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Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I've been having a hard time lately, and this accumulated into today's self-reflection. The following post is pretty personal and discusses mental health.

As the days get shorter I find myself getting exhausted. Sure... I wake up, go to class, talk to friends and peers, go to meetings and appointments, and do my homework. But as soon as I've fulfilled my responsibilities and get home I just want to curl up in bed and sleep until the next day - it doesn't matter if it's 9pm or 3pm. And this is the cause for a lot of self-bullying. Why are you stressed out? I say to myself You're not the only person to take a full course load and sit on a board of directors. Other people do all that and more. You don't even have a job! ...I sure know how to hit myself where it hurts. The idea that we are our own worst critics is tossed around a lot, and I've certainly found it to be true.

I am way too hard on myself. It's okay to have your own personal standards, but I should know not to compare myself with others. Not all abilities are the same. I'm constantly plagued by the notion that my mental health issues will render me useless, and I create ridiculously high standards for myself to try to combat that. I'm not being fair to myself.

Me three years ago (at age 16)

Three years ago I literally could not get out of bed. The entire concept of "responsibilities" would have filled me with panic. I had quit going to school entirely and was making the decision of should I drop out, or should I let them kick me out? Days bled into weeks and my memories can only be described as a blur of utter despair.

When this realization came to me this afternoon, my feeling of self-deprecation quickly faded. I was pleasantly surprised to realize the positive changes I've made since then. In fact, I'm astounded by how far I've come in the past three years! My mental health issues are still a part of my life, but the longer I've had to deal with them the better I've got it.

This post has been spontaneous and sincere, so I'd hate to end with something trite. Let me just say that I will try harder to recognize my successes, and be (much) less hard on myself. And, as always, if you ever need to support with regards to mental health issues, feel free to email me.


  1. Sonia, Sonia Sonia... I have been reading for a while but have decided to comment for the first time.

    I am about to move 1900 kms (or over 1000 miles) from my family, my friends and everyone I know.

    I just wanted you to know that YOU, not anyone else, but YOU are the inspiration behind me moving so far from home.

    I've watched you (ok that just sounds creepy...) while you have faced so many challenges while at university and I know that I can move that far and be ok :)

    I have also started a blog of my own to help me with coming to terms with my own body, my life and everything around me.

    I know it can be hard to face the day when your feeling down, but chin up pumpkin :) Your gorgeous and I'm sure you are an inspiration to so many more women out there.

    Love reading you more than my morning coffee :) It's so much more filling.

    Hit me up on Twitter :) @TheSporkyDorky

  2. Sonia, I've been having some mental health issues lately due to stress, anxiety and perfectionism. Reading your posts always helps me feel more "normal", or at least, it's nice to realize that a peer is having similar feelings.

    I know what you mean about high expectations. I just won a pretty prestigious award, and right after I accepted, I sat listening to the other recipient. Her credentials were rattled off, and I immediately thought of how I don't do enough to get more 90s, and volunteer, on top of everything else, etc. Negative self-talk is the hardest to break. :(

    I hope we can work through our issues, and begin to put less pressure on ourselves. It always amazes me how us perfectionists can be our own worse enemies, which can create health concerns!

    Here's to a future that is much brighter! P.S: Where did you find your lamp that you use to combat SAD? Was it really expensive? It sounds interesting, and helpful. Winter always gets me down, and its hard to get out of it without a lot of sun :(

  3. I can relate to you very much. I suffer from depression and social anxiety, which is a huge huge barrier for me to be able to do a lot of things in life. I try to be positive and be cheerful with everyone which helps somewhat with depression but theres been time where I'v hit so low I would wake up in the morning and wish it was night again so that I didn't have to confront things. It's been somewhat better now but its an everyday struggle. I hope that you can overcome any barrier and issue strong. Live life one day at a time:)

  4. Thank you so much for posting this. I wish I had the courage to elaborate about my own mental health issues (that I have never gone to a Doctor about) but I'm still on very shaky ground about it. The last few weeks have been really hard for me and honestly reading this post has made me feel a little better.

    I'm so glad you've made so many positive changes. It is really nice to see other people who have battled mental health issues getting their life together, I know how hard it can be. I know how hard everything seems when you are battling mental health issues, everything takes such effort. Congrats on your effort, congrats for all you are accomplishing, and congrats for having the courage to post this. I know that too can be very hard.


  5. Congratulations on coming a long way. Thank you for sharing this!

  6. Thank you all SO MUCH for the kind and supportive comments. Knowing that I'm not alone in this struggle and that others can relate & are willing to comment warms my heart.

    @Sammie, thank you so much! This was the first comment I received on this post and it relieved some of the anxiety I had about posting it. I'm honoured I've inspired you. :) Good luck on the move! Where are you headed? I'm awful at usig twitter to communicate with people but I'll be sure to send you a tweet.

    @anon, thanks for your comment. first and foremost, congratulations on your award! I've had the same feelings of inadequacy when being presented with proof of the opposite. I'm glad my posts make you feel less alone in this struggle - your comment does the same for me! as for sun lights, I bought mine at a "health and rehab" store. it was $220, which is pretty pricey (i wouldn't be able to buy one now) but at the time my parents justified it as less than two trips to the therapist. if you can't afford one, I've heard you can rent them or rent time in front of one. good luck!

  7. What an insightful post! I wish I'd had your wisdom at your age - I wish I could apply it as well as you seem to at my age! Please try not to be too hard on yourself.

    Sarah at Sassying it Up just posted a link to this incredible comic: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html

  8. This is way random but I saw you commented on Cup of Jo's blog for her necklace giveaway...and thought I'd let you know I'm doing a similar giveaway with a VERy cute personalized stamped necklace!

    You should come check it out...hey two entries is better then one right?! :-)