Author: Josephine

Leaving Depression & Anxiety Behind

I thought I was over writing about mental health. Maybe I am. I had attempted several times to write about suicidal ideation and other hard topics, but my tears and loss for words had stopped me. On other days, I just wasn’t feeling it– everybody talking about their issues AND giving self-help advice on social media (not really into that anyway), and the low vibration that depression and anxiety keep you in. I felt trapped just thinking about mental health, but my mood and mind kept improving every month with all the inner-work I was doing. I just wanted to be free like a bird. You know, escape the world of mental health and just live my life. Here’s the harsh truth: most people don’t want to work their problems out. If there’s even a slight desire to, they want someone or something else to do all the heavy lifting for them. So, people have crutches like drugs, sex, alcohol, weed, whatever it is, to use as temporary bandages. The feelings these things give do …

Nominated for the Liebster Award!

My friends, I bring great news: Above the Storm has been nominated for the Liebster Award! Wow! I’m so thankful to Mel from Hey, It’s Mel! for nominating me. She’s a very bright young woman, and her personal blog is fun to read; check it out. I have heard about this award in the past but didn’t think anyone would ever nominate me. Honestly, just being a nominee is an honour! I’m not big on social media but I knew that I needed at least one handle to promote the site. After a bit of experimenting, Twitter ended up working for me, and I’m happy to have found other writers and mental health advocates there. I hope to grow my connections in the future with some great voices. Nominee rules: Thank the blogger who nominated you, and provide a link to their blog in your post. Answer the questions provided for you, and come up with 5-10 more questions for your nominations. Give the award to 5-10 other bloggers who you appreciate. Leave a comment …

How Self-Dating Changed My Life

One of my biggest dreams as a child was to fall in deep, true love. Today, while my experiences have refined my perspective on romantic relationships, it’s still a wish of mine. To some, this may seem cheesy but I know that many others feel the same. Our dream is the all-consuming beast Carrie Bradshaw strived for. It’s actually very scary and intimidating to allow yourself to be completely open with someone. I did reject this childhood dream at some point at the start of my adult life, around age 18: as my teenage experiences with males accumulated, my belief in fairy tale romance faded. Then at some point, I figured there was no “The One” but a select group of potential forever-mates I could choose from. I lost my virginity to someone in the said potential group whom I liked a lot, but in his final blow I told myself, “…he’s not it”. I had a few more of those not-it moments. It being the one. That one. The one whom I can share …

Nutritional Deficiencies & Mood Disorders: Do Supplements Work?

Last year, during my major depressive episode, I figured that depression was such a recurring problem for me that it could not be merely psychological. I was noticing that certain foods would give me stomach aches or have me fall asleep, only to wake up super hungry after my nap! My body was often tired, even after having adopted a regular fitness routine from the age of 18. I thought that maybe my body was lacking nutrients, because, despite my exercising, I still had very poor eating habits and never saw food as my friend, but rather more like an enemy that mostly hindered my fitness goals. One day, I remembered that as a child my father would always tell me to eat fish because it made me smarter, and that would get me excited about eating it every time. So with that in mind, my excitement found me again as I went to work doing intensive research on the effects of food and nutrition on the brain. Countless–maybe some, needless–clinical appointments were booked in an …

A Good Book for People with Low-Functioning Depression

In a low-functioning state, we are severely depressed, and the issue feels like it is much bigger than ourselves. Of course, we need to seek professional help. But as I like to emphasize, the other half of healing is the help we give ourselves. While self-help material mostly targets high-functioning individuals (people who can go about their day despite being depressed), there may be one or more books we encounter that will change our outlook on life even in a low-functioning state. Perhaps Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed is that special book for you. Brave Enough is a book of quotes from Cheryl Strayed’s previous texts and speeches. Cheryl Strayed is an award-winning essayist with beautiful prose, even as she speaks. I like to listen to Cheryl and her co-host Steve Almond on Dear Sugars, my favorite podcast. In Brave Enough, she talks about choosing a career, shitty life circumstances, friends, family, trust, falling in & out of love, and the necessity to change your life. The book is a short read with large text, making it …

When You’re too Depressed to Stay in School

I spent five years kind of confused in university. I could easily say they were wasted, but the last five years have witnessed the biggest personal growth of my life thus far. When this blog first started, I wrote that I was frozen with fear about dropping out of school. I nearly finished the program but I was struggling to get certain credits. And last winter, there I lay, stiff in bed, curled under layers of sheets protecting a body of glass. I wondered, “would I disappoint my father and myself by taking a break from school? Would I be a fool if I decided never to go back?” I was also very embarrassed for taking too long to finish school. These were all mind-traps created by me, inspired by expectations of my environment. I gave myself an entire summer to think it over. Didn’t take long to decide; I was mostly building up the courage to tell my family I’d be putting my education on pause. When I’d find the strength to get out of bed, …