Things I Want to Improve

As a woman battling depression and anxiety, it can be hard to enact changes in my life. I see things about myself and my life that I hate, but I can’t seem to find the strength to do anything about it. This has to change.

I’ve come to the realization that mental illness is like any other illness, in that it takes time and dedication to get better. You can’t do nothing and expect your circumstances to improve. That’s why I’ve tried to be more intentional about my life and my actions and the words I speak in order to battle my negative thoughts and feelings.

1.) Positive affirmation

I’m a firm believer that the words you say and the thoughts you think will come to be. So if I’m constantly telling myself what a failure I am, I’m going to feel like a failure. I will be a failure. 

So lately, when I catch myself thinking these negative thoughts, I counteract them by hand-writing in a notebook.

I love myself.

I’m doing my best. 

My friends do not secretly hate me. 

My family is not ashamed of me. 

Writing it down enough times, repeating the words in my head, has helped me to fight the negative thoughts and realize: it’s all made up. These things aren’t actually true. My parents have never told me or treated me like they were ashamed of me. My friends have never secretly hated me, although this false thinking has caused issues in my relationships. No one has ever told me I was fat or ugly. I tell myself these things enough that soon, I’m believing they’re true.

2.) Be intentional about sleep

Insomnia sucks, and can also lend itself to foul moods and depressing thoughts. I’ve struggled with it for years and have only just recently been successfully combating the crappy sleep cycle. Being more intentional about your sleep schedule and making sure you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day is so important.

Something that’s helped me tremendously is taking melatonin before bed. Do your own research on dosage and ask your doctor before taking it, but it’s an over-the-counter supplement that my doctor recommended to me. I take it about 20 minutes before bed and I’m out like a light. It’s absolutely incredible. As someone who struggles with falling asleep and staying up way past her bedtime with thoughts racing through her head, these gummies have changed my life.

My sleep cycle is a work in progress, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

3.) Listen to your body

I really think this applies to both diet and social life. Listen, diets don’t work for everyone, and most are extremely problematic. Focus on how the foods you eat react with your body. If you eat something and then 4 hours later you’re on the toilet and you see your life flash before your eyes, maybe don’t eat that. Carbs can feel really great in the moment, but I’m definitely kicking myself later that day.

Eat foods that make your body feel good, and pursue a healthy body rather than a “summer body” or whatever. Exercise is proven to have great effects on people with depression, but don’t take it too far. Don’t hurt yourself. Listen.

Same goes for your social life! I know that as an introvert, I love hanging out with friends and going to gatherings. Sometimes though, it’s good for your health to just say no. Listen to your body. Take that breather. Don’t push yourself.

4.) Don’t be so hard on yourself

You’re going to have bad days. That’s just a scientific fact. But don’t let that discourage you from the progress that you’ve made. Look at you! You’ve made it this far and you should be so proud of yourself. Are you the kind of person who thinks back on your younger self and cringes and then obsesses about it for hours on end? Same. But listen, instead of bemoaning your past self and dwelling on the mistakes you made or the dumb things you did, think about it like this: you’ve come so far. Look at how much you’ve grown and improved already!

We are never going to be perfect, and we’re going to spend the rest of our lives doing cringey things. Move on. You’re not the same person you were yesterday, and you can do better.

Well, Hello There…

My bad.

I haven’t updated my blog in quite some time. To most people, this hasn’t made a single difference to them, so go about your business! Don’t mind me! I’m just gonna live in my bubble and pretend y’all missed me.

There’s been a lot going on in my personal life. Well, a lot and a little. You know how it is, when life just feels overwhelming enough to crush you, so you do nothing and just watched everything crumble around you.

That’s been me for the last few months. I’ve just sort of… let life happen, while I sit in bed, watching Netflix thinking, “Huh, everything sucks.”

I’m trying to fight it, but it sucks. Maybe it’s depression, maybe it’s laziness, maybe it’s crippling self-doubt, maybe it’s all three combined, but for whatever reason, I’ve stagnated as a person. I see things in myself that I hate, that I want to change, that I wish for all that is good I could change, but to no avail. At least not yet.

