How to deal with a friendship heartbreak and be okay.

Hey there beauts! Yes I can’t believe it myself… I am actually here, typing, writing, present and more than ever I am BACK. I have been MIA if you want to call it for a long long time. Sometimes life gets in the way and you know what? That is quite okay. I used to see myself as a failure if I got behind, if I let someone down and now I am finally learning to not be so hard on myself, and this my dear… is a fantastic feeling. I honestly didn’t know if I would get back into blogging or not, I quite frankly don’t know who reads my blogs but tonight I felt like typing after 6 months. I know most of the time I am stressed out about something or my anxiety goes off the wall over things I can never control… anyone else with me? My motivation dies, I make excuses like “I can’t find the time”, and I push my hobby to the side. Now I finally feel back to myself, even though it has taken quite some time. I needed to heal, I needed to gather myself again & more importantly, find myself again. I know those of you who follow me on my other social media accounts kind of have an idea of what has been happening over the past 9 months of my life. Those of you who don’t know me & are now stumbling across my account welcome. Is this going to be the happiest of my blogs? No. Am I in a better place now than I was months ago? Absolutely. So grab a glass of wine, some chips and here’s my story.

You know how hard heartbreaks are? No I am not talking about that shitty boyfriend who cheated on you, or your boyfriend of two years, I am talking about a best friend, not just one but two. So imagine a breakup with your boyfriend times two. That was my life, and did I ever think this would be this hard? Never. See, growing up I never really had too close of friends, I had friends but never really really close ones. I had one best friend since kindergarten into university but after university that faded and died. I get it, people grow apart and that’s life. I accepted it.

Carefree, beautiful, high-energy and adventurous is one way to describe her. I met my new best friend in my second year of university, she was my roommate. I lived across the hall from her, and our friendship grew every single day. I was super shy but she brought me out of my shell and I really needed that push. We did everything together and she helped me get through a very hard time in my life. I had a pretty bad dark phase to say the least but I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her so I truly thank her for that. Rewind a year before that and that’s when I met my other best-friend. I met her in my first year of university in a lecture hall. I can’t believe somebody actually spoke to me first as I sat their anxiously, nervously, with hundreds of people around me. We were in the same program and we had back to back lectures. Again another friendship grew and I was finally feeling accepted. She helped me with my studies and we motivated each other. She was my partner in crime and I introduced her to my roommate. Together, we became the three amigos. We were pretty much inseparable, and we posted on instagram with our belligerent drunk pictures, where we danced goofy, laughed endlessly and enjoyed life. I loved them. I loved them like they were my family and I still do love them.

Unfortunately things happen in life, sometimes things that you never think would happen. I used to imagine each other’s lives, visiting with my children one day, and having our wine nights when the kids went down. We had matching tattoos that empowered us, I use to think I was absolutely invincible when I was with them. They made me feel on top of the world. Unfortunately, our powerful and unique friendship did not last. Things unfolded, arguments happened and things got ugly. By ugly, I mean crying nights, sleepless nights and times were I could not eat. Seems a bit dramatic you may be thinking right? I thought so but then again, I have never experienced a true friendship like that before and I was hurting. Hurting enough that things were said on both sides that were nasty, disgusting and ugly. I was absolutely heartbroken the day everything ended. When calls went to voicemail, and we all became strangers. I often questioned myself as to where this all went downhill, if we could’ve avoided all this, but then again, what’s done is done. For the first few months I was angry, angry beyond belief. I am stubborn and wanted to accept and believe the fact that it wasn’t ME who messed up and that was my first red flag. I realized that months later when I tried to reach out again, apologizing for my behalf of the arguments, where I went wrong.

That conversation went nowhere. If anything, it got worse and I knew nothing better was going to come out of this, as much as I wanted so f***ing bad for things to work. I didn’t want to throw away memories, the past, and lose this. I really didn’t want to lose this. Arguments were starting amongst my boyfriend and I all the time over this, he wanted to make sure I was okay, afteralll my mental health was going downhill and I could tell. I needed my therapist but she was booked, I needed to freeze time, I need to start over again. Finally, after endless talks and discussions with the family, I had to make a hard decision. One that wasn’t made overnight, one that took thought and courage. That was the power to let go. If there’s one piece of advice I can offer from this super long and sappy blog, it’s that YOU are in control. You do have the power to let go if you want to. You have to weigh the pros and cons of everything in life. I knew that it was not going to clear up and I wasn’t prepared to go a one way street, it needed to work three ways. Always remember to take care of yourself. Your mental health is absolutely everything, and you need to always ensure you are okay. Take the time to talk to people, talk to loved ones, and don’t keep things bottled in. Keeping things bottled in becomes hostile and slowly, you will see yourself deteriorate.

