Am I slowly getting there?

Wednesday / September 22, 2021. 

I always write when I’m feeling down so I thought it would be a good idea to sit and write today as I’m feeling hopeful. It’s been strange the last couple of days. Even though this year has kicked my ass in ways it had never kicked it before, I can see and feel that I’m in a different place mentally; a muuuuch better place. Of course I still have my dark days when I struggle to see any light, but overall, I notice I’ve made huge progress and I’m proud of myself for that. I feel different,  I’m at a place where I only want to work on myself and my future and do everything in my power to ensure a healthy, fulfilled and balanced life for myself. I want to be more focused on my education which is, besides my mental health of course, my top priority. I want to enjoy my new job to the fullest, and be proud of myself for getting such an amazing job and being able to earn money myself again. Even though it’s a part time job because I’m a student, it’s still just as important. I love teaching kids English, I love hanging out with them and being a part of their progress. It’s very fulfilling and I’m beyond happy and grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given. University is going pretty much okay, I’m a little behind with a couple exams but it’s gonna be fine, I’ll get to that too. I’ve been taking more pictures and being more creative. I’ve been there for myself more than ever lately. And my dear people, it’s lifechaning. Doing your thing, releasing the worries you have about other people’s opinion is such a sensational feeling, you feel so free and empowered to just be your authentic self, it’s amazing. I hope this is the beginning of a new era for me, where I’m the main character of my life, not everyone else. I’m still just as caring but in this phase of life, I’m the priority. I can’t even believe I’m writing this. It’s true that it gets better and I can finally confirm that myself. Might cry tears of joy after writing this story. Looking back, I’ve gone through so much and the fact that I’m still here, breathing, and trying to make something out of my life is just amazing to me. My younger self is so proud, and definitely clapping hard for me! Please look after yourself and be kind to your mind. Please ask for help. Take care of your well-being, water it by doing what you love, by speaking kindly to yourself, and by forgiving yourself over and over again. I haven’t felt like this in a while, so I hope this is the first of many stories with an empowering vibe like this. I’m proud of myself and everyone who’s trying to heal, grow, and move on with their lives. We got this.

♡, Albesa. 

‘I DON’T WANT TO BE A BURDEN’

Sunday / September 5, 2021. 

You’re not a burden to me for telling me your’re  struggling or feeling too much. You’re not a burden to me for showing me your messy moments that in reality everybody has. You’re not a burden to me for showing me your pain. I care about you and I will do my best to help you carry your pain until it gets easier for you. Life is full of beautiful moments and painful moments too. We can’t have only the good part of it. Pain is inevitable, however, it’s not forever; especially not when there are people who want to listen to you. You’re only a burden to me if you’re hurting, yet I know nothing about it. And it’s a burden because of the wall you build around yourself which I can’t break without your help. So let’s help each other by simply showing all of what makes us us. Let’s break those walls and let people care about us if they’re willing to. 

The ones who care are rare, 

but they exist, 

there is a couple of them there. 

♡, Albesa. 

It’s suicide prevention month. Please be kind to one another. 