I’m trying to fight the voices in my head telling me I’m not good enough. I want to be better. I want to be healthy, mentally and physically.

Hah, you thought this blog post was gonna be about books.

If you came here disappointed to find another post about mental health, I’m sorry! It’s just that this is the thing that I’m struggling with the most at this point in my life. Reading does help though, so I’ll also continue to post and talk about books.

So this is me, promising to try and be better, and not just about posting on my blog. I want to be a better wife, sister, daughter, friend, person.

BOOK REVIEW: Francesca Zappia “Eliza and Her Monsters”

eliza-and-her-monstersTitle: Eliza and Her Monsters

Author: Francesca Zappia

Genre: Contemporary

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

 

Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the screen name behind the creator of the world-famous web comic, Monstrous Sea. However, she leads this life of anonymity because offline, Eliza is quiet, anxiety-ridden and terrified.

Then she meets Wallace, who she finds out is one of the most famous Monstrous Sea fan-fiction writers around, and she struggles to tell him her true identity. Instead, she befriends him, quietly reading the fan-fiction that he gives her to beta read. She fangirls about Monstrous Sea with him. They grow closer.

But obviously, it’s never that easy, is it?

My thoughts:

There were a lot of things to love about Eliza and Her Monsters. I love any book that represents fandom culture accurately and this was definitely a lot of fun. I used to write fan-fiction years ago so this was also very interesting to read for that reason.

Wallace was a sweet, in-depth character and it was fun to see the relationship between him and Eliza develop.

Sadly, I found myself frustrated with Eliza for much of the book, for simple things. Not knowing the basic interests of her younger brothers. Being angry at her parents for not understanding her life but refusing to tell them that she’s a world-famous web comic creator. Her unpleasant attitude. And for someone who struggled with anxiety and low-self esteem, she had quite a high opinion of herself, basically looking down on everyone she went to school with.

I don’t fault Eliza for her mental illness. I completely understand and suffer from anxiety sometimes myself, although definitely not as extreme as hers. What I don’t understand is being so thoughtless and self-centered that you won’t just try to get to know your own family. I just couldn’t get on board with her character.

Also, was definitely not a fan of the time when Wallace got angry with Eliza for being unable to finish her series just so he could further himself and his own career. When he literally just chapters ago was saying he wouldn’t fault an author for not finishing a book if it caused them misery or pain. Nice going, Wallace.

This was a page-turner and I definitely was into the story. Unfortunately, there was a disconnect between me and the main character that just really kept me from enjoying this more.

 

Francesca Zappia: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: John Green “Turtles All the Way Down”

9780241335437Title: Turtles All the Way Down

Author: John Green

Genre: Contemporary

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

If you read the synopsis provided, you would think this book was about a mysterious disappearance of a local billionaire and a rag-tag group of teens (including the billionaire’s son) who take it upon themselves to look for said missing person in hopes of cashing in on the reward. However, in actuality, this is but a very minor subplot to a story centered around Aza, a girl who suffers from severe anxiety and OCD.

In typical John Green fashion, characters often theorize about life and the meaning of it, recite and write poetry, and undergo philosophical and scientific discussions. Fortunately, it seems to add to the story rather than make the characters seem pretentious, which has been something Green has been accused of in the past. In fact, it lends itself to Aza’s instabilities because of her constant thought spirals and the way her imagination gets away from her and causes her to become horribly anxious.

This book has excellent representation of mental illness, and I believe this is partly due to John Green’s own struggles with OCD. It’s a very interesting yet sometimes graphic portrayal of this illness and I can say that I’m better for reading it.

That is to say that while I enjoyed this read, it was quite slow in parts. While it entertained in a way that only John Green can, it still seemed aimless and I struggled to see the point of the story. There didn’t seem to be any reason for the billionaire subplot and it was obviously far neglected in favor of the main plot, which I still have difficulty understanding.

Turtles All the Way Down is definitely not my favorite John Green novel, but it’s safe to say that despite it’s downfalls, this is a good addition to his repertoire.

John Green: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads