What Anxiety Means to Me

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This is me, Chasity. I look like your average person that has nothing going on and I look fine. I look like I have my life together, right? Wrong. I suffer from something that most people claim to be fake, or all in my head and it’s not- especially when many people suffer from it. We can’t all be making up the same ailment, right? So it isn’t all in our heads. We legitimately have something wrong and have to go about our day differently because some days it’s just hard. At this point you’re probably concerned with what I’m talking about, so here it is- I have anxiety.

Anxiety is defined in the dictionary as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anxiety)

I’ve always struggled with anxiety but never realized what it was until a few months ago. In fact, I pegged it like everyone else. It was something just in my head, and if I ignored it long enough, it would just go away. I didn’t want to admit that something was wrong because I already face so many issues and I didn’t want something else on my plate. But deep down inside I knew what I was feeling wasn’t normal and that I couldn’t keep denying what was going on. I couldn’t keep suffering with the anxiety I felt every time I stepped out of my  home, every time I was in a crowd, every time something changed in my life, etc. It all became overwhelming, and rather than let people in I shut them out. Basically I shut down.

What I mean by shutting down is that I hide from the world when I get in an anxiety funk. When I hit that anxiety brick wall that takes me down several notches and leaves me on the ground, I hide. I don’t like emotions, or dealing with them, I’d rather bottle them up and forget about them. And I wasn’t raised that way. I don’t like how it makes me feel to be sad, angry, anxious, etc. I wish I could just be happy all the time, but we don’t live in a fairytale where happiness grows on trees. And that’s just the way it is.

I think my anxiety plays a huge role in why I recoil and hide whenever my emotions are running rampant. And the most logical answer I can figure out is that I just don’t know how to state what I’m feeling or how to handle it. My body gets confused and the only thing it knows how to do is shut down. Kind of like when your computer freezes and it freaks out and reboots that’s what my body does. I physically reboot because of my anxiety. I freeze up and then eventually reboot. It takes me a few days after hitting the anxiety brick wall to get back to my normal self, which sucks, but sometimes you need to lie low and just figure it all out. Which is hard when you don’t know what caused you to hit the wall in the first place.

For me what triggered me to seek help was my anxiety causing my tics to be more frequent while at work. I would get nervous about what people thought if they saw me twitching thus making me more anxious and cause me to have more tics throughout the day. So I decided to tell my doctor what was going on. And I feel loads better after doing it, but not completely healed. I still have my moments where I hit that wall and feel like total crap- to be honest as I type this I’m there right now (which is why I’m typing this).

Other things that cause people to hit an anxiety brick wall is stress, and this is big for me. I’m a huge stressor. I allow everything to get under my skin. And right now there’s a lot happening. And my body just said, “Ok, I can’t take anymore it’s time for a reboot,” and I shut down.

Sometimes these shut downs come with tears. Sometimes they come with rage. Most of the time they come with me curled up in a ball in the dark just hiding trying to figure out what the heck I hit- or should I say what hit me. Because literally it feels like being ran over by a semi from time to time. And it sucks! Especially because people don’t see it as a real thing.

Anxiety is just as real as anything else, and it should be treated that way. If a person with anxiety says they don’t want to go out after making plans, it doesn’t mean they’re avoiding you, it means something caused their anxiety to flare up and they literally can’t leave. It means something restricted them from feeling like getting up and putting on pants because sometimes the smallest things like putting on clothes can be the hardest when an anxiety attack kicks in. Sometimes lying in bed is the only thing you can do because it’s the only thing you can do. It’s not because we’re lazy or don’t care. It’s because our bodies physically can’t do it. And we need you to understand that sometimes we just can’t. We want to, and we try, it’s just sometimes we really can’t no matter how hard we try.

In the end we don’t control when these awful attacks occur but we have to face them. And yes, those around us are left to suffer when they occur because they are left to deal with why we canceled, or didn’t do something. But know it isn’t because we didn’t care, or didn’t put in the effort. We tried, and all we want is acceptance for what you can’t see. Acceptance for the battle raging on in our heads as we go through our daily activities praying we won’t have a breakdown because of our anxiety. Praying we can make it out of the house and have a normal day. Praying that something doesn’t cause the anxiety to flare up and leave us shattered on the floor. Praying for those good days where everything goes right and we feel like a normal human being.

Instead of hurting one another with harsh words we need to build each other up. It will make things a lot better if we’re kinder to each other. Be nice, you never know what someone’s going through.

 

To learn more about Anxiety here are a few links to check out:

Web MD

Health.com

NIMH

Review of The Paper Magician

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Amazon

Blurb

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

From the imaginative mind of debut author Charlie N. Holmberg, The Paper Magician is an extraordinary adventure both dark and whimsical that will delight readers of all ages.

