INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

May all women get the chance:
to be exactly who they want to be
to educate themselves
to work their dream jobs
to fulfill their potential
to love whoever they want to love. 

May all women feel:
capable
smart
empowered
incomparable
and unique.

May all women be seen for:
their mindsets
their presence
their energy
their ideas;
the way they think
the way they love
the way they exist.

May a woman’s external beauty
become just a tiny bit
of what the society
praises her for.

Happy International Women’s Day,
may we stand together,
encourage each other and
get better and better
every single day.

♡ A.

When the time to let go comes

A letter dedicated to everyone who’s trying to love themselves more than the other person;

I know you’ve poured love, time and attention into this strange thing that you thought was special, but ended like it was nothing; before it even started properly. I know you’ve given so much of yourself into creating a path that was meant to be for two people but you somehow ended walking all by yourself through it. I’m not trying to take away your sadness, or tell you that you shouldn’t be sad. You’re allowed to be sad. I’m not trying to tell you that it’s not worth it, or some other common words that people say while trying to console us. I’m trying to let you know that you’re not alone, and that there’s someone out there who is willing to listen to you talk about the same thing over and over again, a million times and never make you feel like ‘it’s time to get over it.’ We don’t just get over things, please take your time. There’s no need to rush anywhere. Take your time to rest, heal, and find light again. Take some time to reflect on yourself, and what you need at the moment. Days like these exist, and they’re tricky. We get stuck between the heart, and the brain and those two at times want two completely different things. So what can we do? What’s the solution? That little voice that talks to you, listen to it. It’s your inner voice that’s almost never wrong. If it tells you to walk away, please do so. You keep trying to see only the good in people, you keep trying to find reasons to keep them in your life, but a proper thing doesn’t require trying that hard, to the point where you feel tired more than anything else. You deserve better. You don’t deserve to be confused, wondering whether this person is telling you the truth or not. Whether you’re important to them or not. If you’re constantly questioning whether someone cares about you or not, the answer is already pretty clear. And I’m sorry. These words might not be easy to hear, but the ones who love you need to remind you of some things that you want to forget. You’ve done more than enough. You can’t keep people in your life being the only one who’s trying. You can’t keep giving if you never get anything in return. So let go of what makes you tired, of what keeps taking and taking from you, because at some point, you’ll start feeling like there’s nothing left in you. And knowing how full of love, beautiful energy, and respect you are, ending up feeling empty might be the most devastating thing. 

You deserve better. 

♡ Albesa

(Originally written for my cousin who I love so dearly; I thought I’d be a good idea to share with the people of my journal)

‘You care too much’

I’ve always been the one to care more, to care so much in such an intense way. I don’t necessarily hate that about myself, but I don’t necessarily like it either. You know why? Because I could care so much about someone and that still doesn’t guarantee anything. I could care so much about someone and still have to let them go; for my own sake. I’ve gotten taken for a fool, so many times in my life, by so many different people who meant a lot to me. My trust has been taken for granted, the second chances that I’ve given were taken for granted. I’ve been told I was too naive, too nice, too soft, too caring. And at some point in my life, I got really annoyed by it. I thought I had to change because being caring wasn’t taking me anywhere. I was annoyed by the fact that I always wanted to know how someone was doing, and I was annoyed because they probably didn’t care that much about how I was doing. But I’m constantly reminding myself of one thing: that’s them, that’s how they function. And I’m not them. There were moments when I let the critics get into my head which led to me trying to be a bit colder. There were moments when I tried to seem like I cared less than I actually did. But it only made me feel worse; because that’s simply not who I am. When someone is a part of my life, I want to know about their day, in small details preferably. I want to know everything they’re comfortable sharing. I want to know what’s going on with them. I want to know if I can help in any way. That’s me. Sometimes they will do the same for me and sometimes they won’t. Letting them go might hurt for a bit, but you get through it. The thing is that you don’t have to be like me and I don’t have to be like you. And it doesn’t mean one of us sucks or one is better than the other. We’re both just fine. Being more caring and less caring is both fine. Why can’t we criticize a little less and be respectful towards each other a little more? No matter what kinda person you are, the goal is to show the people that you care about them while they’re in your life, not when they leave. Let people know you appreciate them. Do your part. What happens next or how they react is out of your control; what matters the most is that you stay true to yourself, no matter how other people might percieve it. 

Our differences might take us in two different directions, but the respect between us can exist no matter where we end up. 

♡ Albesa  

First messy story of 2021 (what a surprise)

Wednesday / January 28, 2021

I can’t sleep. I feel the urge to write, to express myself, to relieve myself, to let my thoughts go. I feel the need to talk about my thoughts and my fears. A lot is going on and it seems like I can never catch a breath. There is constantly something taking my peace away. Me and my family are in a very complicated place in life right now. We have no idea what’s gonna happen next. We’re stressed, getting on each other’s nerves all the time, fighting all the time and what not. It’s intense. My dad felt obligated to sell the business where he had been working and managing the last 20 years. That business is where my parents have found stability in a foreign country, and for that I am forever grateful. I am grateful I had a stable childhood. We’re looking for a new business opportunity right now. It’s hard; especially during these covid times. I can’t do much; I guess I have to try and stay optimistic and hope for the best. Hope that some day soon, we will feel stable again. Sometimes I forget that all of this happened and so when I rememeber it, my stomach turns into a real mess. I feel like throwing up every time I remember the things that have happened in the past 6 months. I’m sad knowing that my parents don’t have a job for the first time in their lives. I’m devastated, but what is there to do? I’m in Kosovo right now, where I thought I’d feel a little better since I’m away from everything going on in Croatia but honestly, I think I’m even more stressed. I can’t stay calm due to uncertainty. There are many things going on for sure and what is there to do besides write? Write until my chest feels a bit lighter. On a good note, I visited my grandma’s grave a few days ago. I cried my heart out and it was much needed! I miss her so much, oh my god. I talked to her about so many things, and I have no idea if she’s somewhere around or not, but I like to believe she is. She is my hope, my light and my guardian angel. Also, I once wrote a story about how I went separate ways from a long time best friend. We found the way back to each other and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’m so happy to see that people are willing to grow and learn from their mistakes. I’m happy when people survive their darkest days and start taking control over their life again. I appreciate an honest apology more than anything and there’s nothing more amazing than feeling respected and appreciated by someone who you thought you were over with. Cheers to re-establishing new friendships with old people, who have learned and grown and shown that they’re worth a second chance. I wish everyone could do that but unfortunately, sometimes we have to move on without the apologies that we deserve. Moving on to the next topic: A lot of people ask me about boys and dating and romance and to be honest, I’ve never really written much about it but let me touch on that topic a little bit. I’m 23 and by this age, the majority of the people have had some kind of romantic experience; but I haven’t. I’ve never been very intrested in dating and meaningless encounters. I’ve always known what I wanted when it comes to romance, and it hasn’t changed; a deep connection with a deep and real person who isn’t afraid to show their authentic self, who isn’t afraid to call me out when I’m wrong, but does that in a kind and respectful way. Someone who is genuinely a kind person, with morals, ethics and standards. Someone  who can tell me their story, and listen to mine too. And that, I haven’t met yet, which is why I don’t have a romantic experience to tell. And I refuse to just get myself into something meaningless. That’s simply not who I am, or who I’ll ever be. I like to believe I don’t have trust issues, but I do. Sometimes I question if I’m being too idealistic, but I’m not. I know what I’d prefer for myself is rare, but it exists. And if the universe wants it to, it will somehow find me. Or I’ll find it. But I know one thing for sure, when something is there, you just know. And when something isn’t there, you also know. For real, you will know everything, so breathe and keep going through life doing your own thing because at the end of the day, the most important relationship you can ever have is the one you have with yourself, so nourish it. Every day, all the time. 

A story all over the place, as per usual.

All my love,

♡ Albesa  

Re-connecting with myself

Wednesday / December 23, 2020

I have no idea why it has taken me so long to sit down and write a story. I love doing this, I love it so much. I feel like my most authentic self when I write and create. But I’ve been feeling kinda lost, kinda disconnected from a lot of things, not neccessarily bad but not good either which I believe happens to a lot of people from time to time. I’ve been going back and forth, healing and hurting. My relationship with my mental health has gotten so good this year, I’m really happy with my growth and the ways I’ve learned to look at things. Even though anxiety is pretty much a part of my every day life, I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten much more calm than I used to be. I’ve been taking deep breaths, and encouraging myself instead of speaking negatively about myself. I’ve been reminding myself of my qualities more often, and it feels really great, it’s a breath of fresh air when you quit constantly criticising yourself. But I can’t deny that I’ve been feeling weird and disconnected lately. I just don’t know how to put it into words. When it’s pouring rain, you either run so you don’t get soaking wet or start smiling cuz you love it; I’m at place where I wouldn’t even notice that it has started raining in the first place. I’ve been way too in my head lately, too many things are on my mind. My family, my grandma, my exams, my body image and relationship with food. The situation at home is a bit intense, I’ve been fighting with my sister more than usually. The way they react to certain things, I think a lot of it has to do with their emotions that maybe haven’t come to the surface yet. I’m trying to give them space and not be nosey about everything that goes on in their lives, however, I must say that everything that I want to know about them is because I care about them and want to see them doing good. I know I’m overprotective, and I’m aware it can be annoying sometimes, because at the end of the day, I’m not some kind of superhero that can save everyone from the tinniest problems. I honestly think I must stop thinking that everyone needs my help, or that I constantly need to save someone from something. I unfortunately can’t prevent my loved ones from getting hurt, and I must understand that. Pain is inevitable throughout life. I need to be there for my loved ones when they actually need me, not when I assume they need me, which is very often. I’ve been looking at this from a different perspective and I don’t think being overprotective is a bad trait, I just think I need to let go of the idea that everyone needs me all the time. I started developing this trait about 7 years ago, when my mental health issues started getting more and more severe. I was in pain myself, and knowing how it felt, I didn’t want my loved ones to experience pain like I had been experiencing it. But as I said, pain, heartbreaks, disappointments are inevitable, and everyone deals with their pain differently, so I guess I just have to hold on to what I do surely know; just like I survived, just like I’ve found ways to live with my pain, they will too, and maybe the best way for them to do that is by themselves, which right now, I fully accept. In the meantime, I’m going to focus on maintaining a positive self-talk, encouraging mindset, writing more, taking more pictures, baking more desserts, and understanding my true feelings about a couple other things that have been on my mind lately. I’m glad I finally sat down and just wrote whatever was coming to my mind. I feel re-connected with myself and I definitely needed that! Til next time, stay safe!

All my love,

♡ Albesa  

After my grandma passed away

Saturday / November 28, 2020

I struggled to feel anything properly. I’ve struggled to write about anything besides my grandma. I struggled to express myself in any way, shape or form. Sometimes it seems like I’m not able to feel joy anymore. I struggled to stand on my feet. I struggled to do anything. I’m constantly looking for signs that she’s somewhere around. When I’m having a hard time, I ask her to shine some light on me; and it somehow gets easier. Is it her? Is it my imagination? I really don’t know. After my grandma passed away, chaotic things happened; one thing after another. In a year and a half, I lost more people than I ever thought I could. I lost my grandpa not so long ago too. The rest I lost due to lack of respect, compassion, support. Thankfully, they’re alive and maybe some day, we’ll find a common ground. I still have lots of love for them. It’s so hard, but I try to hold on to what she always used to tell me: You are so sweet. You are so smart. You are so capable. My grandma was my support system since I was a little child. They told me I was a complicated kid in my early childhood. I was just too curious. I asked too many questions. No one wanted to deal with me, besides my grandma who would take me by the hand and take me to her garden where she would show me her tomatoes, her cucumbers, her onions. I was fascinated by it all because growing up in a city, I had never seen how fruits and vegetables grow. She would take me to her little farm and tell me about her cows Lara and Balusha and how she feeds them. How come I was not a complicated child when I was with my grandma? My grandma and I just knew how to understand each other. I refused to go to sleep with anyone else but her. I grew up and became a good student, a non problematic child, a polite and kind human being who constantly tries to do and be better and my grandma never neglected that. In an environment where I got criticized for every little thing about me, my grandma was the only one to remind that there was nothing wrong with me. My grandma was magical. And I miss her dearly, every single day. It never gets eaiser, you just learn how to live missing people. I’m starting to feel other feelings other than sadness. I’m studying again, I’m getting out of the house. I’m trying not to get consumed by grief. I’m think I’m getting better in all areas of life. I became an aunt the other day. I felt joy, immense joy. I’m trying to find light. I’m trying to create something out of my life. Little by little. I’m not rushing anywhere. I’m learning to take my time and space without apologizing. I’m trying to find a way to live with my pain. I’ve found some kind of consolation in being grateful. I celebrate every little thing. I celebrate every exam that I pass. When I don’t pass, I’m grateful that I get to go to school, fail and take another exam. I celebrate every meal that comes out tasty. I celebrate my family, best friends and their growth. I celebrate everyone, even the ones who I no longer have a connection with. I’m rooting for everyone, like my grandma is rooting for me. Somewhere from afar, where I (you) can’t even see.

Keep going. 

♡ Albesa 

A reminder to enjoy your life more

Friday / October 30, 2020

I’m writing this from my bed where I’ve been laying for about a week now due to corona virus. I got tested a few days ago and unfortunately, it’s positive. To say that I’m bored is an understatement. Not only bored, but also extremely demotivated and very anxious about all the work that I have to catch up on. The first couple of days were awful. Severe headache, sore throat, blocked nose, fever, pain in my muscles and what not. I feel a little better now but I’m still recovering. I’m exhausted, physically, emotionally and mentally. As I said, I’m extremely demotivated, it’s super hard to imagine myself being productive right now. I’m feeling quite miserable, but I guess I’ll get better as my health comes back.  It’s just that I really can’t catch a break. It’s one thing after another, constantly, all the time. I’m never in peace. There’s always some sort of turbulence happening to me or around me. I think it’s quite natural to feel the way I feel giving the circumstances. Life can get really tough. These two last years have been the hardest and the most transformative years of my life. Something was happening all the time. Hard stuff; that takes time to process and accept. But I’m here. I survived, and I’ll survive this too. It’s not easy, however, I’m happy and grateful that I’m recovering and that I’ll be able to go back to my usual life soon. I’m trying to see and understand the lessons this situation can teach me. There are a bunch of things coming to my mind, particularly this one: we tend to have that ‘nah, it won’t happen to me’ mindset but let me just tell you something; oh hell yeah it will! It might happen to you, whatever it is that you think it won’t. Be careful, take into consideration that we’re all just humans, non of us is superior to one another. We don’t enjoy life enough, thinking that we have time and all this future ahead of us. We care too much about things that are simply not healthy for us; for example: what will people think? We don’t know what tomorrow brings, will I notice my health getting worse? Will I get better and then get hit by a car a couple days later? I know I sound extremely pesimisstic but only when we have things like these happen to us do we realize that we really do waste our lives away worrying too much and enjoying too little. Live your life and learn to live with that uncomfortable feeling that comes with the question ‘what will people think of me’? I’m learning, slowly but surely. For example, I’ve made huge progress with talking openly about mental health on Instagram, where people who know me personally follow me. They might me thinking ‘what is she talking about’, ‘what’s wrong with her’, ‘why is she suffering’ etc, etc. It gets uncomfortable, of course, but I need to stop trying to control how what I post might appear to other people. Everyone will take it differently. Some might be confused, some might be delighted. And what I can do and choose to do is let them be, and think. Whatever they want. And I do the same for myself. As long as my intentions are pure and I’m doing what I love, I’ll be just fine, even when questioning if someone from instagram thinks I’m lame. Their opinion, at the end of the day; it doesn’t have to stop me. Or you, or anyone. 

