Tag Archives: struggle

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Midnight Library By Matt Haig Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Midnight Library By Matt Haig Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, without giving any spoilers away, we are going to be talking about the super popular The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. A month or so ago, I felt like I was constantly getting recommendations to read this book and, obviously, I caved since we are discussing it now! Multiple people told me it was “one of the best books” they have ever read and I was definitely interested in seeing if it lived up to the hype.

While I can certainly understand why people really enjoyed this book, I didn’t think it was the best thing I have read by any means. I was into it for the first two hundred pages or so but it dragged out quite a bit and I was ready for it to be over. Let’s discuss further but before doing so I will put a trigger warning in place as The Midnight Library deals with suicide.

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Nora has had a bad day and, according to her, an all around bad life filled with regrets and what ifs. She had the potential to be an Olympic athlete or a rock star but now she lives alone in a shabby apartment and just got fired from her job at a music shop. Broken family relationships and friendships leave her feeling even more alone and her cat died. Her life feels unaccomplished and meaningless and she wants it to end. So she takes an overdose.

But, just when Nora thinks her life is over, she wakes up in a library that is filled with an infinite number of books and is overseen by the librarian at Nora’s high school twenty years ago, Mrs. Elm. This place is called The Midnight Library and it is where people who are hovering between life and death might find themselves. It looks different to everyone but the idea is the same: You can try out any kind of life you would like and if you find one that makes you especially happy, you can stay there.

Before Nora gets to take a different life for a test spin, she must face her own personal Book Of Regrets. As you can guess, its pages are filled with all of the things Nora wanted to do but didn’t. By confronting these regrets, she is able to narrow down the lives she might like to try, like if she really did become an Olympian or a glaciologist. However, despite all of these different lives, Nora always ends up back in the library because something about it didn’t make her completely happy.

Nora can’t stay in The Midnight Library forever and she is quickly running out of time but none of the lives have fully restored her will to live. She is in a place where people are either born or die so what will she end up choosing? Read The Midnight Library to find out!

Now, let me start off by saying that I absolutely LOVED the idea of The Midnight Library and the possibility to live a multitude of different choices, careers, and lifestyles all around the world. I also deeply appreciated the resounding theme of the book that true happiness can be found within yourself and your perspective. Happiness doesn’t come from what you did or failed to do but how you are best living in this one moment because each one opens up a new universe. Like Nora, I struggle with mental health issues and and this was a powerful and inspiring message to me.

Overall, I liked The Midnight Library a lot but it lost a lot of its initial momentum at the halfway mark. The first few times Nora was transported to a new life it was exciting but then there was another, and another, and another… And it just felt like it was never going to end. There was so much build up for an ending that was very easy to be predicted and all of the extra life hopping and parallel universe theories seemed unnecessary and, frankly, it got to be a little boring.

Despite being too drawn out for my taste, this book kind of had a Mitch Albom The Five People You Meet In Heaven vibe and it was a good read. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve read recently but it wasn’t the worst, either. I am going to rate it with a seven out of ten stars. I enjoyed the story line and the hopeful message. It is also a great reminder to always be kind because you never know what someone is going through. I recommend giving it a read!

What are you currently reading? What did you think about The Midnight Library? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Mental Health And Who Is There To Support You

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Mental Health And Who Is There To Support You

It is understandable to see how one’s mental health can be effected during the COVID-19 pandemic as everyone’s lives have changed so drastically in one short year. Jobs, finances, and socializing has all been turned upside down and that’s enough to stress anyone out. We all hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and normality will return soon, but in the meantime, if you are finding yourself struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression that you reach out and get the support you need.

Here are some useful suggestions on who you could turn to:

Mental Health Charities:

Mental health charities are wonderful as they have a stash of resources, trained staff, and professionals available to help. They can guide you and assist if counseling is needed, help you assess the best options available in your location, in addition to offering their services twenty-four hours a day. It is worth noting with charities, that there is a vast range of services offered and that some charities may have a more in-depth knowledge relating to specific age groups than others.

