Anxiety: am I calling it in too early?

Understanding anxiety 101

I think I have anxiety. Why, you may ask.

Am I a professional at diagnosis? Am I researching the subject? Am I going through a rough patch of life?

No to the first two, and for the third, well aren’t we all? There’s always something bothering someone, it’s the nature of this life. Or so I think.

I think I have anxiety because it’s not exclusive to anything in my life and probably not because of anything either.

This bubbling pile in me is just there; not as part of a particular situation or event, or connected to an incident or relationship. It’s just simmering away, not at the brim, but not a tickle either.

Is this what being anxious feels like?

I know I have been depressed; at a time of heart breaks and betrayals. But I overcame it all and fell harder and stayed in love with the world, and stayed strong.

So, to me this feeling is quite novel. Underneath my usual day and my usual life, there’s something sad picking at my insides.

For a 26-year old, I think my life is pretty good. I have a job, one I love and can earn from; I have a beautiful family, though murderous tendencies rise sometimes (don’t they always, lol) and I have an amazing man to love.

Then why is this bubbling happening? Why do I feel like running away (always with my partner)? Why do I cry myself to sleep? Why are there so many bloody questions and no answers?

I would love an open discussion. Take care peeps and be happy ❤

I lost at Intermittent Fasting but it works

This is way back in late 2016, after wasting 5 months of my gym membership, which cost as much as a small house back home in India. I walk in and this Indian dude, possibly a former bodybuilder, walks up to me and says the magic words, “I can help you lose all this weight.”

I smile, knowing full well I would lose this sudden money-based motivation that drove me here pretty soon.

Even so, I am a loser for wanting to try my level best, so I try. He starts off with an exercise routine and something I had never heard of before – IF or intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting involves fasting for long periods of time in the day (usually 14 to 16 hours) and eating healthy for the rest of the day (8 to 10 hours)

After establishing my usual meal timings, we agreed that the best time for me to eat would be the 8-hour window between 1pm to 9pm. I was never a breakfast person, so this worked for me.

Here’s the catch though, you can’t stuff your face in these 8 hours. IF works as though you would have two full meals (instead of three) and snacks while still maintaining caloric goals.

I tried it from mid-December to February 4, 2017 (I remember the date a year on because that was the only vacation I took in two years).

What happened to my body:

  • I lost four-five kilos (around 10 pounds)
  • My skin felt better, possibly because of all the water I was guzzling to fight hunger
  • My bowel movements regularised (TMI I know, but this is a HUGE deal for me)
  • I felt happier with myself in general

In short, I might even have been winning a little (guilty snort).

However, a week in India later, followed by never-ending vacation blues and my usual excuses, I lost thread.

I might start up again. Have you tried IF? Comment and let me know 🙂

I can do a post on all the published pros and cons if required as well.

Planning to plan; an endless cycle

Have you ever felt like you start planning to plan, and then never plan, and if you do plan, you never complete it? I am there, have been there for a long time and quite honestly I have no idea on how to manage this trap I am in.

Am I being melodramatic? I don’t know. All I know is I am good at finishing things if I like doing them or sometimes if it has a mental reward at the end of it or if I have a deadline. But if I have none of these, and I need to complete something, all plans fall short. 

Example: My weightloss “journey” that never ever takes off. I am overweight, and being short means each kilo shows. I also have a family history of diabetes, which I am a little worried about. And of course, I have started hating shopping. 

Then why don’t you just get your head down to it and start? That’s it you see, I am not able to stick with “getting the head down” for more than 4 days at a stretch. And apart from saying “told you so”, people around me can’t really do anything. 

What is this ramble about? How do you deal with this? Is it just laziness? I really want to start, I do. And I know that if I start now I can keep being fit for a long time. How do you stick to your plans. Tell me!

Stay in love ❤️

Can true love happen twice?

Before you start reading, I really want to know your answer to this question. Go straight to the bottom of the page NOW and comment with your answer and reasons. 
Done? Thank you so much and I really look forward to reading it. Only because I don’t want to influence your actual opinion. So my answer would be . . . 
A big fat YES… and not just twice but if lucky, even thrice! 
Yes, I believe in true love – the kind that fills you up to the core and makes you complete. The kind that does not require words or big gestures. The ‘forever’ kind. 

