When someone tells me

When someone tells me to ‘just be happy’, I want to punch them in the face. While I’m sure a lot of them mean well, it’s really not helpful.

When someone tells me to ‘just get over it’, I want to make it an even bigger deal than it has to be. While I’m sure a lot of them mean well, it’s really not helpful.

When someone tells me ‘it’s not that bad’, I’m reminded that it’s really not possible for them to see things from my perspective. Thus, it’s really not helpful.

When someone tells me to ‘just move on’, I wish that it could be ‘just that easy’. Moving on takes time, it takes processing. It takes growth. It doesn’t just happen with the snap of your fingers.

When someone tells me how to live my life, I try my best to believe that it comes from a good place. But also, healthy boundaries are integral to maintaining my sanity.

When someone tells me that I’m bitchy, I remind them that I am assertive.

When someone tells me that I am aggressive, I remind them that I’m ambitious, not aggressive. Ambition is not a negative trait.

When someone tells me that I’m not good enough, it stings a little to hear the words out loud, but also, they’re absolutely fucking wrong. Another important fact, I don’t live by their standards, I live by my own.

I try my best to see everyone’s perspective in this world. I really do. But it’s a very important distinction to make that, even though I might see their perspective, and I might even understand them in a lot of ways, that doesn’t mean they’re right. That doesn’t mean that their standards define who I am, how I feel, react or choose to live my life.

In case no one has told you today, you get to define yourself. You can to be who you want to be. So be your best self.

What’s the cure for loneliness?

I cannot remember if I’ve asked this before on this blog. I’m just lonely and I cannot shake it. No matter what I try to do. No matter how much I try to distract myself. I’m just abundantly aware how alone I am at all times.

As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice sometimes to be able to cheers with someone sitting across the table. As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice to watch a stupid movie and hear someone else laughing in unison. As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice to have someone show up.

The reality of social anxiety

A while back I shared “Life with social anxiety”. In the post I go into great detail about what it’s like, from my perspective, to deal with social anxiety.

The reason why I mention that post today is because I want to, again, talk about social anxiety.

For people that don’t suffer from social anxiety, it’s hard to understand it. For people that do, it’s hard to explain it. This can lead to confusion, misunderstanding, misrepresentation of how conversations are carried out. It’s a tangled web.

See, I’m not very good with people. I’m not the type of person who will start a conversation. In fact, if you don’t start the conversation, we might not even have one. I don’t find silence to be awkward. I actually find silence to be calming. People often, though, mistake my silence for attitude.

If there’s one thing that this pandemic has done for me the past year-and-a-half, I haven’t had to explain myself as much. I haven’t had to come up with excuses for why I couldn’t go somewhere or do something. The pandemic did that for me. Now that I’m fully vaccinated and the majority of people in this province are also vaccinated, or getting vaccinated, it’s much safer to go out and do things. Events are starting again. People are meeting for coffees, or dinner and drinks, or just to sit around the table and talk.

All of those things are good. Believe me, ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE GOOD. They’re just hard for me.

I’m awkward.

I don’t love hugs.

Most days I don’t even appreciate handshakes.

In social settings, I won’t deny someone a hug or a handshake if they gesture for it, but I’m definitely not going to initiate it. Sometimes I get the sense that people think I’m cold-hearted because of that.

It’s been nice to not have to force myself into situations that make me uncomfortable for a year and a half. I know, I know, I know all about how we’re supposed to do things in life that make us uncomfortable to ensure that we grow, but, when it comes to social anxiety, it isn’t a situation in which if I do it more, I become more comfortable with it.

I’ve come to the realization that I will always be awkward.

I’ve always been that person that smiles and nods at a stranger if they ask me a question or give me a compliment. Actually, when it comes to compliments, I don’t take them well at all.

