Inspirational Thoughts for Today
Anxiety , Mental Health / March 4, 2019

I felt it was only right to talk to you. You have been on my mind a decent amount recently and you deserve recognition. Sometimes in life I feel like I am alone, just floating in this land of anxiety and isolation. Yet, even in these moments, I can always bring myself back to you. I am not alone, because you are there and hopefully you will always care. You motivate me to get back to my life. At times the love of myself is not enough to push myself to do the hard things. Recovery is hard. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. It is exhausting to throw myself out into the face of my panic, to be drained of all energy, and many times, to fail again and again. Most days I want to stay inside and do nothing. I want to succumb to panic. I want to crawl into the bath and do nothing. But then, I think of you. I realize that I cannot stay inside. I cannot avoid living life. I cannot cower in the face of fear. Because I cannot limit you. I cannot fail you. It would be a disservice…

A Review of Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Book Recommendations , Books , Uncategorized / February 27, 2019

Normally I do not do book reviews, as it falls a bit outside of my realm of mental health awareness. However, I think that I may start doing a “Wednesday Book of the Week”, because reading is so important to me. Books have changed my life, and they are one of the objects I rely on the most when I am anxious or depressed. The most recent book I finished absolutely blew me away. I have made a list of my favorite books before, which you can read here. Gillian Flynn made it on that list twice. Well, she now gets an entire post. What I Expected Reading Dark Places If I have learned one thing from reading Flynn in the past, it is that she enjoys suspense as well as topics that are on the darker side. I have not once been able to guess the ending of a novel. Gone Girl literally changed my life and left me with my mouth hanging open. Sharp Objects disturbed me as well as confused me down to the last page. Therefore, when I came into Dark Places I expected the same treatment. Disturbing topics are just a part of life for…

The Day We Got Married
Uncategorized / February 20, 2019

Yesterday marked six months since I married the love of my life. We also got our wedding pictures back about a week ago. What better time to take you on a ride through our day and the happiest I have been in a very long time? I hope you enjoy this sneak peek into our day! This was when I was originally getting ready for our day. I was so nervous this entire time, but our photographer, Captured Moments by Jennifer, did such an incredible job making sure I still looked put together! Obviously, this is the exact moment that we became husband and wife. This picture means so much to me because it was the end of months of stress and doubt. Up until two days before our wedding, I was not sure if my anxiety was going to stop me from being able to go and get legally married, so this moment was sweet. Here we are entering the reception. This is one of my favorite pictures because it accurately captures my excitement and joy at not only seeing our gorgeous indoor/outdoor reception tent for the first time, but also all of the people who came to support…

Body Shaming for Skinny People
Anxiety , Mental Health / February 5, 2019

In my last post, I talked about body posititivity. I spoke to the fact that while we should always make people feel comfortable and confident, we cannot allow this body positivity movement to mold our society into a place where growth and personal improvement is not encouraged. If you would like to check out my thoughts on being truly body positive, go ahead and click here. However, in this post, I would like to make a record straight that I believe has been wrong for a very long time. The body positivity movement is largely geared towards people of a larger size, or people who have physical disabilities. While this is all good, I believe it makes a large assumption that our entire country has made for a long time. People who are skinny are not always the ideal body shape, and their body shape is not always something they believe should be celebrated. In order to illustrate my point, I will offer a current personal story. I went wedding dress shopping in the winter of 2018. Obviously in order to find the size for my dress, I had to be professionally measured. I stood patiently while this woman took…

How to Be Truly Body Positive
Anxiety , Mental Health / January 19, 2019

Issues with the way that body positivity has been handled in our country has been a weight on my mind for many years. While both men and women experience the burden of accepting the body given to us, the conversation has mostly been geared around women. In the new year I am personally working on becoming more body positive and bettering myself. Therefore, my next few posts will be a survey of inconsistencies that I see in our society in regards to different body types, as well as what body positivity is to me. Body positivity has been a hot topic for a few years now. To lay the ground work, I wanted to establish the main problem that I see with the body positivity movement. Body positivity is not an excuse for unhealthy behavior. Now, many people will assume that I am only referencing people who are overweight. Wrong. I am talking about everyone, including myself. There are a few different situations in which by promoting body positivity we could be promoting unhealthy life choices. Someone who has an eating disorder and is underweight Someone who struggles with self-control and past trauma who is therefore overweight Someone who only feels worthy when they are extremely physically fit…

