Discussions

Let’s Talk: What’s been going on with me?

October 24, 2019

Let’s have a chit-chat, eh?

Major trigger warnings ahead for mentions of mental and physical illness.


Hi, lovelies. ♥ I’ve missed you. Long post ahead, sorry.

I know a lot of you have been wondering where I’ve been lately. When you’re used to seeing me post 7 days a week, sometimes twice per day, and then I suddenly dropped off to posting 1 or 2 times a week, memes only, nothing substantial and no reviews… Well, that’s pretty damn abnormal for me. I know I’ve been posting regularly for the last several days (woohoo! *throws confetti*), but I thought today would be a good time to give a quick update on where I’ve been and what’s been going on to keep me away.

This year has been hard for a lot of reasons:

  • going back to work (on top of motherhood & grad school)
  • learning how to overcome my social anxiety, which had become WAY worse while spending 3 years at home with my son
  • my chronic pain (which I’ve had since I was a preteen) worsening significantly
  • other miscellaneous health issues popping up (hello, miniature mortality check and quarter-life crisis)
  • a positive RA factor test (the blood factor that notates rheumatoid arthritis and multiple other autoimmune diseases) — we still haven’t been able to rule out rheumatoid but don’t know what this is, as my insurance is absolutely shit and hasn’t wanted to cover the testing, plus the rheumatologist I went to was a trashfire who insisted that everything was due to my weight despite my family history of RA & having had symptoms since I was an “average” weight
  • a mono flare-up a few months ago
  • a head cold turned sinus infection turned asthma complications that’s been going on for… 3 months, almost?
  • being diagnosed with sleep apnea after spending 2 months sleeping 14-16 hours per day and still being exhausted
  • tremendous grad school burn-out triggering a nervous breakdown a few weeks ago that almost led me back to ***TRIGGER WARNING*** self-harm & smoking, which I’ve done neither in years
  • a huge depressive spiral that lasted, at its worst, from… I want to say it started in maybe April, and led all the way through to last week?
  • the worst reading slump of my life — which, coupled with the depressive spiral, almost led me to quitting blogging several times

So… yeah. It’s been a messy year for me. I don’t mean it’s all bad; I have my family, who I love more than anything in the world, and my job is a great job as far as these things go. But nothing was working right inside of me. My health problems were terrifying me and everything in the entire world felt like too much. I can’t describe to you how many times per day I caught myself wondering if I could keep going, and honestly, if it weren’t for my family — especially my son — I don’t know if I could have made it.

In hindsight, I should have reached out… but as usual, I retreated instead.

I pushed away everyone. I barely talked to my spouse about the things I was feeling, let alone friends. I became a hermit and stopped speaking to almost anyone at all. I let comments on my blog pile up for five months straight because I just didn’t think anyone really wanted to talk to me. What did I have to offer, when I could barely keep myself afloat? And being a book blogger? What a joke, I thought. I could barely read more than a chapter per day because I couldn’t focus and didn’t have the motivation, and it’s not like anything was making me happy, anyways, so what was the point. I had to force myself to listen to audiobooks every time I got in the car just so I could read SOMETHING, ANYTHING.

I shut you all out. I left social media, I turned off my notifications on every communication app I had, I ignored texts and snapchats and DMs every single day. No matter how much my loved ones tried to get through to me, my depression and my BPD were convincing me that nobody really cared, anyways, and everyone would be happier without me bothering them. That went double for blog posts.

So, what changed?

Mental illness is a weird, unpredictable beast. I don’t know what exact thing broke me out of the rut. I started using a CPAP machine at night (a breathing machine that helps people with sleep apnea get enough oxygen, for those who don’t know), I devoted all of my free time for 2 weeks to a new game of Stardew Valley, I dumped almost all of my current reads, I read a bunch of fluffy Captive Prince fanfiction, I spent time with my family, and I started answering some of those missed messages. I timidly poked my head out of my little cave of my own creation and started reaching out to authors and publicists with apologies for my absence. I let myself return to Twitter and realized what I had to say was still worth saying. I started making time for my blog again, but not forcing it. I talked to the moon a lot and cried a lot and listened to a lot of angry, loud music way too loud in my car. And something about all of that combined… I guess it just clicked, because I woke up from a nap a few days ago and realized that, for the first time in way too long, my head was quiet. Nobody was being mean to me inside my own thoughts and I realized I’ve got this. Especially with all of you in my corner.