Til next time,

♡ Albesa 

From corona virus to narcissism

Wednesday / October 28, 2020

I’ve been sick for the last couple of days; very sick. I’ve been having terrible headaches, I have a sore throat, my nose is blocked and my entire body hurts. I don’t know if it’s my veganism or something else, but I really never get sick. I don’t want to sound too dramatic, however, for someone who never gets sick, this is dramatic. Now, getting sick wouldn’t be that big of a deal for me if it wasn’t right when corona virus is spreading more than ever. I got tested today (yesterday in fact, as it’s past midnight now). I’ll have to wait up to 48 hours to get my results. The testing itself wasn’t that bad, but I must admit I’m afraid of it being positive. Staying at home, in my room for 14 days would make me quite miserable as I’m someone who needs at least one walk a day to help soothen my anxiety. I have a house full of people and they would all have to be in isolation as well.  My sister in law, who’s mostly in our house, is in her last weeks of pregnancy so yeah, it wouldn’t be too great for her to get infected. I have a feeling it’s negative, but who knows. I’m not in track with anything at the moment, literally anything. There is so much work I have to catch up on; academic and personal. I will, I say, let me just be healthy again. On days like these, you just want that, health. We take it for granted; I know I do. Sometimes I stress about something so much, and only now when I’m at risk and don’t know what’s going on do I realize how silly I can be sometimes. I really need to stop beating myself up so much. I need to stop feeling guilty for literally everything. I will study, I will clean my room, I will do this, I will do that, I will do everything, but eventually. Non of it is running away, and neither am I. I’ll do it all and it will be just fine; I really need to understand that. Oh btw; I talked to someone who I thought was great but turned out to be a very narcissistic person. I thought this person and I were building a solid friendship but I ended up feeling like I gave too much and gained nothing. But your girl has learned to say no and set boundaries. I said no, and I said bye. I will be writing a more in depth story on my experiences with narcissistic people and what I’ve learned from those relationships. What I have to say for now is this: trust your instinct, don’t ignore red flags, gut feelings are real and most importantly, respect yourself, a l w a y s!

Until the next story, please keep your distance, be responsible, stay safe and take care of yourself and the people around. Wishing everyone a corona free time, haha, lol (lame).

♡ Albesa 

 

Never-ending challenges

Thursday / October 22, 2020

I have so much to say and express yet I feel stuck in my own mind. I feel like I don’t really know how to express myself anymore. I try and I try but I can’t seem to find the proper words, the words that come close to how I’m feeling. I’ve been feeling miserable. I’ve been feeling anxious. I constantly have to do something. Study harder, take care of my eating habits, take care of this, take care of that. I really need a break. But how do I take a break? All of these things are constantly on my mind, I feel like I’m failing; every day. I feel like I’m not doing enough. And last but not least; I feel like I’m wasting my life. I rarely have fun. I never go out. I’m having troubles being around people again, so staying at home seems like the easiest option. I was doing so good with my eating habits, but this past month, I’ve noticed myself reaching for food out of boredom, which is what I struggled with for years. I don’t wanna go down that path again. It’s dark and scary. I must not let myself feel discouraged the moment I get challenged by those old patterns. I must stand tall and say ‘no’ to everything that causes me damage. Life feels all over the place right now. Unexpected things are happening. Our family business will no longer be ours in two months. God knows what’s gonna happen; will we open a new business and be somewhat successful? Is it gonna work? There are many questions in my head. I hate uncertainity. I guess I’ll have to wait and see. My fears are creeping in again but I guess it’s gonna be okay. Fingers crossed.

Til’ next time

♡ Albesa 

The best story ever (confronting my fears, having hard conversations, becoming healthier, and moving on)

Monday / September 28, 2020.

I’ve been writing a journal since I was 16. At the age of 19, almost four years ago, I created this blog that I also call journal. I was a miserable journalism student, feeling stuck, feeling lost, battling depression and anxiety while studying something I thought I liked but actually wasn’t for me at all. It’s been a wild ride. I haven’t stopped writing on here ever since. This journal has been with me through it all; the awful days, the empty days and the better days. I’ve written in so many of stories, how I wish I had something nice to say, how I wish I didn’t have so many sad things to write about, how I wish I didn’t have to write about my fears all the time. I don’t regret any of those stories, however, I’m so glad this day to write about something beautiful has finally come. Dear journal, today’s story is probably the best story I’ve ever written; here we go. So, as I said, I’ve written about my depression, anxiety, fears, and family dramas so much. After living in constant fear of family devastation, fear of failure, fear of incapability due to mental illness, I’m happy to say that I’ve made a huge step towards making peace with my fears. I dared to confront my dad and ask him about something I had known for almost seven years which had been one of the key factors of my depression ever since I’ve found out about it. I was so afraid of talking about it, asking questions about it, thinking it would only cause even more damage. But about a week ago, without even planning it, I did it. I openly talked about it. I asked questions, I asked what I wanted to know. And I survived. Nothing bad happened. What my dad told me was quite expected, I’m not surprised, but things are more clear to me now anyway, even though I didn’t really get the answers I needed. My mom didn’t know about any of this, I never told her because I didn’t want her to be upset, but I had that talk with her too. Keeping it a secret from her had been haunting me for years, and even though I was forced to tell her otherwise someone else was about to do it, I’m actually glad it happened. I’m still traumatised by that day and how I had to tell her but I’m here, I’m alive, my mom is alive, and I don’t have to be afraid of her finding out about it from someone else and being even more hurt. Things have been hard, but now that I’ve confronted two huge things that were causing me pain, I feel like I can finally start to breathe freely again. I feel like I finally, after all these years, don’t have to think about all of those things every single day. I can finally discover how nice can one simple day be. What a luxury. On to another huge thing; I passed my exams! I left my first university due to depression back in 2017. My mental illness was very severe and I was not able to study. That was three years ago, I’m not in that place in life anymore but the fear of being incapable still remains. To this day, I’m still terrified of being in such a bad mental state, being depressed to the point where my brain is completely blank, having awful memory. To this day, the thought of not being able to study, learn and process new information which I need in order to graduate and pursue my dream of becoming a social worker still terrifies me and it’s something that’s devastating for me. But I passed!! It was hard as hell but oh my god, I passed! My fears are the product of my past experiences, my traumas. But after those hard conversations and confrontations, after passing my exams, I think I can finally start to believe in myself a little more again. I think I’m finally able to see that I’m really not in that dark place in my life anymore. I’ve gotten better. I really have. I can’t believe it, but actions speak for themselves. I wasn’t brave enought to do any of these things a year ago; my anxiety creating terrifying scenarios in my head would always take over me and stop me from doing what I needed to do so badly. But I feel that I’m healthier now. I’m not in 2017, studying something I dislike anymore. I was terrified when I started school again this time last year. But I made it, year one of school of social work is done. Year two starts in a couple hours. I can’t believe it. I’m worried about a ton of things, but my soul feels less heavy. I still need to process everything. All of this is just too good to be true; that’s how it seems. It took me two years of therapy to learn to accept things, to stop trying to control every little thing about my life, to try again, to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone, explore my options, have hard conversations, set boundaries and much more. Two years of intense inner work. And it’s all paying off. It truly does get better. Here’s to having hard conversations that we’ve avoided for the longest time, here’s to confronting friends, family members and everyone who hasn’t treated you nicely, here’s to trying again in school, at work, hobby or whatever you’ve been afraid of. Here’s to becoming healthier versions of ourselves.

Thank you to my grandma for being my source of strength through whatever life puts me through.

Thank you to my best friends who have gone through it all with me even though they had their own struggles.

Thank you to my sisters who make living at home easier and always have my back.

And last but not least, thank you to my amazing therapist who has done an amazing job helping me see beyond my fears, traumas, and limitations I created in my head. We make an awesome team.

Til next time,

♡ Albesa 

I’m not doing good right now

Wednesday / September 16, 2020

I can’t help but start this story by expressing how much I dislike the new WordPress editor. I loved the old one so much, the new one is just weird and complicated. I have only one question; WHY?! I wish that was my only problem though, but nope, hehe, I’m honestly lost in all my worries, struggles and thoughts. I’m trying not to make a tragedy out of everything that life throws at me, but sometimes I just can’t help it. I try to tell myself ”it’s okay, it’s okay” but the truth is that, it’s not okay. I’m not okay, very often. I’m not okay with a lot of things. Sometimes I feel like I’m over everything, and the next day, I wake up heartbroken all over again. Healing takes a long time, I know. And I know I’m trying as hard as I can. It has not been easy for me, especially not over the past year and a half, after my grandma died. I get exhausted very quickly. My emotional pain has started to cause me physical pain too. Everything inside of a human being is so connected, it’s surreal. I believe a lot of you have tried to sleep for hours and hours and still woke up feeling tired. It’s because of what you carry in your mind my dear people. A tired mind equals a tired body. So what do we do? I have no idea. Maybe sit with our emotions for a little bit? Maybe try not to get rid of them for a little bit? Take deep breaths? Write it out, let it out? This helps me so much. I love writing so much because it’s my form of getting rid of the heavy weight that sometimes gets a little too comfortable on my chest. I don’t have the exact words to say how it feels but writing about it like this helps. It helps to just express that I’m not doing good right now. The ‘right now’ part is very important, because it describes only the current situation, not excluding the possibility of getting better someday soon. I’m not feeling my best today, however, I will keep hoping for a better tomorrow. Sometimes I’m done and find it hard to see any light, but I’ve got my angel up there that I must not disappoint. Three angels, in fact, that shine light on me. Even though they’re not here anymore, out of everything I have in life, right now, they’re what keeps me going the most and for that, I’m forever grateful. Now off to pull and all-nighter, your girl has an exam in the morning. Til next time!

To my grandparents; I love you and I miss you.

Thank you.

♡ Albesa 

Missing grandma

Thursday / September 3, 2020

I wish I could hug and kiss my grandma one more time. I wish I could hear her soft voice one more time. I wish I could hold her warm hands one more time. I wish I could have her tell me that it’s gonna be fine one more time. Just one more time. My grandma was light in a human form. She was everything to me. On hard days like these, I miss her so terribly. I miss her every day, but on hard days like these, it gets extremely tough. I miss her so much, I start wishing for things that will never come true. But I can’t help it. I can’t help but let my imagination do its thing. She enjoyed being in the sun, so I imagine us chatting about life on a sunny day. She was always there, to listen, to make me feel better, to make me feel loved. She was always there to remind me that someone believed in me and was rooting for me. I believe that nothing has changed. She’s far away now but her spirit lives close to me. She will have a home wherever I go.

Angel on the sky, I will never stop writing about you. You mean the absolute world to me.

I miss you and I love you so much.

♡ Albesa 

3:55 AM, anxiety and kind reminders

Wednesday / September 2, 2020

I’m going through another crisis; this too shall pass. These feelings are hard to live with, but it will pass. These feelings are with me today, but tomorrow, maybe they will slowly start to walk away. These feelings make it harder to breathe but it will eventually become easier. These feelings are not my entire life. These thoughts are a product of my fear, and my fear is always worse than reality. I still don’t know what tomorrow, and the day after that will bring. I guess I have to keep breathing and see what happens. This is not easy, but I will survive. This time, and every time. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

♡ Albesa 

ps: check on your loved ones and let them know how much they mean to you

All over the place

Wednesday / August 26, 2020

I’ve noticed myself feeling more and more lost. I haven’t written a proper story in a long time. I haven’t really expressed my emotions in a long time. I feel like I’m losing myself a little bit, and it doesn’t feel good at all. So many things have happened in the last 3 months, very heavy and hard things. My grandma died last year, my grandpa died two months ago, the situation at home isn’t the best, I’m not doing great either. I spent a month at home in Kosovo hoping it would help me, and it did, but once I came back home to Croatia, I noticed my mental health getting worse and worse day by day. I don’t have the energy to do anything. I can’t stop sleeping because of how tired and exhausted I am. I don’t really know how to help myself. I see my mom isn’t doing great either and it breaks my heart. She lost both of her parents. There’s nothing I can do, I know, and sitting with that fact is just so hard for me because I’m always the one who’s looking for solutions. I have three exams left to pass. I’m hoping for the best but expecting the worst. I wish I could put in the work properly and be sure that things are gonna turn out fine, but that’s not the case at the moment. I’m still gonna try my best; I’m gonna study as hard as I can. My cousin who is also my best friend got engaged and is moving to Germany next year. My other best friend is moving to Germany too, but in a month and a half. I’m just thinking how much I’m gonna miss both of them. They’re a big part of my life and I truly don’t know how my life is gonna feel knowing that I can’t see them whenever I want to. Still happy for them and the opportunities they’ll get once they move. I guess we’ll be fine. Things are just weird at the moment. Everything feels a little weird. Also, I’m getting myself into something that I’ve never experienced before. I don’t want to talk about it too much, but I eventually will if I see it’s worth it. Not sure how I feel about it at the moment, I’ll see over the next couple weeks / months. I don’t really know what to write anymore. This story is all over the place, but that’s how I’ve been feeling anyway. May I find strength to keep going and do my best no matter the struggles.

Love and light,

♡ Albesa 

How we unintentionally help each other

Wednesday / August 5, 2020

I often wonder who I am, who I’m not, and what makes me who I am. I often think about who I would’ve been if certain things didn’t happen, if I didn’t meet certain people, if I didn’t go through the challenges that to this day feel heavy when I think about it. I think too much, and I worry too much. I find it hard to just be in peace. Sometimes it gets so messy that I even wonder ”can I even feel peace anymore?” But there are some random, short moments of peace that I sometimes find myself in. They only last for a minute, but that minute is long enough to take me to another world, where for a minute, I’m not worried, sad, stressed about a single thing. And it feels so, I don’t even know, strange? I’m not used to being in peace. I’m not used to pausing. I’m used to being in a constant rush; I don’t know where. I’m used to being under constant pressure, to do this, to do that. Always stuck in-between ‘I have to’ and ‘I should’. I’m learning to slow down. I’m not the only one. I recognize it around me all the time. But when it comes to other people, it seems like I almost instantly know what to say, I instantly know how to help. But what about myself? Where am I rushing and why? I get told that my words help and that I make perfect sense. I get told that I’m a good listener. I get told that I’m trustworthy. But let me tell you something: I almost never make sense to myself. I try and try and try to understand myself, why I still think a certain way sometimes, or why I still worry so much even if my fears rarely come true nowadays. But I know what it’s about; it’s always the same thing. I’m worried because I’m terrified of loss. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of not being able to achieve my dreams. I’m afraid of being miserable. I have fears because I’ve experienced everything that I’m afraid of. It’s a day to day kinda thing to be okay with all of it. I can’t imagine some of it happening again. Whoever I talk to, I talk about it openly. I hate how people feel alone when it comes to these kinds of things. I’m not alone, none is. I love how surprised people get when they hear about some of these struggles. ‘You?! What?! But you seem to have it all together!’ Hah! I do have it together, but I also don’t. Am I fine, am I not fine? As I said, it’s a day to day kinda thing. I’ve stopped trying to define myself. Sometimes it hurts all over again, and sometimes I go about my day completely carefree. At this point, I think that’s how you actually live with certain things. I also love how others tend to see me as successful and strong and absolutely capable. It helps to see myself from someone else’s perspective. It reminds me of the fact that my reality is so much brighter than my fears make me think. We help each other in many ways. By being open about different things, I might have helped some of you feel more understood. I’m not always right, especially not when my fears take over, and with your perspective of me, you might have helped me remind myself that I’m doing better than I’m aware of. We both listened and we were both heard; which is sometimes, all the help that we need. 

Talk to each other. 

♡ Albesa 

 

I’ll just let myself breathe

Saturday / August, 1 2020

I haven’t written anything in over a month. That’s a long, long time to go without writing for someone who’s routine is to discuss every little thing with their journal. I’ve been in Kosovo for a month now. Today is my last night here, I’m sitting on my mom’s bed, trying to write while I’m still here. I’ve had 30 days to write something, but I didn’t. These past 30 days have been overwhelming; to say the least. Most days, I’ve struggled to recognize how I was feeling. I’ve struggled to express myself. I’ve let my emotions and thoughts run around my head and heart since that’s the only thing I could do. I still don’t know how I’m feeling, but it’s a lot. At this exact moment, I think I have to take a step back and breathe. I might have to continue this story some other day. Right now, I don’t even know what say. My grandpa died. I was in the middle of writing a story when I got the news. I haven’t had the courage nor strength to come back here and try to write again. It was a rainy night, and I take rain as a sign that grandma’s around. Maybe she was trying to say that she was starting to feel lonely since it’s been over a year since she passed away and last saw her best friend. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel crazy for thinking that way but if feeling crazy helps with the pain, I take it. My grandpa was a great man, trustworthy and so, so hardworking. I wish I could write something more but it’s like my brain has been switched off; no words won’t come out, I can’t think of anything. I miss both of my grandparents so much. Right now, I can’t seem to be able to say or write anything; so I’ll just let myself breathe. And feel; whatever it is. 

Til’ next time,

♡ Albesa 

 

Rooting for myself (a challenge to make me appreciate myself more)

Sunday / June 21, 2020.

My stories usually start with something that’s hurting me, bothering me, or something that is simply not doing me any good. I’ve wanted to sit down and write this for myself for the longest time. Here’s the thing; I always talk about my growth and progress but it always comes after I mention a million things that hurt me in the past or still hurt me. I tend to be way too hard on myself so I hope this will challenge me to appreciate and remind myself of just how much I’ve gone through and how it made me the person that I am today; which really isn’t that bad at all. Wow, did I just say something positive about myself??? Today, I finally decided to sit down and write about my growth and see how aware I am of it. I’m curious to read this story when it’s finished; here we go. So, even though I’ve managed to become kinder to myself over the years, I’m still a very self-critical person. I still underestimate myself. I often forget how many rare qualities I possess. I often forget how kind, compassionate and loving I am. I often catch myself thinking about the times when I knew better but just didn’t do it. I still think of the times when I said something that I didn’t necessarily mean. I still think about my past college experience and my depression during that time, and wonder if there was a way to make it but I just didn’t try hard enough. I wonder if I could’ve been more effective and functional even with my depression. Now that I’m writing this, I think I’ve done a pretty good job. Let’s start with the fact that I’ve been depressed since 2014 when I was 16 years old. A lot of heavy things were happening at that time and unfortunately, I got sick. That’s why I started writing a journal, it’s how I cope(d) with my thoughts and feelings. Despite my depression, I managed to survive high school. Grades got a little worse every year but they were still pretty good. I passed the state exams and got decent grades on those as well. At the age of 18, I applied and got into journalism school. Good job girl! Around 19, I stopped neglecting my reality. After three years of trying to live with a heavy chest pretending like it was nothing, I finally gave myself the right to feel what I had to feel. I also dared to tell my family I wasn’t feeling well even though I knew they might not understand it. By the end of 2017., I made the brave decision to leave the university that I didn’t like despite having that terrible fear of disappointing my parents. I was already suffering from anxiety and depression when I started it, but going there and not liking it made me even more depressed. I kept forcing myself to like it but I couldn’t study for those exams. Yes, I was depressed and it was extremely hard to focus on anything, but the fact that I didn’t like what I was studying made everything so much harder. After I left university, I was convinced that I wasn’t capable of learning new skills, using my old skills or anything else basically. The next six months were one of the hardest of my life. I became aware of depression more than ever. I had just had foot surgery, I couldn’t walk for almost two months so I had more than enough time to think about everything. Becoming aware and actually realizing how bad it had gotten at that point, I knew I had to do something in order to save myself. I acknowledged that I needed help more than ever. In 2018., a job opportunity came by and I dared myself to apply. I ended up getting it and I did absolutely great at it. I was finally able to afford therapy and get much-needed help. Lifechanging is an understatement. The following months were interesting. I was going to therapy, I was working, I had responsibilities again and I was learning to function even with my anxiety coming to work with me every day. Things got a lot better and life started making a little more sense. I did a great job at work so I ended up getting a higher position the next year. 2019., therapy continues, I keep learning, growing, and still doing pretty good at work. After my first university experience left me traumatized, I was convinced I would never study in Croatia (where I live) ever again. Even with all the traumas and fears, I still made the amazing decision to go back to education and study again. I applied and got accepted. I’m officially a social work student at Zagreb’s school of social work. We’re still in 2019., the year that I will remember for the rest of my life. My grandma passed away on June 16th, 2019. It was by far the most painful, the strangest experience of my life. This was the first time that I had to accept that I can’t ‘just do something about it’. The first time that I truly couldn’t do anything about it and understood that. My grandma meant the world to me. I became heartbroken, my entire world crashed. I was in so much pain but I didn’t turn to drugs or alcohol or anything like that. I’ve lived with my pain every day ever since and after some time, it became a natural part of me. It’s been a year a couple of days ago. I still struggle to accept it sometimes, to be completely honest. Overall, I think I’ve been handling her death as well as it can get. Some days are awful, some days are okay. I think that’s pretty common. After my grandma died, I realized a lot of things. One of the things was how toxic some of my friendships had gotten. Even though I had so much love for this person, for my own sake, I decided to end our eight-year-old friendship and go my own way. The person lives in a different country so I had to do it via text message. My hands were shaking while I was doing it, but I had no other option. It was a friendship that drained me so much over the years because I was always the one trying harder. I decided to try harder for myself this time. It’s been almost a year and as bad as it sounds, it was definitely the right decision make. My employment contract ended and school started shortly after. I felt like I was starting over and I felt like I was on a different path. I felt like I was at the right place as soon as I stepped into this new school. I love it so much and I go there with so much joy. I was going to therapy for a year at this point. I was doing good learning to live with my depression and anxiety instead of just be depressed and anxious. It’s 2020., and I’m going separate ways with another close friend. This friendship was filled with a lot of love, but so, so many lies and misunderstandings in between. My trust was no longer there. These two friends meant so much to me, but based on their actions, I didn’t mean as much to them. Once again, I made the right decision. I left a friendship that was no longer healthy for me. I miss both of them sometimes, but I’ve learned to respect myself more. I didn’t deserve to be treated how I was treated and I’m happy I was finally able to see that after years of justifying their actions in order to keep them in my life. We’re now in June 2020. I’ve completed 6/10 exams of my first year in social work school. I was terrified of failing and having to deal with ‘failure’ once again but things are going well as of now. Four exams left and I’m done with the first year; absolutely amazing. I’m still in regular therapy. Therapy is by far the most amazing thing that I ever decided to do for myself. During quarantine, I had this awakening or whatever you want to call it. I suddenly started feeling like a different, more balanced, healthier, and overall better version of myself. I truly don’t know what happened but I started noticing how much I’ve grown and learned. I react to things / see things differently now. I don’t binge eat anymore, which I had been doing since 2013. This truly feels like a miracle because my relationship with food is really good now. I’m not at war with the things from the past anymore. I’m not bitter or mad at all. I’m pretty sure I’ve made the most out of everything that ever hurt me. I still suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, I’m always afraid of things going wrong but I’m working on that every single day. I definitely handle things better now. When a new wave of depression comes, instead of being more depressed because I’m feeling depressed, I just acknowledge that I’m depressed again and I let it in being fully aware that it will pass. I breathe through it so that it’s a tiny bit easier. I’m giving myself space to take a step back and just breathe. My communication with myself has drastically improved. I say no more often and do what I feel like doing. I think I’m not a people pleaser anymore. I have a bunch of things to work on (comparing/criticizing/belittling myself) but I think I’m doing better than I did in the last seven years of my life and that’s a very big deal. These past seven years have been difficult and challenging, full of ups and downs. I finally see that I’ve been doing a good job all along. Today, I decided to root for myself. I deserve it. And you deserve it too.

What happened in the past can’t be changed. Some questions remain unanswered. The person that you are today is the best answer to every question you may have. 

Albesa ♡

Acknowledging uncomfortable thoughts & emotions

Saturday / June 6, 2020

It’s been quite some time since I’ve last sat down, just me and my laptop, and wrote until I no longer had anything to say. I’ve been so anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed the last couple of weeks, to the point where I couldn’t make myself do anything. I think I didn’t care about anything, I just wanted to sleep until it’s all over. I only cared enough to write about my grandma. Exams are coming, it’s almost been a year since my grandma passed away and it just gets too much sometimes. I’m feeling so many emotions right now, all at once. Based on my past experiences, exams make my fear of failure come to life, my anxiety level increases by 1000% and it just makes me worry all day every day. The thought of failing and not making it to year two of uni as I planned is just very terrifying and disappointing. I don’t want that to happen, I really don’t. I must explain to myself that even if things don’t go as planned, I’m still gonna find a way to keep going. Even if things don’t go as planned, it’s still not over. I also have to learn to worry about something when it’s real, not when it’s only made up in my head. I haven’t failed yet (and I hope I won’t), therefore why torture myself so much thinking about it? But that’s exactly what anxiety does to you, you’re scared of things that haven’t happened, but could happen, but at the same time, there’s no proof that they are gonna happen. What a terrible thing to live with. Writing helps, taking walks helps, meditating helps, taking a break to just breathe helps and imagining positive outcomes helps. So I try to do that as well. Sometimes my optimistic self and anxious self get confused. Most of the time, I don’t know what’s going on either. All I know is that when it comes, it takes over me in an instant. Instead of trying to run away from it by distracting myself with something else, I just have to breathe and let it do its thing for a couple minutes. I have to learn to do this always, not just sometimes. Fighting anxiety back by trying to ignore it or run away from it only makes things even worse. I think I’m feeling like this because that’s exactly what I’ve mostly been doing these last couple of weeks. I tried running away from my uncomfortable thoughts by listening to music, watching movies, scrolling Instagram, the list goes on and on. It only got worse. Now that I’m writing about it and acknowledging it all, it feels slightly easier to exist. I need to set reminders on my phone or something, to remind me to process my thoughts and emotions, even the most uncomfortable ones that I can’t stand, like these ones going through my mind at this exact moment. My grandma’s death, well, what can I even say about it? It’s almost been a year, the crisis that comes with missing someone so much is very, very painful. And there’s nothing to do about it. For the first time in my life, I’m aware that I can’t just do something about it. There’s nothing to do. There’s no coming back from death. There’s no going back to that one last hug you never knew would be the last one. There’s no going back to that one last goodbye before I left her house. I can only remember our moments and conversations and be thankful that I have something to hold on to. It’s hard, extremely hard. My grandma has always believed in me and that really keeps me going through these difficult times. I take that fact as reassurance that everything is gonna turn out okay and that I’ll be fine. I’m glad I’m here writing this story because it’s such an important part of this year, one I’ll never forget. I’m going through something very complex because it’s a lot of things all at once, things that typically have nothing to do with each other – exams and grandma. I must also mention that I feel like I’ve grown and learned so much lately. I’m getting more and more comfortable with who I am as a person, sharing my opinions and thoughts, and not getting approval. My eating habits have improved drastically. I don’t cope with emotions using food anymore which gives food a whole different meaning and purpose for me. I’m not stressed when I eat anymore, nor do I stress about what I eat as much anymore. I’ve been practicing listening to my body and so far, it’s been going really well. What else do I have to write about? Okay, there is a little something, but let’s give it time before it makes it to my journal. I don’t have to write about every little thing that happens, right? (well I actually do though, sorry not sorry). Anyway, I think that’s about it for today. I can’t wait to write an update on this one. 

These challenges that I’m going through, if nothing else, make my story more interesting. 

Til next time,

Albesa ♡

ps: this is a little thank you to everyone who’s been there for me through these difficult times. You know who you are. 

 

 

Gentle reminders to myself (and you)

Friday / May 15, 2020 

I’m not here to be loved by people only when it’s convenient for them. I’m not here to keep my mouth shut and just accept things. I’m not here to put on masks and pretend that life is beautiful and exciting all the time. It’s not. And it’s a part of me to be open about it. That way, I’m hopefully helping someone else feel less alone and more understood. I’m not here to stay the same. I’m here to learn, to grow and discover how good can life be even when I’m facing challenges. How good can life be even when I don’t remember the last time I slept properly. Even when I feel like nothing is making sense anymore. 

I’m here to nourish my mindset, to listen, to love and be loved. I’m here to be patient, angry and keep going. I’m here to accept that I can’t do my best all the time. I’m here to let people know that they’re allowed to be themselves around me. I’m here to create and live on my own terms. I’m here to be who I am. We learn a lot and we change a lot. And since I, intentionally and unintentionally, learn something new every day, it might feel that I’m not the same as I was yesterday. Because I’m not. I’m myself one day at a time. Tomorrow? I don’t know what I’ll learn tomorrow therefore I don’t know who I’ll be tomorrow.

Hopefully still someone my younger self would rely on.

Hopefully still someone my grandma would love if she was still here. 

Appreciate yourself and trust the process.

♡ Albesa

A visit from an old friend

Friday / May 8, 2020

Sleepless nights / early mornings are such great timing for planning how you’re gonna get your sh*t together when you wake up later in the late afternoon. Haha, lol. You fall asleep excited to wake up and start the new life that you planned in your head. For a few seconds, you feel like that life is real and it’s really yours. So you fall asleep and you wake up. And suddenly, imagination and excitement are gone. These days, the early morning energy is not there when I wake up. I’ve been waking up tired, exhausted. I’ve been waking up disappointed that my sleep is over and that I have to stay awake and live the next hours with so many things hurting me. This is how a depression relapse looks like. ‘It’s fine’ I say to myself, ‘this too will pass soon’. It will, for sure, I’ve been there before, but it’s so extreme when it’s present; it surprises me every time. It’s so intense and so heavy, it leaves you feeling lifeless even if you’re usually full of life. I like to think of myself as someone who is full of life. It’s been years since I’ve actually felt like that but yeah, I don’t know where I stand with that anymore. I like many things and all of those things bring me so much joy. I like discovering and learning new things all the time. But at the moment, seems like I’m just not able to feel any joy. And I don’t blame myself for that since I never really got the chance to heal properly. I try very hard, I try to communicate with myself as much as possible and really respect what I need. I have come a long, long way but my healing gets interrupted. I don’t know if it’s possible to heal in the same place where it all started. I’ve been trying to figure that out for years now and it hasn’t worked yet. I end up in the dark room again and again. The place that made you sick is still that same old place and from time to time, it all gets too much all over again. I might need some new ideas. I might need to do something just a tiny bit more crazy than what I usually do. I might just have to swallow my fears and explore what I’m so afraid of; relying on myself. 

I’ll be fine. 

♡ Albesa

update: I actually felt joy while writing this. Yay!

❤️ Grandma ❤️

Tuesday / May 5, 2020

Angel on the sky,

I’m writing this with tears in my eyes. I know you would absolutely hate to see me like this but I just miss you so, so much. I think of you every day and every night. I’m looking for signs that you’re somewhere near all the time. Some days I feel like I have it together pretty well, and some days, well, I fall apart a little bit. Just a little bit, don’t worry!! I promise, even on days like these, when I feel absolutely heartbroken, I try to push myself to fight, and to be better, in every way possible. Because of you. For you. You’re the reason. You’re the source of my strength when I feel like I have non of it left. Because you were the one who always believed in me. I remind myself of that every single day. You were the one who never doubted me. You were both, a mother and a father to me. I just love(d) you so much. I love(d) you as a person, not just because of the fact that you were my grandma. You were everything that I admire in other people. Your heart, your soul, your mind, everything was so pure about you. And your hands, oh so, so warm. I’m trying hard, I promise I am. But it’s not easy. It’s hard, extremely hard. I feel the need to talk to you and hear your soft voice telling me that it’s gonna be fine. I don’t believe it when someone else says it, I do feel bad for saying it but I just don’t. Those words would only calm me down when you were the one telling them. The entire world could come together and shout at me telling me that ‘it’s gonna be fine’ and I still wouldn’t believe it. Because the entire world doesn’t mean to me as much as you do. The entire world doesn’t know why I need those words so badly; you do. I will keep trying to be the best version of myself every day so that I can continue to be your favorite granddaughter. It’s nice to know that I was your favorite because you were my favorite too. And truthfully, you will always continue to be; no matter how far away from me you’ve gone.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re in peace.

Don’t worry about me.

I love you and I miss you beyond words.

♡ Albesa

A little bit of everything (healthy decisions, friends, and what’s been going on)

Wednesday / April 15, 2020. 

Every story of mine starts with ‘it’s been a while since I’ve written anything’ lately. It’s true I haven’t been writing as much as I used to, and it’s definitely not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t even know where to start. So much has been happening lately. My life has changed so much in the past year and I must admit I’m still getting used to it. My grandma, who was my absolute light in life, passed away, I went separate ways with one of my long time best friend, I went back to university, and about a month ago, I went separate ways with my other best friend too. My grandpa is very sick and almost died a few days ago. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like this is my life at all. People who meant so much to me throughout my life, people who take part in so many of my memories aren’t a part of my life anymore and that truly breaks my heart. I know I’ve done more than enough to make things work, I know I’ve been a great friend, but at this point, I’m more than sure that it has nothing to do with me. I generally think that what people do shows how they feel about themselves. People suffer so much, from all sorts of insecurities, pain, doubts, and whatnot. If you don’t find an effective way to help yourself along with a genuine support system, it can seriously damage you and make you make very poor decisions. I think that happened to my best friends, but I can’t speak for them so I’ll just leave it there. A part of me will always be with them even if we no longer make memories together. All of this has been emotionally challenging and hard to process. I’ve had a best friend since I was 5 weeks old, that’s when my cousin was born. We have an unbreakable connection and the way we respect each other is the only way I know when it comes to friends. That’s why I don’t have a lot of friends. At one point, sooner or later, every friend that I ever had, showed me that they didn’t care about me as much as I cared about them. I learned to see that through their actions, otherwise, if I only paid attention to their words, I wouldn’t be here writing this story. According to their words, they all love me so much. But when you love someone, you don’t do something that you know for sure is gonna hurt them. You don’t take for granted the fact that they trust you and don’t question your words. You don’t make them be even more afraid to open up. You don’t feed their fears.  It’s fine I say because there isn’t much to say anyway. I feel that I’m growing. I’m handling things much better than I used to. I’m standing up for myself way more than I used to. I’m working on it, working on being the best version of myself every day, trying to find something good in every day and find the balance between what has happened and what is happening now. I’m trying to be okay with my fears. I’m trying to loosen up with my expectations of myself. I think it’s working more and more, day by day. My poor eating habits have improved massively, I’m so surprised this is happening. Eating doesn’t seem to be one of my coping mechanisms anymore. I’m on the right track for sure, and it feels damn good to say that. It’s incredible. I think my life has become less toxic all together, which is a result of my healthy decisions. Decisions that I never knew I could make. But here I am, hoping life is only gonna keep getting better. I’m not where I want to be in life, but if I keep taking proper care of myself, if I keep making healthy decisions, I’ll start being there sooner than I think. The next healthy decisions to make: start doing university work properly, do more of what I love and stop with self-doubt and negative self-talk. I don’t deserve it. None of us do. 

Don’t let people question what they mean to you and don’t let yourself question what you mean to them either. 

Take care of yourself, and take care of the ones you love, properly.

Til’ next time,

♡ Albesa

I suggest we start caring more about each other

Friday / March 20, 2020

I was worried about the fact that I haven’t been very inspired or didn’t know what to write about lately. Very unlike my machine-like working mind that comes up with different stories all the time. Luckily, there is so much going on in the world I finally have something to write about. Sarcasm aside, let’s jump into the story. (I’m so excited to write!!!) It’s true a lot has been going on in the world lately; this shitty virus came out of nowhere and it’s taking over the world in the blink of an eye. I’m not going into science or medicine as I know so very little about it, however, I’m going to express how it has made me feel and think. I went to the grocery store today (actually yesterday as it’s past midnight now) and even though I was not surrounded by people that much, and even though it was just a quick errand, I still felt very irresponsible when I came back home. I felt my anxiety taking over me. It’s inevitable to go to the store and buy what is necessary but I don’t know, even though I knew I was healthy, it just didn’t feel right at all. It didn’t feel right to put myself at risk. Please don’t think of this time as an opportunity to hang out with your friends. None of us is on vacation. We must stay inside and protect ourselves and others who may be more at risk than we are. I’m young, I’m only 22, but not everyone around me is. Especially not here in Croatia, the country where I live, where elderly people make a big part of the total population. Please be more considerate, and keep in mind that your irresponsible behavior can seriously damage someone who might not be able to recover. I’m healthy right now, I will make sure I stay healthy and that way, I’ll protect other people’s health as well. If we all do that, if none of us puts ourselves at risk, we can get through this shitty time quicker. Another thing that’s been running around my mind is gratitude. Life has not been easy, at all, but I’m healthy. You know when you feel a pain you’ve never felt before and for a second you think you’re dying and the only thing you want is to be healthy? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. Nothing else matters. Immigrants and refugees have also been on my mind, as their living conditions are poor and their health is at risk. I’m devastated. My mom asked me why I cared about them so much. I care about people in general but I especially care about people who none else seems to care about. And this is my answer to my mom’s question. I myself, am an immigrant’s child, I myself know how I felt growing up in a society that didn’t want me. But I had a home, a warm home with warm food on the table. If I was having a bad day outside, or in school, knowing that I had a home to return to kept me going through the day. And what do these poor kids have? A tend that flys away once the wind blows a little harder? What keeps them going through the day? No country will be able to escape from different cultures. No country will be able to remain 100% ‘authentic’. As long as they’re contributing to the country, people should be free to create a home wherever they feel it’s best for them. They say the world isn’t divided by race, culture, ethnicity, religion, sexuality like it used to be. What is it then? It’s even worse now. You know why? Because people used to be painfully honest about not wanting someone of a certain characteristic. They used to express it openly whereas now, people like to pretend they’re open-minded and accepting when in reality, they’re far, far away from that. False acceptance is real. A lot of people still struggle to think outside of the box. If these poor people get the necessary support now and if their kids get the chance to have a home and education, they could help the country later. Wouldn’t you want a helping hand if you lost it all today? Make people feel welcome, no matter who they are and where they come from. Sometimes that’s all they have, and in days like these, that’s what could get them through the day. 

This country didn’t want me, but my parents created a warm home here. My education is here. My memories are here. I might not be staying here in a couple of years, but it’s undeniable that this country has given me a lot of things that I’m thankful for. Just like me, someone else could be thankful too. All they need is a chance. 

♡ Albesa

Thoughts turned into a poem (missing grandma)

Sunday / March 8, 2020

Angel on the sky, you’ve been on my mind

it’s you who I think of when the sun is shining bright

I’ve changed a little but I know you don’t mind

I promise to always keep only the goodness in my heart

you would always tell me ‘it’s gonna be alright’

and I would always believe you and sleep tight at night 

Now I’m the one telling you:

even if you see me with tears in my eyes,

even if you see me falling apart,

don’t worry too much,

I’ll be alright

Sleep tight angel,

I miss you.

♡ Albesa

ps: Is this what you call a poem? If yes, then this is the first poem I’ve ever written. I never express myself through poems, but this time, my thoughts were all over the place and only started making sense when I wrote them like this. Poetic Albe, who would’ve thought. Haha. 

Another story about my messy life (remembering my grandma’s words that we all need)

Tuesday / February 25, 2020

At times like these, I wish my grandma was still here more than ever, so I could call her and tell her about how I’ve been feeling. I wish I could go back in time and have her tell me just one more time that everything is gonna be fine. She just knew how to talk to me, she always managed to convince me that there’s no need to worry so much. And that’s all that I’ve been doing lately; thinking, worrying, feeling lost. I need to believe that everything is gonna be fine more than ever. I’m struggling to believe that, I feel the complete opposite. I feel like my life is a huge mess that is only getting messier as I’m getting older. I know a lot of people feel like this too, some take it easier, and some are tired at this point and don’t take it that easy anymore (some feel like they’re about to get a heart attack anytime; me). My life probably looks this bad only in my head, but isn’t how you perceive yourself and your life the most important thing anyway? You’re the one who lives with your mind, your thoughts, your feelings; so yes, the fact that it looks this bad in my head is all that really matters, unfortunately, because it’s me who experiences that big mess. I know I’m good at a couple of things, I know that life can be really beautiful, and most importantly, I know that this is not the end of the journey for me (I actually believe that despite all the suffering, I’m still gonna turn 100 so I have about 78 more years to go lol). However, feeling stuck, feeling lost, being on the edge with your mental health constantly, and not knowing what decision is the best decision for you and your future is like walking around the house with no light on. At some parts of the house you manage to arrive smoothly, meanwhile while walking around trying to get to another part of the house, you might hurt your little toe or slip and fall on your wet bathroom floor (imagination has gone too far now). What I’m trying to say is that I guess we have to keep walking and trying to help ourselves however we can, even if that means getting hurt along the way. Something is telling me that it’s all worth it after all. I don’t know. Whether we like it or not, whether we thought it would be like this or not, the reality is that sometimes things don’t turn out to be how we planned. Sometimes we succeed, and sometimes we have to change the route of the journey. The things we believe are the best for us, don’t necessarily have to be the best in reality. And how do you know what is for you and what isn’t? Simply based on the feelings that it gives you. Feelings are the clearest answers. If it feels good, keep going in that direction. If it doesn’t, change the route a little bit. If you’re not sure, try flipping a coin. Or don’t. Throw the coin away and come up with something completely new. That’s also one of the options. Sometimes we’re just too obsessed with our plans; which makes it harder for us to see that there’s so much more than just our ‘ideal life’ plan that we hold on to so tight. Maybe it’s not even that ideal (?)

My grandma is not here anymore, but she’s always gonna be alive in my heart, thoughts, and dreams. I can still hear her voice very clearly. Right now, her beautiful voice is telling me that I’m smart and capable and that I have no reason to be so upset. That’s what she always used to tell me, and maybe, just maybe, that’s really that one thing I need to believe in at the moment. And the rest will come, I guess.

♡ Albesa

A much-needed reality check, brain check and what not check

Friday / February 7, 2020

I consider myself an optimist, who always tries to learn from difficult situations. I’ve been stuck in this negative circle for quite some time now, complaining about my life every single day, so I started questioning where my optimism has gone. I wrote in my last story that I hardly saw any light. This circle that I’m talking about has exhausted me. I needed a reality check so I started paying more attention to my time and energy and here’s what I’ve realized. Constantly thinking and complaining about everything that makes you unhappy and miserable will make you feel even worse. Sit down, acknowledge your thoughts, emotions, and patterns. Express your pain in a way you’re most comfortable with. Talk to your friends, write about it, draw, sing, go for a walk, you do you. Breathe, feel your lungs, move your fingers, your legs, your hair, break the cycle of negative thinking with physical activity. I’m the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about what makes me unhappy. You know why? Because I choose to do everything that makes me unhappy. We all choose to do that. I’m not attacking anyone, I know that some of us have literally learned to live life that way. It has become my default mode, from the moment I wake up till the moment I go to bed. I unconsciously choose to let my mind do what it’s been doing for years now. Be cruel to me, be mean to me, make me imagine the worst scenarios. Make me imagine myself failing, being lied to and so on. Thoughts create feelings and feelings determine your mood. So I sat  down and asked myself; what is going on with me lately, why do I feel down all the time? Why do I feel like disappearing? I analyzed my daily habits which I hadn’t done in a long time and boom, I got my answers! My top unhealthy habit is overthinking. So I started paying attention to it. My life is a bit complicated (I just realized that I genuinely think there’s no person who’s life isn’t complicated) for multiple reasons, and I struggle with a lot of things, but it’s good to have a conversation with yourself and literally cut your own bullsh*t. It’s necessary to remind yourself that your thoughts are not your reality. Say it out loud. Just because I fear failure it doesn’t mean I’m really gonna fail. Just because I think people think I’m lame, it doesn’t mean they really think I’m lame. People who have had or still have mental health issues or childhood traumas tend to have very low self-esteem. I’m one of those people. I like doing a lot of things, but I never think I’m really good at it. My cousin Flor thinks I’m really smart and I’m always like ‘why would you think that?’ It’s because I think my depression took away a lot of my abilities. For example, I always have to double-check if I turned off the oven. I always have to double read the message someone sent to me in order to make sure I understood it correctly. When people are rude to me, I always make it about myself and convince myself it’s me who misunderstood the situation. But let me tell you something: NO! Your depression is not the answer to everything in your life. Your depression is not your number one enemy in life. Some people are rude to you and you’re not making it up in your head. Rude people exist, and I really have to stop justifying people’s behavior and making it about myself every time. Sometimes it’s just not about us man! My dear people, whoever is going to read this, both you and I, despite depression, anxiety, panic attacks, we’re still capable of all the things we want to achieve. It might take you longer but why would we have to go fast anyway? We wouldn’t we choose our rhythm ourselves? My fear of failure is out of this world. I failed at a couple things because I did things following other people’s timing and not my own. I thought that I had to be in alignment with people who were my age. But I don’t have to. My experience is very different from a lot of other people. So while thinking about my past experiences and why things didn’t work for me, I decided to start taking into consideration my circumstances too, not only the end result. I know why some things didn’t work and that’s exactly why I’ve decided to slow down completely. I’m allowed to go slow and take my time. I’m allowed to do things my way and not the way ‘it’s supposed to be done’. Please don’t let other people’s success pressure you to be successful too. Your time will come but get some rest first. If you’re someone who suffers from a mental illness, let me remind you that managing to get out of bed is also a success. Get some rest, get some help, learn, grow and then start slow. That’s what I’m trying to do. I went back to education and university after two years. I avoided studying for a couple of months because I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to learn anything (I dropped out of college two and a half years ago because I was unable to study due to my depression). I was terrified of not being able to study again but I pushed myself to try. I started studying for my English exam about three days ago. I figured out English was the easiest to start with. I’m more than happy to say that it’s going well (for now). The fear of failure is still there but it has calmed down a bit. I don’t have very high expectations, I just want to pass. If I pass this exam, it will help me believe in myself and my abilities more which will help me with my future exams that are possibly going to be harder. Remember that everyone’s journey is different. Someone who is just starting to learn a new language doesn’t immediately become fluent. Don’t try to eliminate your fear, just let it be there. Do what you want to do with your fears sitting next to you. Nothing is going to happen, if you don’t succeed the first time, you can always try again. I started studying law, it didn’t work because I didn’t understand a lot of terms that are in the book. Not to mention that subject bores me to death. Then I started with sociology, but the number of pages I had to learn felt overwhelming considering the fact that I had about 10 days to prepare for it. Then I moved to psychology but the same thing happened. As I said, I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to study which is why I was afraid to even try so that’s how I lost a lot of time. I tried studying three times and it didn’t work. I kept trying out until something felt a little better. And now I see that I’m actually not disabled. I just have to go slow and take my time which is perfectly fine. My brain still works just fine. Fingers crossed we all learn to listen to ourselves and our needs. Fingers crossed we all dare to do things our own way. Sending lots of positive energy to whoever reads this, including me. 

