#WorldMentalHealthDay – Reflecting on My First Year of Therapy

Today I had my last face to face session with my therapist. Since we’re moving to Glasgow next month I’ll be seeing her online biweekly which makes me really happy because I’d hate to start over again (LOL) and I truly value all the work she’s done for me. With Ali and I preparing for the move, I sat here in my office thinking about what else we need to do when suddenly realized that I’ve basically been going to therapy for a year, remembered that it’s #WorldMentalHealthDay and here I am! Also yes I realize that my train of thought went from thinking about moving all the way to how long I’ve been going to therapy LOL.

I’ll start off by saying that I’ve been wanting to see a therapist since I was in high school. I always knew I needed help with my problems and wanted to just talk to someone outside of family and friends who would just sit there and listen to me rant about whatever because I needed and outside perspective.

To be fair, I was actually scared to talk to someone. I always have been but I thought I’d be able to talk to a school counselor but I think around the time I decided to speak to someone it was bad timing. It was the end of school and as you can imagine it was chaotic. I finally mustered up the courage closer to the end of my senior year in high school, went to one of the counselors and was basically told that everything would be ok and that my worst fears at the time won’t come true. They didn’t, but that’s not what I needed from the counselor at that time. I really did need someone to talk to.

Anyway, years pass and we move here to England. I have so much unresolved crap in my life that I became overwhelmed with basically everything. I didn’t realize how much moving countries would take its toll on me. Everyone always said it was brave, and that it was a big deal but I never really understood what they meant because I was happy to uproot and move over to the UK. I am 100% confident in saying that I do not regret this decision. I miss everyone and the convenience of having my loved ones nearby, but I have no regrets whatsoever.

Just because I have no regrets doesn’t mean that I didn’t ever get lonely over feel overwhelmed. I think what triggered this for me was all of the YouTube’s changes – thinking it was only me who was affected, not asking anyone else who do what I do if they felt the way I did because like I said before, I never asked for help. I was also anxious and worried about missing my family and friends, being homesick, and the world moving on without me and needless to say I was stressed AF. I never knew how to cope with this amount of stress, I just cried and accepted that feeling overwhelmed was just life. It is, but no one should go through it alone.

Ali has been my champion and through everything he is doing he’s always made time for me and my problems and is my angel. I truly believe he’s saved me from my own mind sometimes but that’s a whole other story and I’ll start crying if I talk about it LOL.

I didn’t think it was fair to burden Ali (even though he would NEVER use that word and would never feel this way towards me sharing my feelings) with every thought in my mind so I made an appointment with my GP to see a therapist through the NHS, which is an incredible privilege that the UK has. I knew the waitlist was long but I thought to myself, if I waited 10+ years I can wait a couple of months more…

When I finally saw my therapist through the NHS, I thought he was nice enough but when he asked what I wanted to talk about the first thing I mentioned was stress eating. I came to realize recently (actually I forget that I do this from time to time) that I’ve used eating as a way to cope with stress. When I explained why I want to work on it, he had an “a-ha!” moment, grabbed a piece of paper and started to write something. He handed the paper to me and when I looked down and he had written the words “over-eaters anonymous” on it. I looked at the paper, confused, looked back up at him and he said that it’s a group I should look into. Because of this, I thought that this problem of mine was something that I’d just have to deal with on my own. When I spoke to Ali about it, he was PISSED. We both spoke to a few other people about it just to get a second, third, millionth opinion, and everyone was just as angry by it as the both of us.

I decided to go back the next week, shared more about what I needed help with, and I walked out crying. I knew therapy would be intense but not THIS intense. I cried during the session, once I left the office, in my uber, and literally all day at home. I felt HORRIBLE. I brought this up with him the next week and this was brushed off and I was told that everyone cries after a session. HE WAS THERE WITH ME DURING THE SESSION. He knew how much pain I was in but apparently being unable to function for an entire day, not getting anything productive done, wanting to sleep until tomorrow, was normal. Long story short-ish, I didn’t go to my last session. He did not help me. He made things worse.

