Sadness is a Blessing

After a night of insomnia, I decided around 8 am that sleeping was out of the picture. After all, I’d slept so much during the past few days because of a nasty cold that I guess I just used up all of my free sleeping hours. I got up, put on some make-up not to scare people and walked downtown to my favorite café. Since it was only 10 am, I was the only customer, so my coffee arrived pretty quickly. I sat there for over an hour, drinking my Americano, smoking my cigarettes (don’t smoke kids – it’s bad) and listening to their sad “indie autumn playlist” whilst observing the dismal rainy weather. I felt so peaceful that I honestly did not want to leave – even the lack of sleep and nasty-cold-feeling didn’t bother me. It was at that point that I came to a realization – sadness is, indeed, a blessing.

In that moment I was not conventionally happy; in fact, the music was causing my thoughts to spiral downwards into every single negative thing that happened to me over the past two-and-a-half years. From personal problems, to a chain of annoying, tiring health problems, to just downright periods of depression and anxiety, my life has been a bit of a shitshow since I turned 19 (I’m 21 now). Yet for once I did not feel that nasty, tired feeling. I felt good on the inside, like I was finally coming to terms with everything.

We live in a society where sadness is viewed as something negative; a sign of weakness, almost a sin. We are pressured into fighting our problems, getting over them as quickly as possible and returning back to that wonderful state of happiness and motivation. Today I truly felt that sadness can also be a wonderful feeling, and that it can be embraced instead of pushed back into the dark corners of our mind. It confuses me that we, as a society, aspire to achieve this robotic type of mentality, where only happiness and strength are acceptable.

From a psychological point of view, this also makes sense. If we keep trying to artificially alter our current state, this puts stress on our mind and body alike. Instead of fighting a problem, why not sit down and allow ourselves to truly feel it in all its negativity and discomfort. I feel like this is a much more effective way of dealing with an issue rather than acting as though you are on a battlefield, winning a war that doesn’t even exist. Until you truly understand why something happened and what you can learn from it, no amount of forced positivity is going to get you anywhere.

Sadness is also an excellent way to bond with others. I’ve had the chance to bond with so many people during these past couple of years than I’ve ever had in the previous nineteen. Happiness, as fantastic as it is, is a rather basic feeling; you don’t tend to have deep conversations when you are happy, and you are not really in the mood to listen to other people’s problems. But sadness is different; it’s a much deeper, tranquil feeling and opens you up to many new thoughts and ideas.

And finally, embracing sadness is also an excellent way of accepting your current circumstances, whatever they may be. Of course things are going to get better, whatever is going on now (and however long it has lasted). And today I understood that the only way things are going to get better is if I accept my current circumstances and truly embrace everything that I have learnt. As humans, we tend to feel hopeless and desperate when we are experiencing discomfort (both mental and physical), but that is because we have been conditioned to do so. There is no reason why we should ignore pain or try to make it instantly go away, not when it is a part of life.

After sitting in the café for over an hour, sleep deprived and all in my thoughts, I got up to leave feeling a completely different person. I have no idea why my brain took me to this strange place, but it was definitely worth it.

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Why I Became Invested in Crime

Although I’m not as passionate about this field as I used to be about a month ago (hey, a girl changes her interests quick), this year has been quite the controversial one for me in terms of attention devoted to crime cases. It all began during the winter season, when I was searching for things to watch on YouTube. If you are somewhat close to me, or keep up with my blog, you might be aware of my love towards online creators. I’ve been watching different people on YouTube since I was about ten or eleven, which means I’ve had my fair share of learning about various different topics; aside from watching my favorite vloggers, I found a great deal of educational content that helped me both through school/university and personal development.

Prior to watching videos about crime, I was really invested in the conspiracy theory side of YouTube. It helped me to realize how not everything is as it seems, including certain events, celebrity deaths and so on (feel free to disagree if you wish). This sparked my interest for crime, which is when I started searching for murder cases, missing persons cases and ongoing investigations. If you are familiar with the internet – especially video sites – you will know that there is a whole lot of information out there on various crime cases.

At first I was shocked and disturbed at the horrific details of some of these cases; from intentional poisoning, to brutal murder, to appalling manipulation. But then my interest took over and I found myself binge-watching creators that covered crime stories (e.g. Danelle Hallan, Amber Walter, Eleanor Neele and many more). As I got further into the whole scene, I started searching for documentaries about huge cases, serial killers and more murder-related conspiracy theories. I became so invested in this that I spent every spare minute of my day (and night) looking into different cases and learning about how detectives work to solve them. I even began regretting that I didn’t study criminology or law, even though I was in my final semester of university.

