Improving Sleep Hygiene

As somebody with a history of depression and the tendency to stay in bed all day if only my toddler would let me, I struggle with sleep hygiene. During my second cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) session last month, my therapist gave me a list of ways to help improve my sleep hygiene. I want to share these helpful tips with you, especially if you deal with frequent bouts of insomnia or have mild to moderate depression.

Improving Sleep Through Behaviour Change

Stimulus Control Procedures

  1. Go to sleep when you are sleepy.
    The longer you stay in bed, the more the bed is associated with a place to be awake instead of asleep. If you need to, delay going to bed until you are sleepy. No, this does not mean watching TV or using your smart phone. Screens emit a blue light which messes with your circadian rhythm.
  2. Get out of bed when you cannot fall asleep or go back to sleep in 15 minutes. 
    Get out of bed if you cannot fall asleep after giving it your best effort. It is better to get out of bed than it is to keep laying in bed with your ruminating thoughts. Once you are out of bed, return to bed when you are feeling sleepy again. The goal is to associate your bed with sleepiness.
  3. Only Use the bed for sleep and sex.
    Avoid other activities that do not involve sleeping or lovemaking. Activities to avoid include watching TV, listening to the radio, eating, or reading in your bed.

Sleep Hygiene Guidelines

  • Caffeine Avoid consuming caffeine 6-8 hours before bedtime. Caffeine disturbs your natural sleep rhythm. I would suggest cutting off caffeine consumption around 1700 (5:00 PM) so you will feel sleepier prior to bedtime.
  • Nicotine Avoid nicotine before bedtime because nicotine is a stimulant which keeps you awake. Avoid tobacco before bedtime and during the night as well.
  • Alcohol I don’t know about you, but alcohol makes me drowsy. Even though alcohol promotes the onset of sleep which makes you feel sleepy, alcohol also interrupts your natural sleep pattern. Avoid consuming alcohol less than 4 hours before going to sleep.
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Because we don’t get this drink in Canada. If it’s fruity and sweet, I’m probably going to drink it.

  • Sleeping Pills Sleep medications are an effective short-term treatment for people who struggle with falling asleep at night. However, sleep medications lose their effectiveness in approx. 2-4 weeks when they are taken regularly. Over time, sleeping pills may actually make sleep problems worse due to dependency; withdrawal from the medication can cause insomnia. Use sleep medications only if you need them and avoid relying on them long-term.
  • Regular Exercise Do not exercise within 2 hours of bedtime since exercise excites the nervous system and interferes with your ability to sleep. I am guilty for exercising right before bedtime…
  • Bedroom Environment Your bedroom should have a moderate temperature and it should be quiet and dark. Personally, I leave the window open at night and close the blinds. Also, I sleep with earplugs and an eye-mask which helps a lot.
  • Eating A light bedtime snack, such as a glass of warm milk, a banana, or a piece of cheese can promote sleep. Avoid eating snacks in the middle of the night because awakening may become associated with hunger.
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Eat all the yummy things; my mom really knows how to host a party! 🥳

  • Avoid Naps OK, I am totally guilty of this one! I love afternoon naps and will occasionally take an afternoon nap, typically lasting at least 1 hour in length. Now that my toddler lives with me 24/7, she doesn’t let me take naps. The sleep you get during the day will essentially take away from the amount of sleep you need that night. If you must take an afternoon nap, schedule it before 1500 (3:00 PM). Do not seep more than 15 to 30 minutes, according to doctors’ recommendations.
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Now that is the biggest yawn I’ve ever seen! 😂

  • Unwind Before Bedtime Allow yourself at least 1 hour before bedtime to unwind. Find what works for you to wind down, and give yourself an hour to do so. Consider reading a book or writing in a journal before you fall asleep.
  • Regular Sleep Schedule Keep a regular time each day (7 days a week) to get out of bed each morning. Keeping a regular waking time helps set your circadian rhythm so that your body learns to sleep at the desired time each night.
  • Stick to the Plan Set a reasonable bedtime and rising time, and then follow through with the plan long-term. Set the alarm clock and get out of bed at the same time each morning, regardless of your bedtime or the amount of sleep you got the previous night. This guideline is designed to regulate your internal biological clock as well as reset your sleep-wake cycle.

