Anxiety, Air-Travels and the Add-Ons.

Anxiety, Air-Travels and the Add-Ons.

I honestly have no clue as to how to do this post without offending someone, but this just needed to be said. There’s this pattern I’ve noticed, often coming from your own family – people will most certainly ignore or have a great old laugh about topics related to mental health. Case in point: my own cousin suffered (or has been suffering, I should say) from chronic depression and everyone just shoved it under the rug, without ever bothering to have a heart-to-heart with the guy. I have issues of my own, and every time I’ve tried coming clean about the tempest in my head, I’ve been met with dismissal or random solutions that make no sense to this day.




The worst thing that’s been said to me, and to a lot of people I know, right in the middle of a bad panic attack, would have to be: “Don’t be anxious. Calm down.”

And that has always been it: end of discussion.

And in the best scenarios, the most that any of us got to experience in terms of a discussion would always be one of these things – talking over us or showing little to no empathy at all, or having our problems trivialized. It affects you the worst when all of the above start right from childhood, and childhood scars? They never fade. They linger in the background and strike when you weren’t expecting them to.

And someone in the family hits you with a calm-the-heck-down.

Little do most people know that it’s this exact same sentence that causes the already bad anxiety to flare up. Also, little do they know that it’s not something you can turn up and down and put on mute like the buttons on a freakin’ remote control. Granted, mental health issues weren’t talked about much back in the day, the whole concept of communication did not even exist. To me, it’s appalling to realize how firmly opinionated most of the elders in many families are, even in this day and age, when modernization has had a global upgrade. I feel like the fact that generation gap is alive and kicking well into the middle of a pandemic-ridden 2021, is solely because we don’t really listen.

Which brings me to the next thing I need to say: NO ONE LISTENS. It’s like we are in a constant state of competition to see who’s been handed a bigger fish to fry, it’s like there are awards waiting at the end if your problems outweigh everyone else’s and it’s like we can never win against the elders in the family. When is this notion going to change? Just because someone is older does not necessarily mean they’re always right. Just because they were brought up with a weird and rigid and often problematic set of uh, values, does not mean that those values are always correct. I’ve always said there’s room for change, and there’s so much you can learn even decades younger than you. Trust me on this, a three-year-old probably has more empathy than anyone else you may meet. There’s this other thing too: you can NOT beat the crap out of a person and expect their mental health issues to go away. You cannot enforce things on your children, not when they’re past a certain age, have flown the nest and have made lives of their own, lives that are marginally different from yours.

All of this has somehow reared its ugly monstrous head thanks to the pandemic.


Can we talk about my personal Covid anxiety? Influencers traveling left, right and center amid new waves of the disease is adding fuel to the fire, and trust me when I say this, I have never been so paranoid about air-travel my whole life. And I definitely have sleepless nights and cold-sweats from imagining having to visit family in a different continent. And the fact that I will most certainly be pushed to do so, is super triggering at this point. I don’t want to look like a proper Covidiot, and and a party-pooper and I most certainly do not want my decisions made for me. I am family too, right, and my inputs should matter, no? Most of the times they don’t and I’m made to believe I am subjecting people to some pretty hardcore gaslighting, when it isn’t the case at all. I don’t think it’s wrong to want to live life for a change, right? But then again, like I mentioned earlier, NO ONE EVER LISTENS.





Unfortunately, it boils down to this – it’s always going to be you and your anxiety against the rest of the world. Add to that toxic family, and you have all the makings of a nervous wreck. So what do you do in such a situation? Just how effective is therapy, just how calming is meditation? You need something a little extra. Switch to Cannarie today.

Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down, John Green

Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down, John Green

Text message:

Him: And the thing is, when you lose someone, you realize you’ll eventually lose everyone.

John Green is pure genius. The thing about every story he does is how easily you find yourself being able to relate completely. Everyone does love stories but what makes each book of John Green’s so unique is the fact that besides being a master storyteller, his love stories are unconventional.

The last book he did was The Fault in Our Stars, way back in 2012. Which we all loved. And the movie was great.

Turtles All the Way Down came out in October 2017 and while I’m a lot late to the party, I’m glad I read this book. John Green does some of the most brilliant one liners. Some of the most intense too. In the whole world.

Every protagonist of his, ever, always seem like real people with real issues.

The protagonist in Turtles, Aza Holmes, is no different. She’s rather real and despite the fact that she’s battling some form of obsessive compulsive disorder, she’s also relatable. Just quickly, without giving away too much – Turtles is the story of a sixteen year old who lives with her high school math teacher Mum, drives her late Dad’s car which she’s lovingly christened Harold and sees a therapist called Dr. Karen Singh regularly. Her two friends Daisy and Mychal – a vibrant girl who does Star Wars fanfic, and an artist who looks like a “giant hot baby, if Beyoncé and Drake had a baby” respectively – are beautifully executed characters too. The contrast between Daisy and Aza is so stark and it’s almost like one acts like the Ying to the other’s Yang. Two halves of a whole and that’s some amazing female friendship come alive in fiction.

The plot takes off from the time a local billionaire construction mogul named Russell Pickett goes missing. Daisy who’s drawn to the whole idea of getting rich quick from the $100,000 reward for information leading to the man’s arrest, insists that Aza join in on her investigation. This leads to a rekindling between Aza and Pickett’s older son Davis who she met at “Sad Camp” when they each lost a parent. And just so, a very unconventional romance that I talked about earlier, blossoms. Aza battles with her anxiety and her phobia of the human microbiome, and this makes it difficult for them both to carry on. There’s this line from the book –

Illness is a story told in the past tense.

And I don’t know why, but it spoke to me.

Aza has some of the best lines – she talks of being at peace, however momentary it may be, with Davis and she talks of a “non-sensorial place almost like we were inside the others consciousness a closeness that real life with its real bodies could never match,” after a FaceTime call with Davis.

Davis has some of the cutest moments and it’s super nice when he texts Aza I like us for real. Kind of makes me wish I had someone like that; but whatever.

I kind of feel like I might give away the whole story if I keep at this. But one last thing: where did the turtles bit come from? So Daisy tells Aza a story of a scientist and who is telling a class about the earth. And one old lady at the back corrects the scientist and says that the earth is balanced on the back of a giant turtle. The scientist asks her if she knows what the said turtle is standing on. The lady replies that it’s actually another turtle: and at this point the scientist gets super frustrated but the lady says that it’s turtles standing on one another and it’s turtles all the way down.

And there you have it, folks. I’m gonna end with another quote from the book because Mr. Green’s one liners are something to obsess over completely.

No one ever says goodbye unless they wanna see you again.

Have y’all read this book? Will you watch the movie? Let me know!