After New Year’s Day, I decided to start looking privately. I couldn’t let the NHS decide who to stick me with. LET IT BE KNOWN THAT I AM NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THE NHS, I think the NHS is an incredible privilege to have but I couldn’t take them pairing me with a random who might not understand my needs again. I found a therapist on my own, messaged her, and she decided to see me for an initial assessment session.

When I spoke to her, and told her what I went through with the first person, she was just as in shock with his behavior as the rest of us were. She assured me that we’d work on everything I wanted help with and I’m so happy to say that she has helped me over this last year which has been a huge relief. I’ve opened up to her about all of the things that have overwhelmed me over the years, things that I’ve desperately needed help with, and she’s helped me find ways to deal/cope with them.

Every week there was something that I’d remember to speak about and we’d go through it no matter how difficult it was for me. The best part is that I’d never leave my sessions crying. I might have had a few bajillion cry baby moments but never after a session. She explained to me that people can feel vulnerable afterwards, which I have on numerous occasions, but never to the point where I’m unable to function. Ali also mentioned that people should leave feeling better – like they’ve made progress. With her, I definitely feel like I have. I’m sad I’m “leaving her behind” but I’m so happy that we get to continue the sessions once we move to Glasgow!

The reason I’m talking about this today is because therapy is a normal experience. So many people can benefit from it no matter if you’re feeling low or just need to work on something you’re not happy with. There of course are exceptions like with my first therapist, but let that be an example of how you SHOULDN’T feel and who you SHOULDN’T be around. I actually feel happy that I am able to talk about going to therapy in such a normal way because I really do think that people are scared of what others might think if they know they’re going, but if you’re wanting to better your mental health, what’s the problem? Why worry about how they feel about something you’re doing to help yourself?

People are there for you. If I’ve learned anything from my sessions with her is that it’s ok to ask and accept help. Don’t be afraid to ask for it if you need it. I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to just let people in and help you no matter how big or small your problems are.

I am thankful to those of you who took the time to read this and I am glad that #WorldMentalHealthDay exists. ❤

Hawaii is GORGEOUS… I think. – Destination Daze

I don’t think I’ve ever done one of these before but lately I find myself dreaming of traveling. I picture visiting new places all over the world and trying out all the food. YES FOOD. I have to confess: when it comes to traveling I am in it for the food (surprise, surprise). I want to try out all of the local favorites and history comes second. I feel like that might sound really weird to anyone that isn’t me but growing up I never cared about the history of places. It’s definitely changed since moving to the UK because HELLO there are places older than the US. That thought never crossed my mind when I’d visit places like Disneyland or the beach. Ok I didn’t go to the beach that often and only went to Disneyland twice as kid (and can’t remember any of it) but like I said, history was never something I cared about. As a ‘cool’ teeny-bopper I never appreciated the history of places until visiting the UK because it was the first and only place I have ever visited/lived in outside of the US. I’ll admit, whenever we’ve visited new places, the first two things that pop into my head are nice views and restaurants. Ali is more about discovering places and learning about a country or city’s culture so whenever he’d be like “oh we can go see a wall” I’d be like “WHYYY?! it’s a wall.” He always laughs at me because, as he knows, I’m the type of person who would drive passed the Great Wall of China and be good. But whenever I get to our destination, I am usually in awe and so happy I actually visited and learned about each place we’ve been to. We’ve gone to a couple of graveyards in Scotland with gravestones that date back to the 1500s, which when I saw them was like a weird punch to my brain like “THERE IS SO MUCH MORE THAN CHIPOTLE AND NETFLIX” and I’m truly grateful for that, no matter how reluctant and bratty I’ll be about going at first. Blame my anxiety. LOL Anyway, this brings me to my next point. I have always wanted to visit these places that I’ll be mentioning in future posts but I now have a new reason for visiting, history…. but still food. Always food.

SO I MEAN OK I GUESS I CAN DO A QUICK FIRST PLACE I’D LIKE TO VISIT, RIGHT??

I feel like this one is an obvious choice and it’s Hawaii but not for the reasons people might think. When Lilo and Stitch came out when I was around my early teen years, I remember that everyone was suddenly in love with the culture. I remember watching clips and being annoyed by Stitch so I didn’t watch the movie and therefore wasn’t into Hawaii and to be quite honest, I wasn’t into the idea of going to Hawaii up until a year or two ago.

