Throwback Thursday: Anxiety and Depression Self-reflection

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I bring back a post I wrote exactly a year ago, sometimes 2 or 3 years ago, on this date, and reflect upon it (after fixing the mistakes using the Grammarly keyboard).

Today I’m reflecting upon a post of self-reflection. How poetic is that? Did you know that when you remember an event, you don’t remember the event, but you remember the last time you remembered the event? It’s mindblowing, right?

Reflect upon a recent victory in your life:

I need this pep talk. I do. I can’t think of a recent victory. Yes, I published a few books during March, April and May, but it’s July now, almost August. Besides, barely anyone bought my books and I can’t help but feel bitter about it.

It’s just my luck. I publish a book and the world goes into chaos a week later. A pandemic breaks out, the economy falls, etc. Chaos began in October 2019, after my 28th birthday, with the political situation and riots. Oh well, we’re supposed to be talking positively here.

Another recent victory:

I watched 4 seasons of The Vampire Diaries and 2 seasons of Gilmore Girls, but that’s hardly an accomplishment. I feel very useless and addicted to dopamine shots because of this.

I read over 30 books in the past year, but I need something recent.

I haven’t had a meltdown in public in over 2 weeks. That’s pretty impressive.

I started reading Anxiety and Depression for Dummies recently and so far it’s quizzing (if you know me, you know I love quizzes). “The negative thinking quiz” and “The distraught behavior quiz,” say I’m a bit anxious, but not too anxious that I need medical attention.” The sad, stressed sensations quiz,” says my body is feeling sad, but not entirely depressed. “The conflicted connections quiz” indicates that I’m a bit isolating myself, which I am, kind of.

What was a recent victory in your life?

I’ve had some victories and losses in the past year, but on the top of my head, I’ve published 10 books so far, between poetry, self-help and autobiographies.

I’ve also read some books and many blogs.

I’m also growing my blog and I even created a podcast.

I’m working on my marriage and my parenting, so there are some small victories there, and a lot of room for improvement as well.

What are some recent victories you have had?

Storytime: I learned something about myself today

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’ve been up since 4 am so I’m exhausted (it’s half past noon) and bored (I was supposed to have breakfast with my family but it didn’t work out so I’m waiting for lunchtime). At the moment, my 6-year-old is pouting in another room and it’s killing me, even though I did nothing wrong!

Here is what happened:

I woke him up at 9 am and made him chocolate spread sandwich after he went to the bathroom. Then as soon as he finished his sandwich, he asked for screentime. I told him not now, even though he has become accustomed to get his screentime right after his meal (that’s usually when he has to eat something other than chocolate) unless he has homework. He doesn’t fuss when it’s chocolate and honestly I offer chocolate more times than I care to admit, just because I don’t feel like going into war because he refuses to eat.

I reasoned that he just woke up and didn’t play with his toys yet or do anything creative, and me having been up for hours, didn’t feel like doing anything but go on my phone.

I was coloring on HappyColor.

Anyway, he left me alone to eat my oatmeal while I colored but called me soon after but I couldn’t hear him because the washing machine was too loud. I heard one of his calls and rushed over, to find he was in the bathroom waiting for me to rinse him (he knows how to but is disgusted of his own filth and, choosing my battles, I decided to let this play on but focus more on making him brush his teeth on his own).

The moment he saw me, he started yelling at me and speaking to me disrespectfully. One thing you may not know is that my 6 years old can be an angel, but he has a problem with authority. He treats me as if I’m his little sister, not his mom, and sometimes I let it slide even when I shouldn’t because I’m either tired or in a bad mood and don’t want to snap.

Today, though, I was assertive. I told him that if he wants me to rinse him, he must ask nicely. Otherwise, he will have to rinse himself. He started screaming and trying to hit me. I kept leaving the bathroom, giving him a minute to calm down, then come back and try again. My efforts only seemed to infuriate him further and after what seemed like 20 minutes, I told him that either he asks nicely or I’m going to have to rinse him but he doesn’t get screentime all day today. That didn’t work, so I picked him up and rinsed him and now I’m trying to follow through.

This happened 3 hours ago and he is still sulking and I kept coming to him and trying to calm him down and coax him into apologizing but he refused. At the end, I said let’s make up and he said fiiiine as if he was doing me a favor. Afterward, he said, “don’t I get screentime because we made up?”. I said no. You shouldn’t be rewarded for making up with your mom, and you didn’t even apologize. I noticed that I kept getting the urge to go hug him and give him whatever he wants, just to see him smile, but I resisted that urge.

