Saturn Return or walking well-trodden paths
A life update and reflection on turning 30.
Sense-less borders (academic essay on British-Iranian cultures)
The following essay was an auto-ethnographic assignment to my MRes anthropology module Migration, Borders and Space: Decolonial Approaches. Looking at recent case studies such as Shamima Begum and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe as well as my experience with Iranian refugees, what does it mean to be multicultural?
Disabled or depressed: a blurry line
Signs of a mental and physical health flare ups often overlap, so how do I avoid getting caught up in the middle?
My inky prison of a mind and how it danced again
On how music reaches the soul where words fail.
Finding meaning in irony
A post I wrote was deleted, and somehow I am glad it did.
Boundaries don’t exist if there are no consequences
They say boundaries are a sign we care about the other, because we chose to be tough instead of abandon the relationship. So what if someone doesn’t respect them?
This is how you start loving yourself
Like many others, I have been struggling with low self-esteem for most of my life. There is pressure to deny this part of ourselves on social media, but is total positivity even possible?
Allowing time for rest
How can we stop the constant chatter of judgment, of self-doubt and worry, when we must take time off to rest?
Owning up to what may not be my “fault”
It may not be entirely just my doing, but is it still wiser to own up and take responsibility? What is better for my future and for my mental health?
When everything goes wrong, I choose to smile
It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and yet I’m working my hardest to be happy. How to focus on what we can control instead of what happens to us?
Feel the fear and do it anyway!
Pushing boundaries is scary, especially when being vulnerable. Can I sit in the discomfort and life my truth anyway?
What am I scared of ending?
I still mourn being sober even 18 months in. Refusing closure, what else am I refusing of letting go off?
Do I have a pet problem?
There’s 16 animals in my flat right now. As long as they’re happy, I don’t have a problem. Right??
How to heal from codependency
Codepenency is easy to diagnose in others but nearly impossible within ourselves. How can we become aware and heal unhealthy patterns?
It’s not WHAT we do but WHY
“It’s not what you eat, but why you eat.” The issue isn’t donuts or takeaway, it’s that I’m trying to numb my feelings by eating.
Do I hate myself because I can’t be angry at others?
Growing up, I was not allowed a safe outlet for my feelings. They were dangerous to my caretakers, and thus to me.
The harder it is outside, the more we work inside
Mental health struggles can leave us feeling helpless, even with self-care. How come I am lost again after years of experience?
Poke holes into your black and white thinking
Can we get out of black and white thinking and find weak spots in our negative beliefs that hold us back?Can we radically accept what we dislike?
Toxic positivity, negativity, and everything in between
Does acknowledging a shitty week perpetuate pessimism? Can an entire week be bad? Or is this toxic positivity?
Signs you’re emotionally mature!
Are you actively trying to grow emotionally and wonder if it worked? Here’s a few simple signs to look out for!
Dry January? Tips on quitting from a recovered alcoholic!
We all suffer with the obsession of new year’s resolutions. But how can you actually make it through the month, and beyond if you wish to do so?
Surviving the holidays with your family
Do you feel stuck between loving and hating the people you’re self-isolating with? Anger and resentment are natural emotions, now more than ever.
Surprising lessons from sponsoring addicts
When you join a 12-step fellowship, you’re looking for help to quit your drug of choice. Surprisingly, it was when sponsoring others that I learned boundaries, self-care and true patience.
Do you have borderline personality disorder or complex PTSD?
The majority of people I know who think they have BPD (past me included) are really suffering from complex PTSD and confusing the symptoms. So how are they different?
Why we refuse to surrender fear
If fear was meant to warn us of danger, anxiety is fear gone mad. Biology might explain trauma response, but why do we emotionally hold on to fear?
Stopping intrusive thoughts or problematic behaviours
I’ve been struggling with self-depreciating thoughts that I cannot control. What I can control is not feeling shame but working on them with a DBT worksheet. Let’s do it together!
How to manage adult ADHD!
Now you’ve got the diagnosis and some reading up on it, what’s next? Read on for tips on handling adult ADHD that I acquired over the years!
Happiness, pleasure, and the worlds in between
Nothing wrong with a bit of pleasure, but why do we equate it with happiness and where do these two things differ?
Expectations are premeditated resentments
It’s fair to say that everyone struggles with disappointment. So how do we avoid self-destructive behaviour and not expect outcomes in the first place?
I woke up to a stranger in my home
I wish this was a just a spooky Halloween story.
Let your tears water your soul
When crying, we might feel embarrassed, vulnerable and caught off guard. Here’s why you should feel proud of your tears.
How to stop repressing your emotions!
The people here in the UK are known to have a stiff upper lip; they hold back on showing their feelings as emotional public displays are discouraged. But why is that dangerous?
That’s it, I’m doing it!
The thing about quitting one addiction is how obvious all others become. Now I know how much better life is without the one thing that made it worth living, I’m out of excuses.
Happy World Mental Health Day!
Today, I celebrated by cancelling all my plans and sleeping for hours. Sometimes, this is what depression looks like. Sometimes, it’s self-care.