If you read all of this, you’re absolutely precious. Even if you skimmed it. It’s really hard for me to talk openly about my mental illnesses — nearly impossible! — but I knew I needed to do this. I needed to tell you all what was going on with me, because I needed to be honest, to normalize this discussion for myself, to open up and let people in. And something in my gut just told me that at least one person needed to read this just as much as I needed to write it.

I love this community for the people it’s put in my life. I love all of you. I’m so grateful that, even though it feels to me like I’ve been absent for so damn long, you all have pulled me right back in and reminded me that my voice is worth something, no matter how much my mental illnesses tried to convince me otherwise. Thank you.

(By the way, that little reference to BPD up there… I think that’s the first time I’ve ever had the guts to speak openly online about having Borderline. So please be gentle with me, but if anyone else does, too… feel free to DM me any time. It’s a tough little niche to be in but Cassie reminded me recently that I’m not the only one. And I’m forever grateful to her for being brave enough to talk about this horrible stigmatized mental illness, because I wouldn’t have had the strength to open up to you all at all today without watching her stand up strong and tall, too.)

destiny

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57 Comments

  • Reply Danielle Hammelef October 24, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Thank you! You are so brave and going through so much which has hopefully made you stronger. Virtual hugs and positive vibes are already on their way to you.

  • Reply paperbacks.and.planners October 24, 2019 at 10:40 am

    I suffer from chronic illnesses and intense anxiety so I know how difficult those low points are. I’m so glad you’re starting to feel better! Thanks for sharing your story ❤️❤️

  • Reply Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn Reads October 24, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Oh Destiny. I didn’t realize that you were hurting this much for so long. I’m sorry that I didn’t see it, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t a better friend to you. I understand this, all of this. I feel like this year was the year that all of us had really bad mental health, and we are all trying to stay afloat and finally talk about it so everyone can understand why we haven’t been at our “usual”. I have felt what you felt, when you say that if it wasn’t for your son you probably wouldn’t have kept going. I think that every single day, and I know that you know that you aren’t alone. I don’t know what to say to make it better, since I know that it’s not that simple, but I just want you to know that I have always admired you and cared about you as a friend, despite only knowing you from afar. You are so important to me and I hope that if you ever felt the need to talk about something, even to just vent or not talk about what’s really hurting you, just for that interaction, that you can come to me any time. I will always make time for you, and I will always care about you. I love you, Destiny, and thank you for being so strong.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 28, 2019 at 9:02 pm

      Leelynn 😭😭😭😭 I feel so awful that I didn’t see this comment sooner, I guess WP never notified me through the app that you commented and then I’ve just been so bad at catching up on my comments that I missed it. But I love you so much and you are such an incredible friend to me. Please don’t feel like you haven’t been around enough, I’m so grateful to have you in my life and I’m so sorry you’ve been having a hard year, too. I’m always here if you need ANYTHING, big or small, so please don’t ever hesitate to reach out or even just to chat. I love you!!!

  • Reply Kal @ Reader Voracious October 24, 2019 at 11:12 am

    You are so incredibly brave for sharing this with us, and I commend you. I am sorry you had a tough five months but I am really glad things cleared up for you. You are such a light in this community and I love you oodles.

  • Reply Kayla @ Books and Blends October 24, 2019 at 11:26 am

    You are brave and I am always here for you.