PS: good luck to everyone taking exams! 🙂

♡ Albesa

Home = peace (what a crisis feels like)

Friday / January 31, 2020

Nothing is making sense at the moment. Sometimes I feel like this blog is the only place I can go to, like it’s an old friend who’s always there to listen. As per usual when life gets messy, I’m struggling to fall asleep, and not only do I feel emotionally and mentally tired but also physically. I had a terrible day which eventually turned into physical pain. I feel my depression creeping in again and I feel sick. So much is going on, I barely see any light. My fear is real. Things are not getting any better, and neither am I. My environment is unhealthy. Some people I’m the closest to are the ones who caused me the most damage over the years. Every time I make some progress, I eventually get taken 10 steps back. I realized that even when I feel better about certain things, it’s because I’m distracted, not because I’ve healed. I’m still not okay with many things. I don’t think I’ll heal as long as I’m here, in this country, in this city, in this home reminded of so many things that turned the energetic and positive child inside of me into an adult who is on survival mode so often. And this country is very cruel sometimes. Everything reminds me of pain here. I was a child when some things were said to me, and those things determined the way I lived my life. There was no one to tell me ‘don’t listen to them’. The ones who were supposed to protect me never did, they neglected and belittled my pain instead. I also did that to myself for years because it was the only thing I knew. I asked for help and no one heard me. This is not my home. Not this country, not this city, not this apartment where I live in. Neither are these feelings. I don’t know where my home is but I know it’s somewhere far away from here. Somewhere where I’m able to sleep, breathe and rest. Somewhere where I’m able to live.

It’s been hard, but I believe it’s gonna be okay. I’ll get through this, and carry on with a new dose of strength and knowledge. If there’s one thing I’ve learned to do over the years, it has to be learning from pain. Pain, my old friend, you’ve made me who I am. I have no idea who I am, but I know who I’m not. I’m not like the ones who took away my home. 

Home = peace

♡ Albesa

A surprisingly good day: noticing progress

Monday / January 27, 2020

I was finishing my burger and this story came to my mind. I’ve actually been thinking about writing about this topic for a long time and I’m glad the time has finally, randomly come. So, I’m sitting alone in this mini vegan/vegetarian restaurant. As I said, I was finishing my burger, staring out of the window hoping I don’t look weird. I take out my laptop because I’m inspired and want to write. I’m curious to know what people think; not worried or anxious just curious; which is great, right? Now, what’s so weird about spending time alone somewhere? Do you ever do that? I don’t leave the house a lot, I go to college, I go to the grocery store, to the mall which is a 15 minute walk from home and that’s pretty much it, I don’t really go to cafes and sit by myself like this. I was in the city because I had to get some work done and I had some extra time before getting more work done so I said to myself: ”I feel like eating a burger, let’s go for a burger.” I came here, enjoyed my burger and that’s it. The place feels good, I like it and it doesn’t feel weird to me. I decided to write about this because it’s much more than just going to a restaurant and eating a burger. Two years ago, I couldn’t even imagine sitting alone somewhere besides public transport, surrounded by a bunch of people. I couldn’t imagine eating in front of people. I never even considered going to a cafe and have a meal; every time I left the house, I wanted to go back home as soon as possible because it was the only place that felt comfortable. And now I’m here writing this story and I’m happy because I realize that this is exactly what progress looks like. You slowly notice that some things don’t cause you negative emotions anymore. You notice you’re able to do a lot more than you used to. I finished my meal, I’m minding my own business, and there is nothing to worry about. And it’s great not to worry all the time. I also got a really good grade for my essay, which helps me with my fear of failure and that’s also great. Now I’m heading to the orphanage where I hope I’ll be chosen as a volunteer, which I’ve been wanting to do since high school. I’m having a good day and oh lord, it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s so nice to have a good day, it feels unreal. It’s been hard for a long time now so I really appreciate days like these. I must not forget that I can have days like these a lot more often if I don’t allow negative stuff to control my life. Negative stuff happens all the time, it’s inevitable, but it can be just a part of your day instead of your entire day. Point of this story: spend more time doing what you love and pay attention to the bits of your progress more. I definitely will. 

Til next time,

♡ Albesa

What’s been going on; part one

Sunday / January 19, 2019

I’ve been gone for a month and I don’t even know why. So much has happened and I’ve written a lot on my phone but I never ended up posting it on the blog. Only now do I realize how much I’ve missed the sound of typing on the laptop. I love it so much! But yeah, where have I been, what have I been doing? Let’s get into it. I’m gonna start with something really amazing. Flor (my cousin and best friend who had moved to Austria with her entire family almost 4 years ago) is back to living in Croatia. I can’t believe we live in the same country again and get to see each other every day pretty much. Is this real life? I think I’ve written about her before but let me introduce her again; she’s my best friend, my cousin, my support system. We grew up together, went to school together, did everything together until she moved. It was terrible when she moved to Austria because I was used to doing everything with her. It felt like I lost a part of myself when I had to learn to do things on my own,  without a companion. Even though I’ve learned a lot about independence and how important it actually is, life feels more complete now that she’s back. How beautiful is that? My other cousins are back as well and I’m so happy I get to be a part of their lives a little bit more now that we live in the same country again. I’m also kind of sorry that they’re back because this country sucks in many aspects but I’m really not trying to get into politics, education system, and whatnot at 3:30 AM. I’m just gonna appreciate that we’re close to each other again. I’ll definitely be writing about our upcoming daily adventures in the future. What I also want to talk about is that I feel stuck in some of my long-time friendships. I see that I’ve overgrown certain people and certain friendships and I really don’t know what to do. I’ll have to sit down and think about whether I want to invest more energy into that or not. To be completely honest, I don’t think that’s gonna happen anymore. I’m really tired of trying to save friendships that just haven’t grown along with me or haven’t progressed like I thought they would. I want to be okay with the fact that two people just need to go their separate ways sometimes. I don’t want to feel guilty for leaving a friendship I no longer feel good in. It breaks my heart, but it’s the most honest truth. I still love and respect these people but sometimes it’s just not what it used to be and it really doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault. If I don’t do what I feel is best for me, I’m gonna end up being at war with myself. I’ve been there before, and I believe a lot of other people have been there too. It’s exhausting, energy-draining, and pretty hard to get out of (the war in your mind). Confront reality and make decisions based on it. As my therapist likes to say ”don’t be just another person who ignores the pink elephant in the room.” The elephant stands for the big and obvious problem, and pink stands for us making things more beautiful than they are in reality in order to create fake peace inside ourselves and avoid confrontations. I’m currently struggling so much and I don’t have the energy to confront anyone or anything at the moment but it’s definitely somewhere around the corner. Right now, I need myself more than ever. All of my energy has to be directed to the right places such as my mental health, my physical health, my mindset, studying, writing, creating and other things that are important to me. More about my current struggle in the next story. 

♡ Albesa

 

What’s been going on with me lately

Wednesday / December 18, 2019

I’ve been having some of the hardest times of my life. I don’t know which one I should say: too much is going on or nothing is going on at all? I’ve felt down most of my day for the past 2 months, I’m not being productive, I’m not doing what I love, I’m not taking proper care of myself. I have no idea which direction my life is taking, I don’t have my priorities straight and my energy is low. I’m so incredibly exhausted and lost. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this. I used to suffer from severe depression and anxiety. It was either dying slowly day by day or getting out of bed to save myself. So I grabbed myself by the hand, got a job, started going to therapy and I got better. I try to remember if it was as bad as it is now but I really don’t know, I don’t think it was. On the other hand, even though I still suffer from anxiety quite often, I wouldn’t say I’m depressed anymore. Compared to about a year and a half ago, I’m able to be much more productive, get a considerable amount of work done and my cognitive abilities have improved. But what is this? Why am I not getting any work done then? Is it a crisis, a phase or what? I’m constantly at war with myself. I’m constantly at war with my family members who don’t understand the negative impact that our daily fights have on me. I’ve been struggling to have a proper conversation with myself which is awful because those always help me see things more clearly. It’s like I have a gray cloud above my head, full of negativity, doubt, fear and overthinking. I know it happens to everyone and that when this happens, it’s beneficial to take a step back and breathe for a second but I’m just really afraid of not being able to live the life I want to live and be the person that I truly am. I’m afraid I won’t be able to do good in college and that makes me upset because I truly care about it. How do I grab myself by the hand again? I want to be there for myself. I want to be able to say ‘I got this’ when days like these come. I feel so much better now that I’m writing about all of this. Writing always helps, expressing myself through letters has a therapeutic effect on me. It’s a part of my soul which I really want to share with the world someday. See? It’s not that I don’t know what I want at all; it’s the fear that is holding me back. Yes, some things I have yet to figure out but the things that I already know, I don’t want to keep them waiting because the more they wait the more miserable I get. I don’t want to be miserable so I better grab myself by the hand the way I grab this laptop and have a serious, open and honest chat with myself. It’s about time to give myself a break with all this negativity and start believing in myself a little more again. What I’ve been through this year has never happened to me before, it’s been painful, heartbreaking, confusing. I’m still processing my grandma’s death. Sometimes it hits me in the middle of the day, sometimes it hits me in the middle of the night, regardless, when it happens, the only thing I’m able to do is be sad. It’s only been 6 months since she died. I need more time for being this version of myself that I am right now; sad, heartbroken, lost. I allow myself to be this version of myself and I forgive myself for not reaching my full potential. I’m happy I still choose to keep waking up and deal with whatever the new day might bring. It’s never easy but it’s the only way to do it. I’m in pain, but I’m also learning, growing and improving. Next time a crisis like this comes, I’ll know what to do. And for this one, I guess I’m just gonna give myself some time and space and let the toxicity and sadness get out of my body one day at a time. I’ll soon get done all the work that is waiting for me but right now, I guess I’m gonna figure it out one day by day. I have my fingers crossed for all of us. I have to wake up in about 5 hours so I guess that’s a wrap for this story. 

Sending love and light to whoever might need it.

Til next time,

♡ Albesa

The simplicity of saying ‘no’

Sunday / December 8, 2019

These days, I would rather choose to be called crazy than say yes to the things I don’t agree with just so I don’t get dirty looks. Dirty looks from others don’t mean much to me, but saying yes for the sake of others and then getting dirty looks from myself, it means too much. It means throwing away everything I believe in. It means throwing away everything that I am. I’ve been through so much this year, but I’ve also gotten to grow and understand that nothing is worth my well-being. I might have been a people-pleaser throughout my life, but I’m trying not be anymore. This is my life and the only person I’m responsible for is myself. Since I’ve managed to survive this year somehow, which almost feels like a new chance at life, I’ve decided that I no longer want to get dirty looks from myself. That means that everyone can expect more no-s from me. 

Reminder to you and myself: you can love someone and still say ‘no’ to them when it’s necessary. Loving someone and protecting your boundaries are two completely different things and you can do both at the same time. Don’t let anyone convince you that there is something selfish about choosing what’s the best for you. You’re just taking care of yourself; it’s that simple. 

♡ Albesa

What can you do about it when there’s nothing you can do about it?

Thursday / December 5, 2019

I sometimes feel like I don’t have much to say, but the second I sit down to write and reflect on my thoughts, I realize just how much I have to talk about and how much I need to express how I’m feeling. I feel like my most authentic self when I’m sitting down like this, writing and expressing my thoughts without shame, guilt or looking back. It’s in me to talk, it’s in me to acknowledge what I tried to keep to myself for years and years. It’s in me to let people know that their feelings are valid. The things that bring me peace and joy, the things that break my heart, thanks to years of learning and therapy, I’ve learned to welcome it all. I’ve learned to validate my feelings as they are, without trying to make them more beautiful or more bearable. I don’t know who’s gonna read this but you’re not alone. It took me a while to change the way I thought of things, it took me a while to understand something so simple yet so important: you decide what you’re gonna do with the things that happen to you. You decide whether you’re gonna stay bitter and mad about it or open your heart, your mind, and your soul in order to understand that there is a lot to learn. Yes, things are uncomfortable, things are heavy, we feel bad because of everything that’s going on, there is no question about it, but the key is in the way we respond. Have you ever felt yourself getting even worse because you’ve been focusing on the negative so much? My dear people: a lot of things that happen are not in our control. When you’re not in charge of the situation, take a few deep breaths, and be kind to yourself more than ever. Let yourself know that not everything is your responsibility. Even when something very bad is happening, you still have so much to be grateful for. I disagree with my family in most cases, we also argue a lot, it makes me sad that we don’t understand each other more. After years and years of trying to find a way to communicate more effectively, I realized there was only one option left: to accept my family the way it is and stop forcing them to understand what I’m trying to say or how I’m feeling. After all the fights and failed communication, I understood that sometimes we’re just too different to meet in the middle. We spend so much time wondering why do things have to be like this or like that, why is this happening to me, why, why, why, endless whys. I’ve written in one of my stories that life is a perfect mixture of sweet dreams and a chaotic rush, and I couldn’t agree with myself more. We choose what we focus on, we choose if we’re gonna rush around the chaos more or keep our mind busy thinking about the sweet dreams more. I hope you understand the point of this story; whatever happens to you or around you, believe me, you’re still gonna be just fine. You’re gonna find a way to cope with everything that breaks your heart. The whys are gonna fade away from your mind and you’re gonna start embracing life the way it is. This is coming from someone who was depressed for 5 years. I was always at war with myself because I struggled to accept things I couldn’t do anything about. I knew that a lot of things that happened weren’t okay, a lot of people mistreated me and I never did what I felt in heart, I did what I thought was safe. But not standing up for yourself isn’t safe. Confrontations might feel terrifying but it’s a must to let people know how they made you feel. Allow yourself to be sad, mad, and angry but also know that the only thing you’re in charge of is your mindset; I constantly remind myself about that. I disagree with my family, but I can’t change the way they think. After all these years of trying to be on the same page with them, and not succeeding due to our differences, I’ve chosen to just focus on the fact that I have a family and that we’re all healthy. There is nothing else I can do about it except appreciate it the way it is. And it’s pretty much like that with a lot of things in life. It might sound strange but you can actually appreciate what you don’t understand, you just have to give yourself the chance to learn to do that. Every day is a chance to start over, every day is a chance to start doing what’s good for you. Be kind to yourself. Slow down with the endless whys and be more grateful. Someday it will all make sense, someday you will know all the answers. Until then, keep trying, keep going, keep learning. Day by day. 