You need to live your own life. If that requires taking certain people out of your life or changing certain aspects you need to do that, after all , you owe yourself that at least. For me, it took months, more than 8 months to find my happiness again and to find myself again. I kept thinking I would never heal, and I would always be in a downward spiral going nowhere. I thought I would never let any friends close into my life again but that’s far from the truth and I can assure you that. Even though everything is far from perfect, life gets in the way, and things go wrong remember things always get better. There is always a light, even though it may take a while… mine did… you will be okay. I wanted to take the time to write this post not only to share my story and advice with you beauts, but this is a form of healing. A healing I prayed for.

Am I completely healed? Absolutely not. Will I always have a place in my heart for those girls, absolutely. Do I hate them? No. They helped me get through university which was not easy for me. I am at a point in my life where life is too short to hold on to regrets, negativity and the past. It takes so much energy to hate someone, to wish them a terrible life. It takes no energy to move on with yours, to focus on yourself and to create positive vibes. I want nothing but the best for them, and I will continue to wish that. But now, it’s my turn. It’s my turn to return to my normal life, my shy/bubbly self, my goofy dance moves, singing “poor unfortunate souls” by Ursula on Karaoke, and drinking my red wine. It’s my turn to live my life again, to meet new people and to laugh endlessly.

It’s my turn.

My new position as a Mental Health Blogger for Chase and Hunter!

Hey my beauts, I hope you are all doing well and fabulous! Happy Saturday! I can’t believe it’s the weekend already, that literally flew by! I am so excited, I had Thursday and Friday both off which was awesome, so extra long weekend for me! As you beauts know, I am a nanny and have been for a couple years now. My last day was on Wednesday, so it was a bittersweet day. I am excited to see what is in store for the near future, but I am going to miss my baby girl dearly, she was one year old… too precious! So back to business, I have been writing blogs like crazy… literally blogs coming out of my asshole… no joke. But hey! Honestly, I absolutely love writing and coming up with posts for you guys so that doesn’t bother me one bit! I have been working on a project for about a couple weeks now and I am finally excited to share it with you beauts! I have been given the opportunity to work with a brand dedicated to sharing student’s experiences in college and university. Not only does this brand sound absolutely amazing already… right? I have had so many memories and whatnot that I experienced in university, so I adore their website so much and what they have to offer.  I found “Chase and Hunter” one day while exploring Instagram and really loved their page. It was so down to earth, loved reading about student’s experiences in both college and university, and absolutely adored the clothing line. If you beauts know me I am all about cropped hoodies. 100%. I think they are absolutely adorable and so stylish. Pairing these with high waisted pants or yoga pants looks unreal and adorable.  So I started following their page on Instagram and was always intrigued by their stories they post. They are a very interactive brand and include everyone which is amazing. They often do a bunch of polls on their stories seeing what kinds of apparel students love best and what not… love this. You have the option of having a voice and giving your opinion on things which is fantastic. I noticed one day  Chase and Hunter had posted on their story that they were searching for someone to help out with the company, marketing and so forth.  I then sent them a message saying I was very interested in this position, and I got in touch over the phone with the CEO of Chase and Hunter, Jake Karls, super down to earth guy, super friendly, and it was very easy speaking to him which I loved. I ran the idea by him that maybe there could be a section on the website discussing the aspect of Mental Health, as I know a lot of students who are in post-secondary school probably have had some struggles and experiences in regards to Mental Health. He absolutely loved the idea and thought it would be great to talk about mental health on the website. I wanted this to be a safe space where students from all around the world and different schools can come and share their own personal stories with one another, relating, connecting and expressing their emotions and feelings… what they personally went through or have been going through.

I wanted a welcoming, safe platform where students can share, and offer advice and take in new information in regards to mental health. I am so thankful that Chase and Hunter agreed to this idea, and I am pleased to announce I have joined their team and am now taking on the opportunity of being a mental health blogger for the company! I am so thrilled beyond belief that I get to express and share my ideas about something I am so passionate about and absolutely love.  I finally have been given a chance to share my stories with others around the world and for an amazing brand.  I have been gathering numerous articles and stories from student’s who are in post-secondary school or have attended it in the past. To my surprise, a lot of people reached out to me and wanted to share their mental health stories and struggles while in school, which was amazing. I was blown away. I even had a few people who I did not know reach out to me over social media which was unreal, and I was so beyond grateful for this. These stories are going to be shared amongst the Chase and Hunter website for other’s to relate to and connect to.  Mental health should not be kept quiet and remain in the dark. As some of you beauts know I have been struggling with mental illnesses my whole entire life, as early as grade 6. I did not know at the time that I had anxiety but soon later found out within my university years, and let me just say this…. I struggled a lot with it in university. I am grateful that there is now a platform to share and open up my story with others as I am not ashamed one bit. I know a lot of people struggle with mental illness, sometimes not knowing where to turn to, or how to go about it. I have been writing articles and blog posts recently strictly on mental illness and tips and tricks for those who are struggling. These articles will be published on the Chase and Hunter website which is unreal, and there will be a section dedicated to my blog posts on their website. I can not thank Chase and Hunter enough for this incredible and welcoming opportunity for me. I really have no words. I have been working my ass off for you beauts, and can not wait to share my posts with you guys! Currently, Chase and Hunter are going to launch a new website in the near future so I will let you guys know when everything is up and running on the website. Right now, we are just prepping and Jake is busy putting together the website! I am so excited and I know you guys will absolutely love it. I will keep you guys posted when I know further news about the launch of the new website, so stay tuned! One thing that I am looking forward to is sharing my story with you guys. I have mentioned a bit of my channel already about my mental illnesses, but I am excited to share with student’s around the world who I am, and what I am all about. As you beauts know I am an extremely open person, willing to share my story hands down with you guys, but sometimes this is not always an easy thing to do.If you guys are wanting to share a story and have it posted on the Chase and Hunter website, feel free to send me a message through one of my social media sites and I will gladly give you all the details! I want to personally say thank you to everyone who has sent me their story and opened up. It’s not easy and you have a lot of courage by doing so. I want other’s who are struggling to know they are never alone, and that there are always resources out there that are available to students. I am by no means a mental health professional or expert, but I do have a strong passion for mental health and have personally suffered from anxiety for years now. I have written some articles on ways to help ease anxiety before a big presentation, tips on how to wake up in a positive mood, and also how to notice the warning signs on someone who may be struggling. These are a few examples of what is going to be on the Chase and Hunter website and what you beauts have to look forward to.