Being vaccinated has given me a lot of freedom back. For that, I’m grateful. Wandering the aisles of the grocery story without worry is a really good feeling. It will take me some time to adjust, though, to being around people again. Conversations in passing, meeting for coffee, going to birthday parties (haven’t really started here yet but I know they will), getting my haircut… these things will take me time. I am that girl who will sit in the stylist’s chair for several hours (I have long hair) and maybe say two or three words the entire time. Over the course of those several hours getting my hair cut, I will worry about what the stylist is thinking of me. But, I won’t open my mouth to talk. That is social anxiety guiding me.

For those that know me, they know that I struggle with social interactions. For those that don’t, I’m all too sure they think I’m rude. I think about that a lot, actually. I think about what everyone thinks about me. All the time. They don’t dictate who I am, or who I get to be, but I still do worry I’m leaving the wrong impression.

I guess, as the world opens up again, it’s important to be patient with people.

I am who I am. My social anxiety guides a lot of what I do. If I say no to an invitation, that’s not a reflection of the invitee, that’s me. If I integrate back into the world slowly, there’s a reason for that.

Social anxiety is complicated.

Reflecting on my 2020 Resolutions

Tonight seemed like a really great night to look back on the resolutions that I made for myself at this time last year… before the reality that was 2020 hit all of our lives.

2020 Resolutions >

The gist of last year’s resolution is in bold. My explanation of how well or poorly it went follows.

I want to be more aware of time. This is a resolution that I genuinely feel I accomplished in 2020. While it was likely forced on me because of the pandemic, I do feel that I am now, more than ever, aware of time. The time I take, the time I make, the time I kill and the time I waste. I’m more aware than ever of how much time I both have and don’t have and why time is both my best friend and worst nightmare depending on what day fo the week it is.

I want to love and appreciate myself. I’m going to say that I got half-way there in 2020. While I love and appreciate certain aspects of myself, I still have (and probably always will) major insecurities. There are parts of my life where I’m too confident for my own good and parts of my life in which I’m a shell of a human being. Overall, progress was made, but there’s more room for growth.

I want to proofread my posts before I hit publish. I epically failed at this. I genuinely write my posts as they come to my head. I know that it sounds like an excuse, and that’s because it is one. If I worried about checking my spelling and grammar before publishing, I’d never get anything published. My spelling and grammar sucks. I’m okay with that.

I want to put myself ‘out there’. I started working and lost both time and motivation to make this a project for me.

I want to take better care of myself, my mental health and my well being. While anxiety is still a massive issue in my life, I’m happy to say that I cut a lot of sugar out of my diet. I still do believe that my body is a temple and that I need to treat it a lot better than I do, but I’m accepting of the fact that I am a work in progress and that quitting Pepsi and Redbull might not be in the cards for me. Though I definitely can cut down on it a lot.

I want to learn more about photography and how to take beautiful photos. I took two courses in photography and one course in editing this year. I’m not sure if everyone would think the photos I take are beautiful, but I definitely do.

I want to go somewhere that I’ve never been and experience something I’ve never done. Pre-COVID I was too broke to go anywhere I’ve never been. Since I’ve started working, I’ve been playing it safe and not going new places because, I both don’t want to get sick and I don’t want to make anyone else sick. This might need to be a plan for 2021… if vaccines roll out by the end of next year.

I want to teach my friends and family of the importance of sustainability and making eco-friendly choices. I’m really proud of how far my friends and family have come with respect to making sustainable and eco-friendly choices. I think having an open dialogue and teaching one another about waste accrual and hyper consumerism and the negative effects they have on the planet really made the people in my life take positive changes. It’s amazing to see.

I want to reach a point where I no longer need to worry about money, or how I will afford things. I am not there yet, but I am trying.

I want to spread kindness to whomever I meet, wherever I go.  I truly believe that you can never give too much kindness. We all have our bad days, I know I’ve certainly had mine, but through it all I’ve tried to do good by those I’ve met.

I want to test out Vessi’s Waterproof shoes to find out if they’re actually as good as they’re hyped up to be. I got these for my birthday and they are AMAZING. I am so glad that I own them. They’re a pricey item, but if they are within your budget, I highly recommend.

I don’t ever want to spend another New Year’s Eve alone. Epic fail on this one.

With all that’s happened in the past 12 months, I’m really not sure if this year was about openness, honesty, generosity and goodness in the way that I had hoped it would be. But, I still have hope for this world. And at the end of the day, I definitely still do want everyone to remember that you cannot do all the good that the world needs, but, the world does need all the good that you can do.

Anxious still

After about a month of absolutely debilitating anxiety that has kept me from, well… everything…. I finally worked up the courage today to go to the doctor and seek some help.

This wasn’t an easy step for me to take for many reasons, one of which being that, even with doctor’s offices being very careful with respect to COVID, the idea of being in a small waiting room with someone who was potentially ill made me very anxious. Nevertheless, I did it.

When I got to the doctor I learned that maximum capacity had already been met for the day and they could not take any more patients because they would not be able to see any more patients before closing. Their waiting room was full and with the amount of people who were in there already, they were likely going to be there late.

While I completely understand the situation, I left feeling really defeated. It’d taken me so long to work up the courage to go and admit to my anxiety and when I got there, I was turned away.

The woman whom I spoke with at the clinic told me that I could come back during the week. I just, I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to work up the nerve to go for a second time.

I know that I have to do something. I was just hoping that everything would’ve worked out the way I wanted it to. Being anxious is not important enough means for me to be in the emergency room. So, I think I just need to muster the strength to get back there at some point this week.

The last time that I saw a doctor about my anxiety, they provided me a referral for a therapist. Attending those appointments actually helped me considerably at the time. I wasn’t able to continue because the referral that I was given was only for a certain number of appointments. While that therapist is in another province, I still somehow wish I could just go back and see her. She understood me.

Right now my anxiety is so bad that hypotheticals of hypotheticals of hypotheticals are keeping me from sleeping. Ex: My landlord works for a company that was talked about on the news this past week because they announced massive COVID related layoffs. Immediately I was hit with a fear that he’s getting laid off and because he’s getting laid off he’s going to sell his house because he needs they money and when he sells his house then I’ll be without residence and needing a place to land, in the middle of the winter.

Why is my mind trailing so far down these rabbit holes and why can’t I stop it?

I have to stop watching the news.

I have to do something.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I think I can do this. I think I can get back to the Doctor this week.

I hope I can.

Overheard on discord: The CEO dropping wisdom

Today’s a real zinger. A short, simple and relevant quote left by the CEO.

“If you don’t make time for your wellness you will be forced to make time for your illness.”

Let that sink in.


From time to time I have been sharing stories of things seen on my company discord.

If you missed the first posts, you should check them out!

Story time: The office frat-boy

Story time: Overheard on Discord

When panic attacks attack

I had a panic attack at the end of work today.

My three month probationary period review is on Thursday. It was supposed to be last week, but it got moved to this week, so I’ve had to carry that nervousness around with me for an extra seven days.

I’ve been very anxious about the review.

If I make it through this review without getting fired, I’ll have passed the probationary period, I’ll be an official employee with benefits and holiday time and get a work credit card and all that jazz.

But I keep telling myself ‘if’. ‘If’. ‘If’. It’s a word that can really eat away at you if you let it. And, for some reason, I’ve been letting it eat away at me since my review was rescheduled from last week to this week.

I’m worried.

What if they fire me?

What if they say ‘hasta la vista’ and they just don’t give a damn?

What if this all ends and comes crashing down around me as quickly as it started?

I’ve been doing really good with respect to my anxiety for the past two months. I’ve had very few major issues and, for the most part, when I get anxious, I’ve been able to be reasonable and calm myself down.

This afternoon I sent my boss a message on Microsoft Teams chat and they read it and didn’t respond. They didn’t respond and my mind just started racing.

‘What if I’ve failed?’

‘What if this all ends on Thursday?’

‘What if I’m fired?’

