I’m Back in Therapy

On Monday January 18th, I had my first therapy session with my new therapist. My new first therapist is male, the same age as my father, and has been a therapist for over 33 years, which is longer than I’ve been alive. So far, I think he’s a good therapist and that he’ll be able to help me work through everything I’m dealing with. Mainly, I’m hoping to once again diminish my anxiety and depression as well as learn better coping skills and overcome my driving related anxiety. I would also like to start gaining some confidence in myself because the lack of confidence is really starting to make things worse for me.

In my two weeks I’ve learned these few things:

1. I am not socially flexible (more on that later).
2. I avoid my fears instead of facing them and that’s not a healthy way to cope with them.
3. I’m very self-aware.
4. I’m very blunt and people find that off putting (which I know and isn’t something I feel needs changing… but I could be wrong).
5. I allow my fear of failure to have way more control over me than I should.

There’s more, but these are the 5 that stick out to me the most.

So I think once a month I will do a therapy update post to show my progress or share things I’ve learned that could be beneficial to someone else. But yep… I’m back in therapy and all I can do is see where it goes! I hope everyone has a great weekend of good mental health!

Own It. Make Your Anxiety Work For You Book Review

To start off a new year of mental health blogging, I decided sharing a book with all of you was the way to go. If you don’t know, I’m an avid reader. I love books, I always have, and a big part of my mental health journey has been reading books about anxiety and depression in an attempt to better understand what I was going through. Some books were more medical in nature, others were more autobiographical, but I learned something from each of them.

2020 was a rough year, not just because of the status of the world, but personally as well. And admittedly, 2021 didn’t start off the best either. I won’t say why (it’s private), but I spent the first day of 2021 in a state of complete numbness, devastation, and a whole other slew of negative emotions. So my mental health hasn’t been the best and while it’s not the worst it has ever been, it’s not the best either.

And maybe it’s because my mental health has been so bad lately or maybe I just finally reached some kind of breaking point, but my anxiety is beginning to feel like a heavier albatross to carry. I’m finding myself mentally and emotionally exhausted more often now or having my negative emotions triggered more often than my positive ones. To sum it up in a few shirt words- My anxiety is working against me, not for me.

So that’s where this book comes into play. The author isn’t a mental health expert, she doesn’t have a degree in psychology or anything like that, but what she has is personal experience with anxiety that made it difficult for her to live her life, and this book is about her struggles with anxiety and how she overcame them. She has a honest discussion with the reader about medication, exercise, what we eat, relationships, and more. There are also exercises throughout the book that you can do to help you on your anxiety journey. My plan is to do some blog posts on these exercises, so keep an eye out for those!

Reading this book has made me see my anxiety in a different way. After reading this book I’ve realized that some of the qualities I feel are my best qualities stem from my anxiety. I realize how weird that sounds, believe me it was a weird epiphany for me, but it’s true and I will be sharing those in an upcoming blog post. Basically through reading this book, I’ve realized what my anxiety has given me and have started trying to learn ways to make it work in my favor instead of against me… because I’m tired of always being on the negative side of my anxiety.

So if you’re struggling with your anxiety and feel hopeless in dealing with it, I highly recommend this book because I think it will help. I plan on rereading it again very soon to help me as I work my way through everything because I really need the help. I am also happy to announce that on Monday January 18th, I am beginning therapy again, which will hopefully help out my mental health journey back on the right track. Obviously I will be writing a post about that as well, so keep an eye out for that!

What books on anxiety/depression/mental health have you found most helpful in your journey? I am always looking for book recommendations, so please share any you have! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Reflecting on 2020 & My Hopes for 2021

There is no denying it- 2020 was a fucking shit show of a year. With everything that happened related to COVID and everything else that happened, this year was definitely a year that messed with everyone’s mental health. I know for me personally, it was a year of ups and downs. I would say the ups and the downs are fairly equal, but the ups have an edge over the downs, which is a good thing.