Monkey Business by Rebecca Tan 🐵

I would greatly appreciate any feedback or tips that you have for fighting insomnia. Let me know if anything on the list has helped you achieve a good night’s sleep by joining the conversation and leaving a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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28 Life Lessons Learned

I had good intentions to publish this blog post on August 4 which was my 28th birthday. Fast forward two weeks, only to realize that I had forgotten to edit it. Now I am finally getting around to publishing the damn thing. 5+ hours later, my back aches, my feet hurt, and I am surprised that nobody has kicked me out of the food court where I am mooching off of A&W’s WiFi. My husband is meeting clients today so I really have no excuses while I wait for him downtown.

It’s the Thought that Counts!

Overall, my birthday was OK. Nothing too eventful happened unless travelling 7+ hours counts as an exciting trip. Even tough I only flew across Canada, there were many stops along the way which extended the trip. Since moving out west, flying has become the norm for me so my birthday was just an ordinary day. To celebrate my very belated birthday, I wanted to share with you 28 things that I learned in 28 years. This list is in no particular order since I wrote the outline while waiting in the airport, but each item on the list has shaped me into the person I am today.

28 Life Lessons Learned in 28 Years

1. Life is unfair. Get used to it. #tough-love  

2. Insomnia is real and can be really debilitating if you let it rule your life. 

3. Cats and dogs make fantastic friends. Lizards….not so much. You can’t cuddle with a lizard but they make great conversation starters when forced to awkwardly engage with people.

4. And you fall, and you crawl, and you break many times over. Avril Lavigne got it right. #complicated

5. Life isn’t static. It’s constantly changing, so it’s better to change along with it than to resist change.

6. Being uncomfortable is a GOOD THING. You need to step outside of your comfort zone in order for real growth to happen. And you’ll be one step closer towards reaching your goals.

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All credit goes to Sarah Andersen → Sarah’s Scribbles

7. Quality over quantity. The number of likes and followers does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Social media is also quite meaningless unless you’re trying to brand yourself or provide value to people. Blogging provides tons of value IMO and it took me several years to discover that I really enjoy writing for an audience.

8. Minimalism is a great concept and we can all benefit by learning how to live with less stuff. If you would like to learn more about how minimalism has positively impacted my life, you can read about it here.

“The secret to happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” —Socrates

9. Don’t treat your body like a dumpster. Respect yourself by being kind to your body. 

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10. Learn to accept and make peace with yourself because nobody else can do that for you.

11. You don’t need friends to be happy and being extremely introverted is not a flaw in your character. 

12. Most people will lie to you or let you down, including family. Be prepared for friends to disappoint you as well. If anything, lower your expectations to live a happier life.

13. There is truth to meditation. We should learn to embrace this ancient practice. 

14. I am scared of aging and looking my age. I really don’t want to live to be 90+ years old. Genetics suggest that I will live well into my 90’s. A vivid dream I had when I was a little kid suggests that I will live to be 64 years old.

15. Failing at something does not make YOU a failure. I still haven’t made peace with my failures yet, since my recent experience with failure is still raw and painful.

16. Not everyone is going to like you no matter how hard you try to please them.

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17. There is truth to mindfulness and finding greater consciousness. Make it your ultimate goal to aim for self-actualization by referring to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. At one point, Maslow’s Pyramid was the background image on my desktop. Can you tell that I like psychology? 🙊

18. After all these years, The Amazing Race is STILL my favourite reality TV show. I watch the Canadian version as well even though it’s not as good as the original series. I don’t keep up with the latest TV shows on Netflix because TV is a HUGE time waster, but I will make a scene if I miss out on watching “The Great Race.”

19. Strong negative emotions are meant to protect you, that is, if you are still living in the stone age. 

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You can find my latest Instagram stories @serene_hilz

20. There is no need for cookbooks as long as you have an internet connection. You can find everything you need online for FREE! I enjoy learning how to make delicious recipes that are kinder to my body, since I am intolerant to white flour, dairy, and refined sugar.

21. Sugar is highly addictive and should be considered a drug. It’s impossible to quit. I even published a post about how to give up sugar, and even I cannot follow my own advice. Hypocritical of me, eh?

22. You can grow bean sprouts in a jar. Bean sprouts are not only cheap, but they’re also nutritious. You can find affordable jars at your local dollar store. You don’t need a special lid or anything fancy to grow bean sprouts. I used a tutorial from YouTube to grow beansprouts. The whole process is very easy and straight-forward.

