Posted in Mental Health, The Pub Corner

Do You Trust The Ingredients List? My 100th post, some ramblings and a confession

I am one of those people who systematically read the ingredients list of all products I buy, whether they are cosmetics, food or meds. The first reason is that there are a hundred things my body can’t take and will make me pay if I force them into my system. The other reason is that I love to make sure I know what I am using. This applies to people, too. I love getting to know people, but they don’t come with a list. Also, I love reading. That counts as reading, right?

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Right this second, you must be wondering what the hell is happening and what kind of post this is. It’s a confession post. See, I had an epiphany. Actually, I have lots of them, but I swear this one is worth sharing.

Back to the confession now. I have been blogging for eight months. I have met the most awesome people. Bloggers that I admire, bloggers who make my TBR so long I will need two lifetimes to get to the end of it, bloggers who make me laugh. It all started with a shared love for books. Then you get to know some bloggers better, you take part in tags and share bits of yourself. Not actual bits because we all need all our bits to keep functioning, of course. All this information create your very own ingredient list. I can’t say what you would put on mine based on what I have revealed of myself (except that I’m a fantastic waffle maker) but there is one thing I am sure you would not write, and for a long time, I thought it did not matter. But it does. Because it is who I am.

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I suffer from an anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and mild depression. Spark insomnia on top and you have a little bomb. I’m a cute little red bomb (red for the hair, not the big button that will trigger the zombie apocalypse everyone has been talking about for weeks.)

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This post is not about me complaining about how life can be unfair and hard (even though it sucks when it’s midnight and you’ve run out of Rum and all the shops are closed just when you need waffles again.) or beg for nice words to make me feel better.

I struck up real and adorable friendships around here, but I feel there’s always a wall between me and the rest of the world. That wall is made up of all the days I can’t get out of bed, or bring myself to read because I am too tired and my hair is unwashed but I can’t muster the courage to drag myself into the shower, the days I can’t apply to a job because I know there are times I won’t be able to leave the house, the excuses I make for not going out to get the latest book at the bookstore because it’s too far and too crowded, the lies about living an awesome and “normal” life. I am tired of hiding this huge part of me. If someone cannot handle me with all my craziness and my mental issues, then I can leave without them. But I can’t live without myself, so it’s time I accept it and stop lying to myself and others.

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(The wonderful powers of a change of hair color and my lack of photography skills)

This whole epiphany was triggered by the wonderful book Furiously Happy, and while I am not as fun and awesome as Jenny Lawson, I admire her for talking about her problems, laughing at them, and being true to who she is. She inspired me and showed me the next step to making my life a little better, a little easier, was to stop feeling guilty about all the things I cannot do, and stop hiding who I am. So this is me, standing naked in front of the blogosphere with a Taylor Swift song in the background, saying loud and proud that it’s take it all or leave it (and close the door because it’s freezing).

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(courtesy of Jenny Lawson on her blog )

Now that it’s in the open, I feel a lot better. Of course, it is easier to tell people from the Internet who can’t stare at me with that worried expression saying my issues might be contagious or that I’m merely exaggerating than to family and friends that can actually get all freaked out in front of me and make me feel terrible. But it was important to me that bloggers I talk to on a daily basis and new or old followers could get a real sense of who I am so that our relationship could be based on the truth. Thank you all for making me comfortable enough to talk about a subject I haven’t discussed with more than 2 people in the last five years.

No more lies, no more fears, from now on, you get the real me, and only the real me (now is time to run)

This is my 100th post (one to remember! or time to erase me from your reader) and the first step towards a new part of my life. I am feeling very drama-queen today. I thought the celebration could be more about appreciating my lovely bloggers, taking a weight of my shoulders, letting others know that they are not alone, rather than drinking to a number that only means I have stuck around enough to bore you with such posts!

I might talk about my issues in future posts. I am even considering featuring books that handle mental illnesses well (or not, so you’d know what to use as a good reference and what to burn). But today I just wanted you to meet the real me.