I want to go somewhere tropical and although there are a couple of places that provide the sunshine that I always dread, I would love to immerse myself in both ancient and modern Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. Of course, growing up in California I have had the fortune of experiencing the culture through friends and hula. I’ve always found hula fascinating and the ways that culture and stories can be conveyed through dance. I joined a friend’s dance group for a good 2 minutes years ago and wished I could have stayed a part of the group longer, and I’ve actually been looking for classes out here in England but have only found hula hoop classes. That’s great and all but that ain’t what I’m looking for. Nah ah chica. I wanna move my hips and break my knees and feel the burn in my thighs!! That is a very strange sentence out of context but I am going to stick to it and commit.

Although there are tons of things I want to see in Hawaii my priorities are visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center, seeing the ‘iolani Palace, go to a touristy (but super cute) lu’au, lay out on the beach in a bikini, and of course visit Pearl Harbor. Ali, of course, wants to do all the hill-y things that involve trekking thousands of miles across the Hawaiian countryside (Ok I know I’m exaggerating, but still). Aside from this part of Hawaii’s history and culture, there are more things I want to experience. As I mentioned above, I really want to do the lighthearted touristy things that I’d never get to do. I’d also like to try out authentic Hawaiian food. I grew up eating L&L Hawaiian bbq but I don’t think having Hawaiian food made in San Jose on the corner of Capitol & Aborn (SHOUT OUT!) has the same authenticity as food made by the people who actually live and grew up in Hawaii. Still good though!

Maybe someday, when I visit California again, I’ll take a detour and spend some time with my love relaxing in a resort on the beach, sipping cocktails, trying out new foods, the history, and learning all about how to make spam musubi without them falling apart. We’ll see!

ps shout out to my friend Mack who let me borrow her picture of a Hawaiian sunset she witnessed.

Struggling & Need to Recharge!

I’ve been struggling a lot recently. It’s not as bad as before, but it’s still taking its toll on my everyday life. I’m not crying all the time (because of being homesick anyway, DAMN YOU WALKING DEAD!), but I haven’t found motivation to focus. I can’t really focus on anything and feel overwhelmed. Even though I know how to solve these problems I don’t want to do anything about it and it freakin sucks.

There have been periods however, that I have felt super happy! I think that’s because I was away from Manchester and closer to friends and family, or exploring a new city. Where I live isn’t a bad place to be at all. Our little village is very quiet with everything I need basically just around the corner. I think the biggest issue is that we don’t have friends or family near. I work for myself and Ali is getting his PhD so we’re both constantly working and our schedules are always WORK WORK WORK. We do get to spend a lot of time together though which is something I’m very thankful for because I know not many people get that luxury. I never want to be long distance from him again and we all know that so I guess I’ll save that for another time.

We recently went to York for a little PR challenge to watch The Conjuring 2 and sleep over in a 600 year old Haunted House. It was so freakin cool because neither of us have ever done that before and I’ve never been to York. It was such a beautiful city with so much interesting history (keyword: interesting) that I was genuinely excited about it and happy to explore.

Last weekend we went to Glasgow for my sister-in-law’s wedding and even though it was a busy weekend I was so happy to be around familiar faces and just be around people we love and a city where my husband grew up. I don’t really think I noticed how happy I was to be around family and friends until we got back here to where we basically don’t know anyone or have close enough friendships with to just call em up and be like “Hey come over and be boring and watch Netflix with us.”

After coming back from Glasgow I noticed I felt like I was in a slump again. I have little to no motivation and I really do need a change. I think once we go back to California,  have a proper vacation and we don’t have to worry about work as much, I’ll be able to recharge and actually feel better when we get back to Manchester. That’s what I’m hoping for anyway.

