I’m Good. I’m Okay. I’m Fine.

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TRIGGER WARNING: Depression, Anxiety, Suicide Ideation. 

“How are you?” should be the easiest question to answer. It’s the entry into the world of small talk. I hate small talk. It doesn’t feed my soul.

“I’m Good.”

“I’m Okay.”

“I’m Fine.”

My go to responses–sometimes I mean it, sometimes I don’t, but the alternative responses don’t seem fitting in every day encounters.

I can’t just sit there and say: Well Insomnia kept me up for almost 72 hours straight last week, which caused me to have multiple panic attacks in a row, I felt like death was knocking on my door, and depression made me take multiple naps then for days. Small noises make me clench my jaw shut so hard I give myself headaches. How are you?

I think that would take most people by surprise, and I don’t expect many people to understand what it’s like to live with a constant sense of fear and loathing within the very core of your soul. Or to feel like a beehive is in your head 24/7. Because feeling nervous isn’t anxiety. Feeling sad isn’t depression. Falling asleep at 1:00am isn’t insomnia.  Having to explain myself is exhausting.

I am about to drop full truth bombs in here, the likes of which may make some people feel a sense of concern for me, but I would like to put forth the knowledge that I am okay. I struggle yes, but not like before. Everyday is a new day and as such I fight forward and hope for the best.

This year has been a little overwhelming in many ways. I can now see this beacon of hope that’s just a little over a month away, but I have had some tough days. Crying because I am so frustrated with myself because I can’t fall asleep, or then if I do fall asleep I will wake up at 4am but will have zero motivation to get out of bed till 11am. I don’t even close my eyes half the time. I am just there thinking of a bunch of worst case scenarios about absolutely everything and everyone.

I’ve had this though since I was very young. I would pace around if one of my parents seemed to be running late coming home. I recently read Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive and it made me realize just how far back my anxiety started.

So how do you deal with something that has possibly been ingrained into you since you were really young? And where did it start?

I am on meds, but I feel at the moment that they are not as effective as they once were. My doctor though has been an grade A asshole, and hasn’t really helped me. At the moment, I am waiting for our move to Portugal to speak to a doctor and get better medication for myself and find someone, a professional someone to talk to.

In the past possibly since I was about 16 I’ve had suicidal thoughts. They came in and out of my mind like a tv with bad reception. I haven’t felt that way in a long time, but I can still remember the despair I felt, and how I couldn’t tell anyone. I cut myself and blamed my cats. I would DIG MY NAILS into my face and scratch myself. I don’t do those things anymore, but those memories are a part of me.

My anxiety lately has made me feel isolated. I walked to the grocery store yesterday and it felt like a journey to Mordor.

I know my mental health fluctuates a lot at the moment. Sometimes I am at 90% okay and some days it drops to 10%, but each time someone asks how I am doing. I respond with the same three replies and I just alternate between them all.

“I’m Good.”

“I’m Okay.”

“I’m Fine.”

There’s so much more I could write. SO much more I could say, but for now just know one thing. When you’re feeling these things, the best thing for you to do is to speak to someone. Anyone. If a close friend isn’t it, then a hotline. I have done it before.

If you need to vent, write it out because no one can stop you from expressing your deepest and darkest parts of you.

I struggle all the time.

I want to be a published writer and sometimes I am well aware how I am holding myself back, but things will change. I wake up some days with no hope at all, but so many people around me fill me with joy, and that joy has helped me cope.

When I cope…I begin to hope.

You will find that feeling too.

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The Last Watchman of Old Cairo – Book Review

LastWatchmanofOldCairo

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo by Michael David Lukas

ISBN: 0525511946

Published in Paperback on: July 2, 2018

Length: 288 Pages


Thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacts my opinion. 

In this spellbinding novel, a young man journeys from California to Cairo to unravel centuries-old family secrets.

Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary–perhaps magical–Ezra Scroll. The story of Joseph’s family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes and Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue.

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is a moving page-turner of a novel from acclaimed storyteller Michael David Lukas. This tightly woven multigenerational tale illuminates the tensions that have torn communities apart and the unlikely forces–potent magic, forbidden love–that boldly attempt to bridge that divide.


My Thoughts: This book was beyond beautiful. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but at the end I came out feeling like something was added within my heart. The story is told from three different points of view, and they’re somewhat loosely related to one another, you discover in the end how it all ties together nicely.

Out of the three points of view my least favourite was actually Joseph. It felt like he was holding everything and everyone an arms length away, and because this is how he comes across, it was hard to connect to him. I really loved Ali’s point of view. It was engaging and beautiful. His was the story that really grabbed me and made me fall in love with the story and setting.

This book is beautiful but it also feels a bit rushed. An idea of this nature feels like it should be really fleshed out, and it really could have been. Maybe then I would have liked Joseph and the sisters points of view a little more. The writing was lovely, but again missing just a little spark to really hook the reader.

I would still recommend this book to any historical fiction lovers. It’s now available in paperback internationally.

I gave this four out of five metal horns!

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Going Home #1

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For the first time since I was four years old, I am going to live in Portugal!

I am jumping ahead here, so let me explain.

As many of you know I was born in Portugal, raised in New Jersey, and currently live in Germany. I have spent most of my life as an immigrant. I don’t really know any other life. My memories of when I was four or younger are little blasts of images and not much else.

My boyfriend and I have made the very clear and important decision to move to Portugal. Many things have made us head in this direction, the most important one being that my boyfriend’s job takes him on the road a lot, and being essentially alone here has made my mental health take a dive. So the move will have my family (whom we have a better relationship with) much closer. Not to mention that over the past few years here, Germany has become a less pleasant place to be. I am not getting into that here though.

Moving to Portugal

We were going to wait till next year, but then I realized how annoying it was going to be to find a place to live with only having the internet to search. My parents are lovely enough to let us store all of our crap in their garage and storage areas, we will live with them for a few months, and start a good search for our own place. It will be nice to just visit different apartments and homes, instead of looking at photographs. This also made us realize we no longer had to wait till next year. SO ONWARD and FORWARD!!

I thought this would be a good series to start on my blog, and I am going to be making videos as well for my youtube channel where you can follow my adventures as I head back to Portugal.

Packing and Leaving

Currently, we are in the midst of packing and getting rid of furniture to make the move easier. I am looking forward to getting out of this country. I am a freelancer and have a good workload, so a job isn’t a concern for me. I just can’t wait to be in the city I was born in, surrounded by my loving and supportive family.

What are some things you’d like me to cover in this series? What would you like to see in my videos then? Comment down below and let me know!

Stay tuned for more blog posts in this series!

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War and Peace Rant

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Every pseudo-intellectual is about to roll their eyes so hard at me, but I don’t care.

I posted recently about more positivity in the book community, and writing a rant about War and Peace seems a little counteractive to that idea, but this book really bothered me.

I read all kinds of books, including young adult novels because ONE they are the category in which I would like to one day be published in and TWO they are fun imaginative rides from start to finish. I bring this up because a lot of young women and men within the book community get older men just spewing dumb comments at them because apparently to them if you only read young adult novels, you’re dumb, and I am here to stand up for all young men and women who choose to read what they enjoy.

Classics are not all they’re cracked up to be. I don’t know how many old white dudes tell us to read more classics. I decided I needed to make up my own mind about classics. War and Peace is not the first classic novel I decided to read, nor will it be the last. It is, on the other hand, one of my least favorite books I have EVER FUCKING READ in my life.

I would describe it as Gossip Girl mixed with Russian history. Honestly, you people make fun of young adult novels but this entire book is about people loving this person after a day, but oh wait JUST FUCKING KIDDING they love that other person now…Oh, and by the way Napoleon is a fucking asshole…oh another drama about who loves who and who wants to die in a war. I know it seems like I am simplifying a very complex book, but this book isn’t actually complex at all. It’s massive and boring. It took me MONTHS to finish, and I will honestly never read it again. War and Peace could totally be given the Disney treatment because the instalove is REAL in this book.

At 1200 pages, I would say this thing could have been cut in half.

As historical fiction goes, it’s absolute shit. I recommend it to NO ONE.

If you want to read an epic Historical Fiction then I recommend The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett. If you’ve been contemplating reading War and Peace, then do so if you must but be warned this book did not age well, and it will make you roll your eyes right into the back of your head.

Don’t ever feel pressured to read classics like this because if you don’t then you’re not considered intelligent, because anyone who thinks this is a beacon of intelligence needs their head checked.

