I’m Still Learning

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past couple of months. I temporarily lost myself in the wake of everything that was going wrong. I reset my mindset again and again and I found new truths and let go of old ones and found hope and lost it and found it again. What went right I didn’t hold on to and anxiety won out.

All of this helped me to see how powerful anxiety can be. It also helped me to see who I really was and what I wanted for myself. Helped me to finally see myself as Tiana the individual and ultimately see that it’s ok to want things for myself. To be selfish. To want to experience love.

To see for the first time the life I want to lead clearly. To see too that it is possible to get there. That there is nothing wrong with dreaming of it. But, to also realize that the only control I have is over myself and my actions and reactions.

I also learned that I can be a bit irrational at times. That fear can make me create situations in my head that are very unlikely to happen even if I believe it at that time. That sort of delusional state is what caused a lot of the problems I encountered in the recent past.

Since realizing this I’ve done my best to resolve the problems that I’ve been encountering. Inwardly and outwardly. One of the best things that has come from this was from a ted talk I found that talked about regret. I forget what it was called but, I saved a quote from it that I will always keep in mind, “If we love people and we don’t want to hurt them or loose them we should feel pain when things go wrong.”

Our regrets and our guilt are not our enemy. It is what tells us what we’ve done that was against who we really are and who we want to be and it teaches us lessons on how to be better as people. I made some majorly stupid decisions that hurt someone I love dearly. But, the regret and the hurt I feel from the aftermath have taught me something of who I am and who I want to be. I’m stubborn. When things go wrong I panic. I want things to work out with all parties involved and I get scared when things go awry to the point that I make things worse because I’m no longer reacting from a rational place. Then upon realizing my mistake I punish myself mentally because I think “how could I have said that? How could I have done that? I’ve ruined everything.”

Because, at the end of the day I’m not a person that gives up on people I care about. I’m the kind of person that stays. I’m the kind of person who will be there for someone even if I hadn’t heard from them for years. I’m not the girl that anxiety creates me to be. I’m not the girl that depression drives me to.

These past few months I had the lowest point in my mental health journey ever and I came out of it. I faced myself and realized that yes I’ve made some bad decisions and yes I’ve caused unnecessary pain, but I’m still learning. I learned the lesson I was meant to learn and I take pride in the fact that I will never make the mistake I made again.

I learned from the pain what it was to really love and not just love another person, but to love myself. Because, even through it all I have myself to keep me stepping forward through every experience life has in store for me.

The weird thing is that while writing this I feel so hopeful. I feel excited about what life has in store for me. I feel for the first time that I’ve truly seen my deepest flaws and accepted them. Accepted myself even though that’s not what this post is about. I’m stubborn and anxious and emotional and impulsive, but all those things come from a place of wanting to be a good person of wanting happiness for myself and those around me and sometimes that means taking an approach that is wrong, but stemming from good intentions and really maybe I’m not so bad after all.

Maybe it’s not that I need to truly change to be the person I wish to be, but to let go of all the negativity towards myself. All that beating myself up. All that misguided self-hatred for feeling like I’m some sort of menace towards the people closest to me. It’s more like I’ve been a temperamental child that took too much on her shoulders and released all the hurt in any way she could trying to keep myself sane and keep everything going right instead of reacting calmly when things went wrong. For the first time, I feel that there really isn’t anything wrong with me. That there never has been. That all the pain I let build inside all that guilt is unfounded. I’ve suffered enough. I don’t need to continue hurting myself mentally anymore.

I know this post has gone a little off the rails and it’s very existential, but I’ve just had one of the most important realizations of my life. I feel free in a totally new way. I feel like myself in a wholly new way. I feel like I can move forward in my life in the best way possible and take on anything that comes my way because I see who I am wholly and I don’t hate myself anymore, because I did.. I did for a long time, but I can see myself for who I am totally and I can see that I’m just trying to do my best with the cards I’ve been given. Yes, I’ve reacted badly, but I know why I had those freak outs and panic attacks and at the center of it all it was from thinking I could do it all on my own and make things better, but that was not in my control. I see myself now and how badly I want to start over and to just live well and love the people I love and not take life for granted. That I deserve to start over. That I deserve to give myself another chance at dancing through life and going with the flow instead of trying to keep everyone happy. To let myself want. To let myself hit a brand new reset button and fully live life authentically as me and know that no matter what it will be beautiful because I won’t be fighting internally anymore. To finally have forgiven myself for everything. To accept myself with all the pain, anxiety, sadness, and all the good, happiness, and hope and see that I truly love myself. To realize that no matter how hard I’ve tried I’ve never truly loved myself like I do in this moment. To know that I’m going to love myself in this way for the rest of my life. To know that I’m going to be my best self from today onward and I’m going to grow so much and love so much deeper from finally accepting myself and loving myself truly from now on.