I realized I was people-pleasing my son, which is why he doesn’t respect me. He expects me to come to him and give him what he wants because I always do. Even when I don’t at 1st, I eventually crack.

Right now he is sulking. He isn’t crying or screaming or throwing a tantrum or breaking things or hurting himself and when I keep trying to make his mood better, I’m sending the message that he’s not allowed to be anything but happy, and I don’t want to do that.

I did nothing wrong. He needs to learn respect. I’m not ignoring him. I just won’t give him screentime today.

I just hope that he learns his lesson.

Motivational Monday: Feel the magic in the air

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’ve been nauseated for the past 24 hours. I don’t know what’s wrong, but I could blame it on too many carbs in the past week. I’m still not better, and I fasted anyway because I didn’t feel I could eat anyway (I had only 3 dates for suhur). Tomorrow is the 1st day of Eid Ul Adha. I hope I’m better by tomorrow. No more carbs for me.

Anyway, despite Eid week being exciting, like all holidays where family gatherings occur, there is conflict and backhanded compliments and passive-aggressive relatives. So here are a few phrases to help you get through the week:

Tiny steps still take you there.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of the ladder. Take it step by step.

Your potential is endless.

Don’t be discouraged if someone tells you that you can’t do something. If you believe in yourself and work hard, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Magic is believing in yourself.

This reminds me of the song Feel the magic in the air.

Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.

Donโ€™t quit yet, the worst moments are usually followed by the most beautiful silver linings. You have to stay strong, remember to keep your head up and remain hopeful.

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.

Dream big but be realistic.

You deserve to feel loved.

Not when you succeed or when you get that job or find a husband. You deserve love now, as you are, with all your flaws.

Happiness is an inside job.

Nobody can make you happy. Only you can create your own happiness.

Give love to your insecurities.

Don’t hate your body because you don’t look like a model. Don’t hate yourself because you’re socially awkward. Love yourself because of your insecurities.

Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want.

Yesterday is gone. You can’t change the past, but you can change the future.

Stop worrying about things you can’t control.

Seriously, stop. If there is something you can do about it, do it. Otherwise, don’t worry about it.

Self-reflection Sunday: Deep conversation topics part 7

Hello and welcome to my blog! It was a nice weekend. It’s really hot though, but fun. But before I say goodbye to the weekend, let’s do some Self-reflection before Sunday is over.

Deep Conversation Topics:

7. Do you find purpose in your work?

Sometimes. My work as a mother is irritating and exhausting, but rewarding nonetheless. When I look at the big picture, that I’m raising someone and teaching them values, it reminds me that having patience is worth it. I get caught up in the day-to-day struggles a lot, and I often have to remind myself of my purpose as a mother, which is to nurture my son and give him the tools he needs when he grows up.

My job as a writer is different. Writing is my passion. It’s what I do when I’m feeling negative emotions. It’s how I deal with emotional pain. It’s also something I often forget to do when I’m happy. When I’m just enjoying life, I don’t get the urge to write. When I’m feeling awful, you can count on me to be very eloquent. My purpose in writing my blog and my books are not just my need to let things out, but also to motivate and inspire. Sometimes I read a post and feel like those were the exact words I needed to hear. Other times I’m feeling overwhelmed and getting lost in a book is just what I need. Unfortunately, I’m not yet able to write novels. Something is pulling me back, but I will keep pushing until I at least finish the 10 chapter novella, because there is a story inside of me, and I need to let it out to the world. It may not be my story precisely, but it’s a story of love, loss, and healing, which is something we all can relate to.

What about you? Do you find purpose in your job?

Eid is in 2 days. I’m going to be fasting Arafah tomorrow so wish me luck (fasting is really hard for me).

Poetry Friday: If I’m okay

Hello and welcome to my blog! Things in Lebanon are chaotic at the moment, but I’m okay, or at least I will be because I have God and a loving family.

I’m in the process of editing my old blogs, perfecting my work if you may, and I’m bringing back the poems I posted before I began the Poetry Friday series (and deleting the original posts).

If I’m okay

I’m just

Trying not to think too far

Trying not to feel too hard

Busy counting all my stars

Thankful for everything

I try

To focus on what I can control

One mistake and the ball rolls

It snowballs out of control

Then I lose everything

Trying to improve my reality

Trying to show the best side of me

Trying to leave my comfort zone

And make personal growth my norm

My friends are asking how I’m doing

And I don’t know what to say

It varies based upon my mood and

Changes by the time of day

I wish I was brave

I wish I was strong

I wish I could smile

And my problems be gone

I wish I could do all the things that I want

I wish I could go to all the places I want

But I do what I can with what I have

And I’m grateful for everyone who helps me out

So please don’t ask me if I’m okay

My answer will change every day

Just tell me good morning, have a great day

And I’ll do the best that I can

Because life isn’t perfect but it’s not terrible

There’s magic in the chaos, it makes it bearable

And I’m praying for things to get better

I won’t give up on my dreams or surrender

I’ll keep on working to be a better me

Sometimes it’s exhausting to be human

I know I don’t do enough as a friend

But I’m trying my best and I don’t pretend

Throwback Thursday: My Likes and dislikes (a pointless ranking of items that many people despise because, well, why not?)