My Ups of 2020 (In no particular order)

  • I got accepted into graduate school and I’m about halfway through my degree. By April or May of 2021 I will finally have my MFA in Creative Writing!
  • I got engaged to my best friend and soulmate in front of Hogwarts castle!
  • I finished the first draft of my novel! True it’s a very rough draft and it’ll be a lot of work, but it’s a good start to achieving my dream of publishing a novel!
  • I started my editing service! If you’re interested in learning more about it, you can read about it here.
  • I edited two books for my mentor and one of them is up on Amazon right now! It is my biggest accomplishment to date and I’m excited to edit more novels in the future!
  • I got to meet one of my favorite YouTubers RixFlix while at Universal Studios!

The Downs of 2020 (In no particular order)

  • I had to have kidney stone surgery back in January and having that stint in for a week was probably the most painful experience of my life.
  • I wasn’t able to go back to Pennsylvania to visit my family and friends like I had originally planned. So it’s been over a year since I’ve seen my parents, my cat, and my best friends. I miss all of them terribly and hope I will be able to see them again soon!
  • All the anxiety, depression, and mental health issues I faced. This year has put me through so much on a physical, mental, and emotional level… some days were a lot worse than others and there were a few days when I felt like my world was ending and I wouldn’t be able to pull myself out of the dark place I was in. So I’m proud of myself for overcoming those days.
  • Discovering I have a fibroid on the outside of my uterus. Though the doctors told me it wouldn’t interfere with me having a baby, they are worried that I might be infertile… so I know in 2021 I’ll most likely be getting some testing done to see if I can have children or not. But I’m trying not to think about that too much right now.

So what are my hopes for 2021? These are the biggest hopes I have for the upcoming year-

  1. Better mental and physical health– I’ve learned that when my physical or mental health is compromised, I’m not at my best and when I’m not at my best, I’m at my most self-destructive and it makes me a terrible daughter, friend, and fiancée. So because both of those have been through the ringer this year, I want to make both of them a top priority in 2021.
  2. Hopefully get pregnant- So with my fertility status unknown, I know this one might not be possible… but I really hope it is. My fiancée and I have spent so many hours talking about all the trips we would go on with our children or what we imagine they’ll be like… and it would devastate me to never see those dreams become a reality. So I’m really hoping that this will still be a possibility for us… but we’ll have to wait and see.
  3. Being happier- Happiness is the emotion I have always struggled with the most and I don’t know why. It is so easy for me to get sad or angry, but it’s really hard for me to get happy. So this year, I really want to work on being happier.
  4. Start therapy back up- I want to go back to therapy. I think it would be a good thing for me. I was supposed to start it back up earlier in the month, but then my appointment was cancelled over some dumb shit, so now I don’t know when I’ll be able to have my first appointment. But hopefully it is something I will be able to pick back up in 2021.

    All my other hopes/goals for 2021 are related to school, my career, etc, so I won’t be adding those here. But if you want to read about those, you can find that post on my other blog.

    So what are you hopes for 2021? What goals are you working toward for yourself? I would love to know! I hope everyone has a great New Year and I will see all of you in 2021!

Self Care Cauldron Update

Back in October I wrote a post sharing my Self Care Jar (which I later renamed my Self Care Cauldron). This was something I wanted to try as a way to help motivate myself to do something when my mental health is really bad and I don’t feel like doing anything. I had the best intentions of using it… and I haven’t touched it since that post.

I know a huge part of the problem is that I put it in a spot where I don’t see it and as the old phrase goes “Out of sight, out of mind.” The other problem is I’ve realized that when my mental health is at its worse, forcing myself to do something does me more harm than good. Apparently when my mental health is on a downward decline, doing anything fills with me dead and even sometimes anger… which isn’t a good thing. I don’t know why I’m like this, but all I know is as of right now, the self care cauldron hasn’t been very useful to me.

