Posted in Quarantine Files

quarantine haul

hello :I I hope you guys are staying safe during these trying times with covid-19 🙂 todays post is all about the things I have bought throughout quarantine 🙂 so grab a cup of tea and read

Zulilly

Amazon

Mrs.Penguin

ColourPop

Birthday Presents (gifted to me)

  • Crayola 93 pack of Pencil Crayons
  • Kindle Ereader
  • Fake Desk Succulent
  • Acrylic Drawers (I design 3 drawer)
  • Brookeside Chocolate Covered Açai Berries. (Costco bulk bag)
  • 7 succulents

What have you bought this quarantine ?

-XOXO chana

Posted in life

july favourites

hello loves, I am back with a new post 🙂 below are my july faves

Technology/Apps:

  • Good Notes: perfect for digital notetaking and for art
  • Kindle E-reader

TV shows

  • Drop Dead Diva
  • Friends

Youtubers / Content Creators

Recently, my brother started a new venture and creates youtube videos. I love seeing my brother be passionate about something and his love for editing.  Let’s run those views up. His most recent video: : NBA 2K20 1v1 wager.

  • Sharif Rams

My brothers friend Sharif – whose more like family to the Bales Family. Be sure to check him out for a laugh and subscribe. He films vlogs, challenges, reaction videos and more.

Stationary

  • Mildliners
  • Paper Mate Flair Pens

Books

  • Slammed by Colleen Hover

What are some of your favourites this month?

Posted in Poems

guiding star

I still

check up on you

In hopes that

someday soon

you will

come back

home to me

I keep

wishing upon the stars

for you to return

I find my self

talking to the stars

because afterall

you are my guiding star

-XOXO chana

Posted in Quarantine Files

my quarantine art

this quarantine I honed my creative side by doing digital portraits and getting back into painting and lettering. here are some of my pieces. be sure to follow @kanapathicreations on instagram to keep up with my latest work

Early 2020:

Quarantine

I love honing this new skill. To place a order on digital portraits please visit either the webiste: http://www.kanapathicreations.com or visit my instagram page @kanapathicreations

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments

-XOXO chana

Posted in Dear Diary

dear s,

I told you once, not to mess with my mental health but yet you didn’t listen. You need to understand what the past few months have felt like. 

I’m done with your scheming – not only did you pretend you didn’t know me but you got my loved ones involved. You got all of them to convince me that there was nothing between us and it was in my head. Everyday I went to sleep with you on my mind and with my tears in my eyes listening to a playlist of sad songs. You were the sole reason for my tears and heart ache. Even when everyone in my life told me that I didn’t have a man – for some reason I still held on to a tiny bit of hope that you would walk back into my life after treating me like complete shit. 

I missed the days when you actually checked up on me and treated me well. I missed seeing your face and holding your hand. I missed having you hold me close. For some odd reason – I still made sure to check up on you even though you tossed me to the curb. Everyday I found myself searching you up on twitter and making sure you were okay. To keep you on my mind I rewatched the office knowing that it was your favourite show. I listened to songs that reminded me of you. I wrote to you in my bullet journal. I even wrote you a letter and placed it on Kanna’s desk in hopes that somehow it would reach you. I was losing my mind – everyone in my life was telling me we weren’t together. I even recalled us getting engaged and told my friends about that too. I missed our stolen glances, our meaningful conversations, our study dates, our simple errand runs. 

Everyday my mind played the memories of you that I had – from you visiting me in class, bombarding me on campus, visiting Altona road, you picking me up malvern mall, surprising me at chapters, our study dates, our first official date. 

I hated being on campus because it reminded me of you. Everyday I walked by the poster for your friends lost dog. You ruined my favourite songs. 

No one told me that you got in a car accident because they knew it would hurt me. I know my dad went with you to pick out the car. 

Everyday I was treated like damaged goods by my parents and siblings. I was living everyday on the verge of a breakdown. They didn’t let me go to school or work for majority of November. They took away my phone. I couldn’t go on my laptop. They treated me like a child. 

What hurt the most is that you lied and deceived me – knowing that I hated when you played with my mental health. The past few months you put me through hell and back. I’ve been feeling like utter shit.

-XOXO chana

Posted in jolly june, life, uni, UofT

quarantine files: study with me

due to quarantine and the corona virus situation – my university has transferred all in person classes to online. so i’ve been studying at home. though it has been hard with the plenty of distractions I have been quite productive. here is a link to a study with me video I have created in the past. stay tuned for a new one 🙂

-XOXO chana

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Posted in Anxiety, Dear Diary, jolly june, Quarantine Files

to the only guy I’ve ever loved,

Maybe just maybe I fell for you too hard too fast. Every waking moment is spent thinking of you and wondering how you are doing. Yet lately it seems like it’s not being reciprocated.

You were the first guy I ever properly spoke to – openly. I told you about my fears, my dreams and everything in between. You gave me a lot of my firsts – first date, first kiss, first talking stage. You became my first boyfriend and i hoped you would be my last. I envisioned my life with you but now everything’s up in flames. 

