Characters and choices #beseenin19

As I do my spring cleaning it’s that time of the year where I purge. Out with the old in with the new. Not only clothes, but spring cleaning of my mind and well my phone. Yes my phone. I was shocked with all the old photos, emails, text messages both read and unread and the unused contacts. People that I have no intention on calling and well I dount they will call me. No wonder my phone takes forever to do anything it’s full of clutter. As I sit here deleting countless photos of myself and past loves as well as text messages from old colleagues I ran across several black and white photos of myself. Funny that I sit here and recognize the woman in the photo but she still doesn’t look like me. She looks like a night of drinking Hennesy( regrets and bad decisions). Sadly, this is how I sometimes looked from 2009 to 2014 because my eyes told a story. A story where the characters were love, anger, confusion, sadness, and the starring role being depression. The main character happiness was on hiatus and at this time so much was happening in my life. Recently separated and soon to be divorced raising two boys under the age of 5 my eyes, mental state , and even physcial state were tired and worn down. Worn down like my favorite pair of pumps with the heel tap showing. My marriage was sucking my life from me and I was depressed but didn’t admit that I was. When friends and family asked how I was I would always respond “I’m fine “. How many of us do this? It’s like that’s the cop out answer to avoid explaining why we aren’t fine. My thought process was” I can handle this alone”, ” I don’t want people in my business”, or ” I don’t feel like talking about it “. When in fact at that time I needed to talk to someone! As a woman of color , I was raised to be mentally strong. However, when I would breakdown and cry I could hear my mother’s voice saying ,” Now now it’s going to be ok you hear me? You are strong.”.. so what would I do? I stopped crying. Why? Because I correlated crying as a form of weakness. So I bottled all my emotions in until at one point I couldn’t take it. I channeled my feelings and sadness into drinking. Drinking made the emotional pain subside. Now this didn’t happen over night I gradually progressed to being well a very very heavy drinker. Even as I share my story on paper it’s challenging for me to write alcoholic. To accept the fact that I was one is challenging for me. What’s ironic is this is the very reason why I couldn’t stay with my husband. He was a heavy drinker who became verbally abusive. Now do I drink today? Yes I do, but not heavy like then. Then I was drinking 2 to 3 glasses of whisky each night. Depressed because my finances were struggling and I simply felt lost. I had been with ny husband since I was 19 and at this time I was in my mid 30’s. He was all I knew and for me to be on my own I was scared of the unknown. For years my self esteem was punchered from words filled with name calling such as” bitch”and words filled with hatred like” fuck you” and “I hate you”. Once separated it got worse because now it was becoming threatining with “I hope you run off the road and die” was the theme music of my life for quite some time. Other tracks that played at the time were “Let’s throw a brick at the windshield while I’m in the driver’s seat” or ” I’ve tampered with the car it won’t start”. Despite all of this the song that played in my head was ” Don’t cry you’re strong “. Well I was terrified and scared.
Even though these events and more occurred years ago I buried them deep down inside. So far deep in my spirit and mind that I have sealed it up so tight I call it my Holy Grail. My grail full of past events that I know happened, I’ve acknowledged them, but don’t dare let them resurface. I do know that they happened and yes I am stronger than before because of these life experiences.
I am stronger because I’m a fighter. I am stronger because I am determined. I’m stronger because it’s ok for me to cry. When I don’t cry is when I’m weak. When I don’t share my stories is when I’m weak. So today, and with any other day… I choose me.. I choose my strength..I choose the characters to be happiness, love, determination, certainty, and positivity.. with the main character being self worth as I continue to write my story.
So I ask you ,” Do you choose to be strong or weak”? “What characters are part of your life”?
Choose wisely…
#beseenin19