The good, the bad, surviving and breathing

Monday / June 7, 2021

Every time I come on here, and see the new (not so new anymore actually) editor, I get mad; I just dislike it so much. Ugh.. Anyway,, I’ve been gone for a while. I haven’t been writing much, I haven’t been creating anything lately. I haven’t even felt like myself in a long time. I’m going through a hard and complex period of life, not only me but my family as well. I’ve been trying to write about it but it just end up with me closing all tabs and turning off the laptop.I get so overwhelmed by all the feelings that I get. I get mad, disappointed, angry…all sorts of heavy feelings. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with all that burden. I don’t even know what to say. It’s been hard, really hard. I’ve given so much energy to people and things that for sure did not deserve it. I’m constantly surrounded by negativity, doubt, drama, conflicts. There’s no space to be in peace, to feel peace. My entire family is unemployed right now. It’s been months now and everyone is feeling miserable. I see them, I believe they’re having a hard time and it breaks my heart that I can’t do anything. My family is a little crazy, we’re all very different from each other, but it still hurts to see them feeling the way they feel. I, personally, have been feeling quite disconnected. It’s time to change that, it’s time to connect with myself again. I must say that I haven’t failed anything in this semester. I’ve completed all my homework and exams with great success and that makes me incredibly happy. Some of my homework has received great feedback and great grades. My ‘ethnic discrimination’ presentation was one of the best in my group, so I got invited to talk about it in front of the entire class (on camera). Ethnic (or any kind of) discrimination is something I’m very passionate about so it got real. That’s good news right there. Three hard exams are waiting for me; I’m scared but I’m hoping it will end well. What else do I have to talk about? You know, I met someone about two and a half months ago. I thought they were great and stuff and I still respect them but the connection is no longer there; I can feel it that something has changed. Even though I do like this person (not so much anymore actually) I understand that what I’m getting is not what I deserve. I’m way more committed and available. So, I decided to stop trying and let it go. I already feel better. I don’t want half-assed relationships. They damage me in so many ways, they make me question myself, doubt myself and all in all, I become a mess. I don’t need that in my life, no one does. Why am I writing all of this? Because I need to express myself, and my thoughts. And I also want to let you know that you always need to think long-term. Long-term wise, are you gonna be better with them or without them? Be honest with yourself and act accordingly. It’s hard but it must be done. If they’re not giving back the same energy, please get out of that situationship or whatever it is. It’s simply not worth it. You deserve someone who finds time to talk to you and ask you about your day. You deserve someone who is into you and shows it. Don’t settle because of an idealised version of someone that you’ve created in your head that in reality doesn’t exist. Let it go and return to yourself. Every ending is a new beginning, I’m amazed by how relieved I feel already. You might miss them sometimes but keep in mind why it was better to let them go. Live your life, mind your own journey and focus on those who give the energy back. That’s what I’ve always told to my friends, and see, I’m taking my own advice. Yay, me! Oh another thing. I applied for a job, a very interesting one. I was scrolling through Facebook and a sponsored post appeared on my feed. They were looking for an English teacher to teach little kids age 3-5. I applied a couple hours before the submissions were closed. I received a call the next morning and I couldn’t believe it. They asked me to send some kind of demo-video of me teaching the kids so I sent that today. Now I have to wait and see if I get the job or not. I would like to get it, I think I’d be good at it but we’ll see. There are a lot of things on my mind but I think it’s better to end this story here and write another one some other day. Last words for today: remember who the fuck you are because you’re genuinely great. I’m not doing so great right now, it’s been hard but I’m here, I’m breathing and I’ll be okay. And so will you..

May we get through all the hardships, and may we keep becoming the best versions of ourselves.

♡, Albesa

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  

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 

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 

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 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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Sadness and promises

[5:06 AM / Monday / May 6, 2019. ]

It’s been a month since my grandma got hospitalized and I’ve felt lost and confused ever since then. I’ve been thinking way too much. I know I haven’t been trying my best with anything in life. I haven’t cooked a single healthy meal, I haven’t taken a single walk, my sugar intake has been crazy high, I haven’t drank enough water and I haven’t read a single page of any book. I haven’t slept properly in a month, I feel tired emotionally and physically. I’ve treated myself poorly and I’m aware of it. When one thing hurts me, I lose myself completely, which is what’s going on now. I must learn to function on days like these.  My grandma, who means the world to me, is sick. These days are probably her last days and I’m away from her. I can’t see her or talk to her or hug her and let her know how much I love her. I’m devastated and heartbroken. And I’m even more devastated when I see my mom crying. It’s been a hard time for the entire family. No one is doing good at the moment. Negative energy has taken over our home. Instead of being more supportive and patient on these hard days, we’re being more distant and rude to each other, which is way more intense than how we usually are. I want to fix the situation but no one seems to care that much so I’m just gonna keep going. Everybody in this house is old enough to take responsibility for their words and actions, I don’t feel like calling out anybody. I’m really tired. It’s my first day at work today and it starts in a few hours. I haven’t slept at all and since the time to get up has almost come, I can start preparing myself for that ‘drunk and sad’ effect that usually comes along with a sleepless night. It’s okay, I’ll sleep better in a few days. Things will calm down. I will learn to find myself on days like these. I don’t want to cause myself even more sadness by treating myself poorly. I will focus on the food I eat, the words I say, and I will try to reduce the amount of scary thoughts my brain produces every second. It’s gonna be fine. I’m looking forward to getting back to the usual productive routine. Only then do I feel like my true self. 

