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 can’t seem to turn my mind off

I’ve been binge-watching The Good Doctor all day today. In between episodes, I did some housework, played ludo with my son, drew a superhero for my son, took my son to and from summer camp (I was annoyed from the woman in charge because yesterday I didn’t bring him a snack because he told me he didn’t want one and she pointed out to me that everyone was eating but him, so today she made a comment in front of everyone, embarrassing me, saying “good you got your son a snack today”. I mean I know I made a mistake, but was it really necessary to embarrass me like that?!)

Anyway, besides seething about that, I can’t seem to turn my mind off. I keep remembering what I found out today, and everytime, my gut wrenches and my heart gets heavier. How do other people let things go? I wish I hadn’t found out. Indeed, what you don’t know can’t hurt you. I feel so hurt right now, and I feel like I deserve it.

I keep praying for God to forgive both of us for our shortcomings and protect us from temptation and heal our trauma and help us improve ourselves so we can be better people and so we can be better suited for one another. We have nothing in common. Love is all we have. My anxiety is through the roof and I’m dreading the future.

I was already going through a bout of depression for the past month or so, but now anxiety is in the mix and it’s all a bit too much.

Maybe I should go back to reading from Men are from Mars. I stopped reading it a while ago.

For now, I will eat ice cream with my son, then give him the phone to play an educational game while I binge watch more. The show isn’t a total waste of time as I’m learning a lot from it about dealing with social situations.

Update: I talked to a trusted friend and she helped me see I was overreacting and gave me great advice. I feel much better now.

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.

Poetry Friday: Happiness eludes me

I watch the sun rise

Feel the breeze on my face

The power’s out, I realize

But my joy isn’t phased

What is this vibe?

It’s like the stars aligned

Is this what it’s like?

To be content

Because happiness eludes me

It seems like a delusion

The moment I hold on to it

It drifts away

And I’m left shipwrecked

This heaviness in my chest

Is so familiar

I almost forget it’s pain

And I’m flooded with regrets

Shame and confusion

I don’t know why I do this

But this pain is comforting

Sometimes I chase happiness

Sometimes I search for meaning

It’s impossible to feel blessed

With my anxiety like demons

But it’s like

It’s become my identity

Like I’m broken

And I need someone to fix me


I know what to do but

It’s a lifelong journey

And it’s a bit too much

I know that I should love myself

I know I should be kind

But I don’t eat or sleep well

And I occasionally exercise

It’s like I have a death wish

I feel so lost and helpless

I think I’m co-dependant

But I don’t want to be

My hands are shaking

From too much caffeine

And intermittent sleeping

My social skills are weak

I wish I could be put together

Like other people that I know

But maybe they’re all just a mess

And they’re putting on a show

Focusing on myself

And my surroundings

It helps me to relax

And keeps me grounded

The magnets and stickers on my fridge

Remind me of the miracle that is

My sunshine, my sweety pie

The Apple of my eye

I have shelter, food and clothes

I’ll never take for granted

I have running water, who knows?

How long it will last and

I have so much, yet I complain

Does that mean I am vain?

It just means I’m human

And I’m trying

Poetry Friday: My mental states of being

The sun is shining outside

I have so much good in my life

I’m grateful for all the love I have

Grounded by peace inside

No moles infesting my mind

I’m mindful of everything I do

Then suddenly

A switch goes off inside of me

And then I feel so blue

It’s like a bad dream

Like someone turned out all the lights

And all I see are blurry hues

I start to count all of my failures

And all the things I could do more

The things I find no time for

The things I feel are like a chore

I start comparing my results

To those who I deem successful

And suddenly I feel so burnt out

And I think I’m such a failure

So I take out my metaphorical whip

The one I use to lash myself

For not having as much success

For not having enough happiness

And I start to complain

Then look for ways to numb my brain

And I look around at who’s to blame

And I resent them for everything

It’s so exhausting to be like this

One moment everything is bliss

Then suddenly I’m panicking

My heart feels so heavy

Some days I drag myself out of bed

And hate myself for being sad

Then anger takes me to the edge

Before I go back to my present state

It’s hard to tell who I am

Am I the mindful grateful human being?

Or am I the raging weeping machine?

Which one of them is the real me?

I can never tell

I can read self-help books all I want

Chant affirmations and whatnot

But unless I find the reason why

I jump so often in between

All these mental states of being

I will never truly heal

So my goal is not to chase happiness

But to find the meaning in the pain

And to stop waiting for circumstances

To change for me to change

Throwback Thursday: Worrying about the future

Hello and welcome to my blog! We’re almost halfway through 2021 and the pandemic isn’t over yet, but we have bigger problems here in Lebanon.