So, hi! I’m Donna, nice to meet you.

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80 thoughts on “Do You Trust The Ingredients List? My 100th post, some ramblings and a confession

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 I think it never really goes away, but we can learn to live with it and make it smaller and easier to carry. Sleep, or the lack of, can be anxiety’s best friend, and they love throwing parties in your head…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You’re so brave Donna! Thank you for sharing this with us. I hope you can find a way to feel a bit better every day. Yours is one of my most favorite blogs 😘 Feel better redhead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you! 😘 I don’t know about bravery, it feels more like a “let’s get this done and find who the real good crowd is” haha! I can only feel good today with such a sweet message. Blogging and chatting with awesome people like you have definitely helped me a lot these past 8 months 🙂

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      1. I still think it’s brave , I don’t think I could do it. I know what you mean, it’s been a shorter period for me, but I’m so happy I started this blog! Have an amazing day 😘

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on your 100th post Donna. Thank you for sharing this part of you with us. You are one of those people that I consider as my blogging friends even if we have never met outside the blogosphere. Cheers to life and to blogging!

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    1. That is utterly sweet of you, thank you 😘 The feeling is mutual, I love seeing your posts appear on my reader and you definitely are a great blogging friend. Thanks so much for the support! Here’s a virtual waffle for you 😀 (it helps with the champagne we need to celebrate our blog friendship!)

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  3. Congratulations on the 100th post, Donna, and I know you’re going to write a billion more fantastic blog posts, and I am looking forward to them all!
    Thank you for sharing this, really, and feeling comfortable enough to share this huge and important part of yourself, even though it doesn’t define you, at all. You are always so bubbly and enthusiast, and I always imagine you typing away furiously happily on your keyboard while answering your comments and tweeting (seriously, I do). I’m dealing with anxiety and insomnia as well, and you are not alone. And everyone is here for you, especially me, you know where to find me always! ❤
    And if you ever want to start that bookish feature about mental illness in books, well, I'll be looking forward to this! 🙂 ❤

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    1. Marie ❤ You deserve the award of the Best Frenchie who can bring a smile on everyone's face! I'm only bubbly because of all the champomy I drink, haha! Blogging has offered me so much that your vision of me furiously happily typing away is absolutely true. Even during the bad days, every blogger I chat with or every little thing I post makes me feel better. You are such a sweet pie, thank you so much ❤ You are the best. And if you're looking for a 3am chat about how cat's hair always chooses the worst location on your clothes as a home, I'll be here! #InsomniacChicks
      I have found a few books dealing with mental illnesses in stories, some good, others not so good, so it got me thinking I could talk about it from a personal perspective. It might be useful to people looking for this kind of material 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow 100 posts already, congratulations ! I feel it’s very brave to just come out with it like you do, but you know, nobody is perfect and I’m sure all of us have something or the other that makes us different and you are really not alone, even if it feels like you are the only person with those problems! I’m glad you let us in and get to know the real you!

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    1. Thank you 🙂 It was a way to move forward and letting people know what’s happening. We all have our issues and I thought sharing would help me get on the next stage and why not help someone else stop feeling guilty or the need to hide those problems. Unfortunately, I am well-aware that I am not alone struggling against this.

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  5. Hi, Donna! I haven’t visited your blog nearly enough over the last 6 months. You’re wonderful.
    Thanks for being so honest and vulnerable with us. I feel like I know you a little better already, which is all I need to visit a blogger more often. Congrats on your 100th post! I’m at 111 posts with 6 1/2 months under my belt. hehe, I started off posting waaay too much. But now I’m at a more reasonable pace for myself.

    Keep being you and keep being awesome. And it’s totally cool and practical to read all the ingredients in products you buy. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this comment and your kind words, I love that the book blogging community is so friendly that it makes it possible to grow up and move on on all spheres of life 🙂 I feel like I needed this to connect more with everyone, and I’m happy you understand.
      111 posts in 6 and a half month? That is hard work! I’m glad you found your rhythm. I never planned on posting every day because every post takes me so long, I need little breaks to keep enjoying it.
      I’m a list lover 🙂

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  6. Hi Donna! *chest bumps* (because you know, boobs) I’m Anne and I’m suffering from the same crap for 20 years now. I’ve been struggling whether to tell people on here about my issues or not as well, but I keep postponing it because I feel like I have to prove to be a normal person first or something. Which is kinda crazy come to think of it XD. But all the more reason to call you a very brave badass chick! ❤

    Oh, and yay for the 100th post of course! 😀

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    1. Booooobs! Hi Anne, have a cookie! I totally understand about the “normal” facade. I am still on the fence about dismantling it for my family, but I’ll come to it eventually because I’m running out of excuses, haha. Crazy is good, I love crazy. Let’s be crazy together 🙂 ❤ Thank you for sharing with me. I might give you the whole story behind Pap! 🙂
      Thank you! I can't believe I haven't given up yet, let alone that I have written that much!

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        1. Okay, just for the two of you (and the rest of the world because Internet is definitely not a private place xD)
          Pap means Planche à pain, which is a breadboard. That’s how we call girls who don’t have boobs. My high school best friend loves every final fantasy game, and on the year we met, an audio parody of FF7 was released. There was a very funny story about Tifa with her giant boobs, and Aeris with her … non-existent boobs being friends and all about the tough love. Guess who inherited the no-boob nickname? 10 years later, her mother doesn’t even know my real name and calls me Pap.

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      1. Yes! Cookies! :3 Oh, my family already knows because they had to put up with me for a long time :D. It’s my friends who are mostly unaware because I don’t show it much on the outside (and medicate the shit out of myself whenever we go to a theme park or something ^^). But that must be crappy, to having to explain it to your family. On the other hand, they’re family, so they technically can’t go anywhere ;). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd2B6SjMh_w *parties* Hahaha, I’m honoured, though technically everyone can read it now :’). ❤

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        1. I live far from the family, it’s only my mother and I in Bordeaux, so they don’t know what’s going on with me 🙂 Friends are the hardest part, it’s difficult and kinda weird to constantly have to hide!
          It’s out, too, I can now be proud of my Pap boobs xD

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          1. Oh, that makes it easier/harder. I had one friend who knew about my anxiety attacks but she would just ignore it when I had one, making me feel like an even bigger idiot. The people who will understand it are the best friends anyways, though :). Hahaha, damn rights! *waves banner*

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  7. First off, congrats on 100 posts and for sticking to this for so long! Secondly, congrats on finding the courage and being willing to share such an intimate part of your life with us. I feel very privileged to have been gifted with this new knowledge about you, and can’t wait to know more about you as well.

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  8. Congrats on your 100th post! It’s definitely one to remember 🙂 Thank you for sharing what makes you, you! Remember that I and everyone else will be here if you’re having a tough day and need to vent

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  9. Cheers to your 100th post! I had to look and see what number I was up to and can you believe I’ve written 160 posts in 5 months of blogging? Can someone say I talk way too much? Haha! Shut me up! Nope, never! 🙂 You’re so brave sharing this with the world. I love you, but you already know that. You were one of the first people I talked to when I first started blogging, and you’re definitely my bestie. 🙂 If not for you, I might have quit a long time ago when I was frustrated. Thank god that didn’t happen. I’m sure you’re bummed you have to share me with Drew now, but there’s plenty of smutty hugs and kisses to go around. 🙂 I’ve had anxiety on and off for years. I know exactly what you’re going through. I remember a few years ago I was in the food store and I had to leave because I literally could not breathe. It used to happen all the time when I was at the food store and when I was driving. It was really awful and scary. I found a way to deal with it the past few years, but you know all the stuff I told you about earlier, well, my issues have a lot to do with all the sudden life changes. Not everyone has the patience to deal with it. You’re lucky that your hubby is a sweetie. 🙂 Awesome post! I’m so glad you shared this. Hugs! Throw a waffle my way with extra rum! 🙂