Your Family Doctor:

Approaching your personal doctor or physician is also a good port of call if you have any mental health concerns. They will be able to offer excellent guidance on additional support that can be provided and help arrange this for you. Whilst in some cases, they may even be able to prescribe medication to help support your recovery. As you will already have some relationship with this medical professional you may find this an easier first step than approaching someone new.

Employer:

Most employers have some kind of support system in place to help their employees. This will range from office workers that have occupational health benefits or private insurance included to actors and actresses that have an intimacy set coordinator in place to support their mental well being. Although you may find it tough approaching your boss to discuss these matters, know that they are there to help and support you.

Family And Friends:

Sometimes it can be easier to speak to someone you know and trust. Who is better than those that love you the most? Reaching out to a family member or close friend can make seeking help easier for some people. They already have an understanding of your situation, circumstances, and struggles. They are able to offer a friendly ear and, in some cases, can take some of the burdens you are feeling and offer or apply practical solutions to lift your mental load. Schedule a Zoom call with your best friend the next time you are feeling down, it will do a world of good.

It is important to talk about our feelings in such stressful times, not bottle them up! This will only make the pandemic feel more overwhelming. Schedule a call with a professional or a friend you trust to help ease mental health struggles and just know that you are not alone in feeling that way, at all.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Have You Lost Weight?

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Have You Lost Weight?

Trigger Warning – This post discusses eating disorders!

Hi everyone! Have you ever received a compliment that made you a little upset? As a recovering bulimic, I admit that I still worry about my weight a lot even though I haven’t purged in several years. So, when I was asked twice in one work day if I lost weight it definitely had me feeling some type of way – even though I don’t really do anything to work out except for a couple of short walks once or twice a week.

I genuinely hate being asked if I lost weight because the thoughts that instantly form in my mind go along the lines of “was I overweight before?” and “challenge accepted, I’ll lose more”. It is extremely triggering for me and, although I have much better coping skills now, I still have to deal with those thoughts and I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t still thinking about it.

A lot of people think that asking someone if they have lost weight could be a compliment but I know firsthand that it is anything but. I encourage all of you to really think before you ask someone that and would advise to only ask it if you know for a fact that the person is actively trying to lose weight for a healthier lifestyle. You have no idea if the person you’re asking has or had an eating disorder, an illness, or tons of stress that has attributed to their recent weight loss. What you think is a compliment could actually be harmful and has the power to hurt feelings and exasperate issues that people are currently struggling or used to struggle with.

If you genuinely want to compliment someone in regards to their weight, I would recommend just telling them that they look good. “Hey, you look nice today” has a lot less of a negative connotation than straight up asking if they lost weight. Some people might roll their eyes when they read this post as they are sick of having to “monitor” what they say. But, as writers, we all know that words have power and effect everyone differently.

I know all of the statements in this post to be true for me personally and I just wanted to open everyone’s eyes to a comment that they might not even think about before they make it. Choose your words carefully and don’t use them to cause anyone any additional stress – with the state of the world right now, I promise that we all have a lot more important things to deal with than racing thoughts about if you lost a couple of pounds. Just something to think about!

What is a “compliment” that you hate receiving? What is a compliment that you like to give to people? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Final Therapy Update

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Final Therapy Update

Helloooo! I hope that all of you are having a wonderful weekend so far. As you can tell by the title of this post, this will be my Final Therapy Update until I choose to go again. I was definitely on the fence about going to my appointment this week, and I ended up canceling it.

I just feel tired of going over the same things week in and week out, and I almost feel like being in therapy gave me an excuse to engage in risky behaviors like binge eating or drinking, because I could just talk about it at my next appointment. My therapy sessions were very helpful to a point, but I felt like the metaphorical wall had been hit, and none of the advice that I was getting was anything that I felt like I could utilize.

This is not to say that I didn’t like my therapist at all, because I really did. But, I also felt like she was trying to force a belief system on me that I was not comfortable with, and didn’t seem to have any other advice but that. Although I could totally research things on my own, I did expect to gain some new insights during therapy and, after a while, I just wasn’t any more.

If a mental rough patch comes up, I do plan on returning again so that I have a safe place to communicate my feelings. But, for now, I am taking my medication daily and seeing what I can do on my own to start improving things for myself.

Has there been a time when therapy has been helpful for you? What are some of your mental health struggles? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah