Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

11/8: love me, even with my anxiety.

To my future lover,

I don’t know how we will meet. Possibly you’ll come from a mutual friend and they introduce me as “Liz, she’s my short, sweet and sassy friend!” and maybe you’ll find that really funny. Maybe I will meet you on my way to work and you notice the pins on my denim jacket and ask me what they are. Maybe I’ll meet you at my future job, during a job event, talking about the things that interest us or about the funny things that happen at our job. Maybe I will just shoot my shot one day, come to you and say that your tattoos look nice or that your hair looks so bad-ass. Maybe I’ll be bold enough to see you at my current job at the bookstore, write my phone number on your receipt in hopes you’ll call or text me. (For reference, I did that to a guy earlier this year and although we aren’t dating, he’s an amazing fucking friend).

I say this because I will probably tell you that I like you way too early in our relationship, I will probably get flustered and red when I say or do something that I think is major when really, you didn’t even read too much into it. I will probably get way too attached way too soon and express the fact that I will be afraid of losing you because there have been so many in the past that have left because I was “doing too much” or I left because I thought “I wasn’t good enough”. You were probably catch on extremely quick to the fact that I’m hypersensitive, I’m anxious, and the sweet fun-loving girl you got to know isn’t always going to be there. Sometimes, I’ll be the opposite; sometimes I will push you away because I feel like I’ll hurt you or that I’ll be too much for you in my bad moments. Sometimes I will hold onto things for hours on end because my anxiety will not let it go for the life of me. Sometimes, I may annoy you, disappoint you, anger or frustrate you due to the way I handle things.

I hope that you love me through it all.

Reassure me. Tell me that I can be loved. Tell me I’m good enough. Tell me that my feelings are valid and that whatever bad things I may be thinking or feeling, that they will pass soon. Hug me when it looks like I’m about to fall apart. Shush me when I cry while you rub my back. Listen when my irrational thoughts are pouring out and I can’t stop. Distract me with things that will make me smile, like silly random videos, or pictures of my favorite Kpop group; literally about anything that leaves a smile on my face.

Most importantly, I hope that after the storm, after the tears and the anxiety attacks and episodes, you still smile and see me and love me for… me.

Love me for the moments when I’m laughing and I can’t breathe because of the laughter. Love me for the moments where we go on adventures and explore the city together. Love me for my body, big or small, short or tall, and love me for my hair; light or dark, short or long; love me by being here and by being my favorite person in the world.

Love me, even for my sadness. My bad days. My lonely days. My mental disorders. For me.

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

10/22/20: presence.

I am always worried that time isn’t on my side. I think if there’s one thing I’m afraid of more than dying is the fact that time goes by extremely fast and I will always be left behind. I feel like my processing of things has gotten a lot more slower as I got older; perhaps I now take the time to go through and feel the things happening in my life rather than “pushing it under the rug” until the hill is at it’s highest and I cannot walk over it anymore. Being in this current body, we are now more present and aware of things and sometimes it takes us hella long to get through it and move on.

It’s already the middle of October of 2020 and sometimes I still feel like I’m processing the things that occurred in my last relationship that ended late summer of 2019. While it doesn’t affect me and bother me as much as it did when it first happened, it still lingers and trails behind me like a distant memory, reminding me what my life was a little over a year ago and how different things were. It’s crazy to think that I wasn’t working at the bookstore, I didn’t have the friends I have now, and my appearance was much different than it is now. So much has changed, and time definitely has passed by, but I feel like I’ve been stuck here. Perhaps I’m just struggling to let go of my past and the moments that linger into my present.

You know time is passing by when the seasons change, which is weird because I am always looking forward to a new season. Every season feels like a beginning of a new chapter, a new chance at doing something amazing and cool, and the outfit changes you are able to make is also one of the best things to do during a season change. Even with those exciting changes, I still feel like I’m constantly left behind, like I still have so much I’m holding onto, waiting to just gather more shit as the time catches up to me.

I understand this may be a weird concept to grasp; aren’t we all worried about time passing by too quickly? What if we missed the good things to come being too worried about the time passing by? Aren’t we all taking time for granted because no matter what, time is forever moving along whether we’re ready for it for not?

I ask myself these questions every day. Am I really the only one that dwells in time while everyone moves forward and lives their lives like normal people in society? I feel like I’m constantly thinking about how my life should be like in this present moment; how much time is enough to move forward with my life? How much time to I need to process things that are happening and things that happened in the past? Will I ever be willing to move with time within the same pace? Sometimes I try to see if I can move with time, to keep up with it and live my life according to how fast it goes, but no matter how hard I try, time passes, seasons change, people and their daily lives change, and I have no control of what happens when it does.

I can’t control how this virus is working. I can’t control how quickly it’s spreading again and how slowly it’s taking to resolve and be done with. I can’t control how my daily life looks like; socially, personally, and professionally because of this virus. I can’t control how much time has passed and I don’t feel that same love for my job like I did a couple of months ago. I con’t control the things that are constantly changing, so why am I so caught up on the things that are said and done, dead and gone, which no hope of resurrection in my life? Why can I just enjoy the time I have in this moment instead of holding onto time that doesn’t exist anymore?