Grandma, you always tell me not to pay attention to negative things in life and I promise I’ll try not to; not this much. You’re in my thoughts day and night. You inspire me to be better and take care of myself. I promise I will. 

I love you with my whole entire heart. 

Albesa 

Managing to stay calm, Kosovo and some other stuff

[3:14 PM / Sunday / March 31, 2019.]

I’m sitting in the backyard of my house enjoying today’s sunny day. The mountain that’s my view is just amazing and so inspiring. I’ve cleaned the house a little, I cooked a nice meal and now I’m here trying to figure out what’s been going on in my heart. I’ve been in Kosovo for a week now and oh boy, I’m so happy but full of mixed emotions at the same time. I don’t even know what I wanna say, I just know that I’m doing good and at this point, that’s all I care about. I have no clue where I’m going in life, I’ve already written that before and I mean it, but I’m managing to stay calm and let time show me what decisions I’m gonna make. I’m not trying to figure out everything at once and that is, my dear people, big progress for me. Me thinking about the future and constantly being afraid of it was one of the main causes of my anxiety. I still think about the future, of course, I do, but now I’m pretty much okay with the thought of things not going as planned. One door closes, another one opens. It’s always good to come to Kosovo to get away from the toxic atmosphere I’m surrounded by in Croatia. I’m always trying to find ways to feel at least okay with my life there but it’s always an on and off thing. I have everything that I need, but I always feel like a stranger. Does that have to be a bad thing though? On the other hand, life in Kosovo wouldn’t be a dream either. Kosovo is a country that I like to call a work in progress. There are a lot of things that must be improved here, a lot of people are still quite small-minded, sexism is a giant problem and job-related possibilities are very limited. Anyway, let’s go back to what I usually write about. I visited my grandma yesterday. She’s been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for ten years now and her health is worse than before every time I visit her. I’ve had a very close relationship with her ever since I can remember, everyone knows that I’m ‘qika gjyshës’ which in Albanian means ‘grandma’s girl’. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see her not being able to walk independently or do anything else without someone else’s help. She can barely talk now and I could barely hear what she was telling me, a little because she was talking quietly and a little because I was sobbing. I could literally feel her pain while she was holding my stone-cold hand. My grandma is one of a very few people who has never ever criticized me and I’m so thankful for that. There are no words to describe the amount of love I have for her and that’s something that’s never going to change. I wish she didn’t suffer her entire life, I wish people she’s surrounded by every day cherished her a little more. I don’t really know what else to say, I’m gonna try and have a good time with my cousin best friend while we’re together here in Kosovo. Flor and I just go well together, it’s easy for us to be around each other. We never fight and it’s because we’re able to communicate and solve things before it’s too late. I just love us together and what we have. That’s pretty much it, my dear people. I hope whoever gets to read this is doing okay. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and others around you. And be very, very grateful. 

Love, Albesa 

Looking back, becoming healthier and the future

[2:40 AM / Monday / December 31, 2018.]

I had so much stuff on my mind while I was planning this story but now that I’m actually here writing it I really don’t know how it’s gonna turn out. Here we go. It’s the last day of 2018, wow, wow, wow. What can I say, it was a good year, a year of improvements I’d say. This year, I got three leg surgeries (currently laying in bed recovering from the third one), I got my first job ever, I earned my own money, I traveled, and I bought a bunch of clothes which I still haven’t had the courage to wear. Honestly, none of that really matters that much. What matters that happened this year is my mental health. I can’t believe this day has come. The day when I can finally say that I’m healthy. I feel healthy, I feel strong and I feel hopeful, more than ever. I spent 5 years battling with depression and anxiety. Depression is a dangerous thing, and anxiety isn’t any better either. Recovery is a journey. Every day is a journey. I spent my depressive days traveling around this little world I created in my mind. Sometimes it was a dark world, and sometimes it was as bright as sunshine which is what kept me going. Even though I’ve tried very hard on my own, I still have to give most credits to my therapist who taught me everything that I needed to learn so badly. It’s by far the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’ve learned so much from it, from setting boundaries and saying no to communicating with myself and giving myself time and space to live with my emotions. I’ve grown so much and all in all, I feel like a very mature and responsible person for seeking help that I knew I needed. I wish I could have done it earlier but as I’ve mentioned before, I’m Albanian, born, raised and living in Croatia. Both are Balkan countries where therapy isn’t a thing, at all. A lot of people freak out even thinking about it let alone actually trying it. My parents don’t understand neither depression neither therapy so I had to earn my own money for it, that’s why I didn’t do it earlier. I tried explaining it to a lot of people that no matter where you come from, therapy is literally just that: therapy. I tried to explain to people that you don’t have to be crazy to see a therapist and that sometimes, you really do need guidance to get yourself back on track. Some people are open-minded and actually, understand that mental health is just as important as physical health while some people blame the victims for suffering and ‘not getting over it.’ But here comes another thing I’ve learned; I’ve learned to stop. Stop trying so hard to explain, trying so hard to make sense and trying so hard to be understood. I’ve found peace in knowing that I did everything that was in power. I’ve made peace with the fact that it’s inevitable to feel bad sometimes and that feeling bad is also okay. Make sure you don’t overuse your energy. Be there for people, care for them but make sure you’re doing that for yourself as well. Be present, enjoy the moment. In the new year, all I really want is to keep learning, improving, growing. I want to be the healthiest version of myself I could possibly be. Cheers to health, love, and light. Cheers to new beginnings. 