Thanks for reading! I’ve been on a very huge rollercoaster of a emotional journey recently and I’ve shared it with all of you in the hopes that maybe something I’m going through can help some of you in some way. This post was cathartic and unexpectedly wonderful for me to write. I feel that this was what had been holding me back from living the life I wanted for myself for so long. To know that I’m over it now means that there are infinite possibilities ahead. I’m excited to see where life takes me going forward.

-Till next time!

Using Crisis Chat for the First Time

Yesterday, my mental health plummeted. I wasn’t and have never been suicidal so at least I’m still ok in that way, but I was in so much emotional pain that I felt like throwing up and I could barely eat. The only reason I didn’t throw up was because I hate that more then anything and I will avoid it at all costs. Hence the very minimal eating.

My dad is doing very poorly. Currently, my family and I are on our way to emergency and yesterday once I got off work (I don’t know how I managed to work in the mental state I was in) we went to urgent care and then got his chest X-rayed. However, on top of the already mounting health issues my dad now can barely see. Plus, the way he is talking.. it’s been really hard for me to cope.

Last night, and these past few days I’ve just desperately needed to talk to someone about how I was feeling about the craziness that has become my life. To be open about how lost I feel. How broken I feel I’ve become. How that doesn’t feel allowed for me due to my responsibilities. To talk about how I’m pretty sure I’ve already lost my relationship with someone who made me feel happier everyday.

Everything piled up all at once and I don’t quite know how to handle it. Yesterday I watched YouTube video after YouTube video trying desperately to find any happiness I could. To laugh so I would forget where I was and so I wouldn’t cry. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. All I know is that I need some healing mentally, but I know things seem to only be getting worse and I know that true healing is far away.

Right now, I wanted to talk a little about my conversation. Somehow, I was lucky enough to talk to a counselor who was also a writer! I didn’t find that out till the end, but it was still really cool to talk to someone who also wrote novels, but did something like volunteer to talk to people like me who are under a lot of stress and emotional turmoil.

One thing I noticed was how nice it was to be able to talk to someone who I could tell everything that was going on to. Honestly, I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to, but I didn’t really need to. It just felt good to tell someone what was going on and know that they would listen. I’ve increasingly come to the acknowledgement that I need therapy. There is just too much weight on my shoulders and I don’t want to ever be a burden on anyone. Right now, I feel like a burden. That I’m just going through so much that I’m not only emotionally drained, but that I could potential emotionally drain other people.

My situation feels very unfair, but it is what it is and I have to live this life that I’ve been given. I want to be able to make the most of it, but yesterday I was barely functioning. My mom responds to my tendency toward apathy with a cut it out sort of mentality. Which in a way, kind of works-ish. I have too much riding on my existence in terms of my family’s needs from me to have the ability to completely crumble. Yesterday, I didn’t want to go to work at all. I was having a break down and yet I worked anyway, because it’s not my choice, but I don’t have many choices to make. If it was my choice I would have gone to an actual councilor then and there.

The reason I’m writing all this is because mental health is important to me. Sharing the experience of it is important to me. Being able to connect with others who have struggled and continue to struggle everyday is important to me. To be open in saying I’m struggling and hurting to show it’s normal. It’s not something to be ashamed of. Getting help when you need it is nothing to be ashamed of.

So please, if your ever struggling, please use a hotline or crisis chat.

Here is the link to the crisis chat.

If you need immediate help please call a crisis hotline. Here is a link to different numbers if need be.