It’s time to let go and have spend time the way it’s supposed to be spent: well and present.

It’s time to be present and to only think about what is happening in this very moment. It’s time that I laugh with my friends and appreciate their presence. It’s time that I start doing things that I want to do in this very moment and not think whether or not my past is making me think otherwise. It’s time that I take more pictures and cherish the moments in that present time. It’s time that I appreciate the time spent with family, with friends, with coworkers, with moots in the kpop community, and with potential new people that come into my life in the future. It’s time that I become more present; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I just want to be here for everything before time runs out, before my presence disappears, before other people’s presence in my life disappears due to time passing; I just want to be here.

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

10/18/20: to my best friend.

There’s a different type of love I have for you in this friendship of ours.

We are freakishly common and in sync but also so incredibly different; I feel like I get to know new things about you every day whenever we talk and I’m always amazed to learn just how unique and different you are to what I thought you were.

For starters, I was scared of you. You already know that, but yeah, I was scared of you because you were the type of personality that seemed like it would clash with mine. You were loud and outspoken and assertive; I was quiet, shy, and immensely submissive. You engaged in conversations with me and I thought to myself, “how is this person just talking to me? Like, do they actually want to be my friend?” I don’t know how we went from strictly talking about our Victon boys, to doing watch parties every other night during the summer, to having theoretical conversations about Victon if they weren’t idols and created “AUV”, to where you are now the person I constantly talk to everyday on the phone, through video chat, wherever; for most of my day. This is just the beginning the story of how two people became best friends within two and a half months of knowing each other.

Like every friendship, there will be things that I love about you and things that make me want to knock the dumb-bitch juice out your hand and make you listen to the words coming out of my mouth. The things I love about you, though, outweigh the other things. I love how passionate and creative you are when it comes to this AUV fanfic (novel) that you are writing. You created these characters based on our boys and us and they seem to amze me on how they feel like real people. They deal with real life situations, they experience emotion that hits close to home, and might I say that my AUV self is someone that I’m aspiring to be because she’s a bad ass bitch that takes no shit from anyone! I love how we can spend hours on end theoretically talk about what is yet to happen and what’s going to come next based on what is written in paper. I love how I can guess what things are yet to come and you respond with “get out of my head, Liz!” because, again, we are motherfucking twins from another life. I love how I can get lost and join you in this universe; this happy and safe space, and read about how our lives would be like if we were just these two small girls who fell in love with Seungsik and Chan while dealing with some real life situations and problems, getting to know all these amazing characters and their different personalities and, too long didn’t read, I love how you got AUVLiz down flawlessly. To know that you’ve picked up on some of my infamous words and mannerisms and write them down on paper makes me believe that you are someone that actually listens to me when I speak, and pays attention to how I say things and the way I behave and react to certain things. It’s something that a best friend of mine has never took the time out to notice about me.

I love how whenever we are on video chat, you can constantly make me laugh. Like, stomach hurts and I can’t breathe type of laugh. It’s the type of laugh that not many people can bring out of me, and perhaps it’s just because you touch my inner beeg dumb energy and you get my dumb humor, but no matter what we are doing on video chat, you make me laugh, actually you leave me wheezing. The filters you put on during our video chats will forever leave me weak; we could honestly laugh for 5 minutes straight without any words being said. No thoughts, just laughs. I love how we can just be on video chat for hours on end, like we are doing in this very moment while I write this and you pack kpop orders, and we can just sit in silence, being each other’s company while we do whenever we got work to do. We’ll check in on each other every now and then, talk for a bit, and then continue what we were doing, again in each other’s company; being each other’s company, while we live in different states.

I love that I am able to be hella affectionate with you. I love that I can tell you to be careful and take care and that I love you when we end our calls. I love that I know that when we meet up in person in the future, we will be cuddling and holding hands and constantly hugging each other because we both are not afraid to show love to one another. I love that I can call you pretty, or beautiful, or a total hottie, and not feel weird about it or be afraid that I’m coming off a bit too flirty. I love that I can be my complete self with you and be the way I want to be with my friend, which is show platonic intimacy and value the friendships I make in this chapter of my life.

I wish, though, you saw the value in yourself the same way I and many of your friends do. I wish you saw just how much of an amazing person you are and how smart, funny, interesting, kind, and helpful you are to me and many of us. I wish you were able to see that you are a human that deserves love, that deserves happiness, and that deserves to get back what you give out to the world. I wish you were able to take care of yourself, that your body needs you to take care of it to feel better and to be as present as you can be. I wish that you would listen body cues, to relax when you need to relax and take care of yourself when your body needs you the most. I wish you weren’t so hard on yourself, that you didn’t see yourself the way that you do, that you didn’t based your decisions on your self-image and self-worth. I wish you were able to believe me when I say you’re one of the most important people in my life and I would literally be so heartbroken if anything happened to you.