23. If you don’t have dental insurance in Canada or the US, do yourself a favor and get dental insurance. Since the problem wasn’t resolved years ago, I’ll have to spend thousands of dollars to pay for orthodontic treatment and jaw surgery. I have no choice but to go back to nursing school and face that beast. These “luxuries” in life cost $$$.

24. I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t smoke. Marijuana recently became legal in Canada but I still have no desire to smoke weed. The cannabis culture does not appeal to me and actually disgusts me. NO THANKS. 👎

25. It is OK to spend money on things that bring you joy. Cats, unicorns, steeped tea etc. Cats bring me joy so we adopted a kitty in April 2019. Steeped Tea from Tim Horton’s also brings me joy. I stopped buying steeped tea in April 2019 to save some pocket change but later decided that the benefits of saving money did not outweigh the enjoyment I get from drinking my favourite beverage.

26. Have a growth mentality instead of a shrinking mentality. Do not settle for less than you deserve in life. Always look for opportunities for growth, whether that means aiming for financial security or finding a career that will sustain you. My husband deserves credit for teaching me this life lesson.

27. I believe that there is a soulmate for every person on this planet. Ladies, if you are still single, consider this as a plausible reason:

“Someday my Prince Charming will come. Mine just took a wrong, got lost, and is too stubborn to ask for directions.” —Unknown

28. It is OK to be yourself even if people don’t always get you. For example, I am hypersensitive to noise and a little neurotic at times. My automatic response to loud noise is to cover my ears and cry. I have cried at a loud football game, I have cried at a loud pub full of drunk people when I was 3 years old and when I was 23 years old. Oh there ain’t no other way because baby, I was born this way!

img_2937_19727604261_o.jpgWell, there you have it. I could keep going but I am feeling 28 right now. Which life lesson(s) did you relate to the most? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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Hilary’s Poetry Corner

Exciting News! Smiling Face on HTC Sense 7

A new page section has been added titled “Poetry” which you can access at the top of this blog. Over the next several weeks, I will continue writing poems since this seems to be something that I enjoy doing now, especially during exam season. Here is a sneak peak at some of the poems that I am adding to this blog. All poems are written by me and are 100% original.

Table of Contents 

  1. Raps By Hillz (2)
  2. Friends No More
  3. The Road Now Taken
  4. When Life Gives You Lemons
  5. Broken Hearted Girl
  6. Halfway to Morning
  7. Heaven’s Lost Property

Tropical Sour Patch Kids Review!

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A few months ago, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t buy candy. This past week has been difficult for me, and when I’m stressed, promises may get broken. All my life, I’ve only known the traditional Sour Patch Kids, which were my favorite candy growing up. When Blue was introduced, that was exciting for me and blue raspberry did not disappoint. It is very rare to find unusual flavors in Canada where we live, so when I found a Tropical mix, I couldn’t say no. In the US, I could imagine finding a bag of Tropical Sour Patch Kids in every grocery store, but not in Canada. Here is my review of the tropical flavors, from most tasty to least tasty, to give you an idea of what to expect:


Orange – Tropical Twist; This flavor definitely lives up to the name. Tastes mostly like mangoes with some other tropical fruits mixed in. I cannot tell what fruits they are exactly, but the flavor is good for artificial tropical. Mango and Pineapple? Mango, pineapple, and orange? Who knows!

White – Pineapple; It’s not bad, and but I thought it was Pina Colada. Had they named it, “Pina Colada,” you would instantly know what flavor this is as soon as it hits your tongue? Also, this candy is white – not yellow, so I don’t know why their site features this flavor as a yellow candy. Pineapple-coconut or whatever this candy is by default isn’t my favorite candy flavor so I cannot give it first place. However, I’m impressed by this one.

Pink – Paradise Punch; Given that description, I had no idea what to expect. It didn’t taste bad but it didn’t taste great either. It definitely passed in terms of the sour factor. I love sour things, and Pink was the sourest of all 4 flavors. However, when it changed to sweet, that’s where it went from good to bad.

Purple – Passionfruit; This is an unusual flavor and I expected better, honestly. Passionfruit was the reason I bought these Sour Patch Kids in the first place. Overall, this flavor was the worst of the bunch and purple didn’t taste like passionfruit to me. This flavor possesses a very artificial, chemical flavor straight out of a laboratory.