For the second time I’m my life I’ve experienced heart ache and misery. For months on end you brushed me aside like I meant nothing to you. When I tried to reach out to you to see what was up because I missed you – you called me crazy and told me you were dating someone else. Maybe I’m not good enough for you. Maybe I’m not worthy of love. 

Not only did you treat me like trash but you got my family and friends in cahoots with you. Everyone’s been scheming behind my back. No one seems to remember that you were my boyfriend when I specially made sure that my parents and family met you before we became official. For someone with generalized anxiety disorder and depression my memory is sharp. 

I still remember telling you I wasn’t ready to date you and wanted to just be friends. I was done lying my family, my best friends, who had been there for me at my lowest. I needed to focus on my self and my mental health. I told you I had a lot to work on before I had a mans – I wanted to fix my relationships with my so called squad, I wanted to make sure me and my ex-bestfriend were on good terms. You being the elaborate waste-bucket I know – planned a big ass surprise for me. You went and talked to my parents, you talked to my friends, and my family inorder to surprise me.

I was on campus on April 26th, 2018, during this time you told me to have fun in Sri Lanka over the summer and then we would talk when I got back. I was already starting to miss you even before the trip. I was wondering if you would move on during my trip and maybe find someone else. I was all in my thoughts sitting in the meeting place at UTSC, writing in my bullet journal. When I was bombarded on campus by my cousins. They could tell I was sad – they told me that you went and talked to my parents, that you told them you wanted to be with me. I was shocked – I never expected you to do that, you were my prince charming. Thats when Taylor Swift was being blasted into the meeting place – they told me to look up. Thats when you walked down the stairs with my brother and sister. As y’all were talking towards me thats when my parents popped up and then also perriamma and perriappa. Then you asked me to be your girlfriend. 

Fast forward to September – I told you I wanted a break – I needed to focus on school and raise my GPA. You understood and told me okay. We would still talk everyday and text. But then I remember that night in November. You were in the hospital. My parents visited you in the hospital – i was devastated. How could you have done something so stupid?. It was in that moment when I thought I had lost you forever that I realized I loved you. You were the one. 

I knew from that moment on I needed you in my life. The dark days and all. You were my source of happiness and joy. I remember the days you used to hold me close. Now everything has changed and I’ve been brushed aside. 

I’m left to fend from my own demons by myself. You’ve put me in a constant state of depression. Everyday I’m wishing that you would walk into my life – I can’t stand to lose another person I love. Yet months have gone by and nothing. You don’t seem to care about me. 

Every night I fall asleep with tears on my eyes thinking of you and what we used to be. With a sad playlist on repeat. I go to sleep knowing that I can be with you in my dreams. 

I’ve reached the point where the pain is greater than my love for you. All you’ve caused me pain now. All I have left to say to you, is why ? Just why ? What’s your reason for all the pain you caused ? Was this really necessary ? 

-XOXO chana

Posted in Anxiety, jolly june, life, The Chronicles of Chana

the chronicles of chana – pt.1 : prologue

The Baleswarans. Close knit. Loving. Loyal. Privileged. Damaged. Minorities. Trustworthy. Selfless. We live in in Toronto – more specifically Scarborough. 


Chana was an ordinary girl. Loving family of 4 beautiful souls who she could depend on. Friends that she believed in. Living with flaws she had learned to love over time. Just a city girl trying to fit in to this world. Shy was her middle name. The type to sit in the corner of a crowded room, isolated from all the other beings in the room. She was a book nerd, loved to lose her self in a good book. Yet one vacation would change everything she’d ever known. Her life would be flipped upside down. 

I would to to hear your thoughts after reading this – leave them in the comments below

-XOXO chana

Posted in Anxiety, jolly june, uni, UofT

An Anthropological Take on My Diagnosis

Hey there ! I hope you guys are staying safe during these trying times. I’m back with a new post ! This was a paper I wrote for one of my anthropology courses at UofT – Medical Anthropology: Illness and Healing in Cultural Perspective. This paper looks at my medical diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder through an anthropological lens. So, grab a cup of tea and read 🙂


Written By: Archana Baleswaran

Mental illness continues to raise issues of stigma whether it be in a public sphere or even a private one. Particularly in the South Asian community, the topic of mental illness remains a taboo. My family growing up never spoke about mental illness or even mental health for that matter. In my culture, above all, reputation and how you present yourself to the world is of utmost importance. However, my parents would soon have to come to terms with the state of my mental health and my diagnosis. This paper will be detailing my experience with mental health, the aftermath of diagnosis and will discuss a few themes in medical anthropology – illness, cultural salience, metaphors and agency.

Vacations are meant to be a joyful and relaxing time – but this was not the case for me back in the Summer of 2014. My mom and I were set to stay in Sri Lanka for six weeks. At first, I was quite excited – but eventually, it dawned on me that I would be away from the majority of my support system. During my time in Sri Lanka, though I made many memories, I experienced extreme culture shock. I faced the issue of language barriers, not being able to communicate with my relatives, separation from my support system and a change in scenery. All these factors ended up worsening my mental health and ultimately led to my anxiety.