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    1. Hahaha, you are way too productive for your own good, girl. You’ll break the Internet.
      I thought that as I spend way too much of my time talking to everyone here, it was the best place to share it first. I’m so glad you did not give up, the blogosphere would be missing out on too much without you, and I’d be lonely! I don’t care sharing you with Marshie as long as you don’t share my waffles too often, haha! I remember our talk about it, damn those groceries stores are a giant anxiety trigger. Maybe it has to do with my nightmares when I was young, I was afraid all the products would come alive and eat me! It does take buckets of patience and understanding to deal with our heavy stuff, but I have learned there’s always someone to share it with so it’s a little less heavy 🙂 And you have at least, two, you lucky nugget! I know I’m lucky, like really lucky. But he’s lucky to have me 😜 One round of extra rum waffles just for you! Let’s be crazy and make it two!

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      1. Grocery stores are the worst. I can’t stand food shopping. I’m just glad that doesn’t happen anymore. It was so freaky having to leave in the middle of shopping. I think I might take a few days off to sort out some things, but I’m definitely not going anywhere. Yes, he’s very lucky to have you. 🙂

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  10. First, major congrats on your 100th post! That is a huge milestone and one you can be really proud about.
    Second,thank you so much for opening up to us all! I am sure that wasn’t entirely an easy decision, but I am very happy you confided in all of us. This is your blog and a space where you are supposed to be able to be exactly who you are. I would exaggerate dramatically in saying that I can understand what you are going through, even though I have days where I can barely get up and take care of myself either. I hope talking about it all and having it out in the open will help a little bit. Know that you can always talk to me if you ever need to, even if it’s just to vent. We love you! ❤

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    1. Thank you! I can’t believe I reached it. It’s the first time I get so involved in a personal project that is only mine.
      I should be the one thanking you for your understand and your support 🙂 Your words go straight to my heart. We all have those dark days and I do believe yours are just as terrible as mine in the way they affect you. It is so comforting to know we people still know how to stick together, and that not everyone is here to judge or leave. Thank you so much 🙂 ❤

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  11. Firstly: CONGRATS ON YOUR 100th POST!!!! Secondly: we of the occasionally unwashed hair need to stick together!! Okay… that sounded mildly gross :/ I meant- we of the occasionally dysfunctional peeps need to stick together! Cos yeah- snapsys with the depression (had mild anxiety for a while- kicked that mother-effer to the curb 😉 ) *high fives* (can you give high fives for this stuff?) Whatever- that’s what I’m gonna do anyway cos I cannot take anything seriously!! Just know that even monkeys get sad sometimes- and that’s a-okay! We all get through it in the end! 🙂 So brave of you for sharing! I know how hard these things can be to say (yikes- I’m even scared to post this- so I’m incredibly impressed that you did this!) And that book sounds seriously life affirming! Thanks for sharing this 🙂 Love love love the raccoons! haha we all need T-Swift in our lives for moments like these!

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    1. THANK YOU!!!!! I’m still unsure of how I got here, haha!
      Hahahahaha, gross but fun! High fives are always accepted. High fives are recommended! Congrats on kicking that shitty anxiety out! Thanks so much for commenting and sending me those sweet sweet high fives and words 🙂 That book changed the way I see my issues, it’s crazy. Just like when you think you can handle cooking, and one day you actually read a recipe book xD
      OMG TEE SHIRTS WITH RORY THE RACCOON AND TAYLOR SWIFT LYRICS ON THEM!!!! Here’s what I want to do for all those dark days! It’d be awesome to wear that with yoga pants, brilliant for the mood! and it would make an awesome blogging outfit!!!

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      1. YOU’RE WELCOME!!!! haha I know the feeling! Well done again on this- it’s huge!!
        hahahaha true!! hahaha alright then *high fives all round* Thank you! And you’re welcome!!
        Ahhh that’s awesome- I really need to read it then!!! hahaha that’s such a brilliant analogy!!
        YES!!!! WE NEED THOSE! IT WOULD MAKE MY LIFE!!! Ahhh yes!! I would wear that all the time! (wellll not all the time- I wish I was allowed to turn up to work in stuff like that…)

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        1. I’m deep into cooking these days, so I add it to all my conversations xD I admit I’m proud of that analogy haha
          Work is no fun, they need to change the rules so we can have those amazingly cool tee shirts!