May the upcoming year bring nothing but love, light and amazing memories. 

Love, Albesa

Kindness is never a bad idea

[3:19 AM / Sunday / November 18, 2018.]

Staying up late, my dear beautiful friend… I catch myself watching a movie, completely ignoring the fact that it’s past midnight, and that I should sleep. I’m wide awake instead,  inspired by unrealistic movies, dreaming, planning, thinking. Now all of that would be completely fine if I wasn’t that one person who usually becomes a complete mess if they don’t get enough sleep. I’m a morning person (yes, I know what you’re thinking, haha!), I like waking up early and starting my day right so if I wake up after noon, I spend the rest of the day feeling lost, and I really, really don’t like that. I suffered from some major anxiety attacks this past week. It was very scary because it would happen right before I would go to sleep, just like it used to happen last year when my depression and anxiety were at the highest point ever. I’ve learned so much, I’ve grown so much and I’ve improved so much so after all of the hard work that I’ve put into improving my life, of course, I got terrified of losing all of that, and going back to my old, very, very unhealthy state of being. I went to therapy two days ago, as I’ve been going every week for the past couple of months and my dear therapist told me something that really opened my eyes. She asked me about how I spent my time and how/why would my anxiety appear. I told her that a lot of the things that I saw reminded me of some painful moments from that past and that those painful moments would run through my head making me feel miserable. Then she asked me; ‘what do you do when those thoughts appear?’ ‘I try very hard not to think about the past and I try to stop those thoughts by getting up and doing something else’- I responded. ‘That’s exactly the problem, Albesa, you want to run away from your anxiety. You have gone through those painful moments and whether you wanted it or not, they’re a part of your life, a part of who you are, they’re gonna come into your mind sometimes. So instead of trying to run away from those thoughts, go through them again for a few minutes, give your anxiety some time to exist. Be nice to your anxiety, communicate with it and it will leave you alone.’ Yes, it’s almost 4 AM, I should probably go to sleep but you know what? I’m not afraid today. And you know why? Because my anxiety will not hurt me if I let it express what it has to express. I’m gonna take a deep breath, and I’m gonna be a little kinder to that part of me.

Kindness is never a bad idea.

Good night 

Love, Albesa 

The simpliest way to help someone

[9:25 PM / Tuesday / Novemeber 6, 2018]

Sometimes I don’t see the things moving around me, sometimes I don’t hear the noises around me. Not that I don’t want to but because I dig in deep into my thoughts and start having a conversation with myself. Since the world has become a sad place to live in, I tell myself maybe it’s better not to hear it or see it or know anything about it. Maybe it’s better for me to act like my senses don’t work from time to time. But then again, that doesn’t feel right either. Since this sad world that I’m talking about is made out of people, I ask myself: ‘do they need help?’, ‘do they have someone to tell them it’s gonna be fine?’ What an irony life is, we close our eyes, we close our ears yet that’s exactly what we all need. We need to be heard. We need to be seen. We need to be reminded that the sad world we live in is not our forever.

Can’t we all just help each other by  asking the simple yet meaningful ‘how are you?’ Can we all just stop pretending that we don’t care about anyone?  

Love, Albesa 

A little something worth keeping in mind

[10:21 PM / Tuesday / October 16, 2018.]