My Review:

Five Stars

I’ve been wanting to read Paper Magician for a while now and finally got around to reading it and I’m glad that I did, because now I’m hooked. And I can’t wait to read the next installment and see what happens next- though I’m curious if it involves different characters since it is titled The Glass Magician and Ceony and MG Thane are paper magicians.

When I first started reading this book I wasn’t sure what a paper magician was. I initially just thought of a regular magician, but didn’t consider magic being broken into different categories and a person being bound to one object forever, which thinking about now sort of stinks. Can you imagine being bound to something you hate forever, never to be able to change that? That’s what Ceony fears as she journeys to MG Thane’s home. She doesn’t want to be a Paper Magician, but she has no choice in the matter as that’s what she was chosen to bond to.

We follow Ceony and watch her grown into her paper magician skills, and become quite good at the art. But then something horrible happens. And she goes on a dangerous mission to help her instructor. I think most students probably wouldn’t do the same, in her situation, especially college environment. But then again if I knew someone’s life were on the line and I was the only one willing to help them I’d do what I could to save them. So Ceony did just that. She risked her life to get the one thing that could save MG Thane- his heart. I know if I would have went through what she did I would have been a total wreck when I got back to the house, my whole world would have crumbled around me. She went through some crazy things to get MG Thane’s heart back, but she did it because she cared for him.

And I think the thing I love most about this novel is watching Ceony’s mind change about paper folding from one of hate to one of love. In the beginning she felt trapped, but as the story progressed she learned to love the item she’d been bonded with. Like we all learn to love the cards we are dealt in life. Sometimes we are not happy in the beginning, but we all come to be satisfied in the end. Which I think is a lesson we can all learn from Ceony. We may not like the cards that are dealt to us, but they are dealt to us for a reason, so we just need to follow through and one day that reason will be spelled out to us.

Review of Born of Water

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Amazon

Blurb:

In the buried archives of the Temple of Dust may lie the secret to defeating the Curse, a creature which seeks to destroy 16-year old Ria for the forbidden gifts she possesses. But it is from among the ranks of those who control the Curse where Ria will find her best chance of success.

Only the Priestess Niri can save Ria from the forces that hunt her, if Niri doesn’t betray the girl first. Along with Ria comes Ty and his sister, Lavinia, both bound to defend Ria from the Church of Four Orders. However, Ty has been living a life less than honest and keeping it from his sister. To survive a journey that takes them across the breadth of their world, the four must learn to trust each other before pursuit from the Church and Ty’s troubled past find them.

Born of Water is the first book in the Rise of the Fifth Order Saga full of elemental magic and epic fantasy adventure. Welcome to the mythical world of Myrrah, ruled by the Church of Four Orders – Fire, Earth, Water, and Air.

My Review:

Five Stars

Words cannot express how much I loved this novel. It starts off with such a hook that you immediately crave more of it and find it hard to put it down. It leaves you on the edge of your seat craving more as you turn each page. And even has you yelling at certain characters to go ahead and confess their love for each other. The last one is rare for me to do, because normally I’m not the person wanting characters to fall in love. But the love between four characters in Born of Water was so powerful that I could feel it and I was mentally yelling at them- and trust me I was delighted when they confessed their affections.
Each character is extremely relatable and you can’t help but love them right from the start. Ty who risks it all for a girl he thinks he loves. Ria who is on the brink of death because of who she is. Niri who risks her life to save a girl she doesn’t even know. Lavinia who puts it all on the table to protect her friend. These are the people you want to have by your side if the apocalypse happens because they hold true to each other. They are true friends and work so well together. Then other’s come into the mix adding to their team and it’s amazing to see the team work build, and their skills grow.
Now the part I didn’t see coming was what Ria actually is. From the start it is said that she has the power of magic and isn’t an elemental. Having the power of magic is forbidden in the world that Born of Water is set in. So a curse comes after Ria, wanting to kill her. But in the end it comes out that Ria isn’t what Niri thought she was. And Niri isn’t exactly what she thought she was either. Or at least she can do more things than she thought she could do, which is really cool to think of. And isn’t something I saw coming at all. I kind of felt it with Ria, but not with everyone else, and that’s amazing. I love when a book throws something at me that I didn’t expect and keeps me on my toes. It makes reading interesting.
I really enjoyed this book so much that I went and got the next one right after I finished the first, and can’t wait to read it. I look forward to many great reads from Autumn Birt, because she’s a brilliant writer.

 

Review of Ruby Celeste and the Ghost Armada

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Amazon

Blurb:

Prepare to enter a dangerous place—the world of sky pirates!