We got this.

♡ Albesa

The precious truth

Thursday / November 28, 2019

It’s almost 6 AM and I haven’t slept a single bit yet. I don’t know if I should love or hate nights like these. Hate because they’re painful and long; love because they remind me of how strong I am. Let me tell you something: I haven’t been doing my best. I feel low, betrayed and mistreated. Mostly by myself; you know why? Because even though I put so much hard work into learning to genuinely respect and value myself, even though I know what I deserve, I always try so hard to convince myself to give people a chance, to give people some time and space. And you know what happens? I end up damaging myself by trying to accept the unacceptable. I end up taking too much, I end up tolerating too much. I’m learning to trust that feeling you get in your stomach when you know that something just isn’t right. I’m learning to react on time, and act according to that feeling. I’m learning to react before I get consumed by whatever it is that’s going on in the moment, whether it’s good or bad. I want to rest. I want to breathe. I want to say ‘no’ every time I know it’s the right thing to do. I also want to say yes to whatever brings me joy no matter the fear that is always present. I don’t want to take less/more than I give. I don’t want to give more than they deserve and end up feeling empty. I want to get what I always give: the truth. Because telling the truth also means respect. It also means empathy. It means so much! I’m always learning. I’m getting somewhere. This is all a part of it. There is so much left to learn but if there’s one thing that I know for sure, it has to be this: no matter if it’s good or bad, telling the truth will be always and forever be the best thing you can do for yourself and others.

I can handle these nights. I can wake up and carry on with gratitude. I can to survive whatever life puts me through. I choose to survive. I choose to keep learning. And I hope you do too.

To be continued.

♡ Albesa

Grandma and her response

Wednesday / November 13, 2019 

I’m sitting in the backyard of my house here in Kosovo trying to remember everything I want to write about in this story. It’s pretty surreal that I’m even here at this time of the year. It’s my last day today so I wanted to take the chance and write about this experience before I hit the road to go back to Croatia. Anyway, let’s get into the story. I think I’ve written about Kosovo before, and how for me, the main reason for coming here has always been my grandma. She passed away 5 months ago and I was afraid of coming here knowing that she is no longer here to wait for me. I dreamt of my grandma every other day for almost a month so I took that as a sign that I really, really needed to talk to her. So I decided to do what I was so afraid of. I decided to come to Kosovo and face her death. I went to her house, sat where we always used to sit, remembered how kind she was, remembered how she talked, remembered the way she walked. She was so loving and so loved I often think about how unfair it is that she suffered so much throughout her life. I visited her grave yesterday. I told her a lot of things, and for a tiny moment, I let myself get carried away. For a tiny moment, I felt like she was there, listening to me carefully,  I felt like she was there, paying attention to what I was saying. What if she really was there though? I don’t remember the last time I cried and laughed at the same time like that, it was incredibly relieving. It’s unbelievable that I have to go to that sad place in order to talk to her, but I’m so glad I did it. The heavy weight on my chest was starting to become unbearable. I had to get things out of my chest, I had to tell her how much I love her. I had to apologize, I had to tell her that I’m sorry for not calling her more often, for not spending more time with her when I was in Kosovo. I’m sorry for not having celebrated a single birthday with her. But no matter how sorry I am, I can’t go back in time and change things. It is what it is, so it’s better to try and make peace with it somehow. I’m in peace because she knew how much I loved her, at least I hope she did. She truly was and will forever be my biggest love and inspiration. If the afterlife exists, I hope she’s in a peaceful place where she’s able to rest how she deserves. Everything beautiful reminds me of her. Every ray of sunshine reminds me of her. She was a light that you only meet once in a lifetime but keeps you warm and enlightened for the rest of your life. I have to go back to Croatia in a couple hours, but I already can’t wait to come to Kosovo and visit her again. As much as it breaks my heart that I can’t hug her, hold her hand and give her a kiss anymore, just knowing that I got to experience that kind of love fills me with so much love and warmth. I was afraid to come here but I survived. I was afraid of not getting a response from my grandma, but I don’t think that happened. I got a lot of responses. I didn’t hear her voice, I didn’t touch her but I feel close to her. I feel peace. I feel optimistic about life. Does that count as a response too?

I’m heartbroken but I’m also incredibly grateful. 

Gjyshe t’du shume!!!

♡ Albesa

 

Kind of all over the place

Tuesday / November 5, 2019

I’ve been wanting to sit down and write for days and days now. So many feelings have been combined, so many emotions, I just don’t know what to write, what to say, how to compose a story and make it make sense. But you can’t wait until it makes sense; who knows if it ever will? It’s been a month since college started. I’m very content with it, the energy around me is good and I feel okay when I’m there. My classes don’t take my entire day so I’m really happy that I have enough time for the other things I love doing. On the other hand, my lack of motivation, willingness, and energy has become concerning. I haven’t studied at all. I haven’t slept properly in more than a month; to say that I’m exhausted is an understatement. I know I’m anxious, sad, stressed and still very numb from my grandma’s death but how come I still have enough energy to stand on my feet; I’m truly surprised. I visited the doctor yesterday and I’ve been told I’ll have to do some brain scans to find out where the problem is. I hope everything is okay and that I’ll be able to sleep well and function normally as soon as possible. This past month has also been strange for another reason. I’ve been experiencing something I’ve never experienced before and it’s just, I don’t know, strange (to say the least)!!! Things I never thought could happen, things I never expected to happen are happening. I don’t wanna talk about it too much, we’ll see what happens; I’ll definitely write about it again sometime soon and reveal more about it. I celebrated my 22nd birthday a few days ago. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned but I really don’t like it when it’s my birthday. Some intense nostalgia occurs and I feel lost. It must be because I had a very good childhood and things are nothing like that now. Everything, literally everything has changed and I can’t help but miss those carefree days sometimes. Days when I didn’t know the painful truth, days when I hadn’t lost anyone, days when I thought a lot of people had my back. Those days are gone but I’m still here. And right now right here, where I am now, I must push myself harder than ever and survive, like I always have. There is no going back to ‘the good old days’, the only possibility I have is to take care of the days that are about to come and make them somewhat beautiful. I think I’ll be traveling to Kosovo on Friday. I feel the heavy weight on my chest caused by the struggle to accept grandma’s death. I need to talk to her. I need to survive not getting a response. Because that’s the truth, and I always want to know the truth, no matter how painful it is. I can take it, I don’t really have an option, do I?

Life is full of ups and downs. Give yourself a break, things will get better.

We got this.

♡ Albesa

 

To everyone battling with mental illness

Thursday / October 10, 2019, / World mental health day

If I knew this about two and a half years ago when my depression was at its highest point, I would have saved myself from a lot of sleepless nights full of overthinking, pain, and fear. I can’t go back and be there for my 19-year-old college drop-out, depressed self, but as someone who made it out of the dark room, this is what I have to say to you. Keep these words somewhere in your mind; try to create an idea out of them. Okay?

There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing to be ashamed of. What the society around you thinks/says about your mental illness is due to ignorance; don’t take it personally. You’re still the same person, with the same qualities, the same values, you’re still as worthy as you were before. Allow yourself to be a complete mess. Allow yourself not to know what to do. Allow yourself to fail. Allow yourself to be whoever you need to be at the moment. Allow yourself to ask for help. But never allow yourself to think that this is it, that your life is over, that things will never be ‘normal’ again or that this is what God, destiny or the universe has planned for you because it really isn’t. There’s so much more to life than wanting to disappear or sleep your pain out. There’s no sleep long enough that makes it better. It only gets better when you grab yourself by the hand and decide to try, try and try, all the time, every day. That’s what life actually is. Things don’t work right away, but you eventually become braver and braver as you challenge yourself to try again. Carry your fear with you, and get out there along with it. I know you feel terrified and think you might die but that thought is not true, not at all. You’re gonna be just fine; that fear of yours is not as strong as you think it is, trust me on this one. Slow down, and breathe. Trust the process. Little by little, day by day, things will start making sense again. 

I root for every single one of you who gets to read this story.

You got this. 

♡ Albesa

Is life doing me a favor?

 Monday / October 7, 2019

It’s almost 4 AM and I have to wake up pretty early but I’m struggling to fall asleep. My mind feels crazy. My thoughts are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I feel so lost and so empty it’s really hard to put it into words. It’s been hard. I try to be that person who has their shit together most of the time but the truth is that I’m far away from that. I fall apart quite often. And honestly, I feel like it’s necessary at this point. I’ve taken so much of everything that came my way and it has become too much a long time ago. I am by no mean trying to keep myself together anymore. I’ve been letting myself be broken, sad, angry no matter how uncomfortable I am with those feelings. This entire year has been quite challenging, especially these past few months. From losing my grandma who meant the absolute world to me, to going separate ways with my best friend after 8 years of friendship to struggling to maintain my mental health to eating disorders to endless family dramas that drain my energy on a daily basis. I feel like I should be writing about college and how happy I am to be back in class and, as much as I really am happy about it, I haven’t had the chance to enjoy it quite yet. I started going to the gym a few days before college started and it felt  amazing. I hadn’t felt like myself in ages and it took me 3 days of gym to change that for the better. It gave me so much mental strength, I really started feeling like my life actually can make sense. I felt happy, responsible and strong. I felt like a true fighter. Only 3 days of training, can you imagine?! But as life likes to test my patience apparently, on my first day of college, my leg started to hurt, just like it did in 2017 and 2018. So I had no other option than to stop going to the gym. Right when I made that big step, right when I took my anxiety by the hand and decided to go to the gym along with it, I was obligated to stop. Right when I started putting in the work in improving myself, I started feeling lost with myself again. My leg pain got so bad; to the point where I go to college just to count down the minutes till’ I get to go home. And this pain that came out of nowhere right when things started falling into it’s place, made me so incredibly angry and bitter about life. It took me a lot of courage to go to college again, it took me a lot of courage to start going to the gym and I’m mad because it seems like the universe just prefers the miserable version of me. I just don’t understand. How and why does everything in my life have to be messy? Why does life keep testing me as if I’m someone who can handle much more than what I’ve already handled? And what if it’s true? What if I’m really, really strong and life wants me to recognize that by putting me through these situations? What if this is the universe trying to show me how capable I am? What if this is the way to finally stop doubting myself?

Sending lots of love and light to whoever might need it, including myself.

♡ Albesa

A little something that’s good for everyone

Friday / September 20, 2019

 I turned on my laptop all motivated and inspired to write but I ended up sitting in front of my computer jamming to some really shitty Albanian songs for about two hours instead. As much as I think some of those songs are really shitty, I must admit they’re my guilty pleasure, hehe lol. I’m quite tired, and in desperate need of sleep but I have a few things to talk about so I guess we’re staying up late today. Anyway. My dear people, let me be honest and tell you that this month has been so shitty and so hard that I literally don’t know which words to use in order to describe it properly. I’ve been led by madness, sadness, traumas, disappointments and what not. It’s been hard ever since grandma died, three months ago. Shitty days are extra shitty now because I can’t call her and tell her about it anymore. My friends are amazing and I’m thankful for them but everyone is quite busy nowadays and it happens that right when I’m in a crisis, none is available. I’m not the best communicator either, sometimes I keep stuff to myself so that it doesn’t get too much for them, which is wrong because it’s not up to me to decide how much can any of them take. From now on, I’ll try to be even more honest and even more open about how I’m doing and when I’m not doing good, that’s exactly what I’m gonna say. Sorry best friends, your girl can’t have a good time all the time. Jokes aside, I only have one more week of work left. I’ve been working for 5 months now, doing the same exact thing every single day. It has gotten so boring that at this point, I count down the minutes till’ I get to go home from the moment I step into the office. Wow, that sounds so bad. I’m still gonna miss it though. College starts in 9 days, my anxiety is already peeking through but this time, my anxiety is gonna be my companion, not my enemy. My anxiety and I are gonna get out there and make the most out of it together. It’s a part of me, it’s a part of who I am, and it’s about time to stop fighting it and just accept the fact that it’s always gonna be somewhere near me. I think it’s a better idea to start trying to get along with it instead of wishing it could go away. I believe it’s gonna be okay. So, I’ve been thinking about publishing my blog on Instagram, share all of this with the world on there but I still haven’t found the courage to do it. The thought of everyone knowing what happened to me, and what has been happening to me is just so scary. On the other hand, I know for sure it would help people feel less alone and more understood. I’m sure there are a lot of people struggling with something and they probably think it’s something to be ashamed of and that’s exactly why I would want to talk about things so openly. I want to contribute to normalizing talking about mental health, especially when it comes to Albanians. I’ve written about it before, mental health is not a topic that Albanians often discuss. And it should be because the mentality that has been passed on from generation to generation has left people suffering their entire life. I was born and raised outside of Kosovo where my parents are from, however, our household is a typical Albanian household. Even though we live in a place that is completely different from it, my parents have kept that same mentality and haven’t really opened their minds to stuff they’ve never heard about before. In my story, that’s where not talking about emotions comes from. I never did it when I was younger. I was literally born convincing myself that everything was fine and even if something wasn’t fine at all, I always ended up leaving it somewhere behind. Over the years, it became too much, and everything that I ever left in the back of my mind, all of a sudden became what occupied my mind the most. And it became painful. It made me suffer. My mom would ask me what’s wrong but how do you explain to your mom that the child inside of you has had enough? How do you explain that the adult you isn’t doing good in college because of anxiety? She would probably ask ‘where the hell is this coming from?’ without realizing that it’s something that’s been developing for years and years. So I started talking. My parents haven’t really changed, but I’m in peace because I’m doing something good now. Even though it’s not really comfortable, I’m allowing myself to express how I feel. I talk about emotions all the time. I talk about good times and bad times and how it’s all a part of life which we can learn something from. My mom kinda loves it because I sound like an old lady which I probably am deep down. No matter where you come from or where you live, mental health and mental illness is an important topic that should be regularly discussed. By talking about it, we can make a huge change. We can make it become ‘a thing’. It can happen to anyone, anytime, so please make this world safe enough to allow people to express their pain without shame. Pain is inevitable, in one way or another. Respect it, listen to it, learn from it, and don’t judge people for it. And even if you do judge, I kindly ask you to keep it to yourself.  Next time you ask someone ‘how are you’ be open to hearing the answer ‘not so good’. You know why? Because when the person is done saying ‘I’m fine’ they’re doing something really badass! They’re admitting they’re not doing good and that’s exactly what the first step to getting better is. Things can get so much better. And they can get much better by just being there for each other. So be there for each other. Listen. There’s no need for words, just for real presence. 