After returning home, I was still not my true ‘self’, I found myself remaining in bed and isolated myself for the majority of my summer. Eventually, these feelings passed but they reoccurred frequently. During these periods of relapses, I found myself not wanting to do anything – I would miss school. Eventually, with the support and push from my family, I went to see a psychiatrist. She had me fill out a couple of questionnaires and within thirty minutes I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. Due to the severity of my anxiety, my psychiatrist recommended medication as treatment. By seeking help, I was to manage my anxiety and become aware of my common triggers. But after my diagnosis, I still had to come to terms with the stigma around mental illness. I remember my parents telling me not to tell anyone because they thought people would look at me differently. They believed that others will view me as crazy, weak and sensitive. By preventing me from telling others they thought they were protecting me from people’s judgments. Eventually, I came to terms with my diagnosis and now I wear it on my sleeve.

My experience with mental illness can be related back to a few medical anthropology concepts. Firstly, Arthur Kleinman defines illness as the experience of “symptoms and sufferings” from an individual’s perspective (Kleinman,1988, 3). This involves the interpretation and understanding of symptoms by not only the patients but also their family (Kleiman, 1988). In terms of my anxiety – my parents recognized the frequency of my symptoms and decided that action needed to be taken. Some of the symptoms I faced was excessive worrying, trouble falling asleep, and the need to avoid social situations. After getting fed up with suffering in silence, with the help of my family I was able to seek out the proper treatment I needed. Moreover, Kleinman differentiates between the meanings of illness in a few ways – one of which is cultural salience. Cultural salience refers to the ways in which certain conditions are and symptoms are given different meanings and significance. These conditions are either given a positive or negative meaning. An example of cultural salience is stigma (Kleinman,1988). Mental illness is often associated with negative connotations. Through my diagnosis of anxiety, I gained first-hand experience of stigma and the misinterpretations of mental illness. I remember back when I stayed home from school due to my overwhelming anxiety, classmates thought I was faking being ill. I also required a doctor’s note to explain my absence from school. This helps to further explain how issues surrounding mental health are not given the same attention as physical illnesses. Individuals often do not take mental illnesses seriously and think that people are lying to get out of doing something. But this is not true.

In addition, Sontag’s reading discusses, how metaphors influence our understanding of illness.  The language used to describe illness reinforce stigmas about certain conditions and illnesses (Sontag, 2001). Complex conditions are referred to in simple terms – this is turn gets used by individuals to depict how they are feeling. Often, anxiety is understood as nervousness and depression as sadness. For instance, many peers of mine use the term anxious on a daily basis to refer to their feelings of nervousness and stress. These metaphorical understandings reinforce ideas that mental illness is simple – thus it leads to poor and ineffective responses from others. Lastly, Briggs concept of agency can be applied to how I dealt with my diagnosis. His concept of agency refers to the ability to act in meaningful ways. This can be further understood as a type of freedom or choice (Briggs, 2004). My diagnosis with generalized anxiety disorder has led me to have to face stigma and brought to light the various ways in which people like me are judged. But my choice to be positive in the face of adversity, has allowed me to wear my diagnosis on my sleeve. In order to help combat the stigma around mental health and spread awareness, I did a Tedx Talk at my high school about my experience with generalized anxiety disorder. By, coming to terms with my diagnosis I was able to not only share my story with my close friends but also my entire high school. Instead of dwelling on my diagnosis, I took matters into my own hands to spread awareness about the importance of mental health.

In conclusion, my diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder can be observed through a medical anthropological lens – through my understanding of illness, cultural salience, metaphors and agency.  

References

A, Kleinman. 1988. Preface; and The Meanings of Symptoms and Disorders. In The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing & the Human Condition. USA: Basic Books, pp. xi-xvi; 3-30.

S, Sontag. 2001. Illness as Metaphor. New York: Picador. [Excerpt on Quercus]

C, Briggs. 2004. Theorizing Modernity Conspiratorially: Science, Scale, and the Political Economy of Public Discourse in Explanations of a Cholera Epidemic. American Ethnologist 31(2):164-187.

Posted in jolly june, Quarantine Files

may playlist

hola amigos, today im back with a new post. This will showcase my may playlist so that you guys can get a sense of what i’ve been listening to in quarantine. Without further ado, here is my playlist:

  • Somebody Else – Jonny Brenns
  • La La Land (Acoustic) – Bryce Vine
  • Baby – Logic
  • Deep Pockets – Drake
  • Hold It Together – Shessi Sandu
  • Hurt Enough – Sal Houdini
  • Lonely Star – Oh Wonder
  • New Phone, Who’s This. – Chris Lane
  • Forgive – gnash
  • FUYL – Anjulie
  • The Phantom, Vol. 1 – GhostboyRJ (album)
  • Hungover and I miss u – gnash
  • Fishin’ – Chris Lane
  • Blue Jeans – Jonny Brenns
  • I Keep Falling – Sal Houdini
  • Never Enough – Logic
  • I Like It When You Love Me – Oh Wonder
  • It’s You – Ali gatie
  • Losin Control – Russ
  • Tell Me Now – Sal Houdini
  • Growing Pains III – Logic
  • Stars – Jonny Brenns
  • Slow Dance – AJ Mitchell & Ava Max

what have you been listening to?

-XOXO chana