After arriving at The Pharmacologist’s Eden, a grand floating port run by the cut-throat Rhod Stein, Ruby Celeste discovers the deckhand she arranged to purchase has been sold out from under her and replaced with a man kidnapped from the world’s surface. So after dispatching his guarding henchmen, she snatches him and then flees—but not before blowing a gaping hole in the SkyPort.

But unbeknownst to Ruby, Stein survives the blast. And along with the assassins now hot on her tail, she has other problems to contend with: the frail man she kidnapped and his newfound place on her ship, a pervasive series of dangerous electrical malfunctions—and what about the diary she finds on a derelict ship? Are its pages filled with the deranged words of a madman—or does it really hold the key to finding the mysterious Ghost Armada?

My Review:

Five Stars

Ruby Celeste and the Ghost Armada was a wonderful tale of Ruby and her crew flying through the air in their airship. You follow the crew as the travel to get a new deckhand but end up getting cheated by the man who was selling the deckhand. This ticks off Ruby and ends up causing chaos and leads to a chase. In the process Ruby takes the deckhand, who she finds out was kidnapped from his home on the surface, and he wants to go home.

Along the journey Ruby and her crew are attacked on three occasions.Each attack leaves her ship is worse condition than what it started in, and it doesn’t seem like the ship started in great condition to start with. But the crew stands together and keeps fighting whatever is dished their way by the man pursuing them, however Ruby assumes that the man she brought back on to her ship is the cause of these attacks. Later she comes to realize that he isn’t, but only after a crew members has jumped off the ship and the ship is left in shambles after an attack.

In the end it all works out for Ruby and her crew, and it’s awesome to see how the story starts out one way and ends a totally different one. I didn’t expect many of the things that occurred to occur, and it kept me on my toes and I absolutely loved that. I can’t wait to read what happens next to Ruby and her crew, because I’ve come to love them

Review of Fire and Frost

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Amazon

Blurb:

Crystal Frost has spent her whole life believing she’s ordinary, and her mother has long held the secret of her heritage. When Crystal begins seeing the ghost of a dead classmate, her life spirals out of control. She’s faced with the threat that everyone will find out she’s a freak, as if the struggle to figure out her new-found abilities wasn’t enough pressure. Crystal has to find some way to save the people who have come to her for help all while trying to keep her abilities a secret. Will she be able to fulfill these overwhelming demands while solving the mystery that is the ghost of Olivia Owen?

My Review:

Five Stars

Fire and Frost by Alicia Rades was an amazing read that left you on the edge of your seat. I found it very hard to put this book down, and actually read it in two days because I couldn’t put it down. And I think because the characters are so well crafted that that makes it so much easier for the reader to fall in love with the read quicker.
Crystal is your average teenager, or so she thinks and then her life takes a turn she didn’t expect when she starts seeing the ghost of a girl that passed away a year ago. Eventually she learns that she has abilities she didn’t know she had and that her mom does too. And she goes on this journey to learn more about who she is and strengthen her abilities with the help of her best friend and mom. But she also has to help the ghost of her classmate, and her classmate that is blackmailing her because she knows her secret.
We follow Crystal as she pieces the puzzle together and figures it all out. And in the end she helps everyone that needed her help. And she learns something about herself along the way, which is always really cool when that happens to characters in a novel.
I became quite fond of Crystal and enjoyed seeing her grow as a character and into her abilities. I knew she had it in her from the start, and am glad to see the story end as successfully as it did with her resolving the issue. However, it left me on a cliffhanger and now I’m dying to read the next one because I really want to know what happens to the little girl.

Review of Love Tink

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Amazon

Blurb:

Enchanted meets Peter Pan in LOVE, TINK

This is a novella– the first of six episodes.

Tink is hopelessly smitten with Peter, the leader of the Lost Boys who’d mysteriously arrived at Neverland two years ago. Unfortunately, Peter is tired of the adventure and especially tired of dodging Captain Hook who is after his head. He just wants to go back to New York City and live his life as a normal fifteen year old

Tink is the only one who can help Peter return, but it breaks her heart to do it. She just wants to make him happy, so she does the unthinkable and betrays the fairy king. Now her heart is filled with remorse. Should she go after Peter? Should she follow him to his New York?