Lebanon today is reeling from a crushing economic crisis that pushed more than half its population into poverty. On top of having to cope with a local currency that has lost more than 85 percent of its value in just over a year, people also struggle to afford basic food items that have become 400 percent more expensive.

That’s why it was suitable

to find that a year ago, I wrote a post about worrying about the future. Oddly enough, I’m not worried about the prices and being able to buy necessities. That’s for my husband to worry about.

I’m worried about the effect the situation has on my husband’s mood, which in turn affects my marriage.

I’m worried about how I’m going to keep my anxiety and depression in check when I’m not getting much me-time or going out.

I’m worried about my mental health and how it’s affecting my physical health.

I’m worried about the effect of my son staying long hours at home with no playmates.

I’m worried about not being able to visit my family every Saturday because of the fuel shortages.

I’m worried about not being able to work on my blog and my books if the motor in our building shuts down. Nevertheless, I’m reading and trying to find ways to deal with the worry, and the best way I found is to practice mindfulness and gratitude.

A year ago I wrote:

Worrying about the future

“I don’t want to turn 6 years old!”

That’s what my 5-year-old son announced to me the other day, and when I asked him why he said “because I don’t want my teeth to start falling”.

He is now six and has lost 2 teeth and was very excited to lose more but for some reason never did.

It fascinates me and freaks me out that my son is thinking a lot about his future. He wants to be a policeman (I hope he changes his mind) and he tells me to keep the clothes that are small on him for his kids. He wonders what being an adult is like, and when he asks too many questions, I tell him “just think about reaching 6 years old. Eat, sleep, and pray, and don’t think about anything else”.

He currently wants to be a zookeeper but for dinosaurs. He isn’t convinced they are extinct.

The reason why I say this is because my son worries so much about the future, I feel like he is missing out on the now. Where have the times gone when our kids could just play freely without worrying what job they’re going to have and how they’re going to get enough money to feed a family?

I’ve been worrying about the future a lot lately. The future seems bleak, especially in Lebanon. But that’s my job, to worry. My son’s job is to have fun and be carefree.

Two things come to mind when I think about this situation:

The 1st is a poem I adore “I want to be six again”.

I want to be six again.
I want to go to McDonald’s and think it’s the best place in the world
to eat.
I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make waves
with rocks.
I want to think M&Ms are better than money ’cause you can eat
I want to play kickball during recess.

From the poem “I want to be six again”

My son doesn’t want to turn six because he is afraid of his teeth falling. I think this whole not going to school is taking a toll on him. He is spending a lot of time with a parent who has anxiety and another who is constantly worried and deep in thought. It’s hard to be carefree when the overall mood is as if someone died.

The mood is still the same most of the time. I tend to hide from my family to be on my phone peacefully. The difference is I think I have a better grip on my mental health than I did last year.

I feel like I lost my smile. I used to be so perky and joyful. The book I just finished reading had a father who was too carefree, bordering on carelessness. There was a mom who was always worried about what might go wrong, so uptight and busy and tired all the time. It’s sad but I saw myself in her. Then there was the grandma, who was a ray of sunshine. I saw my late grandma in her, may she rest in peace.

I’m currently reading 100 simple secrets of happiness, but it’s taking me forever because the one I have was translated into Arabic.

I played scrabble and uno yesterday, but even while playing, I noticed I’m somewhat on edge and serious. I’ll try to loosen up more, for the sake of my son. He seems to be freaking out all the time lately, worried and scared. I wish I could distance him from me and get him in contact with a happy soul. I’m not in despair, but I feel not so optimistic, and somewhat numb.

We played monopoly yesterday. My son has been occupied with arts and crafts for hours lately, but once he gets bored, he becomes very annoying. I’m trying not to get annoyed by him, but to be mindful instead.

Another thing that comes to mind is a poem I wrote a long time ago. I think I called it “Give me the heart of a child”.

You can find this poem in my 2nd poetry book “Heart on my sleeve and other poems”.

I used to be just afraid of the dark

I’d ask my mom to keep the lights on

Afraid I’d fall off the swing in the park

I’d clench both fists and hold tight on

But now I’m afraid of bigger things

Like heartbreaks, earthquakes, poverty

Growing old with no one taking care of me

Give me the heart of a child

And I’ll live my life like a man

I’ll love my life like a child

Enjoying it while I can

From “Give me the heart of a child”

So I spend my days writing to-do lists, seeing family, doing some housework, procrastinating other housework, watching The Vampire Diaries, sometimes exercising, sometimes reading. I’m practicing The art of getting by. If you didn’t watch the movie, you should. I think there’s a book too, but I haven’t read it.

