myself. You need to trust in yourself. And if you can’t, then I have more suggestions for you.

If you can’t seem to make up your mind, ask yourself what you would regret not doing in the future. What choice has more to lose. Say you are in a toss up between a promotion and staying at your current job or taking a new job. You can weigh the pros and cons all you want, but you still are indecisive about what to do. What is the right choice. Well, you need to reframe that train of thought right in its tracks. There is no right way.

Why is there no right or wrong way? Well, technically there probably are right and wrong ways. Particularly when morals are involved. If you are choosing between hurting another person and taking a quicker route or taking a longer route but not hurting anyone in the process, you may want to lean towards the latter. You can make some steadfast rules for yourself like “don’t hurt others in the process of living my life” but this too can only go so far. For instance if you are in an unhappy relationship, yes of course you may hurt your partner by leaving but you also need to consider your happiness. So I would say the new modified rule is “try to avoid hurting others unnecessarily or in an immoral way”.

There is always another side to the story your thoughts tell you. There is always another way to frame a situation. Start with asking yourself if there is an alternative way of looking at this problem. If a friend came to you with a similar problem, what would you advise them to do?

Keep fighting your irrational brain.