  • Reply Samantha D. October 24, 2019 at 11:28 am

    I am so glad that you are doing better, and that things are on the up swing right now. I know how you feel, I have been battling with my own serious bouts of mental illness and depression for the better part of this year, and it is absolutely exhausting. If there is anything I could ever do to help (especially with school and assignments since I recently finished myself) I am all too happy to assist.
    In the grand scheme of things, your health, and your relationships with your family are the most important things in life. If you miss a couple weeks on the blog, or don’t read those piles of ARCs because you are overwhelmed and dealing with some sh*t, then that is perfectly ok. I know the demons in your head tell you that it’s not, but you just have to keep reminding yourself that we all care about YOU, not just your reviews or your posts, and that we would MUCH RATHER you spend time on yourself than wasting away behind the blog.
    <3 <3 <3 <3
    I know it's hard to reach out but I am serious, if there is ever anything I can help with, please feel comfortable reaching out to me. You are so incredibly brave, and STRONG for holding all this within yourself. Now just focus on breathing, and letting people in :]

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 28, 2019 at 9:08 pm

      Awww thank you so much for this. 😭😭 I’m sorry I didn’t see this sooner but it truly means the world to me. Sometimes I just need someone to remind me that it’s okay to focus on me and not on everything I think I “should” be doing at any given time. I’m so appreciate of you and grateful to have you as a friend, and I hope you also know that I’m always here if you need anything! I’m sorry this has been a hard year for you, too. 🙁 Please let me know if there’s anything I can do!

  • Reply evelynreads1 October 24, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Sending you all the love ❤️❤️ thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Musings of a (Book) Girl October 24, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    You are so brave. It’s hard to put these things out there (I just did an incredibly personal post on my blog about my depression, anxiety, and self-harm) but I’m proud of you for doing it. And I’m glad you’re still here. You’re right, you aren’t alone – my husband also has BPD and I know how isolating it can seem. We’re here for you – whatever you need – and my DMs are always open. <3

  • Reply Brooklynne Michelle October 24, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you fro sharing this with us all, I for one appreciate it and I understand it. I have my own struggles with Mental Health and I work as a social worker with homeless women. I get the no one cares thing, my anxiety tied up with childhood trauma has me believing everyone is lying about liking me and really I’m rubbish and they hate me.

    Also I want to thank you because lately I have been struggling with getting my posts up, finding the time and energy to get things done. I’m starting to hit a bit of a reading slump as well and just Tuesday I was in tears over everything. I thought about deleting my blog and hiding in a cave for the rest of my life. This was clearly a me problem because everyone else can get posts done, everyone else can manage their blog. It’s so nice knowing I’m not alone with struggling at times.

    Hang in there, and know we are here if you need us.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 28, 2019 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you so much for this and I’m so sorry for the late reply, but if you ever need me urgently or just need someone to vent or talk to, please know I’m always here and just a DM away. <3 I'm sorry you've been having a hard time lately too and I really hope things are beginning to look up by now. <3 And no, you are definitely not alone! I'm glad you didn't delete your blog and go into hiding because the internet would be a much darker place without your presence!

  • Reply Storme Reads October 24, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I don’t have a lot to say except I admire your willingness to share. And I’m thankful you’re around because I enjoy your content and who you are as a person.

  • Reply The Sassy Library Fox October 25, 2019 at 12:13 am

    Aww thank you for this post and for being so honest with us! Some of your problems I face as well and I can really relate to you. It’s not easy to talk about those things but it’s important that some people have the guts to address them. Your voice matters and is very important! <3 It's been a rather wild and rough year for me too and unfortunately recently things only seemed to get even worse, but I'm still fighting. I won't let this life and its obstacles get me down because I know there will come good times again. Last week I was at a very dark place and actually dared to reach out to the online community… and boy did they give me strength. I'm happy to call you guys my friends and it's really good to know there are people out there that care. If you ever need to talk about things: I'm always here to listen. 😀

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 28, 2019 at 9:12 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind words and letting me know I’m not alone! I’m here if you need anything, too, and I hope your year improves. I’m sorry it’s been tough for you, too. 🙁 What the heck is it with 2019 beating us all up?! Lol

      • Reply The Sassy Library Fox November 29, 2019 at 12:09 am

        You’re welcome and thanks so much for the offer! <3 I hope both our years improve towards the end or that we'll at least get a better 2020! 😉 And if I ever find out why 2019 is so mean to us, I'll let you know! *lol*