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  12. Congrats on the 100th post. Agoraphobia must suck. The anxiety and depression definitely do. We’re all crazy here, so have no fear 🙂

    Have you ever read the article about the experiment the reporter tried involving not bathing? There’s this whole thing where our body should maintain a balance of bacteria. She, if I’m recalling right, basically spritzed herself with this special stuff every day, but didn’t wash her hair or anything. It was odd. She was very happy when it was over and she could finally take showers again.

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    1. Thank you! 🙂 I’m taking it slow so I was a bit surprised when I saw I had reached 100.
      Agoraphobia is the best excuse to avoid social gathering and get all the reading evenings you want, but a pain for everything else! I like that we’re all crazy in our way 🙂
      Wow no, I hadn’t heard about it, I don’t know what to make of it, haha but it’s great if it worked for her.

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  13. Congratulations on your 100th post, and of course for being very brave. You deserve all the waffles in the world! I’m very happy that you feel comfortable enough to share and trust all these to us, I feel very honored to have (virtually) met the real you, because you’re really an amazing ball of sunshine. 😊🌞 Always remember that you’re not alone and we’re always here to support you all the way, this community is awesome like that.

    And I just want to say that this is one of the things I love about blogging, specifically book-blogging. I get to not only interact and share ideas with people around the world, but I believe that we also create connections and make friends. I’m very glad to have met you here, Donna! (Sends virtual hugs, candies, and waffles) 😄😄💕💕

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    1. That is one of the most adorable and sweet comments I’ve received! 💛 Those words mean the world to me, thank you so much for your support. This is what’s brilliant with the community, it brings the best in people and creates a place where you can be yourself and talk about things, book related or not, that sometimes are heavy on your shoulders. At the end of the day, you feel better knowing there are people who know you, even though you’ve never met them. Everyone is so supportive and understanding, it’s just brilliant, especially on days when blog interactions are the only social activity in your social life! I’m lucky to have met you! And I’m taking all the fooooood 😀 💛 I’d hug you but my hands are full of your waffles and candies, haha!

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  14. Thank you for being so open and honest about this – this is a wonderful post, and I relate to so much of what you said, especially the not being able to get out of bed, read, or wash your hair. I always feel angry with myself when I can’t do these things, but I know I don’t need to because it is a part of the illness, and it makes me feel less alone to know that other people understand this completely. I also totally hear you on it being easier to share this with the internet – I’ve found that my book blogging friends are the people I talk to the most about my anxiety and depression. I find it really hard to talk to the people in my offline life about these things, because it’s so much easier to explain in writing than in person. By the way, I love the pictures you used in this post, and it sounds like I need to check out this Furiously Happy book, it sounds brilliant!

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    1. Even when we know that those simple tasks are made difficult because of an illness, it is hard not to feel guilty about not being able to do them. It’s not as if you have a cast around your head to feel the concrete obstacle to those acts. Talking about my issues online and getting all this support has helped more than words can describe. The burden is lighter when you know some people know this about you and care anyway. I am often disappointed when I try to explain in real life. People look at you a certain way or don’t have a mind open enough to try and be the friend you need. Thank you so much 🙂 Furiously Happy was an eye-opener and such a tremendous help for me, I hope you enjoy it and find it as helpful as I did if you decide to read it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In that case, I’ll definitely pick up a copy sometime soon! Absolutely agree – I spend so much time feeling guilty about the things I can’t do. Yesterday I struggled just to make lunch because I was having a really bad day, and my brain was just berating and berating me for being so lazy and/or pathetic. Even though rationally I knew that it wasn’t my fault I was feeling that way. And I totally agree about how people look at you when you try to explain. Partly I think it’s because people try to relate it to their own experiences of being a bit down or a bit stressed, and so they can’t see where you’re coming from because they think of those things as things that pass quickly and are totally copeable with. I’m really glad that you were able to find the same support online that I have – it really does make the world of difference. As I said, you’re welcome to chat with me anytime about this – it’s great to have a support network like this 🙂