My Review:

Five Stars

Love Tink was a wonderful retelling of Peter Pan that really made you think. It is always hinted that in Peter Pan that Tink has feelings for Peter, but Tink never acts upon those feelings. However, in this retelling, Tink tries to react upon her feelings. She tries to tell Peter that she loves him, but ends up finding out that he is unhappy in Neverland. Though Tink doesn’t understand why Peter is unhappy in Neverland and doesn’t want to help him leave she eventually succumbs to doing the right thing. Which is what love really boils down to in the end, sacrificing things for the person that you love.
As in the original telling of Peter Pan, Hook is the bad guy. And he’s out for Peter Pan as always. But he doesn’t appear to be as menacing as in the original telling of Peter Pan, which I suspect might change as the story progresses.
Elle Strauss creates such a magical picture of Neverland that makes you wish the green lights would whisk you into Neverland so you could frolic with Tink and the other Neverland fairies. And I can’t wait to read the next episode to see what happens, because I’m rather curious what Tink’s mischief gets her into.

Review of Spectral Tales

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Amazon

Blurb:

Whether they are spirits of the departed or figments of an overactive imagination, ghosts are a staple in fiction. Storytellers have portrayed ghosts as scary, friendly, or annoying across many genres. Now, eight authors offer their own interpretations of ghosts through a collection of short stories that will appeal to fans of horror, fantasy, or young adult fiction.

My Review:

Five Stars

Spectral Tales featured a lot of enticing stories that left you craving the next ghostly tale. And each tale was different than the next, and left you not knowing what to really expect. Actually, I didn’t know what to expect at all from most of the stories because I went in thinking most of the stories would revolve solely around ghosts, and though most had elements of ghosts the stories didn’t solely focus on that. And even than the stories didn’t deal solely on the dead haunting the living either. Some stories dealt with the dead being trapped in their own bodies, trying to figure out what happened, some stories featured those trying to find lost parents.
But I’d have to say out of all seven stories in this collection my favorite was Farwell Ohana. This tale was just so different and put a spin on the supernatural that I’d never thought of before. Without giving too much of this amazing story away, I’ll just say that the characters in this tale, have powers that outcast them from society. They break free from their bonds and one of them wishes to speak to her deceased parents by speaking with the Night Marchers. And this is where the part that I never thought of occurs, the Night Marchers are awesome supernatural beings that I don’t want to say what they actually do because I don’t want to give away too much of the story- so I highly recommend everyone going to read it to find out what I’m talking about.
I’m a big supernatural buff and quite enjoy reading books that revolve around the supernatural realm, and oftentimes a lot of the stories seem so farfetched that you can’t get wrapped up in them. I didn’t have that issue with any of the stories in this collection. I was swopped into them quickly and they all held some actual realism as to what happens with paranormal activity. And rather than this realism feeling fake and pushed it felt wholesome, and for the goosebumps I’m grateful. And I look forward to reading more tantalizing tales from these brilliant writers in the future, because they all have such a way with words.

Review of Please Don’t Tell my Parents I’m a Supervillain

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Amazon

Blurb:

Penelope Akk wants to be a superhero. She’s got superhero parents. She’s got the ultimate mad science power, filling her life with crazy gadgets even she doesn’t understand. She has two super-powered best friends. In middle school, the line between good and evil looks clear.

In real life, nothing is that clear. All it takes is one hero’s sidekick picking a fight, and Penny and her friends are labeled supervillains. In the process, Penny learns a hard lesson about villainy: She’s good at it.

Criminal masterminds, heroes in power armor, bottles of dragon blood, alien war drones, shapeshifters and ghosts, no matter what the super powered world throws at her, Penny and her friends come out on top. They have to. If she can keep winning, maybe she can clear her name before her mom and dad find out.

My Review:

Five Stars

Please don’t tell my parents I’m a Super Villain by Richard Roberts was a lot more comical than I originally pinned it to be. And I absolutely loved that about this book. There was the right balance of action and comedic relief that you almost forgot it was thirteen year old kids you were reading about. You forgot that it was children who were outsmarting adult super villains and giving them a run-for-their-money. The villain community and hero community had no idea what hit them when the Inscrutable Machine surfaced, and to be honest I don’t think the Inscrutable Machine did either- at first.
In the beginning we watch as Penny yearns to get her super powers, and what kid wouldn’t want to have their super powers. But the real kicker is that in the world that Roberts created the kids grow into their powers and don’t get them until they are a certain age. So in a weird way it sort of works like puberty, and that’s a horrible analogy, but it’s actually rather accurate. Because from what I’ve gathered from reading this novel is that most heroes started gaining their super powers in their teen years, and had unlocked their full potential around their early twenties. So they go through a super power puberty, so to speak.
Penny gets a flash of her abilities and she’s super excited, but than her parents crush her with the news of super hero puberty and that she may not see her full potential for a few more years. Well she isn’t satisfied with this answer, and I’m quite glad for that. Because if she was satisfied with that answer the story wouldn’t have went in the direction that it did and Penny wouldn’t have unlocked her potential as early as she did. Though she may have ended up on the right side of the playing field too.
Through most of the book I was hoping the Inscrutable Machine could turn good and be the super heroes that Penny so desperately wants to be, but I think the group is too good at being bad. And in all honesty, I’d hate to see them turn good. It’s just to fun to watch this group be mischievous and outsmart the adults. They are just too good at it. Which is what makes the book so enjoyable. These kids are brilliant and work so well together, they are like a well-oiled clock that works perfectly and nothing can break its sync. Even when they are faced with trials they don’t know how to face they come out on top, which proves their friendship and wit.
I can’t wait to continue reading more of Penny and her friend’s journey and hope that they stay on the wrong side of things. We have enough good guys to look up to, it’s time for some fun villains for a change.