However, I won’t be giving up on it. I want to genuinely try it and figure out if it works for me. If I use it and it doesn’t, then I know for sure it’s not right for me, but I can’t dismiss it without first trying it. So I’m going to make it a priority to try and use it the next time I’m not feeling so great and see how it goes. I’ll post my final update for this in March.

If you made a self care jar for yourself, how is it working out for you? I would love to know! I hope everyone has a great week and I wish you all a Merry Christmas/Yule!

Venturing Into Minimalism to Help with My Mental Health

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on minimalism because I am in no way, shape, or form an expert on it. What I know about minimalism is compiled from reading books and articles on the subject as well as watching hours and hours of YouTube videos on it. I will also in no way, shape, or form pretend to be one because I’m not… but lately I’ve been feeling like I would like to work on becoming one.

For anyone who knows me, this might sound crazy. After all, I collect books, Funko Pops (only the ones I really like for some of the fandoms I’m a part of, which is mainly Harry Potter), and a few other assorted things. And while I do plan on doing a sweep of my book, Funko Pop, and other collections, I don’t plan on getting rid of too much of them. Why? Because they spark joy for me. However, do I need four books on the same subject if 2 of them have almost the exact same information in them? No, I only need 1 of them and depending on how much of the information is in the other 2 books, I might be able to copy what I need out of that book and then go down to the 2 completely different books. Or if I know all the information is easy to find online, I can easily just go online when I need the information and get rid of all 4 books. But in that situation, I think I’d rather just keep the books instead of looking online because I will always look to a book first, the Internet second.

Another example is that my fiancée and I have a decent sized collection of candles and incense. So one way we can minimal with these collections is to use up what we have and only purchase what we when out apply has run low or is gone completely. This means ignoring sales at Bath & Body Works and avoiding the candle section when we go to stores (smelling candles is a dangerous thing and that’s how you end up with more than you probably need). If there’s a scent we end up not liking, we can easily give it to someone or donate it. But we don’t need to replace it (unless it was the absolute last candle we had).

And then one of the biggest culprits of them all- My notebook, pen, and stationary collection. I’ll admit it- I am one of those people who will buy or receive a really nice notebook and then never use it because I feel like I will never have an idea that is worthy of the notebook. I also have a tendency to buy a new pen(s) every time I buy a new notebook. I don’t why I feel compelled to do this knowing I have tons of pens at home that still need to be used. However, I have gotten better about using the Post Its I have and am currently working my way through my Post Its stash and vow not to buy anymore until I work through what I already have. Though I have these sections well organized and have a decent amount of space for them, looking at these sections makes me feel overwhelmed sometimes because my mind starts racing with the following thoughts- Which notebook should I use? No I can’t use that one, it’s too nice! Well I don’t have anymore “crappy” notebooks, so I have to use a nice one. Maybe I should buy a new crappy one? *Brain screams in frustration* Now which pen should I use? Not that one, it’s too nice. No, I hate the way that one writes. Maybe this means we need to buy more pens! And that’s my brain when it comes to using notebooks and pens. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s one I need to change for the sake of my mental health.

Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that clutter and mess are huge triggers for my anxiety. Yes, I do love to organize and clean, and yes my label maker is still one of my favorite “adult” purchases I’ve ever made, but it’s hard to stay organized or clean properly if you’re overrun with too much stuff and not enough space to put it all in. And admittedly, this is a problem I’m starting to face and it has been taking a toll on my mental health. I know some days it takes a big toll on my fiancée’s mental health as well and it’s hard watching your significant other struggle, especially when you’re struggling as well.

So at least for me, my venture into minimalism will start with the Marie Kondo approach to decluttering and minimizing my life. I will keep what sparks joy, what is useful to me, and be mindful of what I bring in. I know the KonMari method isn’t about living with less, but it’s about living mindfully with what you love, which I guess is technically a form of minimalism? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that I want to start living more mindfully and with less stuff for the sake of my mental health. This also means being realistic with myself because I know damn well I will never be happy living with only fifteen books. I also know that eyeshadow palette I’ve been hanging onto for “one day” will never actually be used because I’m terrible at applying eyeshadow. And I know there are only so many tea mugs that I can (realistically) use. So I will not being following the KonMari method to the letter nor will I be actively seeking to become a minimalist. My main goals for this venture is to be mindful of what I have, realistic about what I use/will actually use, what truly sparks joy for me, and come out with a better organized and not so cluttered life.