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to throwback Thursday where I bring back a post from exactly a year ago, and give my insights about it. Today I’m going to see my likes and dislikes from a year ago and see if they’re still the same.

My likes and dislikes:

I have a lot of pet peeves (things that annoy me). Seeing hair on a plate makes my appetite go away. When people talk while they chew, I can feel my stomach turn.

Here is a list of things that I will rank from disgusting ๐Ÿคฎ to intolerable ๐Ÿ˜ฑ to infuriating ๐Ÿ˜  to “I couldn’t care less” ๐Ÿ™„ to “what’s the big deal?” ๐Ÿ˜’ and finally to “actually, I like this!” ๐Ÿ˜…

Using the above emoticons.

Here we go.

1. Country music: ๐Ÿ™„

I rarely listen to music, but when I do, I don’t listen to country music. I still don’t like country music, but if you do, who am I to judge?

2. Blue cheese: ๐Ÿคฎ

Mold. Fungus. You get the idea. Do you like blue cheese?

3. The word moist: ๐Ÿ™„

Words are powerful, yes, but I think the only words that make me cringe are swear words. Are you triggered by the word moist?

4. Cigarettes: ๐Ÿคฎ

They smell revolting. They’re bad for your health. They’re toxic, and the smoke makes me cough and my eyes water. Also, I’m convinced they’re prohibited in Islam. I stand by that, forever and always. Do you smoke?

5. Reality TV: ๐Ÿ˜ 

I think all reality tv is fake. When you know you’re on camera, you act differently. There is no way that reality tv is real. It’s rehearsed and overdramatic and just a waste of time. What about you? Do you watch reality tv?

6. Loud chewing: ๐Ÿคฎ

Lips smacking. Mouth opening, showing the food inside. The noise makes me want to throw up. Do you or anyone you know chew like this?

7. Mushrooms: ๐Ÿ˜…

I used to only eat the canned mushrooms, but once I tasted fresh mushrooms, I fell in love. They’re good with pasta, chicken, meat, and salad. But they’re really expensive in this economic crisis we’re going through in Lebanon. I miss eating fresh mushrooms. Do you like mushrooms?

8. Astrology: ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I feel strongly against anything that goes against Islam. Of course, for non-Muslims, to each their own, but when Muslims read and believe in astrology as if fate and God mean nothing, it makes me feel self-righteous. Nevertheless, I must remember not everyone has the same Islamic background as me, so many people are unaware that astrology is involved with witchcraft and the devils trying to listen in on the angels in the sky. Do you believe in Astrology?

9. Early mornings: ๐Ÿ˜…

I’m an early riser, not 5 am but more like 8 or 9 am, sometimes 7. Sometimes I have trouble going back to sleep after Fajr (dawn) prayer, like today, because I’m anxious to do something specific or have a lot on my mind. When I wake up at 10 am, I feel groggy and disoriented, and grumpy the whole day. Besides, I’m more productive when I wake up early. I still wake up every day at 8. The only difference is every day I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck.

10. Hair in the drain: ๐Ÿคฎ

Just yuck. Especially if it’s not my hair. In my house, I put this thing on top of the drain to catch the hair before it gets clogged and disgusting. Do you leave hair in the drain or remove it right away?

11. Republicans: ๐Ÿ˜ 

The only thing I hate more than injustice is flaunting injustice and being proud to be racist and rude arrogant and…๐Ÿ‘€ I mean, everyone has the freedom of political opinion but… Come on! Of course, I don’t know enough about politics to claim one party is better than another but I was referring to a specific republican and his supporters.

12. Waiting: ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I don’t like it when someone wastes my time and keeps me waiting. I got used to it because people in Lebanon are fashionably late, but it still annoys me. If there is a long queue to get something I want, for FREE, I wouldn’t stand in that queue. I’m not as annoyed with waiting as I used to be, but it does bother me a bit.

13. A tall glass of cold dairy milk: ๐Ÿ˜…

Yum. I mean, with peanut butter and jam toast. Heaven on earth. I’m not even going to start on those who drink almond milk. I mean God created cows, sheep, and goats, so you could squeeze an almond?! Anyway, you do you. I like my milk from a cow. I rarely drink milk these days, except in my coffee but I still like cold milk. I also like hot chocolate milk.