Thank you for reading! Thank you all for being with me on my life’s journey. For caring. Many of you know my life has been up and down and crazy recently. I hope that this helps someone. I will continue to write posts like this one as time goes on. Helping someone with my story is all I hope for. Leave your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

A Disappearing Act

Without a word

Without a reply

Without ever knowing why













Into the void.

Left me with empty promises

Left me without a trace

Left me on my own with this poison

I’m now lost in a battle of confusion

Will I ever have this explained to me?

I’m hurting cause’ I thought you would

Have told me if you wanted to walk away

With the magic that you came with you

Sprinkled yourself with some of that dust

And whisked yourself safely into darkness

Yet how can I feel pain when I want to believe

We’ll be ok?

The hope is so much worse then the knowing

You didn’t break it to me easy

You gave me nothing at all

I’m grasping at the straws of sweet memory

Yet even through the hurt

Yet even knowing your gone

I hope that you are doing ok

Your voice is gone

Your music is gone

Yet I don’t have your touch to remember

Are you just another person that’s truly left me

Or is there something that I’m missing?

I don’t have a choice

I may never know

What happened to this love

That now has only bones

My heart still warms thinking of you

But I still know I’m left out in the deep blue



You succeeded

My heart is whole and torn to pieces

I don’t know why I still have hope

You’ll never see the mess you made by not properly letting go

But if you hadn’t why’d you disappear so completely..

left me in the dark on what your feeling

Only time will tell me if you’d truly gone

You gave me no choice to decide if you were ever a hazard at all

Are you waiting behind that curtain call?

To hear a standing ovation, the thousands to applaud?

I guess I’ll be here dancing on my own

Waiting for arms that may never come to hold me close

Because you vanished without saying goodbye

Or see you later

So I swallow the first as a pill

believe in the possibility of the second

But I feel I may never know the answer

Thanks for reading! This poem is very personal and it’s filled with everything I’m feeling right now. I hope at least you all can take something from it. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day and if it weren’t for Andrew’s amazing post where he created a Suicide Prevention Playlist. I would have missed it completely.

So, when I read his post, I spent the time from then till now listening to the playlist he put together. It’s full of heartbreaking, head banging, wonderful music. Some songs I’ve heard many times and others I had never listened to before. (I’m only surprised knowing him that he didn’t put in Iridescent (which I recommend all of you reading to listen to after you check out Andrew’s playlist).

So riffing off of his post. I want to talk a little bit about mental health and Suicide.

I’ve discussed on here before that I have some very personal experiences with this subject. Not just from suffering from depression, but from having an uncle who sadly committed suicide a few years ago.

Over the years, I’ve come to understand my uncle in a way that breaks my heart. He was a father, a great uncle, and an all around good guy to be around. He loved his family. He loved his daughters. But he also loved alcohol and smoking and because of divorce, financial struggle, and so many other things.. he had enough. I don’t think I ever blamed him. In truth, I blamed my grandmother. She had brought him to live with us and was supposed to help him and instead gave up on him. I wonder sometimes if he’d still be alive if she hadn’t.

My uncle was this super tall, heavily tattooed, mostly bald guy who terrified me when I first met him, but I watched one of my first horror movies with him and my cousins ‘the grudge’ and he taught me how to ride a bike, and he was always good to me. It really saddens me to know that he snuffed out his own light.

More then me, my cousins, his daughters, were devastated by the loss of their dad. Their hurt made mine deeper. I often cried for them.

On my own.. when my mind went darkest, I thought briefly about Suicide. Writing it, I know it’s the truth, but having it in black and white is surreal. Whenever I couldn’t handle my thoughts and I needed to be away I’d head into the bathroom, but every time, after a few minutes my mom would come knocking. She never ever left me alone. Even though the worst I ever did was cut off bits of hair.. she never let me get to a place where I could do more and when I realized that she knew before I did that my mind was going towards darkness it made me vow to myself never to act on those thoughts. For my family I made it a mission not to harm myself. To get my life together and to turn to positivity.

Early on, I often took to Instagram where they had posts that had quotes from people who felt as I did and I fell through the rabbit hole that showed me self-harm. I never got to the point where I cut myself. I’m lucky. When I told my mom recently that I used to look at those kinds of posts she looked at me like I was still in that place. She still worries. My interest in mental health and discussing it all worries her more.