  • Reply Let's Get Galactic October 25, 2019 at 12:42 am

    I love you SO much. I completely understand everything you’ve written about here, and just so it’s said (even if our brains don’t let us believe it all the time), you are not a burden to me ever, and I’m always open to listen or just discuss books or games or all the stuff we feel bad for being behind on & not doing until we feel well enough to do it again. You’re wonderful and it’s okay to have darker times, you’re no less of a bright and shining and amazing light in the lives of so many!!!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 29, 2019 at 12:05 am

      I love you endlessly, and thank you so much for this 😭💕 I’m always, ALWAYS here for you too! I will never, ever be anything less than elated to see a message pop up from you so if you ever need ANYTHING or just want someone to pass the time with, please don’t hesitate. I adore you <3 <3 and I'll try to get better about reaching out when I need it, too!

  • Reply Sarah October 25, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Aw babe, I’m glad things are getting better, and so sorry you’ve been suffering for so long with all of this! <3 I'm glad you're still able to keep blogging but definitely understand needing to take a break and holding back for a bit. It's so wonderful of you to speak publicly about how you've been — obviously you are NOT obligated to, but I think the more people who speak out about how they are, the more normalized all of this becomes and the less alone others will feel. Hope things continue to improve for you!

  • Reply Emily Hopper October 25, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    I adore you and am so glad you’re fighting back and helping to push to normalize this kind of talk. You are amazing and I’m so glad you put yourself out there. You are so loved and we are all blessed to have you in our lives.

  • Reply Sofii @ A Book. A Thought. October 25, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    My sweet angel, I’m SO sorry to see that you’ve been going through so much, you’re a great person and a wonderful inspiration to me and you have to know that. I imagine that sharing this must have been very difficult for you, so I want to highlight how brave you are.
    You know that we all love and support you here, ALWAYS ❤️

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 28, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you so much Sofii, you are honestly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met and I’m so grateful to have you in my life <3 <3 <3 thank you and I love you!!

  • Reply thelittlebookowl October 26, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that this year has been so hard for you. I’m glad things are getting better now!

  • Reply emmareadstoomuch October 26, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    you are so, so amazing. it’s incredible and powerful to be able to read this and to witness your strength in opening up like this. i’ve never really talked about my personal life at all on my blog, out of fear, and it’s deeply inspiring to see you do so here. i love you! i feel very lucky to know you even in the internet way that i do. <3

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 28, 2019 at 9:14 pm

      Awww, thank you so much friend <3 <3 I love you too! It's hard to open up but if you ever need anyone to talk to, I'm here <3

  • Reply Meeghan reads October 27, 2019 at 3:12 am

    Destiny!! I am sending you all of the hugs right now. Your voice is always worth hearing, even if it’s just a ‘I don’t feel like it today’. I’ve been very off-blog a lot lately as well (health stuff), so I totally get it. Also, I hope you know that we love you regardless of everything.
    Also, I thought I saw a post a couple weeks ago with your amazon wishlist because of birthday upcoming (which I missed!! I’m so sorry, happy belated birthday wishes to you!!), but now I can’t find it… can you pls help a girl out?!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 28, 2019 at 9:16 pm

      Meeghan 😭💕💕💕 Thank you so much. I love you more than words can say!! I’m sorry you’ve been having health struggles and I hope, if things aren’t much better by now, that they are very soon. I’m always here if you need anything! And you absolutely don’t need to send me anything!! It’s here but please do not feel obligated AT ALL, just your friendship and love are plenty 😂💕💕💕

  • Reply Laura Beth October 27, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Destiny, I’m so glad you are doing better. I’ve always admired you and your blog. I admire you even more now, because of your candor about your mental health. Having family support is huge. But, sometimes, it all becomes too much. You’re not alone – My anxiety went through the roof right after I started my new job at the beginning of September. I’m starting to feel adjusted now, but I’ve had several emotional breakdowns along the way. Gentle hugs to you!!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 28, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you so much! <3 I'm so sorry your anxiety spiked so badly for a while there. I'm glad to hear it's getting a bit better and I hope by now that it's gotten all the way better or at least has settled enough for you to have some peace! Hugs to you too, friend!!

      • Reply Laura Beth November 29, 2019 at 11:08 am

        Thank you so much! Things have certainly improved, and I’m definitely closer to peace now. It will always be there, but I’m far more in control than I used to be. I don’t let it define me.