More than a 10 day challenge..#beseenin 19

In Jan I decided to embark on a 10 day green smoothie challenge. The concept is fairly simple, you are only to consume smoothies for 10 days and you can eat small snacks throughout the day. The smoothies consist of fruit, greens, protein is optional and stevia for sweeter. Now the way my metabolism and hunger are set up I decided to incorporate a variety of healthy meals to eat as well. I have a high metabolism therefore making my body naturally burn energy at a fast rate of speed so I had to make sure I included healthy snacks to eat throughout the day. In addition,I also drank alkaline water and reduced my red wine intake not to mention taking Mag07 pills to flush any toxins from my body. *( Mag07 should be taken in the comfort of your home and not when your significant other is around) My purpose in doing this cleanse or challenge was for various reasons, but primarily I needed and wanted to change my diet and eating habits. I even tried several vegan dishes which I really enjoyed. Besides I figured this was a sure way to lose inches from my tummy which began to inflate due to the consumption of my weakness…beer. Who knew that barley, yeast, hops, and water would have my tummy looking like I was 3 months pregnant! At 42, this was not the way I wanted to look. So let the games began I thought! Feeling anxious and excited I looked forward to my journey of clean eating. So my journey began and by day 4 I was having the hangry ( not hungry) blues. Now my close friends were completing their own cleanse so it was great to have a support team where we encouraged each other. Checking in on each other, sending motivation via text , and lifting our spirits up when we began to possibly feel as if we were not going to make it. By day 8 I was feeling great and was full of energy and by the 10th day I felt like a new person. Amazing after 10 days of removing toxins from my body I became more aware of what I put in my body… it was a complete rebirth. Now what I also realized is that it was more than a physical transformation it was mental as well. Did I loose the inches off my tummy? Did I feel better? Was my skin glowing? The answers to the above questions were YES. However, it was the mental transformation that I fully appreciated the most.

See during the cleanse, I had the chance to open my mind and really sit down and think about my life. I asked myself what changes did I want to make? Financially? Spiritually? With my kids? Relationships? My writing? I simply had clarity and discovered the answers. This mental cleanse was definitely what I needed. I had thought about making changes yes, but never really sat down and wrote it out on how I was going to change. So I created a list to check off as I accomplished my goals. As I began to write it became therapeutic and relaxing. I had a game plan and was going to execute it. Financially, I decided to invest in my writing and in other projects. I figured what better way to utilize any extra money was to invest in myself. Spiritually, I decided that I wanted to start going back to church or at least listen to sermons during the week and on Sundays. I realized that I missed that connection and time spent with God and that time to give to the higher being is much deserved and for me a must. When it came to my children spending quality time with them needed to be a priority. I mean sure we can be in the same house, but they are upstairs on the game and I am downstairs writing ,but to spend time with them talking to them or us going on adventures is something I want us to do. They are getting older and will eventually leave the nest so taking the time to be with them now is what I cherish. Lastly, relationships with my friends family, coworkers and my boyfriend must be healthy. (I can’t believe I have a boyfriend lol). The way I communicate in expressing myself I decided that this needed to become a goal as well. As my grandmother would always say it ‘s not what you say but how you say it. It took me 42 years to figure that out. The simple fact is I have always been…well blunt when expressing myself. Now this is a characteristic I am continually working on because it can be a daily struggle. At times it can be challenging because I am quick to say something and it come across mean or harsh. Now I am more contentious of others feelings and my tone of voice and am practicing the art of strategically learning how to convey my thoughts. Lastly ,with my relationships I wrote that I will no longer allow toxic people or negative energy consume me. I simply can’t be surrounded by it and will quickly distance myself from it. The relationships I have are vital to me and they must be healthy and free from drama and toxicity. At my age I refuse to entertain negativity or dark energy. Being subject to toxic relationships at work or home is like cancer eating away at your spirit, your mind, your body.. basically your overall health. Who would ever want to subject themselves to such a disease? Especially one that you can control.

As this month comes to a close I continue to cleanse my mind and body. Drinking my green smoothies daily and eating healthy and most importantly not allowing myself to drained from toxic people or events. I have no desire to have my energy consumed with any form of drama or stress.

Remember shit comes out your body don’t let shit in your body or mind! How will you cleanse your body and your mind? Stay cleansed in 2019!#beseenin19

page 365 of 365…

Here it is the first Monday in the year and the last page of 2018. 365 days or 365 pages of my life as I like to call it. I started this blog in Jan documenting or rather blogging about my life and the events that took place. Writing about my friendships, relationships, and me evolving towards my purpose in life sharing with the public. My purpose in telling my stories is to bring inspiration, hope, and most importantly realizing that you aren’t alone in this journey called life. For the longest time I would say, ” I can’t be the only one experiencing this or facing this challenge ” and sure enough as I started writing readers would tell me ,” I can relate.” I’ve discovered that my voice is in my words and my thoughts are articulated by my words. It took me 20 years to uncover my purpose when truthfully it has always been here with me. From the time I was a young girl writing in my journals has always given me pleasure yet I was too shy to express myself. Now at the seasoned age of 42 I am no longer shy when it comes to expressing myself and sharing my innermost thoughts and desires. Writing is my purpose and each day my voice will be heard.