If you are interested in my venture into living a more minimal life, please let me know and I will make it a series on this blog. Though the KonMari method says to start with clothing, I am going to start with the two hardest categories for myself- My books and my notebook, pen, and stationary collection. These are one of the areas where I feel the biggest improvement needs to be made, so that’s where I want to start.

Is anyone reading this a minimalist? if so, have you found that it improved your mental health? If so, please share your experiences in the comments so myself and others can gain some insight/wisdom from your experience! I hope everyone has a good mental health week!

Failure: Why This Seven Letter Word Always Sets Me Back

If anyone asked me what some of my biggest fears are, the five that immediately come to mind are: Snakes, clown, the ocean, silent darkness, and failure. Depending on the context of the conversation or experience before the questions is asked, the order for this answer varies. For example if I was at a birthday party and saw a clown making balloon animals, clowns would the first fear that came to mind. Or if I was at the beach and the ocean was in front of me, then I would say the ocean first.

But being the over imaginative, overthinker that I am, the one day I thought about what my Boggart would be. For those who don’t know, a Boggart is an amortal shape shifting non-being that takes on the shape of a person’s worst fear. If you’re a fan on the Harry Potter series, you’ll remember the scene from The Prisoner of Azkaban where Professor Lupin is teaching Harry’s class how to defend themselves against a Boggart. Being a Harry Potter fan and a believer in the Supernatural (to some extent, I don’t believe everything), one day I was thinking- If I came across a Boggart, what would my worst fear be? And after quite a bit of thinking, I realized it would be failure.

So you might ask- Why is failure your biggest fear? To me, the answer is simple: Because all my other fears I can avoid, but failure is a fear that is completely unavoidable. Let me explain: If I don’t want to possibly encounter a snake, I won’t go anywhere snakes can be found, or if I’m somewhere that has snakes (like a pet store or a zoo) I can avoid the section that has snakes. Clowns are also avoidable (though with the amount I’ve dated in the past, I’m not so sure about that). The ocean (though I live in Florida) is something I can observe from afar, safely on a beach. As long as I’m not too close to it, I’m fine. Silent darkness can be combatted by with something that makes noise (like a fan, humidifier, ambient noise, etc) and a nightlight (in my case our fish tank serves as the nightlight). So I can easily combat or avoid all those other fears, but failure isn’t so easy to combat or avoid. It’s always there, lurking in the shadows, unseen and waiting to strike.

I also thought about all the times failure of the thought of failure prevented me from pursuing an opportunity or from at least attempting to try for that opportunity. The amount of times I’ve been scared of clowns, snakes, the ocean, and silent darkness don’t even come close to the amount of times failure scared me into not taking an opportunity and allowed myself to be held back. So my Boggart would be seeing all my education and hard work go to waste and never achieving my full potential.

I know every single one of us faces the possibility of failure on a daily basis in some way, shape or form. For some, the failure could be getting rejected by the person you like or getting a bad grade on a test. For some, failure could be getting overlooked for that promotion they wanted or not getting into the college or university of their choice (been there and that one really stings). Failure could be a small setback or a huge setback, but I don’t think it matters which it is- what matters is having the support you need to get back on your feet and having the courage to continue on despite the failure you had.

Honestly, if it wouldn’t be for having the amazingly, supportive fiancée I have, my last big failure would have made me quit writing altogether because in my mind, it proved that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was and that I would never be good enough. But thanks to him (and also partially thanks to my constant stubbornness), I realized that though this failure was hard to deal with, I could overcome it and eventually something better would come along, and something has, but there is still chance I could fail at it… and that scares me.