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        1. And today I am feeling guilty because depression kept me away from blogging and I’m only getting back to you now 🙂 It never stops, but I do hope we end up accepting it. Here’s to coming back, even after the worst days 🙂 xx

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          1. Aww I’m sorry to hear that 😦 But I’m glad you’re feeling well enough today to come back 🙂 And you never need to feel guilty if it takes you a long time to get back to me, I completely understand and often feel exactly the same way. xx

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  15. I hadn’t read this post before you linked it to your Suntag, good choice of best posts. I wonder (and hope) if reading back this post has made you realise how far you have come. It sounds to me like you have done brilliantly, and yes you will still have many hard days, but on those days try to remember the brave things you’ve done since then. (maybe read your April wrap up post from this year).
    I think social media has a way of making a lot of people seem like everything is rosy in their worlds and can make us feel bad that our worlds are in chaos. So being honest and brave enough to share the real you means a lot to me, and makes me feel proud of you and proud to be your friend. The things I know about you are awesome, speaking Japanese, French and English (even if you choose the American accent 😉 ), working in japan, amazing blog posts and reviews, a friend who will always support me, and being brave enough to apply to a course when you still feel nervous, scared and not quite ready. You are amazing and each day when you strive to be better, remember that. You are amazing.
    Also one more thing, when I have tough days, (and I do have many, I just am not ready to post about it yet). My Husband tells me – “It’s ok, not to be ok” and “This too will pass”. Everyone has their issues, but self acceptance is the first hurdle to cross. I think you’ve crossed it.
    Sending love and virtual hugs.
    Amanda.

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    1. You are so right. I reread this post and remembered how things were at this time and I cannot believe how everything changed. No, I’m not cured, yes I still have bad days and insomnia, but I have found a new sparkle, a new motivation, and I’m holding on to it. Having projects and making plans is so important. It’s like when you’re driving and they say if you look at the horizon, the car will lead you there. I’m looking at my goals and the path is slowly creating itself. I don’t know where it will lead, and I know I’ll probably struggle for the rest of my life, at different levels, but I’m going somewhere, and it is something I thought I’d never say again.
      I completely agree with you on social media. I have this unhealthy habit of checking my favorite actress’s instagram and wondering how it’s like to have a perfect life. Then I think it’s just frozen moments and yes, she’s among the lucky ones, but it doesn’t mean she’s happier than I am. I want my social media to be about what my life is really about, just like this blog. The bad and the good must be talked about so we know we are reminded we all have shitty days and problems. It makes me very proud and happy to be your friend, and you do know a lot about me! More than some of my family memebers! Haha! That American accent is a pain at the moment, I can’t seem to be making progress!! I need a kick in the ass to work harder on it but with everything happening and my focus being on the blog, it’s difficult! I will indeed always be here for you, whether you need me or not, because I’m a weed and I stay forever 🙂 and your words had me tearing up at my desk! 🙂 Thank you for believing in me the way you do. Whatever they say about online relationships, they can save you when you need it.
      Your husband has the right attitude! I am so tired of “snap out of it!” If we could, we would! A program I followed about agoraphobia taught me to say to myself “no matter what happens, it’s okay” and I repeat it like a mantra whenever I need.
      I am sending you the biggest wave of love and I hope some sun from here can reach you xxxx

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      1. I like that saying about the horizon. It makes sense. I need a change in my life at this time, and when I decide on that horizon, things will sparkle for me too. They are getting better day by day and having friends I know I can talk to always helps. Thank you. 💕
        I think your French accent will be sweeter and cuter than an American. ( but that’s just my taste!).
        So my lovely “weed”. I will talk to you soon. xx

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