Aside from pure morbid curiosity, another reason why I became so involved and passionate about this field is that I used crime as an escape from my own problems. Recently, my life has been a bit of a mess, and it was more of a mess when I was studying and working at the same time; personal problems, ongoing health issues and too many responsibilities were getting me down, so I had to find some sort of escape – disturbing or not.

I still watch this type of content, but maybe not as enthusiastically as I used to do. Although it is definitely educational, interesting and satisfies the appetite for all things unsettling (like I said, morbid curiosity), listening to so much graphic, shocking information takes a toll on one’s mental health. I noticed myself getting more and more disappointed in humanity, as well as paranoid about my own safety. This is when I decided to take a break and focus on more positive distractions instead of using tales about others’ suffering to drown out my own problems.

However, I definitely do not regret this brief period of passion for crime, since I learnt a lot of interesting and useful information. Not only do I have a better idea of how to keep safe, but have also gained a huge respect for people who dedicate their lives to crime. This is not a profession I would like to be involved in myself, yet I can’t help being fascinated by all the intricate details – even to this day.

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The Truth About Anxiety (Personal)

When I was prescribed an anxiety pill a couple of weeks ago, I thought it was completely unnecessary. I had gone to the doctor about a completely different problem, and the fact that he thought it was also necessary I drink an anti-anxiety, antidepressant pill for a month seemed like just another inconvenience. Initially, this pill made me really drowsy, spaced out and gave me migraines; one week in, and some of the side-effects are still pretty strong. However, I have made the rational decision to drink this medication for the next three weeks, and fight through the side-effects as much as I can. So why the sacrifice?

I know that a good percentage of my generation complains about anxiety. This is such a widespread problem that it has pretty much become a meme and a joke. It almost seems as though everyone suffers from anxiety – many self-diagnosed – and I definitely didn’t want to be part of that group. Since I wasn’t having full-blown panic attacks, I dismissed the possibility of me having this problem and just went about my daily responsibilities. Little did I know that my life would come to a point where I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

Following a series of health complications during the last couple of years or so, I started to develop hypochondriac tendencies. Even after the doctor told me that I had nothing serious, I was convinced that I was detrimentally sick, and continued to experience symptoms of sickness even after I was supposedly “cured”. I was told that this was normal, and if I looked after myself my body would go back to the way it was in a few months. Instead of coming to terms with this, I began to feel terribly anxious that I would stay sick for the rest of my life and that there was something the doctors were missing.

Fast forward one year, and I went to get checked again. Aside from some minor imbalances in my body, the doctors didn’t find anything and basically gave me the same answer – just look after yourself, don’t worry and you will eventually feel better. There is nothing seriously wrong with you. By this point, I felt shaken up and reluctant to believe that I wasn’t heavily sick. I would experience terrible anxiousness from every minor symptom, and was convinced that I had developed all of these problems when numerous tests showed the opposite. I didn’t even have the motivation to “look after myself properly”, believing that it wouldn’t help anyway.

During my last check-up, my doctor decided to call in a neuropathologist and have him check me. It only took him a minute to figure out that I had bad anxiety, and he ended up prescribing me a medication that I was going to have to take for at least a month to calm my nervous system. I was surprised. After all, weren’t all my fears legit? How was an anxiety pill going to help with complications after a sickness? Well, I was wrong.

Anxiety pills are no joke. The side effects are sometimes unbearable, especially when you first start drinking it. However, I began to notice some positive changes, and decided to continue no matter how drowsy I felt. One week later, and it’s still a struggle not to fall asleep during the day. Sometimes I am tempted to stop, but what pushes me to carry on are the strange positive effects it has on my body. The pains and discomfort I used to experience are significantly better, and I no longer feel so anxious about never getting better. Although I am sleepy, it’s almost as if I can think more logically.

This got me thinking about whether or not this was a much deeper problem than just something I’d developed over the last couple of years due to sickness. I remember having horrible anxiety as a child, which is something I dismissed as the typical case of shyness. Now that I think back, it was definitely more than just that. However, as I entered my teen years, this anxiety began to bother me to the point that I forced myself out of my comfort zone so many times that it probably just went into “remission” on its own, and never looked back since. I didn’t want to think back to those years of my early childhood, let alone analyze them, so I just continued living normally up until a couple of years back.

I don’t want to go into too many details, but I got pretty sick in the summer of 2016. What made it worse is that it took the doctors about half a year to figure out what was wrong with me, and I was given an unpleasant (but definitely not fatal) diagnosis in December of that year. I took a couple of rounds of pills, but the symptoms just kept coming back. Every time I would feel a slight pain, fatigue or hint of nausea, I convinced myself that the sickness was back and I needed to go get checked. Moreover, I didn’t believe the doctors when they said that nothing was seriously wrong and that I would get better it time – according to my perception, I would be chronically sick for the rest of my life.

This began to take over my life, since I felt physically unwell nearly every single day. However, I had no idea that my mental state was affecting my physical one – I simply thought that I felt bad mentally BECAUSE I was not well physically, and didn’t consider that the first could cause the latter. When people told me to stay strong and positive, I looked at them as though they were crazy – how on earth was a change in attitude going to help me get out of this? My hypochondriac tendencies were completely normal in my eyes, and I felt as though nobody understood what I was going through.

Fast forward to now, and I am a hundred percent sure that I will finish drinking the whole monthly prescription of this unpleasant medication. Maybe I feel drowsy and get nasty migraines from time to time, but for the first time in my life I can acknowledge that I definitely experience symptoms of anxiety and probably have for my whole entire life. This pill is supposed to help me feel better and give my body a chance to cure itself without all of the nervousness that stopped it from doing so before; once I’m off it, I’ll be much more aware of whether my fears are logical or just something stemming from anxiety.

A lot of the time, we do not see the link between physical and mental health, but there is actually a really strong connection between the two; positive, passionate and mentally strong people are always the ones to get out of health problems the quickest, and is something I dismissed up until now.

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Sometimes

Sometimes I really wish I could have a mentor. And yes, if you are thinking of a wise Buddhist middle-aged man, that’s exactly who I’m thinking of too.

On a serious note, it wouldn’t really matter what form my mentor would appear in. All I need is a wise individual who knows how to keep secrets. I would tell them all about my life, my goals, my problems, and they would use all of their wisdom and experience to help me do amazing things. Someone who would keep me motivated no matter what, tell me that everything will be okay and remind me to get my shit together when necessary. Someone who would remind me about all my responsibilities, but in a way that would be encouraging and not stressful at all. Someone who has been a mentor for months, and years and decades prior to meeting me, and would already know everything there is to know about helping people to focus on what they want and what they need to fix.

I know it seems fantastical, yet a person can dream. Think about it. Wouldn’t you prefer to have someone like that in your life? We’re all encouraged to be our own mentors, yet it gets so tedious that we start to go easy on ourselves in the most detrimental way possible. And when we do get our shit together, so to speak, we find ourselves in a bubble of stress and last-minute panic. I don’t know what the moral of this post is, but I’ll probably finalize it on the following note: if you are not lucky enough to have a mentor, try to be your own mentor (I guess). Imagine that you are two people instead of one, and encourage yourself as you would have liked to be encouraged by somebody else.

Damn it, can I at least have a mentor until 2018?

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The “Law of Attraction” in the Eyes of a Skeptic

The law of attraction – a peculiar premise that our thoughts have the power to attract positive or negative circumstances into our lives. Positive thinking sends off positive vibrations, attracting one’s desires, whilst negative thoughts attract more negativity. It’s all about the good vibes, bro.

Although I first watched “The Secret” in 9th grade math class (and remained vaguely impressed for a whole 24 hours until my 14 year old brain got distracted by food or some friendship group drama), I never really thought into the Law of Attraction up until now. Just as atheists reject prayer until the first airplane turbulence, or naive college girls continue to take nudes until the first phone hack, I remained pretty ignorant of this concept up until now. In other words, I didn’t consider utilizing this peculiar idea until it became absolutely necessary.

Before I continue, let me introduce a bit of a back story. Sadly, I’ve never been a particularly positive person, or a raging optimist, which means that I’ve always had a bit of a hard time dealing with problems – both emotionally and physically. However, I didn’t actively pursue change for several reasons:

  1. I didn’t experience any serious, long-term issues/discomfort that would require significant emotional and physical effort to deal with (oh, the good days…)
  2. I considered my often skeptical and somewhat pessimistic outlook to be a part of my personality – i.e. “I am who I am…yo”
  3. I’ve always been a bit lazy, to be perfectly real with you

Nonetheless, my life began to take a (wrong…WRONG!) turn back in 2015, meaning that two years later I found myself facing a multitude of different problems; it wasn’t a single floppy flower anymore, it was a whole bouquet of awful. As one trouble multiplied into several, my stress and anxiety levels also became much more…multiplied? Fast forward to summer 2017, I found myself weighed down with several issues – from health, to personal, to financial, to even existential (hello sly blog reference).

Following on, I decided I was pretty much done. It may sound cliché, but it honestly felt as though time had froze and nothing made sense anymore. I kept thinking to myself all over again that, after all these problems, “am I REALLY going to have to go through more problems?” It got to the point where I just decided that I was either hopelessly unlucky or cursed (or both). Why did everything keep going wrong? It almost seemed supernatural for a second, but then I remembered that I don’t do creepy.

So, after several days of wallowing in my own misery, I decided to do a bit of internet research as to why everything seems to be going wrong in spite of countless physical efforts. And you know what explanation kept popping up? That’s right, the good old “negative thinking”. As far as I can see, there are actually two types of negative thinking, with the first being very straightforward – “my life sucks, nothing ever goes right for me, nothing is going to get better”. In spite of the fact that I’m not the world’s biggest optimist, I don’t actually think like that on most occasions. However, I, alongside the majority of the world’s population, practice negative thinking in relation to certain problems.

For example, I have some health issues that don’t seem to be going away, and every time something comes up, my thoughts begin to drift into the direction of “damn, if these conditions haven’t gone away by now, they never will” or “I’m so tired of feeling sick”. Another example would be financial struggles – “oh man, this part-time job doesn’t suit my schedule, looks like I won’t be able to find a job that suits my schedule at all” or “my current freelancing job isn’t bringing in any money, I guess it will never be profitable again”. I can go on for ages, but it would be a waste of time – I think you already got the picture.

This is where the law of attraction comes in. After stumbling upon this concept once again, I decided to actually look into it a bit more extensively. I may not be an expert, but as far as I understand, our thoughts also emit vibrations. If we keep thinking negatively, we will attract more negativity into our lives; our health will deteriorate, we will remain broke and our personal lives will continue to go downhill. Negative thinking is understandable – not many people can remain hopeful when everything is pretty much crap. However, as we continue to respond negatively to our current circumstances, we continue to attract more negativity into our worlds, trapping ourselves in this cycle of never-ending problems.

The law of attraction suggests that, instead of thinking and responding negatively, we should practice positive thinking. But this is not the irritating type of positive thinking where your grandma sits you down and says “hey, just be happy you’re not a starving child in Africa” (yes I’m aware of that, but thinking that isn’t going to solve all of MY problems Grandma let’s just drink tea and watch the news instead ok how about that). No, this positive thinking consists of several strategies:

  1. Reminding yourself of what you want throughout the day – “I want to be healthy”, “I want to be wealthy”, “I want to attract good people into my life” etc
  2. Picturing that you already have all of this, and understanding it’s only a matter of time before you can experience and enjoy it (not only should you picture it, but you should also be certain of it)
  3. Believing that your current state is temporary and things will get better, as well as being grateful for what you already have

Nonetheless, you can’t just sit around and wait for things to happen – you should carefully determine all of the steps you need to take to achieve your desired life. Supposedly, the trick here is that sending out positive vibrations and “asking the universe to give you what you want” will bring everything to you in accordance with your efforts. At first you may not necessarily believe that it will work, but the key here is to repeat these positive thoughts over and over again until you start to see results.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no spiritualist or dedicated preacher – I’m pretty much the opposite. Unless I’ve done enough research to see that something is valid, my brain will never even consider it. But even as a skeptic, I have come across way too many success stories and rational explanations to doubt the law of attraction.

On a final note, I would like to express my gratitude towards the internet for allowing me to stumble upon this concept once again (good job google!). I may have only decided to utilize the law of attraction a couple of days ago, but I’m somewhat certain that my success story will also be added to the millions that already exist. From this point onward, I will do my very best to fix all of the problems that have accumulated over the past few years via not only action, but also positivity. This has been “The Law of Attraction” from a skeptic’s viewpoint – follow me to see how things unfold. I promise a 100% truthful account of my experience with this.

End-note: if you would like a more professional, accurate explanation, either watch “The Secret” or google/YouTube search “The Law of Attraction”. I’m only a rookie. Follow me?

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