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?

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.

Don’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

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:

Throwback Thursday: What are you optimistic about?

Hello and welcome to my blog! I am a mess physically and emotionally. My back and neck are strained (pulled muscles) and I have a migraine. Emotionally I’m either angry and yelling or sad and distant. Nevertheless, I’m trying to be optimistic and productive. A year ago, I wrote about a book I was reading but stopped reading a long time ago (I have 9 books I still need to finish) and I wrote this:

What are you optimistic about?

I started reading this book “What are you optimistic about?” yesterday, and it got me thinking.

What am I optimistic about?

The economic fall in Lebanon suddenly rises and for the Lebanese Lira to get its value back?

Nope. My thoughts were accurate. The then 2000LL to 1$ ratio is now 17000LL to 1$ and prices are tenfold everywhere.

The political bickering to stop and for us to finally have a democratic country that doesn’t imprison Muslims just because they have beards and who look after the Sunni Muslims of the country and build our wonderful country instead of putting our money in their pockets, leaving us to starve?

Not really. Again, I was right, and I wish I was wrong.

How about my son being able to go to school this year, as opposed to last year when he couldn’t go to school 1st due to the revolution and then because of COVID-19, and having a normal social life where he can play with his friends and not feel confused about what day it is and why he can’t just go to school?

This year no, but I have hope for him to go next year when he is going to be in 1st grade. True, this year he only attended 2 weeks of school, but he had a graduation ceremony and that made me very happy. Plus, I signed him up for summer camp and karate classes. He got used to staying at home so he makes a fuss every time he has to go but I don’t know if he will be attending school next year, not because of covid, but because of the fuel crisis.

How about this: Do I feel optimistic about getting over my anxiety and depression?

Yes, because I’ve done it before and I can do it again. That’s why I’m writing this post, to find things to be optimistic about. A year passed by and I’m still depressed. I’ve been in and out of depression several times this year. I’m disappointed with how my life turned out but I made my choices and I have to live with them. I’m working on finding inner peace rather than chasing happiness.

Before I continue, what is optimism? To me, it is hope for a better future and it stems from my faith in God. I now believe that optimism is being able to see the bright side in every situation.

Let’s talk bigger.

The book I’m reading was written by 100 people who have never experienced poverty, and who have high social statuses, but let’s see what they’re so optimistic about. In my opinion, the people who wrote this book are 1%ers who no one can relate to. Money and social status play a big role in happiness levels.

I won’t relay the whole book. I’ve only read a few pages so far, but 2 prominent things were:

1. Optimism about decreased violence.

As much as I find it hard to believe, but statistics say that there has been decreasing in violence over the years and that although violence still exists, it is usually hidden and condemned.

My personal opinion is that people with power still exercise their power on the weak, torturing people. And I believe it’s not well hidden, people are just too scared to do anything about it.

I don’t believe violence has decreased. Just have a look at what’s happening to minorities in America, Syria, and Palestine.

2. Optimism about the end of war.

I must say that if it weren’t for my faith, and the knowledge I have, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

See, I’ve read the book “the signs of the day of judgment”, and in that book, it says that Palestine will be freed, and that KSA will become all green instead of being a desert, and that Jesus will descend and kill the one-eyed gargoyle (dajjal) and bring peace to the earth. Now nobody knows when the day of judgment will be, but I have a feeling it won’t be during my lifetime. At the look of things, the apocalypse is nothing like the film 2012, but rather something different, killing us slowly.

I stand by this opinion.

So, what are you optimistic about?

I asked this question on Instagram and one person answered “nothing” while another answered “to get out of Lebanon“, so there’s that.

What am I optimistic about?

1. I’m optimistic about not becoming poor, or at least I have hope and I keep praying. I’m still optimistic about this.

2. I’m optimistic about not catching COVID-19 or any other serious disease. Still optimistic about this.

3. I’m optimistic about not becoming paralyzed, but I’m not so sure about cancer. Both my grandparents died of cancer and 2 cousins of my dad’s as well, but I hope I don’t get cancer. A year has passed and I still feel the same way.

