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?

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).

Self-reflection Sunday: 21 Journaling prompts

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’ve been working on these prompts for the past 3 weeks and I wanted to share them with you.

1. Write about a time that you felt proud of yourself.

When I published my 1st book on Amazon.

2. If you had 3 wishes for this year, what would you wish for?

That covid would disappear. That the economic crisis would end. That my books would sell and that I would start getting clients on Upwork.

3. What’s on your mind right now?

What am I going to eat for breakfast? Because I wake up hungry but with no appetite, and I’m often bloated but still think carbs when I think breakfast. Nothing else satisfies me, not even eggs. Eggs fill my stomach but leave me with a feeling that I need something sweet afterward. What baffles me the most is how my appetite grows progressively throughout the day. Last night, I had 3 sandwiches, with only an hour in between them. I usually have none or one. I drink coffee to suppress my appetite basically because it hasn’t been doing much to wake me up lately.

4. Write about something or someone that you miss.

I miss having friends. I miss having people to hang out with and go places.

5. What do you value most about today?

I value prayer. The ability to pray. Also, the people in my life. Despite feeling lonely often, they make me feel like we’re lonely together.

6. Write about a moment in your life that makes you happy when you think about it.

The morning walks along the beach I used to take in Turkey when we went to Selge Resort in Antalya.

7. If life stopped today, what would you regret not doing?

I would regret not living fully, not having enough adventures, not being spiritual enough.

8. How do you want people to remember you and why?

I want to be remembered for the good things I did. I want to be remembered for my smile, for my kindness, for my humility. Ironic that I don’t think I’m very kind, but I want to be.

9. What aspects of yourself do you need to show more love?

My body. I criticize my body a lot.

10. What would your perfect day look like?

A morning walk alone along the beach. Then a good time with my family. Then reading a good book alone. Then a movie with a friend. Then going on my phone for hours. Then a good night’s sleep.

11. Write all the things you want to achieve this year.

I want to finish my novella, all 10 chapters of it. I want to sell a few more books on Amazon, and I want to achieve my health goals. I want to finish reading all the 9 books I’m in the middle of. I want to grow and mature more as a person and overcome my social anxiety which has been exacerbated since the pandemic.

12. What do you need more in your life?

I need inner peace and outward adventure.

13. Make a list of things you would do if you weren’t afraid, and how would they impact your life.

I would pursue my dreams relentlessly. I wouldn’t avoid confrontation as much. I would act more assertively. I would procrastinate less and do more.

14. What piece of advice would you give to ten years old you?

Don’t chase friends and don’t settle for any less than you deserve, and you deserve the best, so live accordingly.

15. How can you make tomorrow better?

By doing an act of kindness a day. I know it sounds cliche, but kindness makes the world a better place, and it will improve my well-being and help others.

16. Write about all the things that make you nervous and how could you change that.

People make me nervous. I spend so much time worrying about saying the right thing and acting the right way because when I make a mistake, everyone remembers, but other people make social mistakes out of meanness and I’m just supposed to accept that. The plan is to interact with people as little as possible and to not take it personally when people are jerks to me.

17. What is something you learned yesterday?

I learned that I’m very dramatic and my overthinking will be my pitfall if I don’t keep it in check.

18. Write about a past struggle that you overcome. How has it made you stronger?

When I think of past struggles, I can only think of when I studied for my Masters’s degree, in French, while I was a newlywed and pregnant. I mean pharmacy was a breeze compared to this, but I did it and I got my master’s degree while taking care of a newborn. It has made me stronger in the sense that whenever I’m about to give up, I remember this, and I tell myself if I could do that, I can do anything I set my mind to.

19. What is something you are looking forward to right now?

My morning coffee.

20. What brings you the most joy? How can you make more time for it?

Self-care. I need to schedule it into my day.

21. What is something that’s missing from your life? And how can you change that?

Freedom. Only time will tell.

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?

Self-reflection Sunday: Deep conversation topics part 5

Hello and welcome to my blog! I am so exhausted, I could sleep for a whole week. But before I say goodbye to the weekend, let’s do some Self-reflection before Sunday is over.

Deep Conversation Topics:

5. When have you given up on something?

I don’t think I have ever given up on anything I set my mind to. I have procrastinated and come close to giving up on a lot of things, but I have given up on people. Toxic people, relatives, people who I gave up on advising them or changing them. I have given up on the idea of peaceful parenting time and again but it didn’t seem to work or I didn’t seem to have the patience for it, but then something happens and I get encouraged and start over.

What about you? Have you even given up on something or someone?

Self-reflection Sunday: Deep conversation topics part 4

Hello and welcome to my blog! I had a busy weekend yesterday and today, and I was pretty moody. It’s been a struggle to get out of bed, but I got up and I was as productive as I could be. Hopefully, Monday will be better. But before I say goodbye to the weekend, let’s do some Self-reflection before Sunday is over.

Deep Conversation Topics:

4. What kind of goals do you have for the next year?

My mind doesn’t go as far as next year, but from now until the end of 2021, my goals are focused around my books. I plan on writing more chapters of my novella (though I keep procrastinating), and going through my already published books and edit them and republish (I keep procrastinating that too), and I have a few more ideas for books I need to work on, in addition to marketing and promoting my books, blog and podcast. Of course, I’m also going to keep writing blog posts and converting them into podcast episodes, and I’m even thinking of going to old blog posts and editing them as my writing has drastically changed since 2017.

As for my reading goals, I have 7 books I’m yet to finish reading and 2 pdf books as well that I’m in the middle of. I was also trying to be caught up in reading blogs but it has been so hard with my son at home and with my other responsibilities and my energy being limited, so my blog reading has decreased a lot.

Otherwise, my ongoing goals are to exercise daily, eat fruits, drink water, sleep before midnight, and build other healthy habits, in addition to controlling my anger (which is proving very difficult).

What about you? What are your goals for the rest of the year? What about next year?

Self-reflection Sunday: Deep conversation topics part 3

Hello and welcome to my blog! I had a busy weekend yesterday and today. Now I can ease into Monday relaxed and happy. But before I say goodbye to the weekend, let’s do some Self-reflection before Sunday is over.

Deep Conversation Topics:

3. How often do you set goals for yourself?

I used to do new year’s resolutions, but then I would never follow up with them. Since November 2020, I began making goals every month. I eventually began categorizing them into physical, mental, social, emotional, spiritual, and I create a habit tracking table to follow up with each habit I’m trying to build. The only problem is that I’m supposed to limit my goals to 1 or 2 per category, but I always somehow end up with exactly 20 goals each month. It’s very organized but a bit overwhelming. To make my goals less daunting, I further categorized them into daily goals (things I must do daily) and weekly goals (things I plan on doing a certain number of times per week).

What about you? How is your goal setting done?

Self-reflection Sunday: Deep conversation topics part 2

Hello and welcome to my blog! I had a busy weekend yesterday and today. Now I can ease into Monday relaxed and happy. But before I say goodbye to the weekend, let’s do some Self-reflection before Sunday is over.

Deep Conversation Topics:

2. Do you find your work challenging and interesting?

If you mean by my work my books and blog, then yes. I’m very passionate about my writing, and even though I don’t get paid for my blog, I still enjoy doing it and I feel challenged to keep finding ways to engage my audience more and increase my views while staying authentic and true to myself. My books are the same style as my blogs, so if you like my blogs, you’ll like my books. The challenge with the books wasn’t writing them. It was editing them and now promoting them. I know next to nothing about marketing and I’m learning to market my own books without having to pay to market them.

My job as a mother, though thankless and free of charge, is my most interesting and most challenging job of all. Everyday I learn something new. Motherhood motivates me to be a better person so that I don’t traumatize my son. I’m awed by a lot of things my son says and notices.

What about you? Is your job interesting and challenging?