There is so much to do when we visit California. I really wish it was a longer visit, but I’ll take 2 weeks over 0 any day! I’m most excited about Thanksgiving with my family and our little traditions that we have. After we have dinner (which is basically an all-day food thaaang) we either go to another family member’s house or watch a movie. This year we’re going with my mom to watch Moana and hopefully Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them. We’re taking my little bro #hunniezatdamawl to Disneyland and Ali is going to be a tourist in LA for the first time. We’re going to spend some time at Leo & Ken’s and have Friendsgiving, hang out at a bar with friends, have a traditional board game night with my sister and family friends, and hopefully I can convince my mom to decorate the house for Christmas before we leave LOL.

Talking about what we have planned so far is actually making me excited… so that helped LOL. I really should write in this thing more often. I’m pretty sure I say that in ever blog but OH WELL!

Thanks for reading and I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated through my social media! 11 days to go!

❤ Gloria

Rambling Intro – Homesick Diary

I can’t get my thoughts out when I’m physically writing so hopefully typing will make things easier. For the last couple of days I have been feeling very homesick. It’s nothing new, I’ve been struggling a lot with that this year but this time it hit me suddenly and I couldn’t stop crying all night. Any little thing that reminded me of how much I missed home bothered me and made me teary or I had to stop doing whatever it was that I was doing at the time.

It probably didn’t help that I was listening to “love songs” which is something I normally do! I love feeling all lovey dove-y when I’m writing, brainstorming, or planning out my week but it’s almost as if I had a breakup with all my friends and family because I don’t see them or hear from them as much as I want to. IT’S NOT ANYONE IN PARTICULAR’S FAULT, I blame it on time. That’s also not true because I know that I’m not on the top of the friendship priority list and I’m also an asshole so I’ll explain that more later.

To those who don’t know me, I am from California, my husband is from Scotland, and we fell in love and moved to England soon after we got married. I had visa issues in 2015 and after lots of stress and tears, we now are able to live in the same country and don’t have to worry about that issue for now.

We are visiting California for Thanksgiving and it’s nearly 70 days away but by then I wouldn’t have seen my friends and family for 15 months. This is the first time I’ve ever been away for over a year. I’m just going to say that I realize people have it much worse, but this is the first time I’m having to live through this so SHH. I feel like if I had friends near (those in the US and UK) it would make things much easier. I feel like if I was able to go back home every 6 months I’d be able to manage fine but we simply can’t afford it and don’t have the time. What hurts me most is thinking about the holidays. I always stayed home on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year hanging out with my mom. My siblings were always invited round to their friends so sometimes they’d leave. I personally didn’t feel like it was appropriate (for me) to leave the house unless we were all going to another relative’s house to celebrate (I did have close friends come over as well so it’s not as “sad” as it sounds, haha). So when I think about not going home and not being able to spend time with my family, I think specifically about my parents hanging out and doing nothing LOL. As dumb as that sounds, it’s what I imagine and it makes me sad. My parents usually have plans when we’re all out but the thought of it really upsets me. Going home for Thanksgiving was such a big deal and when I told my mom she was so happy and was so shocked she needed to just sit in her car and not drive. I didn’t know she was out at the time and thankfully she was just sitting in the parking lot. She said she was so excited that her heart was pounding. We’re having a huge feast when visit so that makes me happy!

Aside from being homesick around the holidays, I really miss spending time with my siblings. We always had fun playing together when we were younger and even though we fight a lot (as WE ALL DO) we are pretty close. AT LEAST I THINK SO. IF YOU GUYS EVER READ THIS YOU BETTER FEEL THE SAME. Anyway, even in my early 20s, and them in their teens, we’d have so much fun playing board games or video games to the point where we’re all screaming. I’m super competitive but we know it’s all for fun because even though I end up rage punching the couch because they are purposefully sabotaging me, we laugh about it immediately after.  It’s not like it wasn’t the other way around, my sister and I would team up on my brother to make him lose because even though he was the youngest he was somehow still better than us?! UGH. Even though my cooking has evolved since 2 years ago I miss cooking for them too! I also miss making them watch scary movies so I can laugh at them when they jump.  I MISS EVERYTHING.