But why does it have to be just once or nothing? Everyone and everything deserves a chance. 

I have fallen in love twice. But I wouldn’t discount the first one by saying it wasn’t true love, it was. The second time, however, was in a whole new league. It transformed my life and my future in ways I hadn’t imagined. This is true love. But, like I said, that doesn’t mean the first one wasn’t. 

The point, of this post, is telling people to stop thinking and start loving. It’s okay to make a mistake or three, or to completely fall out of it. This isn’t your last chance. Each moment of your life is a new chance, grab it with all your might and you, like me, might find the one that transcends but does not ever diminish. 

Stay in love ❤️

Parenting tips report for autism and other disorders

Hello everyone,

This is a report I did for the paper last week and I can’t think of a better audience for such a piece. Hope it can help new parents and all parents on what to look for and how to help your children. A shout out to @DavidSnape for his contribution which made this story a touching and hopeful one.

David Snape is a 26 year-old from England who works at a postal office. He also runs a successful blog with more than 2,000 followers and hosts a radio show on Mixcloud.

Half a world way is another 26-year old, in India – her name is Sarah but her life is not that of a functioning adult. She had to be taken out of school at 16 as no mainstream school would accept someone who knew ‘absolutely nothing’. She prefers the safe and comfortable routine at home without which she gets upset. She is also extremely uncomfortable in social situations.

Both of these youngsters have one thing in common – Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD, which covers a wide range of disabilities and symptoms associated with abnormality in brain development.

The difference in how their lives turned out as adults is the difference between awareness and ignorance. In one case, the symptoms were identified, diagnosed and managed while in the other, the child was pushed to her limits, her caregivers and teachers not recognising her disabilities or her specific abilities.

Studies show that on an average, 1 to 2 per cent of children across the globe are diagnosed with ASD. ASD is a spectrum of conditions that are associated with pervasive development disorders – which can also include learning disabilities, language and motor disorders and co-ordination disorders. Other problems include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive behaviours (OCDs) which are not exclusive to neuro-developmental issues.

Gulf News spoke to Dr. Binu George, Consultant Paediatrician (Neurodevelopment and Neuro-disability) at King’s College Hospital Clinics, Abu Dhabi and he said: “These disorders and disabilities are very common in the UAE, with a probability of one in 300-400 children having ASD. However, the lack of awareness and readiness to consult an expert is what makes the child and, in consequence, the family suffer.”

ASD may show all, some or one of these disabilities in children, which can be correctly diagnosed in children aged 9 or younger in most cases. It is easy to identify children with moderate to extreme forms of ASD, at as early as 18 months to 2-years old.

When speaking to Gulf News, Dr. Binu said, “They [the symptoms] can be as simple as uncharacteristic speech delay or lack of normal responsiveness. Extreme reactions against breaking routines, repetitive activity and inability to make eye contact are some other common symptoms.”

However, milder forms of ASD can manifest itself in small yet significant ways after 4 years of age and at any time before the child turns 11 or 12-years old. This is where it becomes essential for parents and teachers to be aware of what to look for in the behaviour of the child.

Talking about the subject, Dr. P.M.M. Sayeed, a specialist in Paediatrics at Aster Clinic said, “What ‘expected behaviour’ is to parents is what makes or breaks the identification of symptoms. If parents refuse to accept that their child is behaving differently, as observed by a teacher for example, the child suffers.”

Most doctors reiterate that parents can be biased as observers of their own children and that teachers are best-placed to identify learning disabilities and behavioural issues. Teaching at least 20 students per class, they can easily spot repetitive patterns in one child’s behaviour.

According to Dr. Binu, when teachers try to diagnose the child and directly confront the parents, it leads to misunderstanding. “Teachers should ideally refer the child to the school counselor, who has psychological experience with children and can observe the child to call [if required] a discussion meeting with the parents for further diagnostic action.” he added.

Dr. Mohammad S. Tahir, a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist at Medcare Hospital, told Gulf News: “If a child is continuously showing bad results in class, teachers can arrange one-on-one sessions for a period of time to check progress or problems, if any. This will help pinpoint issues that parents may not be able to.”