I don’t want to fail. That is my biggest fear. For me, failing means I’m not living up to my full potential and when I’m not at my best, I’m not good enough for anything. Failing means I can’t provide for myself or my family, which means financial and emotional hardships. Hardships can cause things to start to fall apart and open the gate for anxiety, depression, and harmful thoughts to waltz in and take up space in my mind and home. And I know the combination of anxiety, depression, and harmful thoughts has the ability to paralyze me and keep me under a black cloud of despair for as long as it please or until I finally some way to snap out of it (which has proven to be anywhere from weeks to months to even years with very few good days during that time). So in my mind, failure is the absolute worst thing that could happen. I’m almost like Hermione in the sense that expulsion would be worse than death (because expulsion would be seen as failure where death is something that happens to all of us at some point in our lives and that’s even more unavoidable than failure). Plus, out of failure or death, I’ve gotten a bit better about handling death, mainly because I’ve had quite a few people in my life die over the last 13 years and also because of the beliefs I’ve begun to develop over the years (which I won’t get into in this post). So maybe it seems strange that I fear failure more than death, but I’ve begun to realize that my brain doesn’t always make sense and I’m just trying to work through it as best as I can!

But that’s why failure always sets me back- Because in my mind, failure will always lead to more issues down the road. I don’t think I’ve ever had the ability to just look at a failure, big or small, and accept it and move on. I think there’s always been tears, self deprecating talk, and anxiety and depression for a period of time afterwards. Even when I was younger, if I failed at something, I was harder on myself than anyone else. One time in grade school I got a B+ on a spelling test (I used to have trouble remembering how to spell eleven and a few other numbers). Though my parents were proud of my good grade, I wasn’t. I was so used to getting As on my spelling tests that seeing that B+ felt shameful. And if I remember correctly (which I may or may not because I was really young), I think this was the time I punished myself from doing anything fun until I got my grade up. Thinking back on this makes me laugh a little because it’s funny and also, I feel kind of bad for my parents. I was such a pain in the ass when I was a child when it came to certain things and none of us have any idea where it all stems from. So mom and dad, if you’re reading this, sorry for being such a pain in the ass for some unknown reason!

Fear is an interesting thing because no two people have the same exact same fears for the exact same reasons. All our fears stem from somewhere, some known, others unknown. I haven’t fully pinpointed where my fear of failure comes from, but the one I know is that I need to work through that fear. Because if I continue to all failure to set me back and send me on a downward spiral every time it happens, I won’t ever accomplish anything and all I’ll have to look back on is a whole lot of regret and what ifs. I don’t want that to be my life, so failure, we’re going to war with one another and this time, I’m going to come out victorious. Because I am tired of being set back by you and having you take over my life. It’s time to change my Boggart into something I can laugh at.

What would you Boggart be if you faced one? Is your biggest fear one that is easy to combat/overcome? Or is it one like mine where it’s unavoidable and you just have to deal with it when it comes? And if you have any advice for how to not let failure set us back, please let me know in the comments! Your advice could be what me or someone else needs to hear! I hope everyone has a successful week!

Anxiety Playlist

I have always found myself struggling with doing the grounding techniques I’ve been told about while struggling with an anxiety or panic attack. As hard as I try to remember what they are and do them while dealing with one of those attacks, it never seems to work out well for me. And you would think as someone who can organize while panicking and sobbing uncontrollably (yes it’s something I can do and no, I don’t understand how that’s possible either) that remembering to do the grounding techniques would be a piece of cake for me! But it’s not and I have yet to figure out why.

Though I may not be able to do the grounding techniques, I’m able to at least turn on music and focus on that while I’m working my way through my anxiety or panic attack. Over the years I’ve found that some songs are more helpful than others, so I wanted to share my anxiety playlist with all of you in hopes that at least one of these songs might help you out when you’re feeling down! The songs are alphabetized by the artists/bands name.