Overall Rating: ★★✩✩✩

I won’t be buying Tropical Sour Patch Kids again. In comparison to original flavors in terms of tastiness, these tropical kids were nowhere close. Tanginess? Probably. The Pink is definitely the tangiest of the bunch but compared to the original flavors, these flavors are just “meh”. Tropical candy isn’t my preference when it comes to artificial flavors so this probably affects my rating. See for yourself: try them and rate them. See if they live up to the original flavors and let me know what you think of Tropical Sour Patch Kids in the comments below.↓

 

Weeding Out Toxic Friends Part 2

This post is a continuation of Weeding Out Toxic Friends. If you haven’t read it yet, please read that blog post first.

Update: Since I mailed my letter to Jenna and she should have received it by now, I decided to write to Emma* as well. For their sake, real names won’t be disclosed. Lately, I noticed that I am mourning the loss of these friendships even though these girls hurt me deeply. Writing closure letters is a healthier way to deal with these feelings of grief. Hopefully, Jenna read her letter but I’ll never know for sure since I completely cut ties with her. It is likely that Emma will read her letter but I’m unsure whether she’ll actually feel bad about how she treated me. She’s extremely selfish and lacks any form of emotion and empathy for others.

Emma isn’t exactly the sharpest pencil of the pack, so I decided to dumb my letter down for her. It’s longer than letter #1 because I wrote out definitions and thoroughly explained things so she would understand it. I questioned why I often hung out with Emma because we were in completely different leagues, socially and academically. I’m an intellect – a high achiever, while she spent the majority of high school in special ED homework help class. Someone, please tell me how this counts as credit towards high school graduation?? She failed the grade 10 literacy test twice and the reason why we became friends in the first place. While she was taking literacy class in summer school, I was studying advanced physics to skip a grade. Her parents are teachers so it is puzzling as to why she didn’t receive proper help and guidance outside of school.

Dear Emma,

So we are not exactly “friends” anymore, but I think you have the right to know how I really feel. There was a time when I would have cared enough to send an apology text message begging for forgiveness. Now, I just don’t care enough anymore to say “I’m sorry” because truthfully, I didn’t do anything wrong and here’s why:

I do not appreciate being belittled by you, insulted and talked down to as if I am stupid. In case you don’t know what belittled means, “To belittle, means to put down or to make another person feel as though they aren’t important. Saying mean things about another person literally makes them feel “little.” To belittle someone is cruel ways of making someone else seem less important than you.” You belittle me all the time, and Jenna feels this way too even though she will never admit it. She pretends to ignore it, but I am going to speak up.

You may think that you are better than the rest of us, but news flash! You’re not superior to others. Do not text me again asking me, “What is wrong with you??” Do not send me anymore obnoxious YouTube music videos about flakiness. In case you don’t know what flaky means, it means, “an unreliable person. Dishonest and doesn’t keep their word.” I always showed up on time to our meetings. Out of curiosity, tell me how often Jenna bailed on you. She’s bailed on me as well, and that is the definition of a flaky person. I am not dishonest and will flat out tell you what’s wrong if we have a problem. However, lately, I have been stepping on eggshells around you, afraid that you will misinterpret what I said. I know what Jenna did to you the night you two went to Menchies (Recall: March 1, 2017). Remember how much it hurt you when Jenna and I went to Menchies and you felt excluded because you weren’t there? Think about how I felt the night you two went to Menchies without me. How is this any different than how you felt? It’s a sucky feeling to be excluded.

On the night you two were devouring your frozen desserts, Jenna randomly texted me while I was in the middle of writing anatomy notes. *PING!* goes my phone. Jenna hardly texts me anymore, so I was a bit puzzled by this random text message and assumed it was important. I open the message, disappointed to see that she sent me a rather obnoxious image of your frozen yogurts and tells me to “rate it.” Tell me, if this was sent to you, and it was obvious that you weren’t included, how would you feel? At first, I wasn’t going to reply to it at all, but thought, what the heck! At least she’s making the effort to make small talk with me right? I decided to send a witty reply, hoping to add some comedy to this otherwise ignorant text message. I shouldn’t have fallen for her trap but it was too late. I replied with a long metaphor comparing an innocent frozen dessert to social media and how everyone competes for attention on the internet, which you didn’t understand because this humor wasn’t meant for you. I was texting Jenna, not you but Jenna decided to make it your business. Jenna replied to me saying that my metaphor was funny but that’s clearly NOT what she told you. So what did she tell you exactly? That I was insulting? Wow.