So I know what you beauts are thinking… you want to hear a bit more about what Chase and Hunter are all about right? The founder of Chase and Hunter, Jake Karls, states, “ as much fun as I had in college (partying and not studying obviously), dorm rooms are pretty bland and always kind of reminded me of the back office of a senior manager at the DMV. WHITE WALLS SUCK, and worse than that, white walls don’t inspire anyone.I quickly realized that hanging a piece of art on my wall changed my headspace and created the good vibes that I wanted for me and my friends. Something as simple as a famous landmark or a quote was able to evoke powerful emotions for me and anyone coming over. Being the founder of Chase & Hunter, a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping millennials grow and become the best version of themselves it was natural for us to develop a line of art that can transform the spaces around you. Wherever you want to be, we have the art that can take you there. We invite you to browse our collection and find a piece that speaks to you and is a representation of where you are going”. 

I absolutely love this. This is one of the reasons why I fell in love with Chase and Hunter. I love working and collaborating with brands that have a powerful message, and my heart was geared towards this brand. I could not be more proud to represent and wear the clothing for this brand, as well as blog for their company. I really hope you guys enjoy my section on mental health that will be on the website, I am really excited and have been working hard each day on this project. I am honoured.  I also have purchased two of their cropped sweaters from their collection, and I am excited to show you guys. I purchased this beautiful and stunning! I purchased, “The cropped hoodie” in the colour grey and let’s just say…..  I am obsessed. I absolutely love how cropped it is, it’s absolutely adorable, completely my style… I am just in love. This retails for $39.00 in store.

“…Chase and Hunter is a mix between comfy and streetwear”

The other sweater that I purchased is called, “The classic cropped crewneck“, and I purchased it in the shade Royal Blue. Something about the colour blue has me absolutely hooked and I love it dearly. I think this is such a beautiful and vibrant colour by far, something different than what I am used to having in my wardrobe. Again, love the cropped hoodies, they are stunning on. Super comfortable. There are also so many different colours to choose from this collection as well which is fantastic. This sweater retails for $34.99 in store.

I absolutely love my two new hoodies and have been wearing them so much lately. I highly recommend going to check out the website and purchasing one for yourself! We would love to see you in one and rocking the brand! I hope you guys love the new website, if you have a story you would like to share don’t be afraid to reach out. I want to personally take a minute to thank Chase and Hunter for allowing me to blog for their company, this is an amazing opportunity for me and I am beyond thankful. I can not wait to see what the future has in store for me, and for Chase and Hunter as well! Big things are happening beauts, and I can not thank you enough for your support. Be sure to check out their page on Instagram over at, “chaseandhunter”, come spread some love. Also be sure to check out my other social media sites located on my homepage for more blogs to come in the near future. Take care and much love xo.

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Mental Health Update; Chit Chat with me focusing on Social Anxiety

Hey my beauts, I hope you are all doing well! I have been doing really well lately in terms of my blogging channel/collaborations and also… shh… launching a clothing line that will be launched soon when details are discussed and finalized with my stepbrother, go follow him on Instagram at @nateslofstra! Unfortunately, I can not share too many details of this clothing line with you beauts yet, but do not worry! There will be a blog on it coming in the near future for sure! I am super excited to be given this opportunity and can not wait to share more details with you beauts!  So it has been a while since I have done a chit chat with me post on my mental health and given you beauts an update! So my anxiety has been better under control ever since starting my new job, I think it is for sure a more relaxed atmosphere, to say the least, which helps me calm down a lot. One thing that I have noticed that has started to peek up again was my Social Anxiety, unfortunately. One thing I am proud of for myself is that I noticed this right away. I have been very anxious lately when it comes to social events some things may include my eye contact is very limited when speaking to people, I get nervous in big crowds or at parties; again if I am sober this is more evident. I also just get nervous when it comes to just small talk conversations, this really gets me anxious for some odd reason. If you beauts have been keeping up to date in the past following my social anxiety journey, you are familiar that these certain things have been making me nervous over the years. Some of these things in the past include:

  1. talk with individuals one- on- one
  2. maintain eye contact
  3. manage anxious thoughts about what people think of me
  4. tolerating criticism
  5. express more in a job interview
  6. go to a party sober
  7. call people on the phone
  8. return an item to a store
  9. ask someone for help

So as you can see, there were a lot of social situations that would make me feel uneasy and anxious at times, and that is okay. A little recap for you beauts who were not following my social anxiety journey in the past. I attended a social anxiety group every Wednesday for 8 weeks which was two hours long in length. Basically, we worked out of a workbook and did different exposures to help manage and face our fears when it came to social anxiety. I absolutely loved this group, after the 8 weeks, I felt like a completely new person who was exceeding in life day by day. I literally felt on top of the world, that nothing could get in my way. I have to admit, the exposures and facing them head on were not an easy process, but I can proudly check off some things I have mastered on my list which is a great feeling!  I can now pick up the phone, make appointments, order a pizza or just have a simple conversation which in the past, made me super nervous and uncomfortable.  I am now able to speak on the phone with little to no nerves which is a huge step for me!  Another thing that I can cross off my list is that I can return an item to a store and usually ask for help depending on the situation! So there are a few things on my list that I can proudly cross off.  There are however things still on my list that I need a little bit of help with still. One of the biggest things for me would be maintaining eye contact and having one-on-one conversations. I do not know what it is about these but I just feel so uncomfortable!

I made an appointment with my therapist and told her some of the social situations that still made me feel uncomfortable and she recommended right away that I go back to my social anxiety group meetings again. I really liked this idea! I think that sometimes we forget how to manage our anxiety for some situations and it’s okay to get that reminder for sure! I need that extra help again, and I want to work and better myself for 2018 as this is my year. So beauts, I am signed up again for the Social Anxiety Group which will be starting in April of this year. This will be a 9-week program for those who experience a lot of fear and discomfort about social situations. Often this leads to avoidance of certain situations and I did not want that whatsoever. I want to be able to live life to it’s fullest without fearing every social interaction I have. So this will be held every Monday starting in April. I hope to be able to cross more things off of my list for sure which would be fantastic and rewarding.  I will be posting blog posts for every meeting held like I did in the past to help you beauts see the progress and to allow myself to see the progress I am making as well.  I hope these updates will help at least one person who may be suffering like I am. I can not wait to start this journey and process with you beauts again, and keep you up to date!

Remember, 2018 is your year to shine. Take control of it. Notice how you are feeling, and don’t push aside emotions. If you are struggling acknowledge it, and fight it. You are a fighter, and if a quiet shy girl like myself can do it, you can do it as well. You are never alone. Have a great rest of your week! Take care.

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Mental Health Update- Chat Chat with me


Hello my beauts, Alyssa here! It’s been a while since I have talked to you guys, sat down with a cup of tea, and just shot the shit with you beauts. I have been so busy doing collaborations with companies lately, that it is nice to take a break and just sit down and talk to you guys about what has been going on in my life so far. As you beauts know I am always real with yous, I never hide anything and I am always sharing updates about what is happening in my life, especially on topics such as mental health. As most of you guys know mental health runs in my family, and it is not something I am ashamed to discuss with you guys, infact it is a topic I am extremely open about. I am an advocate for mental health and love sharing with you guys everything how I am feeling and my emotions. Lately, my family has been struggling with a lot of personal family matters, something that I am not going to broadcast because it is rather personal. As a result of this I have not been myself whatsoever, it has been constant days where I am completely up and about, and other days where I just want to sleep all day. It does not take a lot for me to worry about things, so I have been to say the least.. a mess. I have thought long and hard about what I am going to do, knowing that something needs to be done. I am not one to sit there and do nothing about the situation, I am not going to sit there feeling sorry for myself, that’s not me. I like to do things about situations and I think that is exactly what you have to do when life gets in the way of things. You need to make a plan. So that’s what I started to do. As you beauts know I am in college right now for Social Service Work and it has been extremely hard for me to focus on school at the moment for the past month or so. I let a professor know what was going on, and she was extremely supportive. I tried from then on to keep attending classes and try to focus on assignments and so forth but it was getting tough. I knew that I needed to start taking care of myself whatever that meant to do.