Right now, I’m in the best place mentally that I’ve ever been in. It shocks me. I think of all the things that have happened recently that should weigh on me and I find that they don’t. I can’t believe that. I’m happy. I’m happy with my family. I’m happy with my future. I’m happy with the incredible guy that makes me feel like I could fly into the clouds. Instead of shutting down like I normally would in times where I feel like my problems are piled against me, I’m moving forward and I feel really good for the first time in forever.

Yet still, my mom tells me not to read some of the stuff that I read. Not to involve myself with labels and discuss what I have and how I had felt for the majority of my life. She doesn’t realize what it means to me. That the word depression gave me the answer I needed to know that I’m normal that the thoughts aren’t really me. To come to the realization that thoughts can lie to you. She doesn’t realize that since I’ve discussed my truth on this blog it’s been easier to deal with. Many of you out there know how I feel. Struggling together makes the weight of it so much less.

I dream of a world where Suicide isn’t something that touches people’s lives, sadly I know that that won’t happen any time soon, but discussing it. Discussing ways to heal. Getting help. Maybe we could make the Suicide rate smaller.

If you or anyone you know are thinking of Suicide. Please call the Suicide Prevention hotline for your country. Check out this international list for the number for your country.

If you can look up and donate to your local Suicide Prevention center. But, more importantly if you know of someone who is struggling, be there for them. Show the people you love you care. Even if someone doesn’t look like their struggling, give them love. Depression is invisible. Unless I talked about it no one could tell I was depressed. More then once I’ve been told by people around me that they think of me as a girl who is always smiling. I’m not.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

I hope we all take this time to be a little kinder to one another. I hope this post has helped you in some way.

-Till next time!


I am like a wave crashing rushing to touch the shore, then with the sands grazing across my skin I run back only to crash right back into the beach surface. 

I am like the light of the sun pleasent for a short mornings bask, but deadly and uncomfortable after too much exposure and I will never apologize. 

I am like the rock who sits and waits and takes and takes and takes and who is molded by other hands who see more then simple stone, but then breaks into dust by crushing grip. 

I am like every story you have ever heard swirling with some inner beauty but who suffers and suffers and suffers until deemed unrecognizable and changed. 

I am like the bird who is caged and hits itself upon the Glass that is freedom until stunned and dead and never free. 

My body is the clock growing and moving and dying with each slow second dimming and aching at the loss of yesterday. 

I am like the stars in the sky and the wind and the earth and everything in it and every thing in the universe. 

Nothing is new, nothing is original, nothing is the same. 

Every muscle of my being every molecule that vibrates inside me yearns for the day that would be different. 

The monotony, the pain, the work, the sorrow… I ache for it all to be for something. 

I fear the day I consider that my life was for nothing… as we all do. 

But my words are my own form of sedition…. against all things and for everything. 

My hope is what drives the fire and let’s the ashes burn. 

-Till next time! 

Life Update: Today Was A Terrible Day

Today was a day that simply sucked. The past few months have been very up and down but never were at the level of today’s terribleness and I honestly don’t know what to do with myself after today. 

My life has always been a complicated one. I was born to a mother that couldn’t raise me, adopted by a grandmother on my dad’s side that frankly should have never been a mother, yet raised all my life from a baby to a family unrelated to me, but became the people who loved me and the ones I now call my God family, my true family. 

Over the past 18 years I have had more run-ins with my grandmother then I could count and I have never once had 10 minutes in her presence without her threatening or yelling at me. Our relationship was always nonexistent. I have lived with my God family all my life and have only ever visited my grandmother, but that’s never stopped her from finding ways to emotionally attack me. 

It sucks that I can’t say I’m suprised about what happened today. Supposedly someone stole the plates from my car but were caught and the police had the person arrested. The police took the plates to the station and my God family and I drove to go pick it up. Low and behold my grandmother was there (She had been calling and causing commotion all day) and she got in my God moms face yelled at her asked for the keys which my God mom gave to her and headed outside to where I was sitting in the car with my God dad reading a book. My grandmother (who also brought a long time friend with her and her friends children with her) proceeded to say she was going to take the car. When I got out of the car and she went in my face saying if I wasn’t going to speak to her for a minute, I choose not to anwer and my God family and I (my God mom and dad both elderly and my God sister) started a four hour journey to walk all the way home. (Even though my grandmother said she would drive us back there was no way we were not going to walk because if I went in that car there would be a yelling fest of the century and I was too angry to get in a car with someone that literally just took away the only car my God family and I had. (That would be like getting in the car with someone who just knifed you in the gut). 