It didn’t take long before I was struggling to breathe and found myself curled up in a ball unsure of what to do. I’d like to think I’m calmer and a lot more collected than having a panic attack because my boss left me on read.

All that being said, perhaps if I survive Thursday then I will be.

Here’s to hoping they don’t fire me. Confident me says they won’t. Anxious me says that the worst case scenario is always possible, no matter how confident I am.

Do weighted blankets make a difference?

I don’t normally do product reviews on my blog. Actually, I don’t know that I’ve ever done one before. But, on January 1, I made a New Year’s Resolution that I was going to get myself a weighted blanket. Now that I have it, I want to talk about it.

This is a product review for the YNM Weighted Blanket.

YNM’s description of their blanket:

YnM is a premium-grade weighted blanket that helps relax your body by simulating the feeling of being held or hugged, making you fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night.

After years of research and practical application and learning from our countless customer feedbacks and reviews, the YnM R&D team achieved this fabulous 2.0 Weighted Blanket.

Sleep: 10/10
Price: 10/10
Quality: 10/10
Size: 6/10
Aesthetic: 6/10

SLEEP
As someone who suffers from anxiety, I can say without a doubt in my mind that this blanket has improved my sleep ten fold. I’m someone who tosses and turns in my sleep and frequently has bad dreams that wake me up. At times I can lay awake for hours on end feeling anxious with my mind racing a mile a minute. Sleeping an entire night through seems like the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest some nights. Since incorporating a weighted blanket into my night’s I’ve felt a lot calmer. I feel as though I am falling asleep easier and I’m staying asleep longer.

I’ll admit, when I read about these blankets online, I was worried that it was a gimmick. Which is partially why I wanted to test it for myself… I wanted to say ‘AH-HA! You’re lying!’ Truth is… they’re not lying. A weighted blanket feels a bit like sleeping in a cocoon. You feel safe and warm and comforted.

A weighted blanket won’t make your anxiety disappear, but it will help you sleep if you’re feeling anxious. It does help you feel comforted. It does help you feel warm and snug and cozy.

PRICE
I had put off testing one of these for a long time due to financial strain. They aren’t cheap, and given that they’re so heavy, a lot of companies that sell them charge astronomical shipping.

Recently, though, I stumbled upon the YNM Brand of weighted blankets on Amazon and they were on sale at the time. Instead of being $119 it was just $73. To me, this seemed like a reasonable price to test it out as a basic comforter would cost you at least $100 at Wal Mart. The extra benefit to ordering it off Amazon was that it had free shipping.

I strongly recommend looking for, or waiting for, a sale for weighted blankets. They can be quite pricey ($300+ and added shipping) if you just purchase the first one that comes up on google.

QUALITY
For $73, I continue to be thoroughly impressed with the quality of this blanket. It’s thick, the stitching is deep and each individual 4×4 square is measured evenly and reinforced to ensure there is no disproportionate weight distribution over time/use.

The fabric is cooling so it’ll be a nice sleep companion in any season, especially now in the heat of summer. All in all, it’s a very well made blanket.

The YNM quality information graphic explaining how the blankets are made.

SIZE
This is where I’m thoroughly confused about weighted blankets. I have a queen sized blanket on my full sized mattress (pictured here) and the blanket drapes over the side of the mattress with just enough length to cover the mattress (which makes my OCD happy). So, after measuring my mattress and the blanket that I have, I thought I would be safe to order a queen sized weighted blanket for my full sized bed. When the queen sized weighted blanket showed up, it only covered the top of my bed.

After doing some reading online, I see that a lot of people say that the weighted blanket is only supposed to cover the top of the mattress because the weight of the blanket can cause it to fall off either side of the bed if it drapes over the edges. Also, apparently the blanket is supposed to drape over you and not your bed.

So, I guess it’s supposed to be that way…

That being said, I did order a queen sized blanket for a full sized mattress and it fits the top of the mattress perfectly. So, keep the side discrepancy in mind when considering a weighted blanket from this brand as a queen size mattress is seven inches wider and five inches longer than a full size mattress.