I recently was supposed to start placement the other day and knew I just could not do that right now. I am not in the right state of mind, I have no motivation for school whatsoever, and I would be setting myself up for failure not knowing if I would wake up and not want to go to placement that day. I then thought long and hard about what I was  going to do, breaking down to my mom about everything that has been going on. I am so glad I have that support there for me.  Family means absolutely everything to me, they are the closest people you have to you. I let my mom know that I don’t think I can do placement right now, and she completely understood. I let her know I was not in the right mindset and that I have not been myself lately whatsoever.  People who struggle with mental health issues can sometimes be up and down, and different things trigger our emotions, it can also be completely out of nowhere. I came to the conclusion that I decided to postpone school, for now, I am almost done, but I feel like I am not going to do my best or even go for that matter if I continue right now. This was a big decision to make but honestly, mental health comes first before school. I just wanted to chat with you guys and let you know that sometimes life gets in the way of things, it’s unplanned and it happens but you just have to sometimes think of a different plan and deal with it. I am now in contact with some counsellors from my college and I think I am going to start seeing my own personal therapist again just to touch base and get things off my chest. I can not emphasize how amazing it feels to chat with someone, whether it be your mom, dad, friend, or a counsellor, someone is always there to help and you don’t have to be embarrassed about it whatsoever.  I never thought I was going to share my own personal life on the internet, with complete strangers and with others but something in me told me it was the right thing to do, so here I am today. I want others to know they are never alone, that there are options out there, and that it is okay to put your goals and dreams on hold. That is exactly what I am doing and I am content with my decision. It doesn’t mean I will not finish my program but it means that I will finish it at a later date and that is okay. My program is not going anymore, what matters the most and what is the most important thing right now is my mental health and making sure everything is okay.

Of course, it helps with this little one here with me, this is baby Winnie. She is a cockapoo puppy and has helped tremendously in our household as our therapy dog. Puppies and any animal for that matter as huge life savour when it comes to making you happy, smile and bring peace into your home. We have only had her for a few days and we already notice a huge difference in our home which is wonderful when I go and visit my mom. I highly recommend having an animal in your home if you are struggling or just need a bit more happiness/peace in your home.

I hope you guys enjoyed this little chit chat blog! I always like keeping you guys updated when it comes to my mental health and I always love sharing any piece of advice that I have! Also, want to give a shout out to @dodolashes for these beautiful mink lashes that you can purchase with my discount code “thatothertwin_xo” for 5% off at the checkout. Absolutely love these lashes, they are super easy to apply and look stunning for daytime/ night time looks. Take care, much love xo.

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Social anxiety group therapy- session 8 ( last session)

Social anxiety group therapy- session 8 ( last session)

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Hey my beauts! What a bittersweet moment it is. I can not thank you guys enough, my viewers, friends and family for supporting me through this new journey I had taken! For those of you who are not up to date with my social anxiety blogging posts, I will basically just summarise my journey and why I started attending these sessions. I have always been a very anxious person , even when I was little. I remember in elementary school always worrying constantly about homework and my studies. I was then diagnosed with general anxiety disorder within my years of university . I finally exploded and could not take it anymore . I received the help I needed to get back on my two feet , as well as taking medication on the side. My anxiety was under control for a long period of time but spiked back up again a few months ago . I saw my therapist and was inquiring about my anxiety levels as they were peaking again. I did not know if I just got used to my pills or needed a higher dosage. While speaking to my therapist , she had a thought. She handed me a sheet and asked me to rate my anxiety through all these social interactions. I scored a 90 for anxiety rating as my social anxiety levels were extremely high. She recommended that I seek this social anxiety group therapy sessions, but I was completely against it at first. Even the thought of group therapy gave me butterflies …. I would have rather had individualised therapy sessions. She informed me that everyone else in the group was on the same boat I was , suffering as well . I eventually agreed to the group therapy and I am so glad I did ! The first session was brutal , nobody really talked , hence the anxiety , but the instructors were very nice and comforting .

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Now look where I am today ! I made it through 8 sessions and finished my social anxiety treatment program. It’s amazing how far I have come. I notice it completely and so does my friends/ family members. From being so shy where I couldn’t speak on the phone to now being able to order a pizza over the phone is insane. I also can small talk with individuals without my chest tightening up, I am more relaxed while doing so ! The only exposure on my hierarchy that I need to work on is asking for help. I have struggled with this all of my life and it’s not going to be an easy one to work on let’s just say that! However, I made so many improvements over the past 8 weeks on my exposure hierarchy that I am super proud of myself.

So 6:00 hit and I sat down at the table for the last time.  We began our session with taking up homework that we had the previous week. Basically, our homework for last week was to just work on our exposure hierarchy. I had raised my hand and offered to speak to the class. I explained that I had been working on small talk again and stated that I had gone to a bar sober and met one of my friend’s friend there. I was afraid it was going to be very awkward but in reality, it went great and the conversation never died.  I was very proud of myself and so were my instructors! They had stated that I was improving a lot and were happy I was working so hard on my exposures.

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We then went into our last session of discussing new information. The instructors started discussing how to maintain our goals for the future. How we should continue to use the strategies we learned and also continue practising them as well. Rather than ending the treatment, we are encouraged to start living your life in a new way, when there really is no end. I am going to practice being assertive and focusing on my hierarchy goals.  We also discussed some of the goals when talking about cognitive behavioural therapy. We need to gain control of our anxiety by using the strategies we have learned over the past weeks to manage it. We need to become our own therapist. Since we now do not have our instructors to help guide and tend to us, we have to be our own coach.  We need to encourage ourselves as if we were speaking to our best friend.