Honestly, there is way way more to this story as it is also related to more then 18 years of being hurt by the same woman, but honestly I could write a book about my history and it would suck because this episode while the worst recently isn’t the worst of all time. 

I’m upset. I’m angry. I’m feeling emotionally drained and sad. I’m hurting and I fear that this is only the beginning of worse things. I generally try to post positivity on here, but this was such an insane thing that I needed to share or else risk emotional implosion. 

If you are religious your prayers are appreciated. If you are not your good will is also appreciated. However, the one thing I really need right now is happy thoughts. So send me a link to something that made you laugh or a picture of a cute animal or anything happy and animal related really. Knowing that I can still smile in the face of all this mess is a comfort to me and knowing that I’m smiling at something you have also smiled at is a true blessing and a comfort. 

Thank you all for taking the time to read this. I’m terribly sorry that this isn’t my usual positive Bookish post. I almost didn’t post anything at all, but I don’t think I could do that. This blog keeps me sane and your comments always make me smile. 

-Till next time.

The Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler : A Review 

The Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler 

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire 

Published: April 4th, 2017

Received: I received an e-arc from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Purchase:  Book Depository

Cyndy Etler’s gripping memoir gives readers a glimpse into the harrowing reality of her sixteen months in the notorious “tough love” program the ACLU called “a concentration camp for throwaway kids.”
I never was a badass. Or a slut, a junkie, a stoner, like they told me I was. I was just a kid looking for something good, something that felt like love. I was a wannabe in a Levi’s jean jacket. Anybody could see that. Except my mother. And the professionals at Straight.
From the outside, Straight Inc. was a drug rehab. But on the inside it was…well, it was something else.
All Cyndy wanted was to be loved and accepted. By age fourteen, she had escaped from her violent home, only to be reported as a runaway and sent to a “drug rehabilitation” facility that changed her world.
To the public, Straight Inc. was a place of recovery. But behind closed doors, the program used bizarre and intimidating methods to “treat” its patients. In her raw and fearless memoir, Cyndy Etler recounts her sixteen months in the living nightmare that Straight Inc. considered “healing.”

Trigger warning for sexual abuse*


No book has ever made me physically sick before, but this one, this one did the trick. The horrors that Cyndy had to endure. The grossness of straight the inhumanity of it makes it little better then a concentration camp. I kept trying to disassociate myself from what I was reading in my mind. I tried to keep myself thinking that it was fiction when my mind was continuously screaming at me it’s real, it’s real, it’s real. This book is hard to read. This book is heartbreaking. Yet it captivates you with every single word. 

Cyndy is a hero in my mind. I have to commend her for the strength she showed by writing about something so personal and so tragic. Cyndy will change lives with this book and I know it because in so many ways The Dead Inside has changed mine. I never knew that Straight Inc. was an actual place. That the Just Say No campaign and so many of other movements against drugs in some way created something so sinister. The Dead Inside is the perfect title because that’s what Straigtlings are hollow and dead versions of their former selves. This book has made me want to act out and spread awareness. To find out more about Straight and its sister programs so that I could in turn get others to become aware and fight against this injustice. 

The sort of brainwashing and “treatment” Straightlings received were inhuman. The fact that it made many Straightlings feel like it was the only safe place when they were living in a hell on earth is absurd and it completely angered me. 

However, Straight itself was not the part that hit me the hardest. What hit me most was Cyndy’s years before Straight. Where her stepfather was an evil that destroyed my heart and her mother did nothing to stop any of it. Sexual abuse is something that breaks my heart the most because it the one thing that can break down a human to the point of true emptiness. 

The Dead Inside is a heartfelt survival story of a normal girl forced into horrific circumstances. It will break your heart over and over only to be healed by the knowing that Cyndy made it through because otherwise this story would have never been written at all. 