Here’s where friendships come in. We’re all adults now, we all have our own lives and I get that. What I don’t understand is why I feel like I’m pushed to the side or an afterthought? Sometimes I feel like I’m putting in everything I can (and yes I’ve brought this up before) and helping to the best of my knowledge but still not be asked how my days was. With some people it’s like “help me!” and when I need a shoulder they’re not there. When I want to have a quality friendship time skype call people are too busy? There’s also times where I say “You can always come to me!” but I never hear from them LOL. Here’s why I feel like I’m an asshole too: I know I haven’t been a good friend to some people lately. I posted on my fb that I have no excuse other than trying to stay productive and distract myself from dealing with a bunch of crap that is out of my control but that is an entirely different story. I feel bad and I don’t know how to explain how I feel about these situations other than I’m so damn lonely and would like to have one group of people remember that I exist but also a jerk who doesn’t want to talk to another group of people *because* I’m going through a tough time. Can I just blame this on distance and the time difference? I’m going to because I feel like it LOL. I know the real answer to these questions but sometimes I just want to rant and say everything.

These are just my rambling thoughts, I don’t know how to process or further explain how I feel. I think writing everything down and posting to my blog will help me figure out crap and hopefully I won’t be as homesick? EHHHH. Anyway, thanks for reading my post especially if you made it this far, jeez!!

❤ Gloria

Why is the term “mixed weight” even a thing?!

I posted this video today and the response has been pretty awesome so far. I want to say 99.99% of the feedback has been positive. Most people have never even heard of the term but everyone agrees that it’s stupid and shouldn’t even be a thing. Maybe we can just veto it like Regina George and just say “It’s NOT going to happen.”

Enjoy the video! I’m happy I was able to speak about this and hopefully the person who requested it will have some relief about the subject.

Crustless Quiche!

I posted a picture of my food yesterday on my more under the radar IG account where I mostly post food and my workouts and someone asked for the recipe! This is a mix of of a couple of recipes but it’s more or less the same prep. Here’s the link for reference. Now the ingredients that I used!

Ingredients:

5 eggs
3 cups of shredded cheese (I KNOW)
6 strips of bacon
1.5 cups of chopped broccoli
1 package of spinach
1 small yellow onion
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp low sodium salt
1/4-1/3 cup of 2% milk

Photo 24-08-2015 4 40 30 pm
1. I put the bacon in the pan and let them cook until they were nice and crispy then put them aside. I left some of the bacon fat in because I’m a horrible person and just wanted to try it. (A woman at a bbq told me she used it for making gravy and for whatever reason that inspired me to do this? LOL)

2. While the bacon was cooking, I cut up the onion TINY cuz I hate chunks of big onion cuz that’s gross. I put the bacon fat on low heat because I like to take the time to cut up my veggies and still have something cooking while I’m doing it so it’s not just PREP PREP PREP then nothing’s going at the same time cuz it takes FOREVER… to me anyway lol!

3. I chopped the spinach because Ali hates “wet leaves” or things that feels like they’re slimy crawling down his throat. He came into the kitchen and chopped them finer because it wasn’t TINY ENOUGH APPARENTLY LOL. After that, I chopped the broccoli into little tiny pieces as well and tossed them all in the pan to let the spinach wilt down a little and soften the broccoli and cooked until most of the water was evaporated.

4. While all of that was going on, I mixed the cheese (I used a low sodium cheese but use whatever) eggs, salt, pepper, and milk into a bowl. The recipe I linked you to didn’t use bacon, broccoli or milk but I like it so yolo.

5. Once all of that was done, I added the bacon fat friends into the bowl and stirred around until everything was coated with the eggs to make sure nothing chunky was sticking out… mostly cuz I wanted it to look cute. Then I poured it into a dish.

6. The recipe said it should be done in 30 minutes but my dish was pretty small and a bit deeper than a normal pie pan so it took about 45 minutes for it to be golden on the top and not runny on the inside.

When it was all done this is what my nummy slice looked like:
Photo 24-08-2015 5 07 09 pm

YOHHHZZZ!! If you decide to try this GO FOR IT!!! This was my first time trying to make something like this and I’m happy to say it was pretty yummy! I’m going to find ways to make it taste better and not use as much cheese next time cuz for the most it’s pretty healthy… minus the bacon fat and 8390248023lbs of cheese lol. Enjoy!!