Last night, my son was really worried he’d be bit by a mosquito in his sleep. He was terrified. I told him “You need to have faith that God will protect you and that nothing can harm you unless God wills it to”. Maybe I should internalize my advice. I’m good at giving advice but terrible at following my own words.

Are you worried about the future?What are you doing to cope?

A strategy I use when I’m worried about something. The 1st part is to imagine the worst-case scenario, then make a plan on what you will do if the worst were to occur. Finally, imagine the best case scenario and hope for that.

Transformation Tuesday: Over and Out.

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I’m exhausted, as you can tell from my previous blog posts.

I’m burnt out, and I keep pushing through. But everyone has a limit, and I know that when blogging becomes a chore, that I’ve reached mine.

When I 1st started my blog, it was more of a storytime thing. Parenting stories riddled with anxiety and depression. I then began to share my poems and eventually started giving advice. Then I introduced self-reflection and self-care and I even started bringing back old blogs.

My niche became so diverse that I had to specify a day for each theme. For a while, that organized my blog, but then it killed my creativity, and when I went off the themes, I became like an ADHD patient off their meds, a million thoughts running through my head and I’d get distracted by each one.

The expectation of blogging daily left less room for editing and creative writing, and when I began to focus on other projects, like my books on Amazon and my podcast, my blog suffered.

In the long run, my views have increased, but I already had to remove Wednesday wisdom, which was my advice column, what I worked best on. Then I removed self-care Saturday but replaced it with Parenting Hacks recently, which is proving none sustainable for me since I touch my phone the least on Saturday.

Now transformation Tuesday feels like a chore. I shared updates on my goals in an image as a story today. I didn’t feel the need to elaborate, or maybe I didn’t feel like it. I tried to nap instead.

My perfectionist tendencies are making me feel horrible about myself, and it seems tedious and hypocritical to put the progress of my goals in a chart when deep down I know that two things I need to work on the most: housework and my marriage, are not even in the charts.

Exercise and healthy eating come next. I need to prioritize better. I keep getting distracted by TV shows. Posts in which I ramble are my best posts, but they are the most revealing. I’m a mess. Can you tell?

I won’t be a victim and tell you everyone has done me wrong. I lost a lot of friends to my impulsivity. I watched a youtube video today and I break the golden rule of friendship all the time. Now I know why I’m so lonely.

Hold on. Grammarly is telling me to take the drama down a notch.

The whole point of this post is to tell you there will be no more transformation Tuesday posts anymore. I’ll share my progress as a story, but I’ll try to be more mindful with my goals and not exceed 10 goals, starting July.

I’ll still post on Tuesday. Especially on Monday and Tuesday because they are my most viewed days. Monday is my favorite day. Tuesday my least favorite.

Grammarly now approves of my tone. Thank you, Grammarly.

I don’t want to talk about the situation in Lebanon or I’ll sink back into depression. On the bright side, I talked to my sister on the phone today. I’ve been in contact with my brother as well. Having siblings abroad is hard, but I think somehow them being far away brought us closer. In my family, distance makes the heart grow fonder.

My tone keeps changing from paragraph to paragraph.

I’m going to end this on a positive note. I’m off to watch The Resident while my son watches Open Sesame on the TV.

Transformation Tuesday: Over and Out.

Poetry Friday: Keep the lights on

Keep the lights on

I don’t want to be alone in the dark

Hold my hand and

Promise you won’t let go of my heart

I need to know

Deep in my soul

That I’m not alone

My mind can be a scary place

I do wretched things when I’m afraid

I’m paranoid and stuck in my head

I lie awake all night in my bed

Then somehow I fall asleep

When all my thoughts get tired of me

They get tired of running around

But when I sleep, my sleep isn’t sound

And I know I did this to myself

I let these thoughts get in my head

They seemed so sweet, I let them in

Then like a virus they’d begin

To infect my cells and turn them red

Make me believe everything they said

That nobody loves me

Everyone will leave me

That I don’t deserve happiness

After all the things that I did

How dare I seek forgiveness!

All the guilt and the shame

They say I’ll never change

So I may as well cut the chord and escape

But I always talk myself out of it

A friendly reminder does the trick

Be it a blog post, podcast, book or video

I’m reminded to never ever let go

And to believe in myself

To believe in my true self

Not the imposter thoughts in my head

When I’m surrounded by loved ones, I’m okay

Even if I’m exhausted by the end of the day

An introvert can take only so much small talk

But when I’m alone, I keep the lights on