I hate how much I worry about you. I hate that I constantly feel worrisome when you’re having a bad day. I hate that sometimes I don’t know the right thing to say. I hate that there will be times when I feel like the absolute worthless best friend because I won’t have the answers to your problems, that there will be things that I will not be able to give you my unbiased advice on, and that sometimes I won’t always be there to pick you up from your darkest places. I hate that sometimes that while we call each other twins and we are able to understand each other really well, there are times where I’m not able to connect with you, that there are things I won’t ever understand and won’t ever comprehend due to our different lifestyles. I hate those days and nights where we don’t feel as in sync as we typically are, and perhaps those days are just not our days, but no matter what we always end up coming back to each other, when we are ready to goof around and accompany each other’s agendas via video chat.

I want you to know that I always worry about those bad days. I worry about those days when you’re feeling absolutely worthless and hopeless, where you’re crying and you’re feeling lost and you don’t know what to do; those days scare me because of our distance. I want you to know that despite your bad days, you are never alone, that I’m always a phone call away, a message away, a video call away; I am always closer than you think, and because of that I will always keep my promise on being be your side and for always being there for you. I say that out of pure love for your being, that not only have I fallen in love with you as my best friend, but I have fallen in love with you as a human being.

At the end of the day, you are my person. You are the person I would always come to for any type of support; whether that is work support, personal life support, mental health support, literally any type of support I need I will always come to you first, because you get me. You are the person that no matter how many disagreements and no matter how many disconnections we may have on certain things, we can always set those differences aside and do what we do best for each other: be there, love, and support one another and be each other’s person to always go to if we need to. I thank you for allowing me the space that I need in you, to voice note you in a panic about my work or to cry on camera about my worries about you and myself and everything in between that my anxiety strives off of. Thank you for understand how my mental health looks like, because you deal with your own and see it to the same importance as I do. Thank you for being as present as possible and for seeing so much fucking worth in me and our friendship; it’s highkey a first and it still blows my mind to have someone that I really fucking care about care about me in the same way I do for them. It’s a feeling that I never got to experience in a friendship, so thank you for being my first best friend to allow me to feel this.

I love you, and I hope you stay safe, stay healthy, and remember that I care and love you so fucking much.

사랑해요 ~ !!

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

10/9/20: letting go.

I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock reminding me to take my anxiety medication this morning. We did, after it what feels like an eternity since I actively started to take it again. My best friend, Ro, yelled at me for not taking it one night and since then, I’ve been trying my best to remember to take my medication in the morning. It was a weird day for me; today I mourn the loss of my former self, the person that I was in the last decade, the person that needed to grow and prosper and although that person is forever grateful for what they went through, they simply don’t belong in this version of my life anymore. I was reminded of the first time, on this day, so many years ago. I remember that person, what she was wearing, where she was walking home from, what fucking happened that day in school. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how the events of this day happened, but I’m allowed to let it go for my own well-being.

Being in the city today, spontaneously taking a trip with my sibling to help them find a place they’ll be going to in a couple of weeks felt refreshing. To get a metro-card, slide it into the subway station, and sit on trains that I haven’t taken (and in the direction towards the city) since August 2019 felt like I was accomplishing something. I felt like I was able to not block myself off from a part of my city because I was afraid of everything coming back. I was afraid of seeing the old version of me walking those streets, getting off those train stops, surrounding themselves in the scenery of what felt like a second home to them; I was always afraid of looking back. But here I am, taking the train to the train stop where I always got off, where I got most of my goodbye kisses, where I passed through for the last decade of my life. I took it and wlaked like nothing ever happened within that train platform.

Nevins Street. Hoyt Street. Borough Hall. Clark Street. Wall Street. Fulton Street. The train ride to our destination didn’t take too long, but taking the train nowadays always gives me a great deal of anxiety. It reminds me of the time where a man grabbed my wrist to keep me on the train when I was trying to get off on a stop that clearly wasn’t mine. It reminds me of the time when I got into the hugest fight with a partner in the middle of a subway platform and broke down in tears. It reminds me of the fact that I was stuck on an above-ground train coming home one night in a full-crowded cart. The trains were never my friend, and I now avoid them at all costs. For my sibling, though, I would try to forget and let those things go in order to help them get somewhere they needed, and if anything – I never have to ride the train again if I don’t want to. Nevertheless though, riding the train was something that I feel like real New Yorkers do. I felt like a real New Yorker today, going into the city doing city shit, the typical New Yorker shit.

I used to go into the city a lot when I was younger. When I was 17, I spent practically a week and a half traveling back and forth to Carnegie Hall for rehearsals with my choir. I remember the night of that performance, some of my choir mates and I rode the train home and started to sing on the cart. A woman and a man, who didn’t know each other whatsoever started to sing “S&M” by Rihanna with us, and might I add they slayed with their vocals. We were all in total shock; just a whole train cart of talented singers on a Sunday night.