14. Sleeping warm: ๐Ÿ˜…

I can’t sleep without covering, no matter how hot it is. I usually get cold while sleeping in hot weather, with the AC off. I’m still the same in that regard.

15. Silence: ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Awkward. Deafening. Especially in an argument. Yell at me but don’t give me the silent treatment. In social gatherings, silence makes me want to lie in a hole ๐Ÿ•ณ especially when everyone is looking at me. I’m still uncomfortable with silence.

16. Bad weather: ๐Ÿ˜’

I like sunshine and I like rain. I think there’s no such thing as bad weather, except hurricanes and tsunamis and avalanches. I just don’t like cold weather.

17. Small talk: ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

The reason why I have social anxiety. I’m not interested in shopping and gossip and makeup. I’m not good at finding people’s favorite colors and favorite numbers. I’m not good at giving personal information without giving TMI, so I just sit quietly and hope nobody knows what’s going on inside my head. I still don’t like small talk but I think I’m better at it. I hope.

18. Raw tomatoes: ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I can’t. I can tolerate it in a salad, occasionally, but to actually cut a tomato and eat it next to something. No. The skin on the tomato weirds my teeth out. I now occasionally eat raw tomatoes with eggs.

19. The dentist: ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I admit I haven’t been to the dentist in 3 years. I know I need to go, but the smell. The sound of that zing thing. Having my mouth opened and afraid I’ll swallow my tongue or choke on my saliva, or have my tongue cut by that zing thing if I move my tongue the wrong way. It’s all too much. I went to the dentist a while ago and he said I need one of my wisdom teeth pulled out (the last one standing since I had 3 but removed 2 around 4 years ago). I just need to get an x-ray 1st. I still didn’t get that x-ray or get my tooth pulled out.

20. Cilantro: ๐Ÿ™„

I mean I use it in my cooking, but I don’t crave it. This is still the case.

21. Traffic: ๐Ÿ˜’

Yes, traffic is annoying, and I’ve never driven in traffic before. Maybe if I did, I’d switch this to intolerable, but as long as the AC is on in the car and I’m not running late, traffic doesn’t bother me. I just don’t see how people get into fights over traffic. Some people go into RAGE over traffic. I have never driven before so I have only ever experienced traffic as a passenger.

That’s all I have. I got this idea from Connor Franta.

He made a video on Youtube about just this. I edited the ranking a bit, but I thought it was fun to state my opinion of things nobody cares what I think of anyway. How would you rank these things?

21 techniques to increase your productivity

1. Make your bed in the morning (so you won’t be tempted to go back there).

I almost always make my bed in the morning.

2. Have a nice healthy and energetic breakfast (to have energy for the most productive part of your day).

I rarely eat a healthy breakfast. I had boiled eggs.

3. Organize a cluttered space (you’re going to feel instantly more productive).

I’m usually tidy but this was a good reminder.

4. Spend less time on the phone (and do something useful).

The bane of my existence! I’m trying.

5. Get a planner and use it (plan everything you want to achieve).

I plan on my calendar but I did print out a weekly planner and filled it up.

6. Turn off unnecessary notifications on the phone (don’t let this little machine distract you).

I turn off my wifi when I don’t want to be distracted by my phone.

7. Create a meal plan for the entire week ( so you don’t waste a lot of time thinking about it every day).

I plan what I’m going to cook a day before, but meal planning for the week is not my thing.

8. Make a to-do list (and try to complete all the tasks).

I make to-do lists almost every day.

9. Take a 30 min walk (to get some fresh air and feel motivated).

I’ve been walking my son to his karate classes and I’m definitely getting my steps in!

10. Declutter email inbox (it can be a little overwhelming sometimes).

I normally do this once a week, or more.

11. Exercise for 30 min (even if you don’t do anything during the day, you will feel super productive after your workout).

I was able to do 15 minutes, more than my usual 7.

12. Read a chapter of a book before bed (and forget social media).

I’ve been reading from 100 simple secrets of happiness every day, sometimes right before bed.

13. Don’t watch TV (so you have more time for yourself).

I’ve been binge-watching daily for a month but I skipped 2 days of no TV!

14. Organize your closet (and donate everything you don’t want anymore).

I did this today (I’m not doing the tasks in order).

15. Create a music playlist with your favorite songs (and dance like no one is watching).

I did!

16. Don’t check your phone right after you wake up (and have a slow and peaceful morning).

I’ve been practicing this a lot lately. One day I even didn’t go on my phone until after 3 hours of waking up!