As 2018 has come to a close a new chapter begins. Another 365 days of life, love, and self discovery while finding your purpose. Embrace it , cherish it , and most importantly do what makes you happy. Step outside your comfort zone and make every page in your life a memorable one.

#beseenin19

Bag Lady page 336 of 365

It’s Sunday  also known as grocery day and judging by the number of bags I have is a clear sign that my food provisions are low. Now in my household and probably in other melaninated households there is going to be a stash of unused grocery bags. For example, mine are over flowing in an even bigger bag in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. The bags in these homes especially in my house are multi purposeful. From storage, to trash bags, to holding flour while I fry chicken, and well used to hold the umpteenth other grocery bags they all serve some sort of purpose. As I look at the plastic mess while sitting on the cold tile I came to the conclusion that it is time to remove this clutter. I couldn’t help but think of how at some point even now to a certain degree that these bags made of plastic represented various areas of my life. Someone or something or some life changing event opens our eyes to the bags that either surround us or a apart of us.

Lately, there has been one person and several life situations that have made me realize that I haven’t unpacked my emotional bags. These big black bags that I thought I tied in a knot have come untied. I even went so far as to put the twist tie on making sure it was securely closed.  Lately however,  they have resurfaced. I deliberately tucked them away in a corner of my closet hoping I wouldn’t have to deal with them. Afterall, they are heavy like despair and grief that we often tote around on our  shoulders and in our hearts. The stench they give has escaped the bags and seeped in the pores of my skin. For years I haven’t had the courage to open them and come to terms with what is inside of them. After several failed relationships I placed the emotions in them and labeled them and decided to leave them alone. Scared to open them I choose the easy route and ignored them instead. Then I met someone who has made me realize I need to open them and face these emotions and feelings.

The first bag labeled INSECURITY is the heaviest. After being single for quite sometime you face certain qualities about yourself once you’re in a meaningful  and serious relationship. Insecurities resurfaced because I never actually dealt with or healed from toxic relationships and broken people. I simply allowed these emotions covered in doubt to fester.  Placing a band-aid on it and sealed the wound that never healed. Insecurities of how to trust again and insecurities of comparing him to the ones that hurt me in the past with their lies and false expectations. All of these feelings and thoughts tucked away in black trash bag in the corner of my heart.

Insecurity bag sits next to the bag labeled FEAR. Fear has been a plague for me for quite sometime. Fear of standing in front of people saying my poetry. The exposure of myself to share my stories and thoughts is scary to me. Hiding behind my laptop and hiding behind pen and paper is easy, but to put myself out there physically is challenging for me.  Fear that as hard as I try to communicate to my audience will they  understand what I am trying to say? Fear of me stumbling over my words or forgetting them is very overwhelming to me. Fear of being in this relationship and he becomes distant or me not being able to satisfy him are things I think about. All of these thoughts and feelings are held in this bag of FEAR that is weighing me down.

Both bags sit next to the bag labeled ATTITUDE. Yes attitude and trust me I defiantly have one. Sometimes good sometimes bad. Especially when I am hungry and when things don’t go my way my attitude is bad. I mean I can be quite bitchy!  I know even at the age of 42 I sometimes regress to being 2 when I can’t get what I want when I want it. I have learned that my attitude affects my altitude. I can’t fly high and be successful with the weight of having a pissy attitude at times. How do I handle life’s disappointments and challenges? How do I manuever in this jungle of a world we live in? How my attitude is during the situation I am in will determine how the outcome is.

So as  I sit here discarding the countless plastic grocery bags I take these three that have been weighing me down and decide to throw them away.  I know that in order for my relationships to grow and for me to grow as a person I have to throw them out.  Trash is picked up Wednesday and these bags will sit on the curb along with the rest of this shit.

Have a Happy Sunday and don’t forget to take out your TRASH!