How I “Accidentally” Overcame Seasonal Affective Disorder
Anxiety , Mental Health / January 12, 2019

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? To put it scientifically, SAD is: “a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer” (National Institute of Mental Health). Basically, it is decently self-explanatory, people who suffer from SAD will experience depressive feelings only during the fall and winter months, and their symptoms will “magically” disappear as soon as it warms up. The important part of SAD is that you have to experience these symptoms for at least two years, and their symptoms have to be limited to the fall and winter months. Otherwise, a more accurate diagnosis of normal depression will be in order. Symptoms of SAD include: Frequently feeling depressed for the majority of the day. Having feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness Difficulty concentrating Agitation Sluggishness Having low energy Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities Changes in appetite and weight Sleep problems Thoughts of suicide My Experience With SAD When I was young, I loved winter. Playing in the snow, lighting the fireplace, hot chocolate, all the holidays, winter was the best. I never really had a favorite season. About the time I…

Where I Got My Name
Anxiety , Books , Uncategorized / January 5, 2019

I have received many questions since I started my blog as to where my name came from. It seems so disconnected from my goal. “The Honest Reader”: what does that have to do with mental health? So I thought I would do a fun post that would explain my name and let you know a bit more about me. I call myself The Honest Reader because I am obsessed with reading and writing. I started writing short stories in elementary school, and was always an avid reader. I was home schooled, which meant that every few years I needed to undergo state testing in order to prove that my parents were teaching me necessary skills. We were tested in reading comprehension, spelling, math, and writing. In 5th grade, my spelling and reading comprehension was scored on a college level scale. I have read hundreds of books in my life (another fun part about home schooling, you have to track all of the books that you read in a school year to make sure that you are getting enough materials. I read over 1500 books between 1st and 12th grade). It is a passion that has never gone away. There are…

How My Husband and I Met
Anxiety , Mental Health / January 3, 2019

Through all of my posts about myself and anxiety, there is one topic that I have not covered much: my husband and I. If you have read my post that I have made about my husband, and how he helps me to rationalize (which you can read here), you would know that my husband is literally my world. I would not be the person I was without him. So for today, I thought that it would be fun to tell the story of how we met. The Beginning My husband and I were both home schooled, but we went to the same co-op (non-homeschooled people look it up). I was a grade above Spencer, even though we are the same age, and we had known of each others existence since we were in 5th and 6th grade, or ten years old. However, plot twist: I did not like Spencer. He was quiet, he always had his ear buds in, and was constantly kicking a soccer ball. He hung out with no one but two friends, one of whom the rest of us thought was his girlfriend. Frankly, I thought he was a jerk. From Spencer’s side of things, he was…

What I Want to Achieve
Anxiety , Mental Health / December 31, 2018

The end of a year. What a big step for people (just kidding it is the change of a date but whatever). New Years Eve was always a mixed holiday for me. I love the party with my family, the sparkling cider, and counting down till midnight (having my soul mate with me at midnight for the past five years hasn’t been the worst either). However, for the most part, New Years Eve is a somber day in my world. I am extremely nostalgic, like painfully. I can bring myself to tears thinking about everything regarding the past. I miss being a child, I miss living at home, I miss my sixth grade English class, you get the point. Therefore, New Years Eve was always slightly painful. It was a whole day to look back on the fact that another year of my life has ended, and to “miss” all the things that I experienced. This year, however, the feeling is different. I am not nostalgic or sad, I am mainly fearful (shocking I know). 2018 was the most wild year of my life, and not in a good way. It was a time of incredible lows, and a lot…

What I Want You To Know For Your Birthday in Heaven
Anxiety , Mental Health / December 28, 2018

Today is your birthday. Your fifth in heaven. What a mix of emotions. I am so glad you are having your birthday in heaven, because I know it is so joyous. I am sad that you are not having your birthday with us, because it would have been so amazing. Yet, the part that makes your birthday the most sad is that you were the one who decided to celebrate in heaven. There are so many things that I would love to say to you if I could. Things that to you may have sounded selfish, but to me are just all the reasons that I wish you had stayed. So, to one of the greatest people I have ever know, on your five year heaven birthday anniversary, here are things I want you to know. I Know You Struggled At the time, I was young, but even then and especially now I know, you struggled. You fought mental illness so hard. You had a diagnosis that is extremely hard to contain, and I honestly do not believe that you had much support. I cannot imagine how hard and how scary it must have been for you to be in…

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