Thanks for reading! I’m sorry that this got really depressing towards the end. I loved this book and I feel honored to have been able to have read it. I hope you all get to read it someday soon! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

-Till next time!

Can’t Breathe: National Poetry Month

A constriction of air in my head 

A pressure beyond I can contest

An anxiety building out of control

A feeling that is full of undeniable fear 
I pace and rage 

What can I do 

How can I fix

This terrible feel
It burns and hurts restricting my chest 

A fish in water yet can’t breathe none the less

Helplessness and intensity stabs at me 

Ohh how I wish my airways wouldn’t fail me 
Let me breathe 

Clear the path

Calm the storm 

That’s a wrap
Thanks for reading!!! I honestly feel like this way too often. I hope you enjoyed this short poem. 

-Till next time! 

A Conversation

Tell me, 

Who told you these lies? 

You know, 

More than anyone else ever could. 

Who hurt you so deeply you can’t even look up?

It was her, I told you before didn’t I? I hurt her first, its not her fault. 

What happened? 

Pain happened. Right place wrong time. My mind was cloudy, I thought it was her! 

What went wrong?

Everything and nothing. That girl was hurt I held her, she kissed me, I let her, it’s all my fault. 

And after? 

There was yelling, she… she never listened you know? H-how could I ever know.. I didn’t want it to end the way it did. 

What now?

I don’t know. How could I? I thought I loved her, I know now I was wrong. 

Why are you crying? 

I miss her, s-she stabbed me and I still miss her, nothing can be done now. 

It wasn’t your fault. 






I’m sorry, Goodbye. 

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed, I would love to hear what you make of this. 

-Till next time!

Sadness: The Story of a Book Unhaul

There comes a time in life when you realize that you have a serious problem and if you don’t make a point to fix it right then and there it will forever be broken. 

There comes a time where you realize that you are running out of shelf space and you can’t buy a new shelf anytime soon. 

There comes a time where you realize that many books on said bookshelves are just taking up space and you just need to push yourself to let them go. 

Now’s the time when all these things have come to pass. 

Now’s the time to mourn and let go. 

Goodbye my sweet books, I shall miss you, but your time has come and gone and I need to move on. 

The time for my first ever voluntary book unhaul is here. 

The purge has begun! 

First up on the chopping block is The Last Place on Earth

The beautiful galaxy cover of this book has deceived me. This book is a Dnf I won’t miss (it kills me to say this about a book) it could have been so good, but it burned me bad. I have so many trust issues after this book. 

Next to go is an extra copy of Jane Eyre

This is a painless release because I still own a copy. I really need to create more room on my shelves. I have so many books I want to read and not nearly enough room to keep them. 

The disappointing sadness that is Go Ask Alice 

Another book that could have been fantastic, but the difference is that this one is purposefully deceptive. It makes me so sad that this was falsely marketed for years. The fact that I read it recently and didn’t found out till I was half-way through made me feel cheated. One of the biggest disappointments of my entire reading career. 

School oldies: The Power and the Glory & Cry the Beloved Country

These two were Ap English reads that while somewhat interesting to read the one time through, are not books I am interested in re-reading. So, these books sadly must go. 

An impulse library buy: The Thief

At one point in my life, I might have been interested in this. It has been on my shelf for way to long and I have no desire to read it. 

Unnecessary Series: Mercy and Dreaming Awake

I probably would have enjoyed this one, but I don’t see myself buying the first book and it felt like I was holding on to it for too long. It saddens me, but this book will be leaving my home. 

I no longer have a desire to read this series. I only ever got book one and I never felt motivated to read it, so I guess this is goodbye? 

The time has come to say goodbye, to lovely homes I hope you fly. Please be found by those who appreciate, your somewhat weird acquired taste. Goodbye my loves, stories that were just not part of my fate. Whether or not I enjoyed you doesn’t matter, what matters is you are free to date! 

I really enjoyed writing this somewhat quirky little post. I hope you liked it. Thanks for reading!

 What books have you had to unhaul? What was your most disappointing read? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. 

I hope you are having a great day/night/week. 

-Till next time!