The art of prioritising
Roles and responsibilities are piling up, and so does the guilt associated with them. When it is impossible to do everything, what do we do first?
I can’t wait to be patient
Our world doesn’t lend itself to patience. With social media, Amazon Prime and Google, it’s not surprising I expect immediate results for everything else, most of all healing.
From 8 hours screen time to 0! What I learned from a full day without screens
For months now I had been watching my screen time steadily creeping up, from scrolling on social media to binge watching series on Netflix. Enough was enough!
How I’ve lost all of my friends in a year and couldn’t be happier
With school and work, we get used to hanging out with who we mesh with best. But when we change, is it fair to expect others to change too?
And then I said no
This week, while dealing with loss and guilt, self-care took on a different form for me. A tattoo that was waiting to be finished had to make way for me to get some sleep.
Your Body is not an Apology
Sonya Renee Taylor speaks of the system of oppression that profit from self-hatred, and offers an alternative: radical self-love to heal body shame, in ourselves and the world.
Why you have more in common with Paris than you thought
I did not expect to cry watching Paris Hilton’s new documentary “This Is Paris”. It did not just touch nostalgia, but also trauma.
Addicted to love: Dependency in relationships
Can I see others for who they truly are, or for who I want them to be? Too often we equate dependency with love.
Seeing red flags where there are none
Why is it that we can only see our flaws when spotting them in others? Once the connection had been made however, I could not sit idly by.
This surprising lesson from 12-step fellowships
I entered the 12-steps fellowships hoping to get rid of my cravings. And I did!
Shame, guilt and fear: my favourite cocktail
Today has been a rollercoaster, but I didn’t think I would be feeling like this tonight. Instead, I am feeling ashamed, guilty and fearful.
Fidgety or yawning during yoga? Here’s why!
We talked about not relaxing with meditation, exercise being uncomfortable and finally getting tired of fidgety during yoga. Why is that and how can we help it?
These 2 letters are your greatest superpower
There’s a lot of lists with good virtues, tricks that get you far in life or psychological growth secrets. However, there is nothing as simple and life-changing as this.
Balance: The final part to processing pain
After delaying gratification, accepting responsibility and the importance of truth, we will read about the final ingredient to processing pain according to Peck: balance!
My secret tip to DEACTIVATE your ego!
No matter our self-growth, once our ego gets triggered it’s hard to see the bigger picture. Here’s a trick to quickly disengage!
The words less spoken: why truth matters
This is my third post in my series for M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Travelled.I’ve been really enjoying writing about his 4 essential steps to process pain from problem-solving!First we learned about the importance of delaying gratification and accepting responsibility.Today, we will explore dedication to truth and why it matters! Our view of reality…
Reacting vs responding – how to keep your side of the street clean
Whatever is going on in my life is not an excuse for how I’m feeling, and especially not for how I’m acting. But how to stop reacting and respond instead?
Why I go-go-go instead of let go!
While I work hard play hard, even my play won’t ever chill. Why do I prefer to go-go-go instead of letting go?
Start living by accepting responsibility!
Today I will speak to you about accepting responsibility. (yay, everyone’s favourite!) Can we solve a problem before accepting responsibility for it?
Annoyed? 3 reasons why you should reach out
Are we able to heal rifts as they happen and part amicably, or do we carry resentments with us?
Delay gratification, avoid suffering
You do not procrastinate because you’re lazy, but because you prefer the easy. How do we find beauty in our problems?
Is it okay to…? or Trust your intuition!
There’s many asking whether to cut off friendships, break up or limit communication. Why do we rely so much on external validation to follow our heart?
Here to GET it right, not BE right
This is the mantra of shame researcher Brené Brown. What is the difference between getting it right and being right, and what does it have to do with shame?
Have you grown into independence?
All humans start life as helpless children, and not all grow up to be independent adults. Stepping into adulthood requires embracing risk.
First Magic, then Medicine, finally Madness
This is a saying in the addict community to describe our using. The poetic nature of it strikes me, and I can’t help relate the saying to all.
10 signs that you’re ignoring red flags!
At the start, both parties are looking for compatibility. But are you seeing the other person really for who they are, or who you want them to be?
FEELING instead of BEING the desire
Desires make our capitalist world go round, but can we widen the gap on acting on them? Do we act on our yearnings, or are we controlled by them?
Self-image and unachieved dreams
We all know that our internal dialogue defines our self-image. But how are we harming ourselves all the while thinking we are doing good?
They don’t really hate YOU!
It’s strange how one person’s dislike for us can invade our mind. We can even become obsessed with the supposed hate we feel from someone else.
Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing – Brianna Wiest
Self-care has become synonymous for personal downtime and treating ourselves unhealthily. The true meaning of self-care has evaded us.
How to find your deep well of creativity and knowing
I used to think my creativity comes from suffering and drugs. Access to this magical land was given to me only when earned. Not anymore!
Breaking my own heart by expecting the worst
How come I managed to completely jump to conclusions THREE TIMES this week, each tragic and comical time resulting in me crying and waves of sadness?
Have you made yourself proud today?
Obviously we deserve to take it easy from time to time. It is possible to be unproductive and still make yourself proud! But are you sleeping easy tonight?