When I was 22, I met up with a couple of my acting friends during the summer to go out for dinner. We traveled to Chinatown to this Ramen place that had possibly some of the best Ramen I’ve had in a really long time. We laughed, we took pictures and videos to post on Snapchat, and we walked through lower Manhattan through a festival happening in Little Italy. We traveled pretty much everywhere in the city; even to Times Square for Coldstone Ice Cream to end our day. It was one of the days I will forever cherish because I was at my happiest that year. Those people made my year possibly the best out of my college experience. They were my squad.

It wasn’t long until I found myself back in the train station, telling my sibling where they would need to go and what side of the train to take in order to get home the day of their test. I don’t know when or how I became one that just knew the subway line system well, but I did, and my sibling always depends on me to help them get to places in the city that they may not ever been before. I guess the fact of the matter is, I traveled the city a lot. I’ve been all over the city, all over Brooklyn, in parts of the Bronx and Queens and I mean, even Staten Island; I always loved traveling around the city because I was able to see different places other than the neighborhood I lived in. There’s so much to see in the city, and I sometimes take that for granted because I know one day I won’t be here, I might not reside in New York when I get older and live on my own, I may not have the time to see the city for what it si and how it’s constantly changing into what the world currently is. I may not be able to take a spontaneous trip to the city with my sibling to just help them out and get to a place they need to get to. I may realize that New York will always be my home, despite where I may be in the future, where I may go, live, travel; whatever I may be, I can always come back home to this city.

Despite where I may go in my life; the people that come into it, the events that happened, and the versions of myself that I was, I will always find my way back home. I will always have this body and this space where I can grow and learn in, where I can continue to be when life moves forward and I face new challenges and make new memories. Despite what happened and how I got here, I’m still here, and I need to let go of what was.

My future needs me, my past doesn’t.

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

10/3/20: an entry.

I looked up at the blue sky yesterday afternoon and took this picture. I wasn’t laying down on grass or anything, but I was surrounded by the trees that were living their last days being green, sheltering me from the sun beaming too harshly on me, protecting me from anything blurring my vision.

I used to come to this park when I was 19-years-old. I wasn’t in the best place in 2013; being a freshman in college and wanting to drop out, living my life in constant fear due to death threats, and constantly thinking about every car driving by hitting me in the streets because I just didn’t want to be inside my own mind anymore. 19 was just a duplicate of 18, just not in high-school anymore.

When I felt the worst on days, I would walk 2 miles towards no destination, and then walk 2 miles back. I sometimes would walk to the dog park to watch the dogs be carefree and happy with their owners, I sometimes would walk to the bridge and sit near the water and take the view of the borough across from where I was. In the winter time, I used to walk down the blocks with the most Christmas decorations. No matter where I went, I discovered something about the neighborhood that held some beauty to my eye.

On most of my adventures, I would stop in this little park about halfway through. It’s a little park with some benches, no playground, no kids, no noise. I would come here to sit on a bench and rest for a couple of minutes; grab some water, check my phone for any messages or calls I missed, and just breathe. I don’t know why whenever I would walk that way I felt the need to stop here, but I did, almost every single walk I went on.

I remember one of the last times I came to this park. It was August 2013 and I was saying my last goodbyes to a person that I loved dearly, but needed to let go in order to prosper and take care of my own well being. While that was the last time I ever saw that person, I guess the memory of sitting with them on that bench was too hurtful to ever return there again. Life got busy, and I ultimately stopped walking.


Coming back here as a 26-year-old in a new decade with practically a new life compared to my 2013 one, I sat on the bench I always sat on and watched around me. There was a couple cuddling and talking to one another, there was man reading a book, another man with his bike chugging down a water bottle, and a man playing catch with his dog. Despite everything that may be happening, the world moves forward with people doing their own thing, spending time the way they want, and I guess those other people and myself decided we wanted to spend our time being in this moment, in this park, just taking in whatever it is we need to take in for our own peace of mind.

For me, it was the fact that for a really long time, I haven’t had the time to think about myself. I’ve felt like I haven’t been able to actually think and take care of my needs, and I guess my mind and body kept telling me that I needed to slow down. Because I haven’t had the time to do the things I wanted to do, I’ve found myself losing a lot of my interest in the things that made me happy; kpop collecting, writing the blog, etc. I’ve been so mentally and physically exhausted from the constant working and appointments/tests for bariatrics surgery that I haven’t had a moment to myself and just… not be busy or think about anything else that is normally on my mind.


I’ve been living in another universe a lot these days. My best friend, Ro, has been writing a “novel disguised as a fanfic”; that’s as good as I can describe it. In this universe, I am the spunky and spicy fireball of a best friend that doesn’t take shit from no one and makes sure her voice is always heard. Sure, she’s a character that is somewhat based on me, but as a writer myself, I love living in the universe of characters, and I’ve been really invested in Ro’s writing universe. During my time at the park, it give me time to have some really cool conversation with them about this universe and where they are thinking about taking the narrative and story as a whole and it was just a feeling I enjoyed a lot; it was a feeling that I didn’t want to stop feeling because it was me at my most peaceful state for a really long time.