Dyspraxia, a developmental co-ordination disorder, is another common disorder found in children in the UAE. With Dyspraxia Awareness Week in October, health practitioners around the world hope to raise awareness about this condition to help with early diagnosis and to get patients integrated care.

“Earlier the diagnosis, better are the results. As adults it is harder to rewire the mind to accept and manage these conditions”, said Dr. Mahendra Ramdas a specialist neurologist at Aster Clinic.

When the disorders are not diagnosed and children or young adults are left to handle them on their own, the risk of mental health issues becomes extremely high. Anger, anxiety, depression, inability to perform daily tasks and inability to be socially active are common in such cases.

Conditions like ASD do not mean that these children lack intelligence and therefore, treating them as such can hurt their self-esteem. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half (44 per cent) of children with ASD have average to above average intellectual ability.

All parents need to do is to be open to diagnosis. This open-mindedness can help the child lead a normal and productive life. Snape, who was diagnosed with autism as a child, had a supportive growth environment which included his parents, teachers and specialist doctors.

When speaking to Gulf News, he said, “[To people with autism] autism is something you will have all your life but that isn’t going to stop you from making the most of your life and doing something brilliant in your time on earth.“

Hope this helped at least one parent or one prospective parent ❤  Love you guys

P.S. I can add a few fact boxes on common symptoms and disorders if anyone wants them. Let me know 🙂 

The ultimate human superpower

Do you guys think we humans have superpowers? I think we do – not many, just one. 

But we rarely use it as much as we could or rather, should. This power can heal, create, motivate and yes, like all superpowers, can destroy. 

This superpower, like smart people no less than Albus Dumbledore say, is love. It may sound silly to the less poetic or the more practical of us. But at the end of the day, it’s all that endures and all that remains.

This is no new revelation to me because I realized early on in life that love is the only place on earth which gives you more than a 100 second chances and twice as many third ones. Yes, love is a place, it’s a phase, a day, a phone call, one life, a moment in time, a smile or a look, a tear, a washed and ironed shirt in your closet, a country, a job, and even rebuke and a slap. 

How could anyone let love be called just ‘a feeling’?
There’s so much to write about on this and I will slowly, deeply but never completely. 

Tell me what you think ♥️

I see me, why don’t you

So, I am not sure if this is a common thing. Has anyone of you ever felt that people never see you as you see yourself? I mean figuratively AND literally. 

I see myself as a pleasant-faced good-tempered person. I am by no means a ‘fashionista’ or any version of it. But I love some colours, and some styles. I get ready, look into the mirror and whip out feeling good. A few minutes out and people, sadly, many who know me, either openly laugh at me or try to give subtle hints as to why something is wrong. There’s my nice bubble broken for the day. Thank you very much.

I obviously can’t force people to see me as I see myself but is it any body’s business really. I have no problems asking for advice and I regularly do ask. But why do people feel free to spoil a great day by a wrong word or gesture? I think I look good, isn’t that enough really?

Maybe it’s me. Did I let them think that’s okay? I don’t know. I know the best thing to do is ignore and go on but it doesn’t help when its people close to you. 

Ultimate point here; be nice to people. All of us know that something would look better with just ‘that’ thing, but giving that advice should be on a need-only basis. 

Have a beautiful day and rock your looks ♥️

To each his own

It is a given that life is full of struggles – big and small, and each of us go through our own strife. Each of our struggles differ in scale and while one’s bad luck may be a punctured tyre at the worst possible time, for another it may be a test result that shows an onset of cancer.

I have grown up hearing a lot of stories of  struggles. My dad who worked three jobs to get by, my mom who has had four major operations, my partner who lost his father and had to shoulder responsibilities from when he was just a boy, an aunt who survived breast cancer, my friend who had to get engaged despite being in love with someone else, another friend who feels his job is not worth his time or effort. The stories are endless and varied, some seem scarier than the others but one thing is common.

The common thing is that each person’s struggle consumed him or her at that point. It meant unbearable frustration and a lot of fighting. From the person who almost lost a job to one who almost lost life itself, the struggle was real and painful.

We shouldn’t judge as to how someone’s life is better or easier than yours, especially not to their face. How do you know that you would fare better if the roles were switched? You don’t and you wouldn’t want it that way either.