American Authors– Believer
Alanis Morissette– Crazy
Awolnation– Kill Your Heroes
BBMAK– Out of My Heart
Capital Cities– One Minute More
Elton John– I’m Still Standing
Elton John & Taron Egerton– (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again
Five– Keep On Movin’
Imagine Dragons– Zero
Keane– Crystal Ball
Keane– Everybody’s Changing
Madonna– Jump
Motion City Soundtrack– Everything Is Alright
Muse– Starlight
NateWantsToBattle– StopRewind
Panic At The Disco– High Hopes
Panic At The Disco– Into the Unknown (From Frozen 2)
Rubylux– The Boy Could Fly
Savage Garden– Crash and Burn
Set It Off– Lonely Dance
Shawn Mendes– In My Blood
St Lucia– Dancing On Glass
St Lucia– Elevate
Twenty One Pilots– Holding On To You
Twenty One Pilots– Migraine
Walk the Moon– All I Want
Walk The Moon– One Foot
The Weekend– Blinding Lights
Zedd ft. Matthew Koma and Miriam Bryant– Find You

There was a time when this list would have looked a lot different. Sixteen-year-old me was in a much darker headspace than Twenty-Nine-year-old me is in! My taste in music now has a lot more variety to it than when I was younger, though my genres still aren’t as broad as they could be. There are certain genres I’m not a fan of and that’s fine. There night be songs on my list that you would never listen to because of the genre and that’s fine!

So what songs do you listen to when your anxiety is at its worst? Or what songs would you recommend I give a listen to as potential additions this list? I would love to know! I hope everyone has an anxiety free week!

Self Care Jar

Recently while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across something called a Self Care Jar. It’s pretty self-explanatory: you take a jar, box, or any other type of storage container and you fill it with slips of paper that have things on them that you can do for self care when you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or simply need to relax. As someone who struggle with anxiety, depression, and relaxing, I decided making one for myself might be a good idea. Because I know especially on the really bad days I have no motivation to do anything for myself, self care or otherwise, so I thought this could be a great way to give me the motivation to do something on those days.

So the first thing I did was choose my jar, which is a cute little cauldron shaped container I found at Marshalls while searching for Halloween decor. It’s ceramic and probably is meant to be used for something else, but looking at it makes me feel happy and fits in well with my overall decor aesthetic, so that’s what I’m using it for!

So next came the slips of paper. I used a piece of plain white computer paper, but you could easily use different colors for different categories (i.e. pink could be personal self care like face masks, baths with bath salts, etc and blue could be entertainment like reading a book, watching your favorite movie, etc). I may eventually switch to a color coded system just because I’m a fan of color coding things, but for now I think what I have will work just fine. From there, I just took a pen and wrote down different things. Somethings, like reading, I made multiple slips for because as much as I love reading, it is something that I don’t do as much of these days and that’s depressing all on its own! So anything I can do to help increase my reading again feels worth it to me.

I’ve read that some people will take out the slip they’ve chosen and won’t put it back in the jar until they’ve gone through everything. While I like that idea because it doesn’t keep you doing the same thing repeatedly, I don’t think that will work for me personally. I don’t mind repetition as long as it feeds my soul and is good for me, so the idea of pulling the READ slip multiple times in a row sounds perfect to me. Over time that might change, but for now I think it will be fine.

So that’s my self care jar! Actually, I should call it my self care cauldron (that does sound cooler). If you decide to do this for yourself, I would love to know what kind of container you’re using! Also, let me know how effective it is for you. I will be posting an update about it in a month or two, so keep an eye out for that post! I hope everyone has a great week of self care!