I also found out that some of my peace stems from picture taking. These days, I am finding myself stopping in the middle of the street, randomly taking pictures of different things I found interesting or picture-worthy. Whether I’m on my way to work surrounded by campus trees and open space or I’m walking on a crowded street in Brooklyn’s Chinatown, I feel the need to capture the things I see with a camera. I’m no photographer, but I’ve been really enjoying capturing the moments I see around me.


Perhaps I just want to be a little artsy and creative since being in this really long writer’s block. I’ve been putting my creative energy in taking pictures and posting them on my personal account on Instagram as a “journal entry”, sorta just going through the thoughts I may be having that particular week or something. It’s not much and it’s not a whole thought out piece like my blog, but it’s something. It’s still allowing me to create and put together word that I have to say, and if anything, that makes my voice still being heard, and me having things left to say.

Welcome to how life has been for me lately.

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

To My 16-Year-Old Self: A Letter.


To my 16-year-old self,

Sophomore in high school, huh? That’s exciting. You finally know your way around the school, you have a couple of friends you like a lot, you’re settling into your own and gaining adventures that you thought you would never have. There’s even a boy in the picture. Ain’t so innocent anymore, huh girl? It seems like life is going pretty well for you, and I’m glad that it is – new environments and surroundings aren’t going to be easy for you to adapt to later on in your life for personal reasons.

Nevertheless, you look happy on the outside. You look like you’re living your best fucking life, and you deserve every part of it. I wish I could tell you to be careful, that life is going to hit you hard very soon, and this version of you will be long gone. Your insecurities will begin to show out in ways you can’t control. You’re going to start putting your self-worth because you’re afraid of losing the people you love the most. You’re going to lose yourself in this newfound puppy love you got going on and not going to notice you’re going to hurt a lot of people around you. Your junior high school friends are not going to understand where your pureness and innocence went after you tell them you lost your virginity one day during Spring Break. Your life is going at full speed, and while you think you have it under control, you are lying to yourself. You feel guilty for losing some important parts of yourself.


I’m telling you that it’s normal to feel that way. You are growing up, you’re now in a different boat than when you were a kid, and you’re not going to stay the same forever. I some way, you’re leaving your childhood behind, entering the teenage territory and although we’ve always been late-bloomers in our milestones, we are always worried that we are losing ourselves in the process of growing. Although you don’t believe this because you just deem yourself as a one-dimension person that tries to match the image that people have of you, you always had a soul, and sometimes the soul does things without telling us or letting us know that major things are happening. I’m 26 and I’m just learning that myself, girl.

So even though you are listening to the people who are telling you that you changed for the worst and those same people are going to be in your life even when you’re in your early 20’s, you did nothing wrong, you just started growing up.


Also, I know you’re comparing yourself to every girl at your school. Are you pretty like them? Are you as interesting as them? Why isn’t the boy you spent the whole summer with like a goddamn romance movie not calling you his girlfriend and someone else? Are you too fat for people to live you? Why am I so fucking invisible in this school, yet people only know me as “the sophomore whose best friend is the most popular senior in the school”? Why aren’t you the person that was enjoying her life the way she was just months before? These thoughts, these negative and false truths you believe are also normal to have. You feel awkward, you feel like you’re just an ugly girl with bad chin acne and two eyebrows that are almost married (which btw, we don’t have anymore, but we barely got eyebrows to begin with). What isn’t normal is allowing these thoughts to dictate how people treat you. You are not the second choice, you are not “the devil’s child”, you are not wild and easy and not important. Of course, at 16 you don’t see these things, but girl, let me tell you something: you will simply not care as you get older. You’ll love your body one day.


Even more so, you’re going to love the person you become. Sure, it’s going to take a couple of bumps in the road and a whole lot of darkness to finally see it, but if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed about you is your heart. You love so fucking hard, you’re kind and genuine, and you are real. Girl, a person that I’ve only been friends with for a couple of months called me a sweetheart and a great friend. We never thought we could be those things, but we can and those things never change.

So yeah, you’re having some wild, spontaneous puppy love adventures. You’re performing with your school choir possibly three times a month at different venues and winning awards for it. You’re going to get your heart broken a couple of times and find comfort in the same sex (which isn’t the end of it, missy). You’re still going to do things with the kindness of your heart and well, the worst is yet to come, girl.

So when you think that the world is better off without you or that you don’t have any love or support from the people you care about the most, remember that it’s now 2020, and I’m writing to you to let you know that yeah, we’re not living our dreams living out of the state and we’re not rich with our career choice, but that we’ve grown much over the course of the decade and, well, that counts towards something even bigger than the materialistic things in life.

You have a bright future ahead of you, even though I know you don’t always think that. Listen to me, girl; I’ve already lived your next ten years of it.

hand endnote
Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

Therapy: Two Years Later.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz.

April has become such a special month for me because I decided to seek therapy two years ago this month, on this exact day. The day was definitely the start of a new chapter in my life that I continue to live by until this very day!