Review of Death in Neverland

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Amazon

Blurb:

In the Neverland, people don’t grow up. Because they’re dead.

Remy Cutler dies, and somehow escapes certain death. She returns to the land of the living with nothing but a ripped gown and a fear of heights.

Two years later, she plans to escape her arranged marriage by stowing away onto a ship in hopes to leave her home with no one knowing. However, she is found out, and the sailors aren’t happy. Before any damage can be done, she is yanked from her predicament back to The Neverland, a place where death resides – the very place she escaped from years ago. Souls are ferried by her savior. To her, he’s known as Nick, but to The Neverland, he’s the slippery Nicholas Grey.

The more time Remy spends with Nick and his crew, however, the more she realizes he’s shockingly misunderstood. Pirates aren’t all bad the way gentlemen aren’t all good. One such gentleman goes by the name of Peter, and he has nothing but power on his mind and revenge against Grey in his heart. And then there are those that are completely indiscernible, like James Hook, a Viking and ruler of The Other World, whose sole ambition is attaining more souls to rule over, no matter what the cost.

This dark retelling of Peter Pan infuses familiar characters created by J. M. Barrie with new characters and Greek mythology. It is the first in a trilogy.

My Review:

Five Stars

Death in Neverland by Heather Myers follows Remy as her world turns upside down. One minute she’s a respectable lady the next she’s on a pirate ship in Neverland. One minute she’s betrothed to marry a man she does not love, the next she’s on a ship washing dishes as her whole outlook on life slowly changes. But things are not as they appear to be.
At first you assume the ship’s captain to be either Hook or Peter Pan, after all it’s a book about Neverland. And one would also think that Remy would be Wendy, but she isn’t. But that isn’t the case at all because the ship Remy finds herself on is captained by Nick.
As the story unfolds we find out that Remy has been there before, as she’s faced death and escaped. She’s the only one to escape deaths clutches and this has act has caught the eye of Nick and the magistrate and Nick is told to keep an eye on Remy. He does so and ends up saving her, which is how she ends up on the ship in the first place. Here you meet his crew, which at first seem like your average pirate crew, but then you learn more about them and grow to love each character and actually wish they weren’t in the situation that they are in.
Then there’s Hook. Now one of my favorite characters in the original tellings of Peter Pan is Hook. I don’t know why but I really like Hook, and that goes the same for Death in Neverland. He’s created to be a handsome, yet deadly character and he knows it. He’ll do what he can to get what he wants. And he just makes you quake at the knees when you read him. He really fits the original Hook persona and I think that is amazing. Pan on the other hand doesn’t really fit his persona in this tale. In the original Pan was a good guy, here Pan is far from good. And he’s not adventurous and fun-loving, he’s power hungry.
But as the story progresses you see that something slowly builds between Remy and Nick. Though I can’t say for certain what that is. Could just be a captain and crew bond, or it could be more than that. But what Remy does in the end makes me think it’s so much more because she makes a sacrifice that most wouldn’t do for someone they consider to be their boss.
And I’ll say I’m not satisfied with how it ended. I wanted it to end with Remy running into the arms of Nick and kissing him, but that doesn’t happen. I wanted them to confess a love for one another and sail away in the end to find Pan and end his reign of terror.
But there’s still more to the trilogy so it could still happen and I have hope that Remy and Nick will have their happily Neverland after.

Review of Musings from Wunderland

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Amazon

Blurb:

Like a leaf on the wind
My words fly from my heart
Spiraling
Twisting
Landing
Melting upon page
Creating miniature works
of art

My Review:

Five Stars

E.H. Demeter has such a way with words and painting breathtaking pictures. Each poem and short left me yearning for the next emotion packed piece, which is truly amazing. Demeter is such a talented author and I love everything I’ve read of hers, and can’t wait to read more of her brilliant works.