I am no longer myself and I love it
Identity is a funny thing. What do you describe yourself as? Did we become what we are describing, or do we become it as we speak?
The surprising link between reassurance and doubt
There’s many ways we reach out for reassurance when we are doubting ourselves. But did you know that this coping mechanism actually worsens self-doubt?
How you process relief says a lot about you
Last night I had a scary experience with my rat Brain. Thankfully everything was fine in the morning, but I couldn’t help feeling: Shouldn’t I be happier?
Here’s why you don’t want lockdown to end
Now everyone is as paranoid as we were, and in a perverse way, it feels like a weight is taken off my shoulders. Now it is onto other people to be anxious!
Sticky bodies and disassociating daydreams
Once again, I feel myself slipping. It’s a mixture of procrastinating and disassociating, this getting lost in daydreams.
Having and then talking myself out of ideas
I have learned that fear is something to seek out. Good stuff happens once we venture out of our comfort zone. Why do we abandon them then?
Victim and victimiser: Why guilt doesn’t work in activism
Identity politics are thriving right now. But the fear of the other and national pride identity are stronger than mere ethics.
How denial drives us to reject growth and help
Years ago, I attended a house party. Sat around, we started talking about racism. As the only BAME person in the room, I believed myself an authority.
Apologising to my first love (and crying for hours)
I reached out to someone I hadn’t spoken to in over 3 years to apologise for the hurt that I had caused them in our relationship. Scary, right?
My heart is beating out of my chest, the only thing to do is match my steps. I had given up running for a few years but was back at it with a vengeance.
Giving love but receiving none: the struggle of the lonely
“I give so much love to everyone” said someone on this Abraham Hicks talk, “yet receive so little back. How do I stop myself from being resentful?”
Grow on the go: my 7 favourite podcasts!
Since lockdown started, I have massively gotten into self-improvement podcasts. Here are a few of my favourites to get your journey started!
To my younger self: Once you know yourself
All this may seem far out of reach, and yet your hopes are about to come true:All you’ve ever dreamt for yourself is about to be you.
How to surrender our ego
Stuck in our ego, we just can’t get ourselves to do what needs to be done. What can we do to make sure our ego doesn’t blind us in the moment?
Real Neat Blog Award – A Q&A!
I was lucky to be nominated by TheMindfulModus (who you can find here).
Emotional intelligence and Brackett’s mood meter
It’s easy to be aware of what you’re doing, but can you label what you feel? We can minimise misunderstandings, be self-aware and lead happier lives.
9 essentials tips for a true apology
It’s often hard enough to get ourselves to apologise, but did you know there are rules to it? To truly mend relationships, here are some tips.
No outside validation – gratitude for all things
What we are looking for is where we are looking from.If we wait for the outside world to praise us, we will forever remain a follower.
Can others love us if we don’t love ourselves?
I spend years hoping someone’s love could save me from the pit inside my soul. That they would find my flaws endearing, and in turn so would I.
From doormat to assertiveness
Are you sick and tired of feeling taken advantage of, unable to say no and put your foot down?Join the club! Learning assertiveness can be tough.
Why addicts insist it’s physical
There are more and more addictions. Where is the boundary between having a hard time letting something go, and having a physical dependency on it?
Bittersweet responsibilities of work
You would think I’d welcome having people looking forward to my work. But instead, I’m filled with dread and freeze up. Why am I so petrified of attention?
Why self-help books will only take you so far
I am far from a self-hate book hater. There is however a pitfall we fall into when we content ourselves to reading them that I’d like to explore.
‘Perfectionism is like holding my breath.’
We all have goals, and we all procrastinate. I like to blame perfectionism on holding me back. What is this mental barrier we put in front of ourselves?
Why self-depreciating humour will bite you in the ass
I’m the queen of self-depreciating humour. I like how it eases every mood and keeps me humble. Do my jokes keep me in check, or should I check them?
6 secrets to dealing with negative people
It’s not always possible to cut negative people out of our lives, and neither do we always want to. Is there a way to manage our emotions more effectively?
Overcoming loneliness and strengthening relationships
There’s always been a stigma around loneliness. Now more than ever, we should not be ashamed of it. Here are six ways to build our relationships.
Forgiveness is a one-way street
I used to think that in order to forgive someone, they would first have to be sorry.This left me powerless and waiting for people to ask for forgiveness.
Making new friends (for free!) without leaving your home
You’re not alone in feeling lonely! A lack of friends might feel dooming, but here are a few ways to meet new people and even growing as a person!
Got no structure? Here’s how to form new habits
They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, but how to make that first step? Here’s a few tips and tricks to get into the routine!
On admitting my resentments: Step 5 of recovery
How heavy the weight of our resentments is! From childhood, our romantic relationships and friendships: we all carry them with us.
Want to kill your family? How to deal with anger in lockdown
Do you feel stuck between loving and hating the people you’re self-isolating with? Anger and resentment are natural emotions, now more than ever.
The curse of being a natural empath and caregiver
As empaths we often forget that the body and mind are interconnected. Simply treating the physical symptoms won’t do, we need to heal.