For a little background on those who may not know, I decided to seek therapy in 2018 due to the fact that I was experiencing some really intense anxiety during my time in grad school. After silently suffering for most of my grad school career with high levels of anxiety, stress, and depression, I decided that the way to take care of myself was to seek professional help and talk about my issues with someone unbiased, and someone that is willing to help me find new ways to cope and challenge the toxic things in my life.

In the beginning, therapy was something that was hard to adjust to. To have the time to talk about my issues and things that I never spoke out loud before was intense and a lot of that heaviness carried onto me during my day. I was now even anxious about getting anxious, my anxiety attacks were more frequent than they ever have been. I vividly remember having one of the worst anxiety attacks one night before going to my ex’s place for the night because I was afraid of leaving home. It was that bad, y’all.

Not only was it difficult to transition to going to therapy and getting comfortable with sharing personal things about my life, I had to realize the fact that not only did I need therapy to talk things out, but I also needed to start taking medicine as well.

Therapy, in the simplest way, helped me realize all of the unhealthy methods I had for coping in my life and all of the other unhealthy things in my life that contributed to my anxiety and depression. It made me realize that I knew more than I allow myself to admit, and it gave me some perspective on things that I couldn’t see while going through it. Sure, therapy has made me realize that I had a lot of toxic traits, that I had unhealthy views on love, and I lost a lot because of my newfound awareness of myself and my behavior, but if anything recharges me after a long and stressful week, it’s simply just having the safe space and that one hour of the week to unwind and let everything out.

With therapy, I’ve learned just how to see my social anxiety and my depression and how to not only accept it myself but to allow those around me to accept it as well. I learned how to embrace the bad times and let them be because they teach me what I need to do in order to get out of them in more efficient ways.

Whenever I speak about therapy to those around me, I get the question of “are you going to rely on therapy your whole life?” and I always felt sour about it. Therapy is not just an outlet for those who have mental health illnesses or disorders, and to this day it’s a myth that everyone still believes in. Therapy does not mean you’re “crazy” and it doesn’t mean that it’s not something that people who are “normal” (what truly is considered normal anyway) shouldn’t look into. The fact of the matter is most of us — if not all of us — need a time and place where we could unwind, reflect, and truly think about our actions, behaviors, and our patterns and understand why we do them in the first place. It’s an hour of the week that focuses on the things you don’t normally get to focus and talk about, and with us living busy lives, it’s well needed to just go to therapy and relax and talk to someone. So, will I “rely” on therapy to make me feel better for the rest of my life? Probably not, but if it does, who cares if I’m providing that time to take care of myself?

So no matter the circumstances, I will always recommend therapy to those who ask me if they should go. Again, you don’t have to be depressed, moody, anxious, or sad to seek out therapy; you don’t need some major traumatic thing in your life to go and seek it. You could just simply be having a tough patch in life and want another opinion to help you get through it. It doesn’t have to be as serious as we make it out to be, and I learned that once I started going to therapy. All the taboos you hear about therapy are quickly debunked once you attend therapy for yourself and find a therapist that you fit well with. Don’t write off therapy because someone else’s experience wasn’t that great, and don’t expect your experiences to be as great as one person makes it out to be. Everyone is different, and you’ll never know what personalized experience you’ll have if you don’t try it for yourself.

So, here’s to two years of therapy. I honestly have to thank my therapist, Cathy, for helping me get to the place I am now. Through the highs and the lows, she’s helped me through them and helped me learn parts of myself I never knew could exist in this world. I am who I am today because of her guidance, her faith in me to make the right choices in life, and for allowing me to have the time and space to speak my mind.

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Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

I Stopped Taking Birth Control Because of my Mental Health.

Dear, guys – welcome to Letters From Liz!

One thing I promised myself to do this year is to discuss some real ass shit on the blog without any boundaries, so here we are, coming back on the blog, talking about the most taboo thing no one likes to openly talk about: birth control.

So, I started to take birth control later in my twenties; it was a very stupid thing to wait so long to get on it after years of, you know, but as I was getting older, wiser, smarter, whatever – I started to take birth control. At first, I was beyond scared to miss taking pills to the point that I used to set an alarm to take it with my anxiety medication. I was funny y’all. The months passed by, the periods became something more manageable, I wasn’t too nervous about being late on my period during the stressful times in my life, and well, birth control was just something routine in my life that many people take in their everyday lives.

But, I started to realize something about my behavior and my mind when I was on birth control.

Photo Credit: Refinery29

To give some background on birth control (sex education, y’all), you typically take one pill daily; 28 pills come in a pack because on average, your period cycle is approximately 28 days. The first three rows, or “weeks”, are the actual hormonal pill, the pills have estrogen in them to help do all the funky stuff in your reproduction system. It’s called birth control because it helps control the egg from dropping during ovulation, which prevents you from getting pregnant. Other uses for birth control is to regulate your period cycle for people who have irregular, heavy periods, and for people who have other reproduction system issues. Finally, the fourth row, or a week, is the placebo pill, “sugar pill”, which in certain prescriptions excludes that row, simply because it’s a pill that has nothing inside of it; it’s just a pill to keep yourself on track with and remind you to keep taking your pills.