Be present. And most of all, be honest. 

To be continued. 

Goodnight.

♡ Albesa 

Mad, sad, grateful and optimistic (two weeks of mixed emotions)

Saturday / September 7, 2019

I’ve felt a lot these past two weeks but I just couldn’t convert those feelings into letters. Everything felt wrong somehow. I’ve been struggling to express myself lately so I didn’t want to force anything. It happens, it’s okay. Today is the day though, I’m here, ready to take a step back and let it all out so let me tell you what’s been going on. Here we go. Every single day has been full of mixed emotions lately. I’m sad but happy. I’m heartbroken but fulfilled. I feel stuck but I’m also noticing how much I’ve grown. I feel disconnected from the world but also more connected than ever; all at the same time. What is this? And so I thought to myself while I was on my way to yesterday’s therapy session; ‘what do I even want to talk about?’ I arrived, I sat down and boom; I couldn’t stop talking. I had so much to say. I noticed right away where the mixed feelings were coming from. I didn’t communicate with myself at all in these past 2 weeks. I allowed myself to get carried away by negativity, madness, sadness. It was mainly what I was noticing. There were a few beautiful moments in between, like random acts of kindness in public transport, but other than that, I was mad and sad about something every day. Now that I’ve sat down in order to have a proper conversation with myself, I realized that I got consumed by my surroundings. I’m surrounded by a lot of people on a daily basis. I dislike a lot of them. I’m thankful for my job and the opportunity to work, however, I must admit I’m negatively surprised by my colleagues almost every day. The entitlement, the tone of the voice, the body language, the way people talk about each other, how fast information spreads, wow, just wow. And since I go to work every day, I hear stuff I wouldn’t want to hear so I really do understand why I’ve been mad. I must admit I’ve lost a lot, if not almost all of my motivation for work by now. Luckily, I only have three more weeks of it left before I’m back in college. I know I’m gonna miss the company because it’s truly amazing but honestly, truthfully, I can’t wait for it to end. You know what’s going through my mind now that I’m writing this? ‘What if my colleagues see this someday’? Well, nothing, this is my personal experience this year and it’s okay that I’m not so happy with it. I didn’t like it as much as I did last year, I didn’t really click with my team this year, and I’ve been going through a lot myself as well which didn’t really help with being a little bit more talkative. The things I mentioned above don’t apply to everyone. Moving on to the next thing, much more important, that has had a negative impact on me: neverending family dramas. It’s funny to me how I’m always surprised by the way my sisters and I get misunderstood by our parents. We say one thing, our parents hear something completely different. We try to explain what we want and what we want is always super crazy to them. How do we find a way to communicate effectively? We end up fighting and yelling and getting nowhere. We end up going backward with every fight. I notice that my sisters use harsh words very often and even though I understand where their negative emotions are coming from, I think it would help us altogether if they tried to communicate in a more calm way and choose their words more carefully. And last but not least, the most important concern I’ve had; my relationship with myself and my eating disorder. I haven’t written about it that much but it’s been really tough. Six years of suffering, and trying to rebuild my relationship with food. It has exhausted me physically, mentally, emotionally. I’m not doing that good, and I’m finally considering to seek for professional help. I think I’ve tried to do it by myself for too long. I somehow thought it wasn’t that bad. But it is bad. I feel like a different person when I get carried away by my sadness and try to comfort myself with food. I need help and I acknowledge that. It’s scary but I’m ready to open up about it. We’ll see what happens. For now, what matters to me is that I’m willing to give it a try. All in all, I’m doing just fine, sometimes mad but mostly very optimistic. Talk to yourself, ask yourself how you’re doing and pay attention to what thoughts you hold on to. You and I, all of us, will never stop hearing stuff we don’t want to hear but that doesn’t have to be the reason our days get ruined. Create a distance from everything that doesn’t feel good to you. Carry on with your day focusing on the good stuff and being genuinely grateful. That’s what I did today, and see, I was able to sit down, and understand what was going on. Everything becomes more clear once you start getting rid of the unhealthy and unnecessary. I think we all have to do more of that.

Take care.

Til’ next time. 

♡ Albesa

 

Because of my grandma

 Saturday / August 17, 2019

What I had with my grandma, I can not have with anyone else and I don’t even want to. What I can and will do is take pieces of it and reflect it on my other relationships. I will pour pure love, trust, and support into my relationships, just like my grandma did. The people in my life will always know they’re loved and supported, just like I knew I was with my grandma. My grandma was a true light, not only for me but for many other people. She was a light that you only meet once in a lifetime, but is strong enough to keep you going even after it’s gone. My grandma showed me what it’s like to love and be loved properly, and only now do I realize she did me a lifetime favor. Because of her, and her beautiful mind, I have a lifetime learning source. Because of her, I’m able to recognize true love and support. Because of her, I’m able to respect myself and kindly walk away from things that are no longer healthy for me. I keep going pretty bravely because I have you to guide me through our memories. I keep believing I’ll be just fine because I have your words to remember when I don’t know what to do.

This entire life won’t be enough to express how much I miss you.

Gjyshe t’du shume.

*This story was inspired by today’s dream. I decided to keep the details to myself, but still share and praise what my grandma and I had with you reading this.

♡ Albesa

Today (it’s fine)

[9:27 PM / Monday / July 29, 2019]

I have so much to say, so much to express, so much to write about. I don’t exactly know what it is; I could try to explain it for days and days but I don’t think I would succeed. I remember I once wrote in one of my stories, how I didn’t want to write about sadness anymore. I remember how big my wish to write about happiness was. Looking back, it seems like, at the time, I naively believed that things would get better, and I’d start writing about happy things only. But it’s never just happiness or sadness. There are so many things in between those two; so much hard work, so much energy, so much fear, doubt, pain, so many failures, and trials, so many tears, both happy ones, and sad ones. Life is just so unpredictable, so strange and quite short actually. We pay so much attention to things that damage us, we care so much about people who couldn’t care less about us, we treat ourselves poorly, and give too much to others. We want more all the time. But more of what? Let me tell you about myself and what I want more of. I want more peace, genuine peace and harmony around and within myself. I want genuine people and genuine relationships where we mutually bring out the best out of each other. I want to believe in myself. I don’t want to feel tired. I want to rest when I know it’s necessary. I’m finally learning to do that. What does that mean?  I’ve always tried so hard. I tried hard to keep things together so they wouldn’t fall apart even more. I tried hard to be there for people while I had no idea where I was myself. I’m trying hard not to be devastated by the truth. I’m trying harder than ever, and it’s working, little by little, day by day. I’m more aware of my days now. I’m more aware of myself now. I don’t take  this day for granted. I’m just another human. I can’t take as much as I used to think I had to take. I’m trying not to carry other people’s troubles anymore. You can love people without pressuring yourself to solve all of their problems. Being there with/for them is enough. You can love people without trying to say something in order to console them. We don’t always have the right words to say, but listening is more powerful than talking anyway.  Take a step back and revalue yourself, your life, your environment. We should all focus more on ourselves, improving our overall quality of life and make the most out of it today and every day. Today is our reality. We have so many dreams, visions and plans yet we dare to risk and leave them for tomorrow. Why? What is it about tomorrow? You are here, right now, today. Make an impact today. Do something good today. I’m grateful that I’m here. I’m grateful for pushing myself to be and do better every day. I’m happy that I’m motivated to progress. Don’t expect life to be black or white. Here is an example: I honestly don’t like my job that much this year, however, on the bright side, it really brought me many amazing things. It makes me get out of bed, and continue living so I don’t get consumed by the pain brought by my grandma’s death, it makes me be brave, it makes me confront my anxiety, I’m able to earn my own money, afford therapy, learn new things, and develop new business skills. It teaches me responsibility and time management which I’ll also need once October comes and I’m back in college (which I also paid with the money I earned doing the job I don’t like.) It all pays off somehow, but it also depends on what you’re focused on. If I could  advise you anything, I’d advise you to lower your expectations. Some things are gonna take longer than you ever thought they would, some things are gonna begin, and some are end. It’s all okay. Instead of being bitter, try finding something to learn from it. Just try, just consider this idea. Take some time to stop and breathe, be grateful, do your thing, count your blessings, mind your own business and life will seem brighter itself. Your stories will become happier, just like mine are.

This story is kinda all over the place. I don’t know the point of it but it’s still pretty much okay though, right?

Take care of yourself.

♡ Albesa

Second chances: college

[11:28 PM / Thursday / July 18, 2019]

What a day it has been. A day depressed Albesa from two years ago thought would never ever come. I got accepted to college today. I really got accepted to college today. I start classes in October. I’m gonna be studying social work, which is basically a mixture of psychology, family law and human’s rights. And it’s unbelieavble. It feels surreal. I’ve written about my past college experience before, I’ve written about how I had to drop out in order to focus on my mental health, I’ve written about college and education in general, and now I’m here writing about it again, and this time, writing about it makes me happy. This time, my words about college don’t sound like they’ve been taken from some ancient tragedy. This time, I’m writing about it full of hope and dreams. My past college experience was painful. It left me with a lot of self-doubt. Going back to college feels terrifying. I’m afraid it won’t turn out as I imagine it. I’m afraid of ‘failing’ like I did last time. But I have to remind myself that I’m not that person from two years ago. I managed to survive those dark days. I’m managing to survive these dark days too. I’m scared but this wish to try again, is just so, so big. This amount of willingness inside of me is surprisingly big. I have no idea where it’s coming from. Or maybe I do. I have a vision. A vision that makes me go for it no matter how far away it may seem. No matter how hard times could get. I have a vision, a dream which I found when my first college journey ended. This is my second chance. Thanks to that first awful experience, I’m at a place where I’ve actually always wanted to be. I’ll study as hard as I can. I know it won’t be easy but I have nothing to complain about. I don’t want to complain. I want to take care of my energy and spirit. I refuse to talk negatively. I just want to be grateful. Not everyone gets a second chance. And I’m not talking about college only; I’m talking about life in general. Two years ago, I thought I was gonna die in my sleep because of how severe my depression was at that time. Two years ago, I hardly saw any light. Speaking of today, all I can say is that I’m trying, I’m alive, and healthy, despite these hard and painful days without my grandma. Sad things happen all the time but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m beyond blessed. One door closes, another one opens. Mine took two years to open again. In those two years, I’ve grown, matured, got stronger, took my pain and learned to exchange it for patience, every single day. And now I’m here, ready to begin another journey, which will hopefully have a happy ending. A journey which will end up with me being able to help people. That’s all I want to do. 

My dear people, 

there isn’t a single thing in life that comes easy, especially not achieving your dreams. Give yourself some time and space to heal. The time you take for healing is not wasted. It’s necessary because only when you’re healing, you’re actually able to see what you’re capable of. And you’re capable of so, so much. Give yourself a break so you can help, see, hear and feel yourself properly. 

♡ Albesa

It’s not over

[6:29 PM / Sunday / July 14, 2019]

Something felt off the moment I woke up today and I’ve been trying to figure out what it is but haven’t managed to yet. I wish I could say that I’m living my best life but at the moment, I’m far, far away from that. From dealing with grandma’s death which is by far the most painful thing I’ve ever had to accept to dealing with family dramas on a daily basis, I’m trying really hard not to get consumed by it. And it’s hard, very hard. Then there is other stuff; anxiety, being tired of my own self and how irresponsible I am with myself sometimes, not knowing where I stand with people, to feeling like I know nothing at all. How bad is all of that? Can I still live a healthy life despite all of that? Yes, for sure, but as long as I’m keeping my mind on everything that makes me upset, healthy life is gonna feel very distant. The situation I’m in right now is painful, uncomfortable, and it requires a lot of patience, which I sometimes don’t know where to get. I’m alive though. I’m alive and breathing and making it to another day, every day, which proves that in reality, it isn’t THAT bad. I mean it is, but it isn’t, if you know what I mean. I’m still waking up, going to work, improving my eating habits which is, surprisingly, going very well. I’m still going to therapy, trying to help myself get better, learn, grow, improve. I’m still determined to go to college which is terrifying after my last college experience. So many things are terrifying but I’m somehow still not completely defeated. Nothing is easy when you don’t believe in yourself, not even the simplest things. I’m tired, and I need to rest more than ever. I need to give myself a break. I need to set more boundaries. Not everything requires my reaction and that’s why I need to let myself be in peace, even when others aren’t. I don’t have the solution to every problem that I or someone I love might face. It’s still fine. You know what’s not fine? Deciding to accept your misery isn’t fine. Having chances to improve your life but not taking them isn’t fine. Deciding not to try again anymore isn’t fine. I don’t want to sound harsh but life isn’t always sweet, in fact, most of the times it isn’t, so if we’re not gonna keep going, what else can we do? If I let my sadness consume me, I’ll eventually die, and you’ll eventually die too. I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow, and as much as I want to sleep for an entire year straight, I’m actually thankful for it. My days are not filled with happiness, my days are filled with sadness. I’m just learning to live with this new form of pain brought by my grandma’s death. It’s been terrible. I’ve been trying to accept the fact that she’s not counting down the days till I go to Kosovo like I am. I can’t say that I’m fine at the moment but I must not stop believing that life can still be beautiful. I’m young. I’m trying. I’m just another human. What I’m going through is a part of the human experience. This is not the final destination of my human experience. It’s still not over. 

I’ll be fine, we’ll be fine. 

Love and light,

♡ Albesa

 

 

Nostalgia, melancholy, grandma

[9:06 PM / Monday / July 8, 2019]

It’s been raining for a couple hours now. I was  anxiously staring through the window trying to catch some breath and it seemed like the trees where breathing in and breathing out. It was strange and amazing, I’ve never seen anything like that before. Anyway. Things haven’t been the best for a long time now, but life is just so empty ever since grandma died. It has become hard to wake up and feel the willingness to start the day. I don’t know if it makes me more happy or more sad, but I often look at old photos so I can go back to those days when I didn’t even want to go to sleep because of how much I enjoyed life all the time. My big family meant the world to me, my siblings, my cousins, all growing up in the same house filled with so much love and joy. We started dealing with bullies at a young age, but we had each other so we managed to make our days in Croatia pretty good. Summer vacations in Kosovo at grandma’s house were amazing. I don’t remember questioning where my home was. My home was wherever I went because I was surrounded by so much love and light. I had something to look forward to every day. And now, where am I now? I’m surrounded by a lot people but I’m actually on my own, trying to survive these sad days somehow. Trying to find an explanation even though I know I’m not gonna find it. Everyone is so distant. Every little thing has changed. I wish I could say for the better. That big amount of joy I used to feel, got completely replaced by misery. And it’s unbelieavble. It’s devastating.  We’ve all gone our separate ways, we barely talk. Only me and my cousin Flor have maintained the relationship we’ve always had. Where is everyone else? Weren’t we all best friends or something? Everyone started growing up and leaving. One by one. Suddenly, it became more important to show off to the world. Suddenly, it became easy to criticize each other without even asking ‘what’s going on?’ Suddenly, it became cool to pretend you don’t know your own sibling. We’ve been raised with the theory that family is everything. I’ve never liked theories. I’ve never liked words. Where is my dad? Can my dad talk to me for a minute? Where is my brother? Driving around with his friends in his brand new expensive car while our mom is waiting for him to come home from work? My mom’s worried face breaks my heart but there is nothing I can do because I’m not her big son and, that’s who she misses the most. I wonder if I’m the only one who would rather go back in time and be how we used to be than stay in this sad reality? Life goes on and it’s gonna be okay but I can’t help but wonder; is everyone really having so much fun? Is anyone as nostalgic as I am? Can someone tell me a way to cope? Can grandma come back to life so I can count the days til I get to see her? Can grandma come back to life so I can call her and tell her about my day?