What she told you was a lie, but this time I am not going to apologize for something I didn’t do. In case you don’t know what a metaphor is, it means, “a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is NOT literally applicable.” You took it literally.

Here is an example of a metaphor: “I had fallen through a trapdoor of depression.” It doesn’t literally mean that you fall through a trapdoor.

Now relate this back to the original text message that I sent Jenna if you saw it. Do you get it now? I wasn’t insulting your dessert. I was in figuratively comparing two unrelated things and finding similarities between them and personifying frozen yogurt as if it was a person on Fakebook, Twitter etc. So no, there is nothing wrong with me, but thanks for the unwanted insult. (Now I am being sarcastic here. If you don’t know what sarcastic means, look it up).

Without the online/texting drama, I am living a much more peaceful life now. I am not telling people my personal business thanks to Jenna teaching me what NOT to do. What she did was unforgivable but I have already written to her. I am sick of Jenna’s sick twisted ways of manipulating your feelings leading you to irrationally lash out at me. Your behavior wasn’t necessary and perhaps our friendship could have been spared if you took the time to actually think before you freaked out at me. She plays you like a fool but you haven’t realized it yet. Honestly, I feel a bit sorry for you because you keep crawling back to her, and the drama/fights/back-stabbing continues. Your behavior and treatment towards me and others are not acceptable. What’s worse is that you don’t often instigate it – often it’s her who told you something to upset you, on PURPOSE. Have you noticed this trend? I’m tired of it. Over the years, it became harder to relate to you on a deeper level and our friendship was often “shallow.” One day we were Facebook besties, usually after a fight between you and Jenna. The next day Jenna was your bestie. A week later you hated her guts. The next week you and I were best friends supposedly. Often it seems like she is your bestie but you’re not actually her bestie. It’s not a 2-way street like she’s manipulated you into thinking it is. I can tell you who her bestie is, but I’m not going to gossip about stuff that isn’t my business. Like I said earlier, it felt like I was stepping on eggshells because you could snap at me at any second. You were quite rude to me, insulting my intelligence and acting superior to everyone else. Superior means, “to act like we are stupid and that you can do no wrong, that you’re ALWAYS right in every situation.”

There was something I liked about you though. You were willing to genuinely apologize after our fight last year. Jenna instigated the fight and manipulated it (of course she did…) but she never apologized for her behavior. Truth is, she never apologizes for ANYTHING. Remember how she would often bail on you and not show up when she was supposed to? Over time, she started bailing on me as well, canceling plans on me or not informing me that she was busy. It was really rude. But the biggest issue I have with her is the fact that she vanishes shortly after she starts drama. You’re open about your feelings when something is bothering you. Jenna on the other hand, wouldn’t say anything and would disappear in the middle of the drama. She wouldn’t answer texts for days, call me back, and would ignore me. The night you sent me that angry text message about the frozen yogurt, Jenna vanished. She explained nothing to me, that you were upset, or anything. No text. *POOF!* and she disappears and pretends to act like she knows nothing the next time she’s questioned about it. Every incident was like this with Jenna but this time was the last straw. I’ve had it with her bullshit and I’ve had it with you leaping before thinking. I am tired of being that “third wheel.” I want the best for everyone and don’t exclude people intentionally. I can clearly see what she did that night (and last year too), and hopefully, now you can understand my side of the story.

You probably thought that I was stealing Jenna from you but I wasn’t. It truly is unfortunate that I’m not friends with either of you now because of the damage caused. I have some good memories with you and I won’t forget these moments. I feel saddened that things ended the way that they did but I have no interest in repairing my friendship with you. It is exhausting and I am tired of putting my energy into a friendship that is draining me and putting me down more than it is lifting me up. The insults, the belittlement, the back-stabbing; it’s simply too much. I hate to say this, but my friendship with you has become unhealthy. It was really nice knowing you and being a part of your life, and I wish you all the best. I hope that you learned something from all of this and that one day you’ll find better friends too. Since it’s clear that we aren’t making each other happy anymore, it’s best that we go our separate ways. It was really nice knowing you all of these years, and sharing memories together. I wish you all the best in your endeavors.    –Hilary♥ 

A Little About Myself

I have decided to take up this odd hobby called blogging. Ever since my daughter was born, I have lost all desire in posting on Fakebook, Instagram and I hardly deal with Twitter. It’s scary… starting from scratch and feeling overwhelmed by the burden of branding yourself. What if nobody reads my posts? Am I just wasting my time? I keep telling myself that this is for me to look back on one day, as a way to document my life.