I was on birth control for almost 2 years before I decided to stop taking it. I stopped taking it for several reasons at first; for starters, I was now not having sex anymore and decided to not want to have sex anymore for personal reasons and for the simple fact that at this time in my life, sex is just not for me. Because I mainly started to use it because I was sexually active, I felt that because I was using it for that main purpose, it felt like I was just taking the pill to take the pill despite me feeling how I felt whenever I was on the pill.

I ultimately ditched birth control after I realized that the longer I was on it, the more depressed I was feeling, to the point where suicidal thoughts come here and there on the months where I was at my lowest. Now, don’t get me wrong, my mental health goes up and down all the time; with major depression, there are parts of my life where I’m not the greatest, but the type of depression I felt when I was on birth control was some of the worst depression I’ve experienced in my life. I would be depressed for half of the month, and only feel like myself whenever I was on the placebo week of my birth control.

But Liz, how did you know it was the birth control and not just the depression? Well, at first I didn’t. It wasn’t until I did some research on birth control and depression and even some experimenting to realize that birth control was just something that contributed to my poor mental health.

I started to see the change in my behavior and my mood when I stopped taking it. I saw that my depression on my lowest days wasn’t as severe or unmanageable as it was while being on the pill. I also realized that I’ve been more of myself for more of the month rather than the opposite, sure the PMS still lives on and I sometimes just need my me time, but I haven’t been at the point where I’m unmotivated, uninspired, unable to get out of bed and be productive. Possibly other things contribute to that now, but I realize I don’t bring myself down or degrade myself as a person as much as I did while being on the pill.

I’ve been off the pill for a couple of weeks now and I can honestly say I’m so happy to be off of it.

I’m not saying birth control doesn’t have its perks;  it helps millions of people get through their cycles and their reproductive issues and I’m grateful to live in the time when resources like birth control and other forms of contraceptive prevention available although they should be more widely and universally available; that’s another argument for another day.

I’m also thankful that I’m not tied down to taking birth control. Again, preventing pregnancy was the main reason I was taking the pill, but now that I’m not sexually active, there are more cons for me to continue taking it rather than pros.

I recommend every to talk to their doctor about taking birth control and please let them know the effects that birth control causes! There are other forms that may be more suitable and right for you! Ask your doctor to discuss the pros and cons of birth control, and don’t just jump into it just because “you’re a ‘woman’ who should be on it.” If you suffer from clinical depression, ask your doctor and let them know your concerns about your mental health while being on the pill. These are literal hormones you are putting in your body, which will chemically inbalance everything else in your system!

Of course in the future, I will be back on it if I’m truly trying to live that no kids’ life, but as of right now, this is the best decision I can make for me and my mental health.

And please, let’s remove the taboo-ness of talking about birth control. It’s life, no matter what people may think.

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Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

This is My Farewell to You.

The only way to diffuse the energy behind the negative things in your life is to talk about them.” – Dr. Cathy Burns.

To the man I’ve mourned for the last couple of years,

I miss you. You weren’t always perfect, and sometimes you didn’t know how to emotionally be there for us, but you still cared and loved us to the best of your ability. You came to shows, graduations, celebrations, and you always sang ‘happy birthday’ and made your best effort to make it seem like Santa truly came through our fire escape window on Christmas Eve.

Although the old you is the person I would forever mourn, it’s about time I let you go, for the sake of my mental health, the trauma these last couple of years have brought me, and simply because the person you now embody is toxic to my being.

I’ve tolerated the comments, the behavior, the long nights of loud yelling, simply the person that I’ve grown to hate for the last couple of years, and I simply can’t anymore.

I will not love a fragment of who you were, because you are not him anymore. I will not continue to support a person as misogynistic, hurtful, degrading, and not willing to get help for the issues you carry anymore. As an adult, I can say that I appreciated you caring and loving me as a child; the moments where we watched wrestling on Thursdays and NASCAR Racing on Sundays are some of the moments I’ll cherish forever, but I simply can’t hold onto those moments and hope that I get to experience something even similar to them now.

The reality is that I will never get you back, and the person you are today will never remember those moments, these moments of my life, and the moments and milestones I make in the future.

Quite frankly, I can’t have you so involved in my life, and I could only try to love you from afar, or not anymore.

Because I will not inhibit you calling those I care about disgusting names. I will not inhibit your drinking problem by lending you money. I will not inhibit you calling me a bitch out of anger and proceeding to laugh and say, “that’s why your ex dumped your ass.”

And even if you will never remember the hurtful things you say and apologize for saying them, I will always remember them, and they will leave even deeper cuts than before.

Because of that, I will not allow you to be a part of my life anymore.

I will not allow you to verbally and emotionally abuse me & my family and expect me to respect you just because you are blood.

A daughter should never have to hear the things you say about her, her sister, and her mother; mentally ill or not.

So, this is my farewell to you. This is my letter to the person I do not know anymore. This is my letter to the person I will always hold close to my heart, and a reminder to the old you that you will never be forgotten. This is my farewell letter because I’m tired of being hurt by your actions, and I’m tired of proving myself every time when I say this new version of yourself does not see me as your daughter, but your illness sees me as one of your enemies.