This doesn’t mean you need to stop yourself from pointing out the obvious or ignoring what some people call ‘whining’ which is truly irksome. Most of us know which is which. 

It’s about respecting the person telling you their story. Logical advice is amazing, solutions welcome but most people only want a nod and an ear. This should be your mantra – to each his own. 

Have an amazing beautiful day and don’t forget to smile ♥️😊

Discovery: I am an introvert

Hey everyone!

I am sorry for being MIA for so long but many things have been happening and I am happy to report, most of them are great 🙂

You guys may have read from my previous post that recently I have been cocooned in my own personal shell, very different from the kind of person I or anyone who knows me thought I was. I attributed it to feeling self-conscious or some weird complex I had. Just this week, it struck me that it may not be that, because I actually ENJOY my little shell and I enjoy talking to people from within that shell.

Today, I logged in to tell you guys that I might just have been an introvert all my life and never known it. Does that seem impossible? Or is it just a phase I am having?

I have not in any way become scared to speak or socialize (at least no more than I usually am) but I think I have found this part of me, apparently a predominant part, who is comfortable by myself – at least at work and in social situations. At home and with my partner I am pretty much the same.

I thought back to almost 24 years of purported extrovert-ism that I showed.  I think it all stems from what I was expected to do; by my parents, teachers and more recently, friends. I was always in the crowd, being the center or near the center at all times, jumping up at volunteering, jumping at chances to be seen; when all this while I could have been happier and calmer by myself.

I am not saying I want to be alone, just that I would have liked to learn to be happy with just myself.

I would have learnt that it’s okay to be completely invisible at some point and that did not mean that I would get lost. I only want to be visible through my work, my words and my name, but not actually be in anyone’s face.

I don’t regret anything I have achieved by being visible. I have been important to the system everywhere I studied or worked; I have countless awards for being in the lead for studies and other activities. I have fond memories of all that, but I don’t know if I can ever be like that again.

All this self-introspection started from the question as to why it was necessary for me to say ‘yes’ to everything. Maybe that is it. People asked me if I could do it, if I could say it, if I could be there – and I kept saying ‘Yes’

Ok, now I have gone ahead and started a whole new thread of thought.

Let me know what you guys think ❤ . Have an amazing day!


To forget what I look like

Seriously, I am sitting here at my desk and this thought comes unbidden to my head. Please make me that person I was, my younger self who did not know what I looked like and did not care what you saw on my face.

I have always been a very friendly person. In university and as recently as a year ago, I used to bound towards any human who so much as looked at me (not the creepy kind), introduce and acquaint myself with that person. Some people loved it, others didn’t mind and some hated it, but nobody was rude.

And I, you ask? I didn’t care. As long as I wasn’t hurting anyone or clinging, meeting people and talking to them was a must-do. As long as they seemed ready to do so as well.

I am a hard-working person and have a few accomplishments to keep me afloat and confident. Enough, at least, to feel good about myself and not wallow in despair. Enough to make me have enough things to talk about with you, without being closed to what you have to say.

But nowadays, looking great and being visible has become so much more important than what you can actually do. I had never thought of my way of dressing as a impediment to my work or how socially active I was. But people around me, including my loved ones, keep telling me how people won’t know your true value until you have frizz-free hair, sky high heels and hairless arms. Not saying that I dress that bad, I just dress… comfortably.

Why? Just, why?

This is affecting me so much that I step out of the house and shun away from my habit of being friendly or taking initiative to talk to people. Well-dressed people look intimidating to me where before I never noticed their clothes, only their words and brains. I am now officially cocooned, not talking to the writer sitting right next to me for the past 9 months or anyone else further away.

I don’t want to be judged and I don’t want to spend time making myself look good so you will pay attention. I like wearing make-up and dressing up, and SHAVING, thank you very much. But even if I was a hairy baboon wearing pink pants with a red top and green flats, you should know that I work just as good, laugh just as hard and live just as happily.

So, long story cut short, I don’t want to change others seeing me. I just want to forget how I look or how people expect me to look, so it doesn’t matter anymore. What else can I hope for?

I have tried the obvious solution: Shopping. No, not all girls love shopping.

What do you guys think?

Have a beautiful day ❤ My peeps 🙂