‘I’m not happy.’

Okay, good, you have acknowledged your current emotional state of being. That’s the first step in the process of getting better. The next step is to give yourself arguments and answers that back up your words; why are you unhappy? What is taking your happiness away from you? Recognize what is the biggest issue in your life while keeping in mind that it’s an issue related to you, not someone else, not something else. A lot of the things that could be answers to the question ‘why are you unhappy’ are external additions to your unhealthy state of being, but definitely not the cause. People who suffer emotionally tend to get lost in all of the things that bother them without realizing that the root of their emotional state is the fact that they’re unhappy with themselves; the way they look, the way they behave, the way they treat themselves and others, and so on. If you’re unhappy, take this as a reminder which might help you know where to look for real answers. The answers are all within yourself. It’s yourself that you need to work on. 

And don’t forget, not feeling well is okay. Asking for help is okay. There isn’t a single thing you should be ashamed of. We’ll get better, learn, grow, improve, and then help others do the same. That’s the way we can make the world a little less sad. 

Love, Albesa

Why was I unhappy?

[3:56 AM / Tuesday / October 9, 2018]

Sometimes I find myself digging deep into my thoughts, deep into my existence searching for answers. I have a lot of questions but today, I am only truly interested in this one; why was I unhappy? A lot of things come into my mind but here are some of the most important ones: 

1: I used to obsess over things that bothered me instead of focusing on what was bringing me joy and peace. I thought about those things all the time, not knowing that I could actually control my negative thoughts and replace them with some happy ones, which is what I do now. You can learn how to control your thoughts by communicating with your inner persona as if it was your best friend. If your best friend was being rude to you, you would tell them about it, ask them why they were treating you like that and then ask them to treat you like you deserve to be treated, right? Do that same exact thing with your inner persona that keeps mistreating you. This is not easy at all, it requires a lot of hard work and determination. Do it anyway!!!

2: I used to waste my energy thinking I could control things when in reality, you and your life are the only things you’ll ever be able to control. For example; the effort somebody else puts into a certain relationship is not up to you. Save yourself from thinking people will treat you like you treat them. Remember the good, old rule; if it really matters to them, they will do it. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you’ll stop trying so hard. The energy you recieve is the energy you’ll be giving back. Be prepared for the possible (upcoming) changes in your relationships with people. 

 3: I used to force myself to be comfortable with things that felt the most uncomfortable for me; explaining people why I needed to be alone (multiple times), explaining people why I enjoyed staying at home (multiple times), going to places where I didn’t want to go so I wouldn’t let down people who felt the opposite.. Stop explaining yourself so much. The shortest, yet the most meaningful explanation is the fact that you didn’t want to do it, and not wanting to do something is completely fine, unlike forcing yourself to do stuff you don’t feel like doing! 

When you’re just learning to stand up for yourself and do what you want, there will be people who will disagree with your decisions. People disagreeing with you might cause them negative emotions but please remember that that’s not your responsibility. People not disagreeing with you is not a comfortable place for you to be in but it is very, very normal. You will eventually get used to it. Don’t blame yourself for standing up for yourself and doing what feels right for you. 

The only way to happiness is following your heart so if a certain thing is not in your heart, don’t bother thinking you can make it magically appear there. 

You can have amazing relationships even with people you sometimes disagree with. Respecting each other’s feelings, honesty and not taking things personally are one of the main things that help the relationship work. 

These are some of the things I have learned so far. I’m still learning and developing new ways to stay true to myself yet have people that I love be a part of that.

Love, Albesa 

Afraid and unstoppable at the same time

[8:27 PM / Monday / August 12, 2018]

Sometimes I wonder where I’m going and where I’m gonna end up. Sometimes I feel like I’m gonna get lost in whatever path I choose to follow. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m strong enough or brave enough to handle the cruel reality brought by life itself. I know who I am and I know what I’m capable of doing but I’m afraid you know? No matter how strong I think I am, there’s always this certain amount of fear following me everywhere I go. Fear mixed with doubt I’d say. I’m a very positive person and I try to learn from every situation I find myself in but there’s always this never-ending ‘but’. ‘But what’? I ask myself, ‘why are you always trying to find something to be afraid of ?’ I ask myself. What is it so enormous and giant that can take over me so easily? Is it really there or is it just a product of my past experiences? Whatever it is, I have decided that it’s not gonna stop me anymore. I’m gonna confront it even if it starts feeling unbearable. I may be scared but that won’t stop me from following what my heart wants me to do. I may have a hurtful tornado inside of my chest, but what if it’s only hurtful because I treat it badly? Maybe I have to treat it as a beautiful part of mother nature and it becomes peaceful like the ocean?