Self-reflection Sunday: Deep conversation topics part 1

Hello and welcome to my blog! I had a long day yesterday and I was in a lot of pain last night and I was exhausted. I went to bed at 9 pm after caving in and taking painkillers. The reason why is still blurry but I think I was feeling emotionally overwhelmed by a conversation I had with my grandparents which poured salt onto some wounds I had buried deep down in the name of being tolerant and understanding. Add to that 2 weeks of lousy sleep and voila! It took a toll on my body.

A lot is going on in my life that I can’t write about because it’s private. Many things I can’t change but haven’t been able to fully accept. Anyway, I decided to still do the self reflection post, even though I’m 13 hours late, and I’m still going to do a motivational Monday post afterwards.

I’m also really behind on reading blogs because I was working hard on my new book (it will be released tomorrow as an ebook) and binge-watching Gilmore Girls (I finished season 7 yesterday and started Gilmore Girls: A year in the life).

Without further ado, today’s question is:

What is your biggest day to day challenge?

This one is easy. Controlling my anger. I have a hard time keeping my cool, especially with my husband and son. I get irritated by small things. I get more controlling the more I feel things are out of control. I try to let things go but I end up bottling them up and exploding. Today is my son’s 1st day back to school in person and even though he woke up on his own at 7:30 am, which is a 1st, he gave me a hard time and I snapped at him, which is something I’m not proud of at all. I went full The Hulk on him and then after he calmed down I apologized and made amends. I had been doing so well the past 3 days keeping my anger levels low but it was the weekend and we were out of the house for the most part anyway.

I’m so excited that my son is back to school, even if it’s just for this week and then the week after next week. I was short on me-time and I have so many things to do and only 3 hours to do them. I already did the dishes, laundry, and made the beds, but I want to watch Gilmore Girls and also read blogs, so I guess I’ll keep going back and forth between those 2. I also want to exercise and read Quraan but I guess I’ll do that later. I just hope I don’t forget about them altogether. That’s another struggle I have day-to-day. I struggle with balancing housework, self-care, and parenting. I’m always short in 1 domain because I can’t focus on everything at the same time. Some days I don’t spend quality time with my son. Some days I slack on housework. Some days I don’t exercise or read Quraan.

I hope you enjoy this new self-reflection prompt I found on Pinterest called deep conversation topics. I’ll be answering a question every Sunday.

Self-reflection Sunday: Journal Therapy part 8

Hello and welcome to my blog! I thought I finished this prompt before Ramadan but I guess not, so here we are on the last journal therapy: writing prompt for healing.

Journal Therapy: Writing prompt for Healing part 8

When I’m in pain whether it be physical or emotional, the kindest thing I can do for myself is…

Not hate on myself and talk trash to myself. I’m already in pain. Why make it worse?

What’s your biggest regret? What have you done or plan to do to make amends and/or forgive yourself?

I see we’re going out with a bang with these questions. That’s deep. A few things came to mind but then I realized that everything that ever happened in my life led me to where I am now. Maybe I regret not being more socially aware earlier. I regret opening up to people who turned out to be untrustworthy. I regret the way I handled a lot of situations, with emotional immaturity. I regret a lot of things I did that cost me a lot of friendships and relationships. I can only hope that I grew and matured and that I know better now. I regret every time I lost my patience and didn’t respond with kindness and wisdom. I regret all my sins. Asking someone with anxiety, specifically social anxiety, what they regret is like opening a can of worms.

What am I willing to do about this regret? Some days I wallow in guilt and shame and hate myself for all my mistakes. Other days I decide that I can’t change the past or build bridges that were burnt to the ground, but I can be better and do better. I only hope I learn not to repeat the same mistakes as I often do, now that I’m aware enough to realize what these mistakes are.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea or whatever your beverage of choice is and answer these questions in the comments below or in your journal.

I hope you enjoyed this Self-reflection session. I do this every Sunday. Monday is for motivation, Tuesday is when I talk about my goals and progress and any challenges I have done. Wednesday is currently a theme-free day. Throwback Thursday is when I bring up a post I wrote exactly a year before and give my thoughts about it. Friday is for poetry and Saturday is now for parenting hacks and Sunday is for Self-reflection!