AESTHETIC
It’s not pretty. It’s just not. If you’re someone who cares a lot about what your bedding looks like, you may want to do some hunting for appropriate covers or patterns on a weighted blanket. For me, I always intended to put the blanket underneath the blanket already on my bed, so I really didn’t care what it looked like. That being said, if you wish to only use the weighted blanket on your bed and nothing else, the basic grey is a little dull. I should also note that, as a weighted blanket, it’s prone to wrinkles. A lot of wrinkles. If that’s something that might bother you, I recommend getting a thin comforter or throw to put over top so you cannot see the wrinkles.

Overall Ranking: 7.5/10

Could it be better? Absolutely. In spite of what people online say, I do think it would be better if the blanket itself draped over the side of the mattress. The sizing could possibly just be an issue with the YNM brand of blanket I bought. It seems like it would be a little excessive to order a king sized blanket for a full sized mattress. Perhaps other brands don’t have the same issues. Definitely do your research.

Am I keeping it? Absolutely. It’s comforting. It makes me feel good when I lay down at night. I can look past the aesthetic and weird sizing, so it’s a great fit for me. For $73, I think it was well worth the money spent. And, I can completely see why so many people love these blankets.

A couple of noteworthy points:

  • A lot of websites state that the weight of the blanket you order should coincide with your body-weight. I ignored that recommendation. I ordered a fifteen pound blanket and I honestly don’t think I’d want one that’s any heavier. I don’t want to feel like I’m being smothered in my sleep.
  • Weighted blankets cannot be put in a traditional washing machine. So, either purchase a cover or do not let pets on your bed. Otherwise, your dry-cleaning bill will go way up.
  • If you’re worried your partner won’t like a weighted blanket, you can purchase a small one, such a twin-sized blanket and then use it on the bottom of your bed as a ‘throw’. Then when you’re feeling anxious you can pull it over you without disrupting your partner at all.

New Year’s Resolution to purchase a weighted blanket – done. And I’m glad that I did. I think I might buy one as a gift for my friends/family when birthdays and Christmas come around.

1:10 AM

I’ve been having panic attacks on and off for the past three hours.

I haven’t slept for three days. Not really. I’ve has small naps here and there but I haven’t been able to physically lay down and shut my eyes for any considerable length of time (longer than an hour).

The toll of not sleeping is deep. My mind is exhausted, my body is aching and I have this overarching pit in my stomach that is making it difficult for me to consume food.

I need to be up for work in five hours. Am I going to sleep tonight? I doubt it. Am I going to lay here anxiously trying to slow my brain down and massage my achy muscles for the next five hours? Well at least for the next four.

I don’t know what to do.

I really don’t.

Nothing is working.

I lay down with every intention of sleeping and life… it just fucking has other plans. I’m literally running myself ragged.

Guest post: The monster that is anxiety

The following is a guest post written by Tiffany from the blog Ethereal Empathy.


When I was little I made friends with a monster.  She kept me company wherever I went, stayed with me as I grew, and often showed up when I needed a friend the most.  Even though she validated my feelings, was reliable, and was always there for me… it wasn’t healthy.  The truth of the matter was, this monster wanted to keep me for herself.  The only feelings she confirmed were those of fear, and her company never made me feel good about myself.

My monster friend kept me awake at night with her chatter, and convinced me to stay home when other friends invited me out.  She stripped me of my self-worth and confidence, and reminded me of how different I was from everyone else.  In that loneliness I accepted this monster, which we refer to as Anxiety.  After all, she appeared to know me so well. 

Perhaps I clung to Anxiety because she was familiar, or maybe it was because she wasn’t all bad, all the time.  This little monster helped me see potential threats and kept me aware.  The deep understanding of fear, that I had developed, helped me to relate with individuals who suffered similar stress. Still, I had become a prisoner of fear with no boundaries to keep my monster at bay.