  • Reply Victoria October 27, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    I’m so sorry that you’ve been struggling with mental illness and chronic illness for so long. I’m glad you’re starting to feel better, and I think it’s awesome and brave that you’re being open and vulnerable with your struggles and mental illnesses.

  • Reply Victoria October 27, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    I’m so sorry you’ve been struggling for so long with your mental health and chronic illness. I’m glad you’re starting to feel better, and think it’s amazing that you’re willing to be vulnerable and share your struggles with us <3

  • Reply Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts) October 29, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    *hugs* I’m so sorry you’ve been dealing with this for so long and I’m glad you’re feeling better! Feel free to drop a message if you ever want to talk! <3 You are a fabulous human being and deserve all the good things in the world.

  • Reply Keri October 30, 2019 at 10:07 am

    I’m so sorry to see that you’ve been struggling so much this year (and in so many ways! I can’t even imagine). Absolutely NO judgement here about a lack of blogging and responding to comments. You take care of yourself and do what’s best for you.
    I’m so glad to hear that you’ve reached a turning point! Remember: We’ll be here to support you, no matter what you choose to open up about.
    You are amazing and I look forward to more posts from you in the future, no matter when you’re able to publish them. <3

  • Reply rachel @ typed truths November 1, 2019 at 2:59 am

    destiny!! can i just say you are such an incredibly strong person for opening up like this. it’s such a hard thing to be vulnerable about online but – while you’re no means obglibated to talk about it!! – it really helps other people struggling with their mental health feel a little braver and supported too. i am so sorry that you have had such a hard year. it’s sounds like you couldn’t catch a break, you poor love. i definitely understand feeling the need to pull away from people and feeling like your voice doesn’t matter. i have barely been blogging myself or on social media AT ALL all year for similar reasons and can i just say, your blog has been such a refugee during that time! i read it every chance i got, wanting to interact but always feeling too awkward to comment or tweet. i really hope these past few months of the year can be a healing time for you! you have a community around you that is here to support you if you ever need, pls don’t forget that!! 💛

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 28, 2019 at 9:20 pm

      Rachel I love you too much, thank you for being so sweet and supportive!! I love having you as a friend and I light up every single time I get a comment from you so please don’t ever feel awkward. I’m sorry I’m not better at reaching out and initiating the conversation but I’m going to try to be better about not getting stuck in my own head because there are people in my life like you who I really want to get to know better and talk to more! <3 I love you! Thank you so much!!

      • Reply rachel @ typed truths December 18, 2019 at 7:38 pm

        hey destiny! sorry for the late reply and sorry i haven’t more supportive! i hope you’re doing well?? i love you so much as a friend and love seeing your face in my feed makes me so happy so please don’t apologise for not reaching out. i could have reached out just as much but i am honestly terrible at trying to initiate conversations and i know i shouldn’t feel awkward doing it, but that’s just something i have to work on. it’s definitely a goal of mine to make a better effort about it next year but i need to start the ball rolling now. because ditto back at you! you’re honestly so sweet and i really want to get to know you better too. all the best to both of us for the new year! xx

        • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 21, 2019 at 12:49 am

          Omg please don’t be sorry! It goes both ways and I’m also terrible at reaching out but that’s something I want to work on more in 2020 too, so fingers crossed for both of us <3 <3 I would love to chat more with you and get to know you better too!! You're such a lovely human being & I need more of your presence in my life haha 🥰

  • Reply Annemieke November 1, 2019 at 3:10 am

    Just sending you all the hugs Destiny. I’m glad you feel okay enough to talk with us about it and my dm’s are always open for you. <3

  • Reply Avery @ RedRocketPanda November 2, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Look after yourself friend. Sending you lots of love from across the ocean <3 Make sure you give yourself space, and if that means lessening your blogging then do what you need to lessen the amount of pressure you have on yourself.

  • Reply Alex November 3, 2019 at 10:25 am

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve had it so rough! But I think you’re a total badass for sharing your experience with us all. Keep being gentle with yourself, you’ve got this <3

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