I took a year off….

Furiously Happy by Jenny LawsonI have to be honest…it took everything in me to write this. It’s hard to imagine when you come to a point in your life where you have to walk away from something that you used to love, then feel a need to share it on the internet. Well…here we are. What I thought was going to be a quick break for a few weeks, which is something I did often, turned into a whole year. For a year, I didn’t write, I didn’t post on social media, ignored my blog email, and I didn’t accept books to be reviewed. For a year, I ignored the toxic relationship I had with something that used to bring me so much joy, and I got help.

Right before my break up with A Comfy Chair, my anxiety & depression were running rapid in my life. I was anxious about my job, my relationships, my leadership position at church, and even reading. I was anxious ALL THE TIME; about performance, numbers, getting ahead, and when I didn’t meet my own expectations, I became deeply depressed. I was depressed that I wasn’t getting the books I wanted to review,  having a certain number of followers, that my writing wasn’t good, that I wasn’t performing at my job or at church, and I wasn’t doing what I wanted or loved. So I made the decision, and cut away those things that caused anxiety in my life and sought help. I left church leadership, I stopped reading, I stopped blogging, I took time off my job and went to therapy.

At first, therapy was really hard because I had to come to terms with things I had buried in my life. There were old wounds that had to be ripped open to heal, I had to re-train my brain to think in a new way, and I felt as if I was constantly oozing my anxiety, and feelings all over the place.  I was an open sore for the world to see, and it didn’t feel good.  I was slowly making progress in therapy and was getting the help I desperately needed, but I was missing something. After talking about myself for hours on end, I needed a quiet activity that would keep me sane, and shut up my overactive brain, at the same time. So, I turned back to the thing that brought me joy, I began to read again. But the romance or historical fiction novels I once devoured were not going to cut it this time.  I picked up books on anxiety, depression, and began to see how other people lived and dealt with the same things I was going through.

I dove into books like Furiously Happy, The Happiness Project, Year of Yes, First, We made the beast beautiful, Girl Wash Your Face, Calm the F*ck Down, and re-read The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. Books somehow have this magical ability to make you feel human when you feel like a total weirdo. Books are able to provide a sense of security when everything feels like sand falling between your fingers. Books are the thing that contact people on another level, between hearts, between souls, to say they understand you. Books, my faith, and therapy were going to be the things that saved me in the end. So in honor of Mental Awareness Month, I am back! Happier, healthier, and willing to give this thing another go. I loved this blog when I first started in, so I knew I could love it again. I am choosing not to focus on how many times I post, or how many “Hot Books” I am being sent, or if I need to do more to have a bigger audience. I am choosing to remember why I started this blog in the first place, and remain true to that. I love books, I will always love books, and this blog is my creative avenue to share my love with others. It isn’t about numbers or clicks, but about a bookworm who found herself a good chair to read in and wanted to share that with others.

I am also here to say, that your mental health is important. Do not be like me and wait till everything was falling apart to get help, or talk to someone. It is good to set boundaries in your life, and know that you are not alone. I wish I was wiser about my boundaries and what I let affect my mind and the way I lived my life. You don’t have to go through anxiety or depression alone. There are people out there who are going through the same things, and they wrote books about it! Don’t be afraid to speak up or even talk about your what you are dealing with, it’s OK. Surround yourself with love, and people who are going to support you on your road to a happier, healthier you. I’m rooting for you!

In case you were wondering, in the year away I traveled (A LOT), I read (A LOT), spent time with family, spent time with friends, eventually went back to work, I moved, planned for my future, and reevaluated what mattered in my life. What were the things I had control over, and what things brought me joy? I found those things, and I am excited to be back here reading with you all.

Welcome to those who are new, and Hello to those who have been around. I have missed you all and missed doing this, and I am glad to be back at it. Now… shall we talk about books?!

Happy Reading!

Books mentioned:

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin 

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis 

First, we made the beast beautiful by Sarah Wilson 

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

Calm the F* ck Down by Sarah Knight

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