Imposter Syndrome Flare Up

Months ago I posted about my struggles with Imposter Syndrome and how it’s impacted my life. Since that post, I’ve been working toward overcoming it so it doesn’t keep holding me back from my goals. But fairly recently it flared up again and almost made me give up my dream of being a writer. Here’s what happened-

About a few months back a YouTuber I’ve been watching for years posted on Instagram that she was looking for an editor to edit the book she’s currently writing. When I saw this, I was immediately torn between applying and not applying. Though I have some experience with editing, I didn’t feel my experience would be good enough for a project like this. But after talking to my fiancée Shane, I decided to at least apply because then what I wouldn’t be faced with the dreaded what if. So I put my resume together, whipped up a quick cover letter, and sent the email to her. it took about two days, but I heard back from her and she told me I was one of her top three choices to be her editor! I remembering staring at my computer in disbelief and wondering why I was in her top three because I didn’t feel like I deserved that kind of recognition. But I emailed her back and we moved onto the next step, which was me editing a small snippet of her book. I spent an hour and a half working on my edit, overthinking it and worrying the whole time. It didn’t feel good enough to me, I wanted to keep working on it and keep making it better, but I knew I couldn’t keep pushing off sending it back to her. So I sent to her and then it took awhile for me to hear back because she was pregnant and had her baby during this time. When I finally did hear back from her, she told me she had decided to go with someone else whose rate and availability better matched what she was looking for… and immediately my thoughts were “See, you weren’t good enough to be her editor. You charged way too much for your services when you should have charged less. You don’t have the skills to edit and your writing isn’t that great either.” Shane came home from work to find me bawling my eyes open and I told him I was quitting writing. This was a sign that writing was done with me and that I needed to something else with my life. He asked me what else I would do and I told him I didn’t know because there is nothing else I’m passionate about or even remotely good at. To make a long story short, he basically talked to me until I told him I wouldn’t quit writing. He really is the most amazing partner I could ask for!

But this experience made my Imposter Syndrome flare up and made my mental health start to break a bit. I felt like a fraud. I felt like I was pretending to be this skilled writer who had all this experience and education behind them. Even though I truly am educated and have truly had writing experiences, I felt like I didn’t deserve any of them. Even this blog, which I have always done completely by myself, felt like something I didn’t deserve to have. Even though I’ve committed myself to this blog, sticking to my schedule and trying my hardest to always give my readers something interesting, informative, or relatable to read, I didn’t feel like I deserved to have anyone take time out of their day to read my thoughts. Overall, I felt like I was pretending to be a good writer when I’m not.

My rational mind knew this was there to truth to those feelings. I’ve always done well on academic papers and in Creative Writing courses. I’ve written freelance articles for various niches. Back when I used to write wrestling fanfiction (this was in high school), I would post them on a site called Fanfiction.net and I would say almost all of the comments I get on them were positive. Occasionally there were a few comments that told me my writing wasn’t very good and those hurt, but eventually I realized there was no constructive criticism to them, so those people were negative for some reason. Also, my blogs are a form of proof that I’m a good writer because if my writing wasn’t any good, no one would read them! So deep down I know those feelings had no real validation to it, but in that moment it felt true.

Honestly, there’s some days where I feel like I’m absolutely insane for choosing writing as my career path. With being a writer comes feedback, both positive and negative. I could ten pieces of positive feedback, but that one piece of negative feedback I get will be what I dwell on for hours, maybe even days. Because that one piece of negative feedback “exposes” me as the fraud I am. And admittedly, being a writer is hard! I’m not just talking about the creative process, but also getting people to notice your work can be difficult. There are so many writers out there posting on their blogs, self-publishing their books, applying for freelancing jobs, submitting magazine articles or pieces into competitions, etc, that it’s easy to get lost in a sea of voices! So to everyone who has found my voice in this vast sea of writers, I thank you for coming on this journey with me and for taking time out of your day to see what I have to say, I really appreciate it! And I hope I can continue to write things that are interesting, informative, and relatable.

With writing as my chosen career path, I am setting myself up for constant rejection and negative feedback. I am setting myself up for the possibility of never getting an agent or having a book mass published. I am setting myself up for the possibility of being a starving artist (I am using that term very loosely because I do have a retail job). But I am willing to go through all of that. Why? Because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life. I can’t imagine not being a writer.