Now am back at square one and want to make my life memorable without the nagging and pestering people door to door, the cold-calling and the other nightmarish marketing tactics that they taught us to do. I am tired of selling people shit they could use but don’t want, and that I don’t need (thanks to auto-ship). Here sits, several bottles later of nutritional powders and pills on my parent’s shelf, unopened and expired. I decided to quit selling products and instead do something good for the world. Right now I am studying courses for school because I came to the conclusion that I want to have a career which requires more education.

So why am I here? Lonely, bored, mid-life-twenties crisis I guess. I try and make an effort to talk to my friends around the world on a daily basis. However, some of them have not been as reciprocative as I would have hoped for. Some of these people have been moved from my “friends I trust’ list to my “fair-weather friends who only call me when they want something or never bother with me or bail on me all the time” list. It’s come down to this: I really need new friends. I have made a few online friends and they have helped me cope with my loneliness and yet there is still a large hole in my heart that is waiting to be filled with fun and excitement. I can only talk to a screen and engage with a virtual reality for so long before becoming disconnected from the real world and swept into Facebook, where I end up comparing myself to others, feeling bad about myself and wasting time trying to build a “brand” for myself to get others to like me. GAH!

I needed to get away from it all so I’ve decided to take up blogging as a personal hobby with the hope that some poor soul will stumble across my stuff one day and make me famous. (kidding!) If this blog reaches 500 people I would be ecstatic. Currently, my old slow-as-f*** Toshiba is broken and my unreliable Macbook that I got a year ago died on me. I am stuck using my dad’s laptop when he is not using it – and squeezing in some writing time on some program that is NOT called Microsoft Word, because my technology-challenged parents never bothered installing this useful software. It is amazing that I am even able to write anything for that matter, without them questioning my every move and dissecting my writing. I am a free writer. I do not commit to anything and hate following guidelines and rules. I love to let my ideas flow freely like a waterfall on a sunny day and get totally disengaged from the real world. I have taken up reading again for a hobby because I find it relaxing and a great escape from life’s burdens. Since coming home to visit my parents and prepare for my wedding, I feel like I am living in the 1900’s with limited technology and lack of entertainment. I have to come up with my own “fun” similar to how a little kid plays make believe.

I guess you could say that I have a good life from the observer’s point of view. But let me tell you, it is not all sunshine and rainbows here. You would think that I would have my life together at 24 and my dream job by now. It still eats away at me knowing that my best bet of ever finding employment is to go back to school even though I have a B.Sc in Biological Sciences. It’s not enough to get you a job at a laboratory in the middle of freaking nowhere.The people I talk to on my second Facebook account (that’s right, I have more than one) know me the best and probably know more about my private life than they should. Most of them don’t have jobs either or are very dissatisfied with their lives. I guess misery loves company because I make a great depressing companion. If you ask them about my personal life, they know me better than I know myself.  I am a bit of an open book that way and will spill my emotions and thoughts if you let me. They know my weaknesses and can usually get the details out of me. However,

Misery loves company because I make a great depressing companion. If you ask them about my personal life, they know me better than I know myself.  I am a bit of an open book that way and will spill my emotions and thoughts if you let me. They know my weaknesses and can usually get the details out of me. However, lately I have been more rigid and not letting my guard down so easily. As for why I have a second account, I’ll save that for another day. I have been through hell and back recently and not even my parents are lecturing me on my actions. For once they are able to relate to me since they’ve been through the same thing.

Overall, I am an average girl trying to compete with the rest of the world for “average” and I think I am doing a pretty damn good job. Considering I didn’t get into the dating scene until my early 20’s (you didn’t see me complain about me being single at 17), I managed to get by quite well. Luckily, I met the right guy at the right time and I thank God every day for this blessing. Personally, I am more of a family-focussed person and value family as something everyone should have. It is something I didn’t really have as a kid and felt left out when other people did fun things with their families and had siblings to play with. As a little girl, I knew that I wanted a large family. Getting there, however, was a huge challenge and I didn’t see myself accomplishing this great leap. I guess this is where I should wrap things up since I am blabbering away about things and nobody really knows who I am yet. Later gators!

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