My biggest love, my inspiration, my sunshine. My biggest truth in life.

Send me some light so I can carry on.

I miss you so much.

♡ ♡ ♡ Albesa

Me, my mother and grandma

[10:25 PM / Thursday / June 27, 2019]

I’ve had this heavy feeling inside my chest ever since grandma died. I haven’t slept properly since grandma died. I want to see her so badly, but she is nowhere to be seen, not even in my dreams. Why? Nothing helps. Right now, it seems like it’s only getting harder as time is passing by. I still can’t believe it. I still don’t understand it. My heart is heavy, full of sadness. I can only imagine how painful it will be to go back to her house and not have her give me a warm welcome hug. All of my memories with her will run through my brain and I will fall apart, again and again and again. I will fall apart wanting to go back to my wonderful childhood at grandma’s house. And I know it’s okay. I allow myself to fall apart because it’s a part of my realest self; to fall apart and pick myself up again. It’s actually what I’m very good at. But how can I pick up my dear mother? My mother whose sad eyes break my heart into a million tiny pieces of pain. My mother who has lived her entire life missing her mother because she lived miles and miles away from us. My mother who hasn’t slept properly for months now because she didn’t want her mother to die alone? Oh dear mother, your mother is gone and as much as it hurts, we have to keep going. Dear mother, your wonderful mother, my wonderful grandma, always wanted us to be happy. So that’s what we have to strive for. We will go through this pain together, and help each other get used to it. Mother, you are heartbroken; I can see it and feel it even though you’re trying to keep yourself together so I don’t break down. But mother you don’t have to worry about me. You don’t have to keep your pain to yourself. Let it out mother. I understand you. Mother I have my own pain to deal with but your pain seems even heavier. Mother, let me carry a little bit of your pain so it’s not too heavy for you. Mother, give me your pain so I can turn it into love and give it back to you. Mother I love you, but I’ll never be able to love you like grandma did. Not that I don’t want to but because grandma loved everyone in a way no one else ever could. I’m an ordinary person and grandma was everything but ordinary.

We miss you grandma.

♡ ♡ ♡ Albesa

Remembering grandma

[1:14 AM / Saturday / June 22, 2019]

I’m usually afraid of the idea that I’m wasting my time so I try to make the most out of it by doing things I love, but these days I want time to pass as fast as possible. These days, I don’t  want to do anything else besides get used to the pain. But how do I do that? It’s only been a week. I lost my wonderful grandma. The person I felt most connected to, most loved by is gone whether I want to believe it or not. I’ve seen it with my own eyes how they buried her. I’ve seen it with my own eyes how they threw cold mud at her. And I stood there completely shocked and speechless refusing to believe that I was saying my final goodbye to her. My grandma, who was so loving, so kind, and so pure, is now someone I’ll only keep alive in my memories and my heart. My grandma is now someone who I’ll have to talk to without expecting a response. From now on, I can only guess what she would say to me if she was still here. From now on, I’ll only be able to remininsce her words when I’d call her and tell her about my ‘rough day’. She always knew what to say. She always made sense to me. She had a soft voice and a beautiful mind, her words just sounded promising. I’ve been preparing myself for this for two months now, so I asked a dear friend of mine who is familiar with pain: ‘does it ever get less painful?’ He replied: ‘it doesn’t get less painful, you get used to the pain and the fact that that person is gone.’ But you can never prepare yourself for something like this. You can never get used to it before it happens. You can only imagine it. And you’re lucky if you can only imagine it because when it really happens, there’s no going back. I’ve seen it in movies, I’ve heard about it from other people but only now am I obligated to understand what death really means. And as of now, I’m not able to understand it yet. But according to my friend’s words, I guess I will as time passes by. I’ll hold on to that theory and hope for the best. I’ll love you forever and ever and ever. And I’ll love you more and more and more as I grow older. Only growing and learning about the world and life itself, will I be able to love you how you always deserved. I have a lot to learn and a lot of love to give to you, even though you will never respond to it again.

Faleminderit per cdo kujtim te bukur qe ma fale gjyshja jem e dashur. T’kisha mujt me kthy pak kohen e me ardh n’Kosove pak ma shpesh, me beso e kisha kthy. Shpresoj qe e din sa shume dashni kom pas per ty, shpresoj qe cdo her kur t’kom than ‘gjyshe t’du shume’ e ke ni me zemer, jo veq me veshet. Me mungon dhe do t’me mungosh gjithmone. Krejt cka ti je kon, une do e mbaj gjall permes vetit.

♡ ♡ ♡ Albesa

Grandma

[11:02 PM / Monday / June 17, 2019]

What a day it has been. A day I knew was about to come but never knew how painful it could be. A day so long I feel like it has lasted a thousand years. Grandma is gone. My wonderful grandma is gone. This level of pain is paralyzing. I’m speechless. I can’t believe. I still can’t believe. I don’t know which words to use because nothing comes close to how I’m feeling right now. I try not to fall apart but the more I try the more I fail. I’m devastated. I’m heartbroken. I’ve been waiting for this ever since she got hospitalized two months ago. I didn’t want her to suffer so I thought of death as a good option for her. But there is no coming back from death. There is no coming back once your heart stops beating. I’m speechless, shocked, scared, broken…She meant so much to me. She meant the absolute world to me. An entire world in one person. She was so loving, so kind, so soft, so wonderful. She was so pure. She was amazing. And I, I’m trying to remember the words she would say to me when I’d call her and tell her that I’m sad. She had a wonderful voice, a wonderful mind that would calm down the storm inside my head. Who am I going to call now? Who is ever gonna love me so much? Who am I ever gonna love so much? I miss her so much already and I just said the final goodbye to her. I’m at her house here in Kosovo. The house seems empty without her. There are so many people around me but the only thing I notice is her absence. I live in Croatia so I grew up being excited about summer and my trip to Kosovo because I knew someone was waiting for me here. Someone was waiting for me with a lot of excitment. Who is gonna wait for me now? The cold walls of my empty house? I hope time helps me heal. I hope time takes away some of the heavy weight from my chest. I don’t know what to say. I hope my wonderful grandma knows I’ll never forget about her. I hope my wonderful grandma knows how much I loved her. I hope she knows how much she has helped by just being my grandma. I will always remember you, I will include bits of you in everything I’ll do in life. I don’t know what to say anymore. I know you wouldn’t want me to be sad but this time, I will not be able to listen to you because this time, I have no one who’s words sound promising. I miss you so much already. I love you so much and I’ll love you more and more and more as I grow older. Thank you for my wonderful mother and all these cute cousins. Thank you for loving me so much and thank you for giving me the chance to love you back. I hope you never give up on me. I’ll be counting on your help from above.

♡ Albesa

(Un)healthy perfectionism

[7:59 PM / Tuesday / June 11, 2019]

I’m struggling to convert my feelings into words right now and I really wish someone could get inside my brain for a bit and see what’s going on. There is so much stuff I’ve been thinking about lately. I’m confused, lost, sad, happy, excited; all at the same time. As I’ve written in my previous stories, I started going to therapy again. Therapy is a very eye-opening experience for me and even though I don’t notice it right away, I learn so much about myself with every session. Our main focus this year is me and my relationship with myself which has been damaged over the past few years. I’m someone who,  unfortunately, still struggles with anxiety and unhealthy habits. I try to be kind to myself, and it does wonders, however, my fear, my doubt, my disbelief in myself ruin my wellbeing on a daily basis. I’m a perfectionist and I’m extremely self-critical, which makes my life complicated. No matter what I do, I always feel like I could have done better and even when something turns out really, really good, better than I expected, I never give credit to myself for that. Here’s a perfect example: last year, I applied for a job which among other requirements, required being fluent in Albanian. I applied, got invited for an interview and got the job. I worked for 4 months only, but my results were, according to my manager, beyond than expected. I would always get told to be proud of myself and that I was really good at what I was doing. My 4-month contract ended and even though I know how hard I worked, I always thought I got the job only because I was fluent in Albanian. I never once thought about the fact that I got the job because of my positive spirit,  great communication skills, and speaking three other languages. I had more to offer than just my Albanian and people around me saw that, but I didn’t. I applied this year too and got the job once again. My therapist told me the other day ‘there are many Albanians in Croatia Albesa, but they wanted you, and you should feel free to clap for yourself, you deserve it.’ True, there are a lot of Albanians in Croatia, I know, but ever since I left college to recover from depression, it’s been hard for me to believe that I can actually succeed at something. The fear of failure is so strong and so discouraging it makes me feel helpless. But then again, when I think about things in a different way, in a way that is good for me, when I put my past experiences behind, it feels surreal but I’m really able to see my abilities. I really don’t suck at everything (wow did I just say that?) I’m learning to appreciate myself, what I do, be aware of my qualities and be proud of myself. I’m learning to see and believe that I’m actually good at a lot of things. Yes, there’s always room for improvement but that has nothing to do with feeling like you’re not good enough. Room for improvement means good but can also be better and that’s exactly how I want to see myself; good but constantly doing better. That’s the kind of perfectionist I’m striving to be, a healthy perfectionist. 

I’m taking it day by day, one step at a time. It’s not easy but I know I’ll be just fine. I’m already feeling better just by writing about all of this. Here’s to many more stories, happy ones, sad ones, whatever. I often don’t believe it but I’m strong enough to handle it all, and my dear people, so are you.

Albesa

 

Back to therapy: an update

[7:44 AM / Tuesday / May 28,2019]

I woke up feeling content today. I woke up feeling like life wasn’t a mess; which wasn’t the case up until four days ago. Rough times are a part of it, but not all of it and this is something everyone of us should remind themselves because things are much more bearable that way. I’m on my way to work right now and I’m happy I’ve learned majority of the stuff I was stressed about. My co-workers don’t seem to like me asking questions all the time so I’m glad that I’m almost ready for working independently. I’m getting there and I seriously can’t wait. Now let me share something very important with you. I’m back to therapy. Not because I’m depressed again, but because I started losing myself in all of the things that I was worried about. My anxiety was getting really bad so I decided to ask for help and go to therapy for a little bit this year too. I learned a lot last year but I have to admit that I was mostly learning how to cope with things I can’t control. I want this year’s therapy to be more about me and what I actually can control. So I went to therapy last Friday. I wasn’t the happiest after that session but everything made more sense once I came home. I thought about everything using more logic and less emotions. I could see myself and my life better that way. I could see stuff that I can improve and how to do it. I told myself to stop having high expectations of myself; just do your best, whatever it is at the moment. One really big and important thing I was worried about was college. And an even bigger and more important thing is that I’ve found a college I want to go to. I can’t wait to be back in college. I think education is very important and if you have the possibility and privilege to get educated, I suggest you take the chance. I know it’s not for everyone however I do think it’s worth trying; you never know. I had no idea about this college before I went to therapy, my therapist mentioned it and said it was a good a idea. I went home, informed myself about it a little bit more, loved the idea of it and I applied right away; now all I can do is wait and hope I get in (I’m gonna write about it more soon). I’m grateful  for my health, the possibility to work and earn money, the possibility to afford therapy, the possibility to go to college; none of it is ever taken for granted. I appreciate it all. Just wanted to put that out there. That’s pretty much it my dear people, this was just an update on something that matters to me. Now let’s get to work; I’m in the office trying to finish this story and not get caught using my phone so much. Gotta go, but as always, be kind to yourself. 

Til’ next time.

♡ Albesa

24 hours

[11:50 PM / Wednesday / May 15, 2019.]

I have to wake up early in the morning but I’m having troubles falling asleep today. I’m overwhelmed, scared, and terrified. I doubt myself way too much, I doubt my ability to focus and learn new things, and no matter what I do, I always feel like I could’ve done better.  I’ve progressed a lot but there is still a lot of work left to put in. Now that I have a job that requires a lot of effort and attention, I see that it’s still quite hard for me to maintain my focus; I get distracted easily and have to repeat a certain thing multiple times before I can fully understand what it’s about. The company that I work for is giant and worldwide known so the pressure is at a very, very high point right now. I’m getting there slowly and I know this is all new to me but I’m always afraid of not being able to do something; it’s an unsolved thing from the past. I want to give myself some support, time and space to adapt to this new routine. I know it’s normal to feel confused and scared when you’re a beginner so why do I torture myself so much? It’s actually okay to feel a little lost so I have to make sure I don’t freak out as much. Step by step.

[1:13 AM / Thursday / May 16, 2019.]

I still haven’t been able to fall asleep. There are so many things going through my mind. All I know is that I don’t want to waste my life away by criticizing myself so much. I’ve suffered a lot in the past and it’s never easy or comfortable but life doesn’t stop there. I don’t take life for granted. There are big things waiting for me to achieve them and I can no longer postpone taking action because of my fear of failure. I want to work on myself harder than ever before. I feel like I need to be there for myself more than ever. It’s been a little too long since I’ve last had a proper conversation with myself, and I think that’s why things started getting out of control. Is it really that bad? In reality, not at all; in my head, sometimes. My overthinking makes me scared of things that in reality don’t even exist. I’m not a failure, I know I’m not but sometimes I feel like one. And it sucks.

[8:15 AM / Thursday / May 16, 2019.]

I’m on my way to work and I think I’ve calmed down a little bit. I’m gonna take some time to breathe today. I’m gonna pay more attention to my thoughts today; I’m not gonna allow my fear control my entire brain. I’m smart and capable of learning everything that I need to learn. Things take time. I’m scared but I can do it. I got this.

[5:14 PM / Thursday / May 16, 2019.]

I’m on my way home. Today was a great day at work. I switched my mindset and managed to calm down. I told myself some nice words. I’m not sure how I did it but I didn’t let my doubt/fear get in the way. That way I was able to focus on what I had to do. I successfully completed all of my daily tasks. I took my time, I made sure I was breathing properly and I did things my way. Learning new things takes time and I must never be so hard on myself. I’m gonna try harder than ever not to freak out when I find myself in the middle of something unknown. It’s not that bad, it really isn’t.

[9:46 PM / Thursday / May 17, 2019.]

People keep surprising me; some for how amazing they are, some for how egoistic they are. I don’t want to go too deep into that because I don’t want to criticize anyone. What I want to do is express the gratitude that I have for every single person who has ever shown me support. I truly appreciate it and it means so, so much to me. Since this entire story is related to work and my job, I want to mention a co-worker of mine who has been kind to me from the very first day. Open, friendly, cheering me up, encouraging me and telling me stuff that really makes work, and life in general, seem less scary, it truly makes me happy to see there are genuine people out there who are willing to help me. I’m thankful. It’s Friday tomorrow and I’m ready for it. Step by step, day by day, lesson by lesson. It’s all okay. That’s pretty much it, good night my dear people. Be kind to yourself, it helps more than anything else. We got this.

♡ Albesa