The Island Alien

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Unhelpful Thinking Styles


I have this worksheet stuck up on my fridge and I thought I’d share this with you all, since it helps me to check myself throughout the day.

It’s called the “Unhelpful Thinking Styles / Cognitive Distortions” worksheet. Continue reading



Some people just aren’t going to have success stories, get over it.

I’m sure you’ve heard mental illness success stories. I mean, who hasn’t? Someone overcame severe depression, wrote an account of it, and we’re all here feeling happy for them, right? Someone speaks out on how terrible anxiety is, and we all feel sympathetic towards them, right? And that’s all well and good, but I wanna talk about something else today. I wanna talk about the people still struggling through their illnesses. The people like me and so many others who have to hear things like,

“You’ll get over it! I was reading about this woman who struggled for years but she’s fine now!”

“Why don’t you try this medication I’ve heard of? It worked for this guy I know!”

“You should get out more and meet people, or even meditate or exercise! I’ve heard that works.”

“You shouldn’t be on medication; you need to do cognitive therapy. That’s way better.”

Listen folks, none of these things are tried and true. None of these ‘solutions’ are guaranteed to work for every single person dealing with mental illness. And please don’t push someone else’s success story in my face.

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Let’s talk about Mental Illness in Trinidad and Tobago

Something happened to me recently. I got angry. I followed the news. I listened to the Minister of Education speak. I did some research on mental health. I posted some questions on social media about primary and secondary school education. I got very angry.
Let me tell you a little about me. I am 25 years old. I have been struggling with depression and anxiety for over 15 years. When I was younger, there was no one I could go to or confide in. When I finally moved out of my parents’ house at 21 years old, I started going to therapy and was diagnosed with 4 mental illnesses. I started medication and cognitive behavioural therapy.
I wish someone had told me as a child, that what I was feeling was okay and that I was not alone. I wish someone had spoken to me about depression and abuse. I wish someone had openly talked to me about self harm. I wish I could be the one to jump into a time machine and go back to little Julie and take care of her. But alas, I cannot. What I can do, however, is make sure no other kids and teens have to suffer in silence like I did for so long.

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On Indian Arrival Day and Identity

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the last showing of “Takdir: the greatest true love story of Indian Arrival”, a play written and directed by Victor Edwards and researched by Shamshu Deen. It was a wonderful experience. The play itself was beautifully written and directed, the actors were brilliant, the set design was amazing, and the music was breathtaking.  Continue reading



You know, I truly believe this is a beautiful country I live in. I really do appreciate how lovely our flora and fauna is. We have beautiful beaches, forests, waterfalls, rivers, and other wonderful natural sights. I wish I could say that that’s enough to make me love this place. What ruins it for me, is the people. The government, the entire society, and what has become the modern culture.  Rampant murder, corruption, sexism, racism, homophobia, stigma and discrimination of mental health and its related issues, (to name a few things). I’m not saying that every other country is perfect. I’m just saying there’s nothing to be patriotic about. I wish I could enjoy our beaches and waterfalls, but everything is always covered in disgusting litter. I wish the citizens would help each other, but the segregation is ridiculous. Continue reading



Trigger Warning: This post discusses abuse and mental illness, and self-harm.

Today I am celebrating my 4 year anniversary of being kicked out of my parents’ house. I usually don’t say that to people, though. I usually say, “Today is the anniversary of me leaving home and living on my own!” and that’s met with many light-hearted congratulations. But it really doesn’t reflect on what I feel about the day. What I wish I could say is, “Today is the anniversary of me getting out of a very prolonged, violently abusive relationship with my father, and an equally long mentally and emotionally abusive relationship with my mother. It’s the day I legitimately almost died, and proceeded to spend a lot of time in and out of police stations, hospitals and was the beginning of many therapy meetings.” And what I wish people would say to me is, “I’m proud of you. I’m glad you’re still here.”
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Have a cookie!

Living with depression, every day is hard. Everything is a task to get through. Even on the days where I feel like I’ve done so much, and I got through so much, it always ends with me feeling like I’ve failed somewhere. On the days where I got up early, I did laundry and dishes, I cleaned the bathroom and I even ate on time, I still end up feeling like just maybe I could’ve done something differently. More efficiently. Better. Faster. I wonder if I would think differently of myself if I didn’t have depression. Would I still think I’m a screw up? Would I be more confident? And yeah, of course I would think differently. Because that’s what everyone says. That’s what the studies prove. And even though I know that, I still can’t picture it. I can’t picture a different life. Because that’s what depression is. It’s not aiming for a life without depression, and sitting around waiting for it to go away. It’s aiming for a life without depression, but understanding that that might not happen, so it’s probably better to learn to function with it.
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