17. Meditate for 10 min (you will feel rejuvenated).

I listened to relaxing sounds on my phone for 10 minutes.

18. Organize your pantry and fridge (so you don’t spend too much time searching for your favorite snack).

I did and it felt so good!

19. Deep clean your room (clear space, clear mind).

I deep cleaned the kitchen.

20. Unsubscribe people that don’t bring you joy anymore (you will feel much more relieved).

I do an Instagram purge every once in a while and it feels good.

21. Schedule a rest period during your day (we all need some relax time).

I napped. I’ve been doing that more and more lately.

To do this challenge, go to:

10 things you can do during the 1st 10 days of Dhul Hijja

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today is the 3rd day of Dhul Hijja, a holy month in Islam, and I feel like I’m wasting the days away. So to motivate myself to take advantage of these blessed days, and hopefully motivate you too if you’re Muslim, I decided to write the benefits of these days and the best deeds to do during these days if you’re unable to go to Hajj.

Hajj is One of the five pillars of Islam central to Muslim belief. It is the pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim must make at least once in their lifetime if they are able and is the most spiritual event that a Muslim experiences, observing rituals in the most sacred places in the Islamic world.

Dhul Hijjah – the 12th and final month in the Muslim year – began on July 10 or 11, depending on which country you live in, according to the moon sighting.

The month includes two key events – the Hajj pilgrimage and the second Eid, known as Eid ul Adha. It’s expected that Eid ul Adha will be on or around July 20.

To go to Hajj, you must apply and have sufficient funds (I assume it costs 5000$ a person). Those who are unable to go to Hajj can do other things to reap the benefits of these 10 days.

10 things you can do during the 1st 10 days of Dhul Hijja:

  1. Prayer: Extra prayers, especially during the night
  2. Fasting: Especially on the day of Arafah, the day before Eid
  3. Quran: Read or listen to Quran, and tafseer if you can
  4. Dhikr: The takbeer Al tashreeq is very much rewarded, but there are many other dhikr you can say
  5. Doua: Supplications are answered on the day of Arafa
  6. Charity: Good deeds are multiplied during these days, and what better deed than charity
  7. Sacrifice: Sacrificing a lamb is a sacred ritual done on the 1st day of Eid and the meat is distributed between family, friends, and poor people
  8. Social welfare: Acts of kindness and volunteering are greatly rewarded during these days
  9. Spread knowledge about these days and their benefits
  10. Eid: Eid Al Adha is a special celebration and it comes with a series of regulations and traditions

May Allah accept our good deeds from us during these blessed days and keep us from bad deeds.

Motivational Monday: Go after your dreams

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to motivational Monday where I send you off with some motivational words to kickstart your week. Some people love Mondays, but most people get the Monday blues and need a few reminders to make it through.

Last night I slept, exhausted, but grateful for everything. I could barely keep my eyes open, but I recorded a memo to remember what was on my mind and I was supposed to listen to that memo today and write a blog post of more or less what was in it. But that was then and today I woke up exhausted and I had a busy day so far, so writing that is out of the question.

Also, yesterday was the 1st day of Dhul Hijja which is a very holy month in Islam. It’s the month in which Muslims can go to Hajj and those who can’t, myself included, can do a lot of good deeds, like charity, and get many rewards. If I find the time and energy, I’ll write a post about this soon. I also need to finish chapter 2 of my novella Tony and Sandra, but for some reason I’mdoing everything but that. So for now, here are a few reminders for the coming week:

Motivational Monday: Go after your dreams!

It’s a lovely day to go after your dreams. If you dare to pursue your ambitions, they can all come true. Make sure that whatever you choose makes you happy. Don’t put any restrictions on yourself. Many people place limitations on themselves based on what they believe they are capable of. You can go as far as your imagination will allow. Remember that you can achieve whatever you believe.

Trust your life’s timing. Things don’t just happen; they happen for a reason. Throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, and catch the trade winds in your sails, because twenty years from now, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So explore, dream, and discover.

Think about how many battles you’ve already endured. You’ll win this one as well, because every time you thought you couldn’t go on any longer, you did. Remember it won’t transform you unless it challenges you. Growth does not happen in your comfort zone!

Have a great day and a great week! Follow me on Instagram @sajidahaddad and @lostinthewoodswithnotv if you don’t already. Don’t forget you can find my books on Amazon. My latest book is The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships. I also recently republished the kindle versions of Growing up between USA and Lebanon, and Find your voice in the middle of the noise. I also published a paperback version of these books. You can now gain points on Amazon for buying books and redeem them for ebooks!