I tell myself;

‘Nature is wild, unpredictable and scary but that hasn’t stopped people from hugging lions. Everything seems to be a little chaotic but with the right mindset, approach, effort and determination, even the wildest dreams can become a part of your reality. And remember, neither you or your dreams have to make sense to somebody else besides you.’

Love, Albesa

The surprises that life brings

[7:46 PM /  Saturday / May 19, 2018]

It’s been over a month since I’ve last written anything. It’s so strange that you feel like nothing is really happening but when you look back, you have so many things to write about and that’s exactly why, all of a sudden, I feel the urge to express myself and mention everything that happened. I want to start by saying that it’s true when people say ‘your life can be so different a month from now’. It sounds like a cliche and quite unbelievable but here I am, a living example that life can change and that patience does pay off. About a month ago, I was laying in bed, probably swearing out of madness caused by the pain I was feeling in my leg. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t stop being bitter about life. Basically, I wasn’t in a good place, neither physically or mentally. It was around 4 PM when my sister woke me up telling me she had a job for me. I woke up and asked her ‘how dare you wake me up’ and she told she would never wake me up if it wasn’t important. And she wasn’t lying. She got offered a job which she couldn’t accept being a fulltime student so she asked me if I wanted to try. The chance was too good and knowing that I had to make changes in my life, I decided to try. I was scared and overwhelmed but I made it. I applied for the job, wrote a motivational letter and a week later, got invited for a job interview. I couldn’t believe that something good was happening. I went there, did the interview and left the company feeling like I did good but still could have done much better. I had zero expectations because I’m quite young (the youngest people who work there are college educated people in their late 20s) and even though I speak many languages, which is the most important part of the job, I didn’t want to have my hopes high and then end up disappointed. About 2 weeks had gone by when I got an email saying I got the job. I wasn’t at home by that time, my sister told me about it. I couldn’t believe, I thought she was joking. I left the company feeling like I could have done much better so the fact that I got the job was insane. Here I am a month later, writing this as an employed person who’s been busy trying to get used to the new routine. I wake up at 6:15 AM and get home and 6:15 PM. I don’t have a lot of free time so the first thing that I noticed is that time is so precious. I go to sleep at 10:30 so I try to be as productive as possible in those 4 hours. I even forget to check my phone, which I thought I was addicted to. Basically, life is much different than it used to be. I’m not running from my social anxiety anymore, I’m dealing with it on a daily basis and even though it’s hard, I see that I’m not dying like I thought I would. I don’t hear my family dramas that often anymore (which is so so so good!!!). I fixed my sleeping problems and I appreciate my time more than ever which is why I don’t deal with childish situations anymore. I’m becoming more responsible and more independent. No one has my back at work so I have to have it. The people around me are kind and nice but my anxiety doesn’t let me relax. I don’t really know how to talk to them first so I may seem self-centered or something similar. Even if they talk to me first, I feel like I sound stupid so I often don’t continue the conversation. I spend my lunch break reading books while everyone’s having lunch in the kitchen. I spent almost five years isolated, spending time only with people that I’ve known my entire life so now that I’m surrounded by a group of complete strangers, I hope I learn how to be around people without feeling like I’m gonna pass out. All in all, life is so much different than it used to be just a month ago. It’s hard but I’m extremely happy. I’m all about making changes because I know that good things happen and the work that we put in pays off. I know staying patient pays off. Majority of the people around me are super supportive and I’m so thankful for that. As a person who is extremely emotional, every single drop of support is welcome and it means so much to me. I want to continue creating myself, become a confident person and believe in myself and my abilities. I want to learn as many things as possible and then help others find their light in all the darkness they might have felt over the years. That’s basically it. There is more stuff that I would write about but I prefer to end this story with positive vibes. Keep going, keep trying and stay patient. Hardships are not forever and choosing to believe that you can change your life is the first step you must take in order to become a happier and healthier version of yourself. Never stop hoping. I root for every single one of you. 

We got this.

Love, Albesa