So I will continue to write, continue to try, and continue to work on overcoming my Imposter Syndrome. If you have any tips, tricks, or advice for dealing with it, please let me know! And if you’re struggling with Imposter Syndrome as well, please share your story with me and maybe we can help each out! I hope everyone has a peaceful week!

Pregnancy Anxiety: Why I’m Both Excited and Anxious about Being a Mother Someday

To start this post off, I would just like to say I’m not pregnant (sorry mom, no grand baby yet). But children are something my fiancee and I have talked about frequently and we know one day we want to be parents. We have our children’s names picked out, 2 for a girl and 2 for a boy. We’ve talked about nursery ideas, what it will be like the first time we take them to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and so much more.

But about a month or so I had a breakdown while baking. Sounds dramatic, I know. It was my first time making dough and I fucked it up. My anxiety took over and next thing I know I’m telling my fiancee that if I can’t even make dough, how can I expect to be a good mother when I’ve never been one before? And it all came pouring out- How anxious I am about being a mother one day. How I’m worried I’ll screw up our children. How worried I am that they’ll have anxiety and depression too. Basically every fear I have about being a mother came out in that baking induced anxiety attack. My fiancee’s response was that he doesn’t know how to be a father, but we’ll figure it out together. While I appreciate his honesty and his unwavering support, it made me realize that as much as I want to be a parent, I’m terrified of what that will mean.

When you have a baby, you are their entire world. They depend on you for everything. As they grow up, they depend on you to teach them how to walk, talk and read, use the potty, eat with a fork instead of their fingers, brush their own hair and teeth, and so much more. Even as they grow up they will depend on you for things like getting their head unstuck from their sweater, holding onto the back of their bike while they learn to ride one without training wheels, and so much more… and I only named the easy things there. Your children are going to depend on you for emotional support. When they are bullied in school or experience that first heartbreak they claim they will never get over, you’re going to be their shoulder to cry on. You’re going to be the one to tell them how amazing they are and that anyone who thinks differently is an idiot. Most of all, you’re going to be the person who is always in their corner, cheering them on in whatever they do, and loving them unconditionally. Though not all parents are this way, this is what I believe a parent should be for their children… and it’s something I’m afraid I won’t be able to be.

I’ve spent most of my life putting pressure on myself to be better, to be perfect. I’ve spent years mentally and verbally abusing myself for being imperfect and for not always achieving what I set out to achieve. I have always been my biggest critic, my worst enemy, and my biggest bully. I set myself to ridiculously high standards and when I don’t meet them, it makes me hate myself for being inadequate. So if I can treat myself so harshly, how do I know I won’t be the same way with my future children? How do I know that I won’t cause them to hate themselves if they don’t meet my standards? How do I know that they won’t feel pressured to be perfect because I keep striving to be perfect? Most of all, how do I know that I won’t be the cause of their anxiety and depression should they have it?

I never want my children to feel inadequate. I never want them to feel like they aren’t good enough for me because of the standards I set for myself. Most of all, I never want to be the reason or a part of the reason why they feel anxious, depressed, or any other negative emotion. I want to be a good parent. I want to raise my children to be open-mined, well-educated, and well-rounded individuals who aren’t anybody but themselves. Most of all, I want them to be happy and pursue their dreams with a smile on their faces. Maybe that’s naive, but I don’t want my future children to be miserable and stuck in a soul-sucking job that makes them hate life.

I’m not pregnant and I don’t know when or if I’ll ever be pregnant. I know it’s probably too soon to think about this and worry over it, but I can’t help it. I want to be a mother. I want to be a good mother… but there’s no way of knowing what kind of mother I’ll be until I have a child and that scares me. I wish there was someway I could study for being a mother or practice being a mother. Going into it blindly without any real experience scares me because I want to do well at it. … So how will I know if I can be a good mother or not? Will I be a good mother? Or is being a mother a bad decision for someone like me? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Is it normal to be anxious about this or am I overreacting? I would really like to know if anyone else has experienced this type of anxiety and if so, how did you overcome it? Any advice would be really helpful. Thank you. Have a greet week everyone!

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