This is my farewell letter to you, because it’s about time I start to heal from this. This is my farewell letter to you, in hopes that the old you, if even still inside you, realizes that you need to seek help to repair the relationships in your life.

As for now, this is goodbye.

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

“I Matter.”: A Suicide Prevention Story.

It’s not that I want to die, it’s just that I wish that the pain I feel would go away permanently.

The last time I cut myself was three weeks ago. 

For once, the physical pain of my scars was masking the mental pain I was feeling in that moment. It felt good for a brief moment, up until I recollected my thoughts and asked myself why did I resort to self-harm in the first place? Am I going down the rabbit hole again? Will the next time be more intense? What got me to finally relapse after years of being free of self-harming?

You see, the last time I cut myself was 6 years ago, in 2013. No therapist, no medication, not even fully aware that the things I was feeling and going through were major signs of depression. For 6 years, through the hard times and the rough patches, I was strong enough to not pick up a sharp object and cut my skin to mask the mental pain with physical pain.

But, that doesn’t mean I never had suicidal thoughts.

The suicidal thoughts were intense when I was eighteen. I was going through a major dark time in my life, and back then I actually wanted to die. I don’t know how I honestly got through it and out of that place, but my very limited memories of that time in my life are just me being intensely depressed, cutting myself on the bathroom floor, writing poems that were disguised as suicide notes.

Maybe it’s because I’m older that I now have a better understanding of life. My brain isn’t aware of that I feel the same type of pain I did back then, but I now have more value and respect for my life. I know I want to live. 

I want to live because I am only 25, and I still have an entire world to explore. I want to live to see my friends get married and start families of their own, I want to live to see myself get engaged and married in the future, I want to live to see who I am by the time I’m 30, 40, 50 years old. I want to live because I know my life is not over yet, and I know that I will get through this.

But to even get to that specific headspace takes so much willpower. Sometimes, there will be people that take more than one pill at a time just so that they get some well-needed sleep, and unfortunately, commit suicide in the process. Sometimes, there will be people who cut their wrists too deep and unfortunately commit suicide in the process.

As an active fighter against my own demons and survivor of defeating past ones, I stand here today to let you know that things will always get better, and your life matters.

You matter because people do love you. They will miss you. They will mourn you, and regret that they couldn’t help you when you’re alive. You matter because your unique talents and passions can make a difference not only to your life but also in the world. You matter because there is no one else like you; sure, other people may have similar qualities, but no one is going to be exactly like you in this world. Losing you means we lose your sense of humor, your style, your spunk, your passions, and the imperfections that make up the beauty in you. You matter.

I matter.

So while I’m getting the help needed in order to keep on living on this planet, I hope you are too. Ask for help, go and talk to a professional, you can even go online and talk to someone on NYC Well if you live in the NYC area (of course, there are other hotlines you can reach out to if you are not in NYC). Most importantly, create a safety plan for yourself in order to become aware of your behavior and thoughts when it goes through this crisis mode:

  • What are some of the things that trigger you into this crisis mode?
  • What are some of the behaviors you portray when they happen?
  • What are some things you can do to help cope when you are by yourself?
  • Who are some of the people in your life you can text or call when you are having a crisis mode?
  • What are some of the professional resources I can use if I can’t reach anyone personal in my life?
  • How can I prevent myself from self-harming in the future?
  • What are some of the reasons you want to live?

Simply creating a safety plan to live by and remember whenever you feel a lack of control in your life and going through crisis mode can honestly save your life. I created my own safety plan with my therapist a couple of weeks ago after admitting to her that I had recently cut myself after weeks of my depression becoming more intense. I now have a better idea of the moments and feelings that drive me to a negative headspace, and I now know what to do if I ever come confronted with those moments and feelings, and have other outlets to depend on instead of taking it out on my body. I now know what to avoid when I’m in that negative headspace, and I now know the unique objects and places that can help me through the negative thoughts and intense emotions.

It’s the little things that may actually save your life in the long run.

I’m an advocate for mental health, especially suicide awareness and prevention because I’ve been a victim and I’ve been a witness to it. It’s such a terrible thing to have to experience and hear about on the news, especially those who are in my age range and even as young as pre-teens. While we are having more conversations about mental health to prevent suicide, it is still one of the highest death rates within younger age groups, and I hope that at least sharing my story to one of you guys will help you understand that you aren’t alone, the thoughts and emotions you feel aren’t just yours alone, and that you can come out stronger and happier in the long-run.

Also, don’t feel bad if you relapsed in any way. I might have relapsed after 6 years of being self-harm free, but it doesn’t mean that the way I handled things in the past was right for my mental health. It also doesn’t mean all the process I’ve made since then is now gone. We all have our moments, and sometimes we don’t even have control over ourselves, but please – make sure you have some sort of safety plan so that your relapse isn’t an accidental suicide.

We don’t want to lose you because you matter.

And let those around you who are struggling to find reasons to live that they matter too.

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