Peace and Love!

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Dread Nation – Book Review

DreadNation

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

ISBN: 0062570609

Published: April 3,2018

Length: 455 pages


Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.


My Thoughts: I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this alternate history tale with zombies, but what I got was a punch to the face. First of all, it’s well written, and the characters are fleshed out really well. You could feel what they’re feeling and what more could you ask for in a story? Then you have the political commentary thrown in, and it’s just such a creative way of putting forth facts about American History within a fictional world. 

Jane is in this school to learn how to protect wealthy white people from the undead, but in the process, she learns a lot more than she bargained for. I liked the fact that the MC spoke her mind even in situations that could be dangerous to do so. Something that is still prominent today if we really think about it. The author herself gets a lot of crap for speaking her mind, and I think a bit of that comes through in Jane. 

There are some scenes that are a tough pill to swallow, but that feels like the point as well. 

There was a spark of romance, but it didn’t drown out the rest of the story. The action scenes are extremely well written, and I really enjoyed this alternate history story. I am not sure if this is a duology, trilogy, or a series, but I do know I am looking forward to the next book!

I gave this 4 out of 5 metal horns!

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Unpopular Opinions Trend

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The Unpopular Opinions Tag and Trend has been around in the online book community for some time now. I took part in it at the beginning like everyone else, but now I am getting bored of it–not just bored, but irritated by it. I wanted to open a discussion to see if I am alone with this, or if other people are also tired of this trend.

Negativity

My main issue with the Unpopular Opinion thing is that it keeps spreading weird amounts of negativity. There are so many things I could write full blog posts on how I dislike something someone loves, but why? Why alienate people? This past week on twitter my feed has been bombarded with these so-called “unpopular opinions”. We get it, Becky, you don’t like that book everyone seems to love. WHO ACTUALLY GIVES A SHIT? It’s just getting old. If you get your rocks off by shitting all over stuff, then maybe it’s time to do some self-reflection.

Opinions are Like Assholes

Here’s the thing, can we maybe just share what we love and ignore what we don’t?

(I am not talking about politics here, if there’s one jackass that shouldn’t be ignored it’s Trump, because blink once and he’s fucking something else up)

I mean it’s okay to dislike something, but do you really need to waste the energy of constantly talking about it? Instead, share things you love!! If someone makes a negative comment about it, then mute them, block them, do whatever you have to do to keep your sanity. It’s the internet and people can easily make shitty comments, but you don’t have to waste your time replying. They’re not entitled to your time and energy.

Spread Positivity

I am on a little life quest to become more positive. So that is probably why this trend bothers me so much. I would love to see more positivity brewing in the book community because sometimes it feels we really lack that. I am signing off from this rambling now.

Spread positivity and love!! There’s enough hate in the world at the moment!

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The Extinction Trials – Book Review

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The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson

ISBN: 1474927343

Published: January 1, 2018, Usborne Publishing LTD

Length: 384 Pages


Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival.
Welcome to the Extinction Trials.

In Stormchaser and Lincoln’s ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win.

But in a land full of monsters – human and reptilian – they can’t afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other…


My Thoughts: I saw The Extinction Trials at the bookstore and saw the little fake sticker on it that said “The Hunger Games meets Jurrasic Park” and I instantly grabbed it. I didn’t even read the synopsis till I got home. I really had no idea what the book was about other than it had dinosaurs and some kind of trial like the hunger games. I was instantly sold. 

I was not disappointed. This was such a fun ride! I have been telling everyone to read it since. The writing is great and the story is wonderful. Stormchaser and Lincoln’s dynamic is fun to read, and while you know they’re catching some feelings for one another, that doesn’t end up taking over the plot like so many YA stories these days.

The dinosaur aspect is my favorite part because ever since I was younger and watched Jurassic Park, I wish we could one day see these animals up close (although that movie franchise shows just how horrible of an idea that would be). Wilson’s ability to bring these animals to life within this story is amazing. I felt like I was being watched at times.

The story itself was a bit predictable, but that didn’t take away from the entertainment factor of this book. I highly recommend it if you are a fan of The Hunger Games and Jurassic Park. The second book in the series called Exile will be released this Thursday and I am already itching to read it!

This book gets four out of five metal horns from me!!

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