Sometimes, dealing with social anxiety may not always seem effective, this could be for multiple reasons. First, maybe it’s too low of a dosage. Maybe we are not doing enough of our exposures to move past our fears and what makes us nervous. We could not be challenging ourselves enough as well. Another reason could be related to stress. We may be so stressed out or having a bad week that this interferes with our motivation and energy levels, affecting our exposures. Or simply life could get in the way. Often things pop up that may not be all that great, and unfortunately, we can not do much about that. If some things do get in the way of our exposures and trying to better ourselves, that is okay. Let these things happen, it does not mean to get discouraged at all. Let these things happen and when the time is right, you can work and use your strategies.  On the other hand, things may be going as planned and are effective, but what if the fear returns?  We need to sit down and think about what strategies were effective for ourselves, and we need to question ourselves as to why it came back. Sometimes, we only do our exposures occasionally, that leaves room for the fear to creep back in your life as you are not exposing yourselves more. However, there are things we can do to help prevent this from happening. First, continue using both the cognitive and exposure strategies. Second, practice these in different situations so that your exposures become second nature to you. You just have to keep, and eventually, anxiety will begin to decrease over time.

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We were then given some useful and resourceful information based on different articles about social anxiety. I will list them down below for you beauts:

  • “The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook: PProven, Step-by-Step Techniques for Overcoming Your Fear” ( by Antony M.M and Swinson R.P. 2008)
  • “10 Simple Solutions to Shyness: How to Overcome Shyness, Social Anxiety and Fear of Public Speaking” (Antony, M.M. 2004)
  • http://www.anxietybc.com

Overall, I am so grateful and proud of the person I have become today. Months ago, I was so shy and uncomfortable for everything, it was absolutely awful. I know I needed to do something for myself and pronto even though I was scared to reach out. It is okay to ask for help and reach out if you want to better yourself. I highly highly recommend this group or some form of social anxiety treatment based groups if you are struggling that I was. I will share with you guys the accomplishments I have done over the last 8 weeks and what was on my hierarchy, to begin with.

Exposure Hierarchy

  1. Talk with individuals one-on-one
  2. maintain eye contact
  3. manage anxious thoughts about what people think  of me
  4. tolerate criticism
  5. express more in a job interview
  6. go to a party sober
  7. call people on the phone
  8. return an item to a store
  9. ask for help

What I have accomplished

  1. speaking with individuals one-on-one such as my boss and meeting new people
  2. have tried maintaining eye contact with people during one-on-one conversations on multiple occasions
  3.  If I embarrass myself, I really do not care so much what people think of me
  4. I can call people on the phone now
  5. I have returned an item to a store
  6. I have gone to two parties sober

What I need to work on- asking for help and job interviews as nothing has come up so far.

At my orientation for the group therapy, we had filled out a sheet in regards to “willingness to change”. I will share with you guys what the instructor and I had discussed based on what I would like to accomplish:

Benefits of overcoming your social anxiety: 

  • more comfortable talking to people
  • be happier
  • pursue job opportunities

Reasons for changing:

  • just finished university and wants to improve future prospects and her state

Specific goals:

  • feel comfortable talking with another person such as her boss, strangers
  • make friends
  • arrange job interviews

Previous attempts:

  • breathing techniques
  • Prozac

I can truly say I am a changed person when looking back on this sheet of paper. Never in a million years did I think I was going to overcome social anxiety, let alone I did not know I actually had it that bad. I am so glad I reached out for help, and I encourage you guys as well. If I can do it, you can. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, I have it, and I am sure others who are reading this have it as well. I will say it once again, anxiety does not define who you are as an individual. I hope you beauts enjoyed reading these sessions in regards to my group therapy meetings, I hope you beauts learned a lot, and thank you for all the love and support you guys gave me. Means the world to me. Be sure to follow my other social media accounts for updates on the latest posts!

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Social Anxiety Group Therapy Session 7

Social Anxiety Group Therapy Session 7

Processed with MOLDIVHey beauts! I know I know , where have I been with my updated social anxiety group therapy sessions ? I sadly did not make it to my 6th session because it was a very long and bad day I was having ! I was actually surprised that I only missed one session out of my 8… that’s a record for me and I am very proud of that ! I have worked hard these past 7 weeks and have really pushed myself in my group therapy sessions , obviously attending them and trying to push myself further out of my comfort zone . I have learnt so much these past weeks it has literally been insane !! This week was super challenging for me , mostly because the exposures are getting more challenging and they are really trying to test your anxiety levels . I was not nervous whatsoever I was more excited this time .. why might you ask ? Because this is my second last therapy session ! Can you believe it ?! Where has the time gone ? I literally thought that this therapy was going to be a long 8 weeks , but it literally has flown by .

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We started off this session by taking up some homework that we had from the week before . We were working on assertiveness and the ability to speak our mind or say “no”. I had been working a bit on this over the week and actually practiced this exposure once . My boss is very flexible with my hours and on st pattys day , she asked if I wanted to work til 5:30 or she could even do 4. I was assertive and asked if she could do 4 instead which was hard for me because I am too nice to go home early! I feel bad for some reason . Meanwhile, this suggestion was completely fine and she said that was perfectly okay. Being assertive is not really all that bad after all !  Saying no on the other hand, will be a completely different story . We then had to go over any exposures on our exposure hierarchy we have been working on. I raised my hand ( huge improvement), and stated that I had attended a party sober . Yes may seem a little funny and ridiculous but for me ,that’s a big deal . I am always afraid that when I am sober attending a party , I will not know what to say to people or be completely awkward. I always usually ensure that I had a couple drinks before I attend a party , so this was on my list. I went to a st pattys day party at my friends and literally went sober with my best friend. I knew it was time to push myself. I basically initiated some conversations and really pushed myself when I got to the party . Yes I was completely out of my comfort zone . Did I keep going ? Absolutely . My best friend stated that she could notice a huge difference in me right away . She could not believe how much I was socializing with people and not under the influence of alcohol at the time ,  not until later at least ! I did it . I managed to force my anxiety out of the way and actually enjoyed myself , sparking conversations left right and centre .

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For today’s session, we went on to discuss the dreaded interviews and interview techniques as well as skills. I literally hate interviews. I think a lot of people develop anxiety over them, I know I do! This was on my exposure hierarchy but obviously, I could not work on this one as I had no potential interviews coming up! When you are discussing potential pre-interview skills, it is helpful to use your anxiety thought record, and predict what will happen. It is important to plan ahead for the interview such as learning about the organization, what are your strengths and weaknesses and so forth. When talking about your weaknesses, this can be super tricky. It is important to try to gear more towards behavioural skills as opposed to different characteristics.

One thing to keep in mind when preparing yourself, is to remember that it is okay to regroup your thoughts during the interview. Nobody is perfect. When it comes to interviews, the interviewer knows for a fact that you are nervous and that it is normal. So breathe.  It is also important to practice deep breathing before the interview and practice positive self-talk. Using coping statements such as “ you are going to do great!“, or ” you have done good in interviews before“, will help you out tremendously. When it comes to the actual interview time it is important to be punctual. Arriving at least 15 minutes earlier as opposed to arriving right on time is better and makes you look better as well. It is important to ask questions at the end of your interview, this shows that you are interested and your listening skills are on key. When it comes to the post interview, it is also important to send an email thanking the interviewer. It is also important to write down your interview questions that you were asked just to review them for later on down the road. You can question yourself, what went good? As well as what could I have done differently?

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After discussing about interviews, we went onto the topic of public speaking. As soon as the instructor said this my heart sank. I was literally thinking, great. What exposure and activity are we going to have to do?  We had to do an in class speech by ourselves. We were given 4 smarties, and depending on the colour you had to answer certain questions about yourself. We were required to speak for exactly 2 minutes, timed, and we had the choice of standing in front of the class, standing at your seat or sitting down. I actually surprised the hell out of myself and went first. I could feel my heart drop as I stated that I would like to stand in front of the room. I knew damn well my anxiety was not going to win this exposure that it was time to face one of my biggest fears, public speaking. Even though it was only for two minutes, it literally seemed like 10. I think the most anxiety provoking thing about it was that I did not really have time to prepare my answers. We basically got our smarties, had to look on the board for our 4 questions, and begin. I always have had a fear of not knowing what to say when put on the spot. But boy did I ever surprise myself. I am actually getting teary eyed typing this because I can not explain to you how proud I am of myself and how proud I was in that moment. Even though I paused sometimes to gather my thoughts, I was shaking, my heart was about to burst, and my smarties were melting in my hands, I was okay. I did it. I started with, “Hi, I am Alyssa, I am 23 years old and so forth“. Before I knew it the timer went off, what a relief that was. I told everyone my smarties were melted and one girl replied, “don’t worry, they taste better that way“. I love my group. I have gotten so comfortable around them and it is sad knowing this is my second last session. I am so fortunate to have been given this opportunity, to challenge a demon that has been hanging around for far too long. My anxiety does not define me. Sure he may make me feel uncomfortable, seem shy in certain situations, and awkward in others, but I am still Alyssa.

We have to continue to work on our anxiety hierarchy form that we work on each week.I am not too sure what I am going to work on this week but stay tuned to find out for my last session! I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post on my updated sessions. Please subscribe and follow my social media accounts to stay informed!

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Social Anxiety Group Therapy- Session 5

Social Anxiety Group Therapy- Session 5

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Hello my beauts, I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend so far, I know I sure am! This week has been a great week so far, been feeling very positive lately which is super refreshing and nice. I can’t believe we are already on week 5…. what the hell, where did the time go? This Wednesday was a rather interesting one.As you guys are well aware, we are getting way more into it now. I am not talking about just discussing what social anxiety is, but rather actually facing our fears and doing more group exercises, which I obviously love…not. We started off this group therapy with taking up some of the take-home homework that we were assigned. I decided to raise my hand and share what I had been working on with the group, which is a huge step for me. Like I had mentioned in my previous blog post, we had to work on our active listening skills as well as more exposures on our hierarchy list. For my active listening homework, I have been working on engaging in more one on one conversations but using skills such as; eye contact, being more open, smiling.. I have been constantly talking to my two bosses (the mom and the dad who I nanny for) on a daily basis, just trying to consistently be involved in some sort of small talk. There were a couple of things that I noticed which had interfered with my active listening involvement, some of these included: very hard to keep eye contact with the individual, and I was often rehearsing what I was going to say in return. Overall, however, the outcome was extremely good. I noticed that I am capable of small talk, but next time, I am going to continue to work on trying to ask more questions when engaging in conversations.

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For the next take-home assignment, I had shared the next exposure that I had been working on which was speaking on the phone. After the previous Wednesday, I knew I had to cab home, which was extremely nerve racking for me considering a phone call was involved and I had to contribute to small talk in the cab. I am constantly nervous that I am going to stumble on my words while talking on the phone or I will say something absolutely stupid. However, the phone call went smoothly and I did it. I did stumble a bit on my words and mucked up the address where I needed to be picked up at. But you know what? All he did on the phone was correct me and that was it. It was not the end of the world. I also used coping statements while in that moment such as, “look, this guy doesn’t even know you and chances are, you are probably never going to see him again. People make mistakes on the phone, it’s okay“. Guess what guys, I actually managed to calm myself down after that little incident and for once in my life, I did not let that ruin the rest of my night like I would have before joining and participating in this group therapy. Chances are, I would’ve held on to that stupid incident for a while but for the first time, I completely dropped it. I was so proud of myself and even my instructors were amazed at my accomplishment. That felt great.  I learned that I am capable of speaking on the phone and that communicating over the phone really is not that big of a deal.

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Now, moving onto the new stuff. We started off with some exercises straight away which literally I was like…. dear god shoot me. We had to be partnered up and sit across from each other. I was with the same partner who I had interviewed the previous Wednesday before which was nice. We then had to stare at our partner for 45 seconds from the shoulders up. I was literally like get the f*** out of here. I HATED this exposure, mostly because I hate making eye contact. It for sure put me out of my comfort zone and I actually started laughing during it because I was so uncomfortable and felt so awkward. Finally, the 45 seconds passed and the instructor had asked how it went. I was thinking the whole time what if I have something in my teeth, or my makeup is smudged or I have something on my face and that is what they are staring at. Anywho, overall I am glad we did this experiment, it really did make me feel awkward but I do need that exposure to overcome my fear. We also had to do something similar to speed dating. Again with our partner, we had to engage in small talk about a topic that the instructors assigned us and talk with that individual until they said switch. From then, we had to move onto the next person where a new topic was assigned. This exposure honestly went very well. My worst fear when it comes to small talk is that I will run out of things to say or there will be that awkward silence…. am I right?! Surprisingly, I did not run out of things to talk about and every single conversation went smoothly.

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While engaging in the small talk conversations, I was trying to be an open listener and incorporate smiling and eye contact. This went very well and overall I was very pleased.  After doing these two exposures, we then moved onto the content that we were learning for today and that actually had to deal with small talk and how to start conversations. There are many different places where you can engage in small talk and expose yourself to these situations. Some of these places may include:

  • elevator
  • sales clerk
  • grocery store lineup
  • dentist office/doctor office
  • gym
  • coffee shop

There are three things to keep in mind when trying to start a conversation or needing that extra help. The first is you can try to start the conversation with asking a question such as, “Do you happen to know the time?”. Second, you can give someone a compliment such as “I love the sweater you are wearing!”. Lastly, you can make an observation such as ” I think it may start to rain soon“. These are all different ways that you can start a conversation.

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There are also different topics to choose from such as talking about: movies, weather, vacation, sports and so forth. Usually, when I am talking to my bosses, I am having a lot of conversations about the boys who I nanny and about their behaviour. I always keep in mind that when having a conversation, it is a two-way street. They can not be the only ones engaging in the convo, but I have to contribute as well. Some other tips that I need to take into consideration include:

  1. engaging and using your active and open listening skills
  2. showing interest in the conversation
  3. when it comes to compliments, give or take
  4. questions help to show more interest
  5. keep in mind important details

Of course starting a conversation is important too, but so is ending it. In this group therapy session, we were taught different ways to indicate when a conversation is coming to an end. You can notice when there seems little more to say, or you can simply make a statement such as, “nice talking to you, hope to see you again soon“. Often time we are so overwhelmed about how to leave certain situations so it is helpful being provided some tips and tricks.

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For our take-home assignment, we again have to focus on working on our exposures, so stay tuned to see in my next blog post what I have been working on! Also, we are instructed to socialize and have a conversation with a stranger…. will I do it? Or not?

Stay tuned beauts!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post on my 5th session. I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my progress. I can honestly see such a big improvement with myself and it’s an amazing feeling. I am proud of myself.

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