“Without darkness nothing comes to birth, as without light nothing flowers.” – May Sarton

It was in my self-doubt that Anxiety held me captive.  I had trained my brain to jump to worse case scenarios and to see the prospective negatives of any given situation. Overwhelmed by uncertainty, and my lack of ability to concentrate, relax, or find calm, I struggled with each day.

My body had turned on me, with symptoms of illness, without ever having been truly sick.  Unexplainable pains and tension would come and go as they pleased.  There was no balance or predictability in the waves that rose and fell, and often times came upon me with no warning or explanation. 

Having a panic attack is much like swimming in deep waters during a storm.  It takes everything you are to keep your head above water, and sometime you get hit by the turbulent ocean which pulls you under.  It is a fight for air, for continued existence. 

I could not see what it looked like to thrive when my constant state of panic made basic survival a challenge.  The very thought of working as a productive member of society seemed impossible.  I looked into the dark chasm of the unknown, unable to find the light.  I saw consequence of failure instead of the potential growth that comes with experience.

Instead of trusting in my own capabilities I sought out healers and trusted individuals to fix me, but there was no cure for this.  No instant solution to repair the broken parts of myself.  Medication only numbed my soul, taking more away without giving enough of myself back.  Therapists were a constant reminder that to be whole I needed to dig deep to find answers within. 

How could I mend the fragmented pieces of me when I was incapable of believing in my own worth?  I couldn’t.  My monster never lied, exactly.  We all have a balance of light and dark inside of ourselves.  Where there is the potential for disaster there is also the potential for success.  What I hadn’t been able to see was the strength in both.

I would be naïve to believe that there are those out there without flaws. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time.  When dark times are upon us, and it feels as if they might destroy everything, we find that we are more resilient than we might think.  Living in the shadows of fear makes it hard to see.  Feeling as if we are alone is an illusion.     

Turns out the cost of not taking risks, and not believing in our own natural gifts, is much higher than the upward climb of facing the monster.  If the choice is to succumb to a life of worry and suffer a stagnant existence, or to battle a life gripped by fear for the chance of actually living…  I choose to face the unknown. 

Anxiety is not a true friend, but it is not my enemy either.  This alter ego, my anxious self, is debilitating but only has power if I give it.  I can use it as a crutch or I can learn her moods and motives, triggers and tastes, in order to respond appropriately.  What is so easy to forget is that we have the power to change the world, starting with our own being.

So I learned to consistently make course corrections along an unpredictable path.  Staying ahead of the waves when possible and bringing along a life preserve just in case the waters get the best of me.  Most importantly I discovered the importance of second guessing my own self-doubt. 

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

The path is hard.  There are times I slip and fall, get scraped up along the way, have setbacks and face detours… but I keep moving forward.  That steep cliff edge that I started on has gotten easier, the journey less rocky.  Somewhere along the way I learned to trust myself and accept that I am capable and deserving of so much more.

Anxiety is still with me, she is my twin who is just looking out for my well-being and here to protect me.  Although misguided her intentions are good.  I accept her for what she is even though she cannot see the error of her ways.  It is my job to not let her define me or keep me from the life I deserve.

It is through this understanding that the light began to seep through and point me in a direction of confidence.  I found my balance and overcame obstacles I never thought possible before.  Instead of struggling each day to survive I learned how to thrive, to have a life that is mine, and meet my fears wisely. 

Anxiety is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, an innocent wearing the mask of a monster.  Although frightening she doesn’t decide your fate.  Her power over you is limited and only exasperated by your own insecurity.  Believe in yourself, trust your own intuition, and the gray clouds looming over will clear. 

There is hope, I am proof of that. 

“On particularly rough days, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”  – Unknown


Thank you to Tiffany from Ethereal Empathy for contributing such a thoughtful and honest post to #MillennialLifeCrisis. If you have the opportunity, I strongly recommend checking out Tiffany’s Blog. She is a ray of kindness and honesty in this crazy world and she brings a unique perspective to the blogging community that is the truest definition of one-of-a-kind.