4. I’m optimistic about not becoming obese. I’m not exactly model weight but I have the hope and confidence that at least I won’t go overboard. I’m a little optimistic about reaching my model weight, but not with my current diet.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds for me, and even today is full of surprises.

5. I’m scared, but deep down I have hope that tomorrow won’t suck and that I can become a better person if I keep trying to get over my social awkwardness, and most of all I pray for world peace and the end of poverty. I have lost hope in getting over my social anxiety, but I will keep trying to improve myself.

I still haven’t finished the book, though now I’m tempted to pick it up again, but I got a busy day today.
I got plenty done today but not enough.

Motivational Monday: Be patient, you will be successful

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to Motivational Monday, where I motivate you with inspirational phrases that probably won’t change your life but will brighten your day.

My mood is on the upside today, as opposed to how it was yesterday. It does up and down a lot during the day, I need every ounce of motivation to keep it up as much as possible. It’s like when you’re in the middle of the ocean and every wave throws you off balance and you’re trying to float and some waves are small, causing you to move a bit harder to remain afloat, while other waves are so big they seem to swallow you and you end up swallowing so much water you’re sputtering and feel like you’ve already drowned but you didn’t.

Aside from the dramatic imagery, I’m okay today. I feel almost at peace. I’m easily triggered by little things like a slight rise in someone’s tone of voice or if someone didn’t immediately answer my question or if I’m going to be late to somewhere because of an inconvenience like I am now.

Great things take time, be patient. I’ve always been an impulsive person, so it takes a lot of effort to be patient. I make rash decisions and regret them later, but I’m learning to slow down and think things through. My goals as a writer are like shooting for the moon, but I know I will get there some day. It may take years but it will happen. I just need to work hard and be patient.

Take your dreams seriously. Sometimes I doubt myself and think, how can I become successful? I tend to procrastinate for fear of failure. I get lazy and binge-watch tv shows instead of working. The writing part is easy, but to be successful, I need to do the tedious parts as well. I need to edit, create canva designs, and promote my work.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. I’ve written about failure before, and about how we can change our perception of it. If we learned something, we didn’t fail.

Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You can do it!

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.

It’s not selfish to love yourself first. In fact, you must love yourself 1st in order to love others.

Remember, you deserve good things. Imposter syndrome be gone!

Self-reflection Sunday: Deep conversation topics part 6

Hello and welcome to my blog! I am so exhausted, I’ve been napping on and off these past few days. But before I say goodbye to the weekend, let’s do some Self-reflection before Sunday is over.

Deep Conversation Topics:

6. Where do you find purpose in your life?

This is an easy question. Whenever I feel lost and confused, I know I need to get closer to God. My purpose in life is to be a good Muslim, and it should reflect in all my relationships, starting with my relationship with myself (self-love, self-care, self-reflection, and self-improvement), with my parents, my siblings, my husband, my son, my in-laws, my community, and my writings. I have a responsibility to be a good role model in all my words and actions, and it is my purpose to motivate and inspire myself and others to do better and be better. I know I’m far from being the role model I wish to be but the intention is there and I’m putting in the work. Of course, I have many specific goals, such as exercise daily and drink 1 liter of water a day (because I barely drink water usually), and many others, in order to live out my purpose.

What about you? What is your purpose in life?

Reblog: Staying calm under pressure

Much anxiety can be understood as intense fluctuation between engagement and avoidance.

Staying calm under pressure

I have never felt more understood in my life. Anxiety explained. Another time for all the people in the back:

I don’t hate you! I just have anxiety and don’t know how to deal with people without getting overstimulated.

Reblog: Staying calm under pressure

Much anxiety can be understood as intense fluctuation between engagement and avoidance.

Staying calm under pressure

I have never felt more understood in my life. Anxiety explained. Another time for all the people in the back:

I don’t hate you! I just have anxiety and don’t know how to deal with people without getting overstimulated.