Shockwave page 185 of 365

They say everything is bigger in Texas from the sizes of  houses to food portions even  ranches that are on acres of land, and wind farms that span for miles , highschool football stadiums that outshine NFL stadiums , and hell even the state itself is twice the size of Germany.  I mean I think the bugs here are bigger too.  I don’t really know if this is true , but I think they are. As I sit here in the back yard on this semi cool evening, I can’t help but think about my favorite past times while in high school and spending my summers at Six Flags where like everything else in Texas the roller coasters are larger than life. Before I started working there I would ride the various attractions when one summer I finally got the courage to ride the Shockwave. I have always been afraid of heights, but this time I decided I would ride this gigantic double loop adventure.  I recall getting in the car and being scared out of my mind, but I was determined to go thru with it. While sitting there in the seat the attendant strapped the metal arms over my body and secured it in place with the latch. As I sat there talking to God I prayed that nothing would happen while on my 65 mph ride. The Shockwave starts slow increasing in speed. There were twists and turns from left to right, up and down while the force of gravity, altitude, and speed jerked me around like I was in a dryer. I couldn’t help but think that the Shockwave represented my life over the past years and most importantly this summer. The twists and turns, feeling like I’m all over the place in life at times and always on the go where it seems like I am going at a rate of 65 mph never stopping to relax has been my world for quite some time. One minute my life is starting out slow and smooth and the next thing I know I’m flying through life in a roller coaster seat trying not to loose my mind. Finances, kids, friendships, careers, family, relationships hell just life in general can come at you and have you feeling like you are upside down in life.

This summer was especially hard for me and life hit me like I was riding the  Shockwave. See my GG, my friend, my grandmother was granted her wings and honestly my life since then has been like the double loop roller coaster. One minute I’m happy the next sad and grieving. I’m still learning how to cope with her not being here and I know it will take time to heal from her not physically being here. This summer also consisted of twists and turns with my health as well both mentally and physically. Having been on a prescribed medicine for roughly 10 years and deciding to longer be on it well it has definitely made an impact on me. Just like the roller coaster ride with all the twists and turns, loops, jerking back and forth side to side, and going upside down all of these movements were my emotions not only this summer, but since my divorce 6 years ago.

I decided that yes life can be like an emotional roller coaster ride much like the Shockwave. I mean life can hit you hard and unexpected, but to me it’s how you handle the ride. Will you remain calm and sit still thinking about your next move, will you raise your hands high and say fuck it I can’t do this anymore, or will you be so scared that you simply don’t face the challenges as they come? However you handle it always remember this that while on the roller coaster ride there is always a bar that secures you. A latch in place so you won’t fall out of the seat. When life challenges hit me like the Shockwave I quickly remind myself that I am protected by the bar and latch. Only this time it is not the metal arm and the small latch that I can see, however, it is  God’s arm protecting me while on this ride of life. He continues to put his arm around me and locking his fingers in place so I won’t fall. He won’t let me go always protecting me.

So not matter what roller coaster you are on or how if the problems in life are bigger than Texas just remember you are always being protected and take one day at a time.

Have a great Saturday!

 

Mood Changes page 187 of 365

Here it is another hot sunny day in the Lone Star state and I’m feeling great. The sun is out I’ve started my day off listening to my favorite gospel singer Deitrick Haddon, breakfast is being made and this time it’s not by me, and my house is clean. Life is great despite the usual financial hiccups that can come our way. The kids had a sleep over and are having fun and surprisingly, no arguments thank goodness. As I prepare for the day “the cook” and I decide to have a get together later in the evening  a few of our friends over and play a friendly game of spades. Now just to be clear having a ” friendly game of spades” seems to be unheard of I guess but, could actually happen depending on who you are playing with. When I told “the cook” I don’t know how to play one of the simplest and oldest games known especially in the black community family gatherings the look on his face was a look of pure disbelief. It was as if I lost my “black card” and was no longer accepted in the melanin group. I quickly tried to redeem myself and say,”I know how to play dominoes!” However, that was still unacceptable though and ” the cook” insisted that I learn immediately. As the day quickly moved on it was time for our guests to come over. The food is on the grill, adult spirits are chilled, back yard is ready for patio talk, and the deck is set. As we began to partake in conversation centered around dating in 2018, I excused myself and went to the kitchen to check on the food. As I’m standing in the kitchen I suddenly feel sad and irritable at the same time. I could feel my entire body change altering my spirits. My entire mood shifted in a matter of minutes. As I walked back outside and sat down I was no longer the ” life of the party” I was meh. You know meh that emoji or feeling of I don’t care what anyone does or says because I don’t have enthusiasm what so ever. The cook began to ask if something was troubling me and I simply said no. I mean after all there wasn’t anything that I could honestly say was wrong with me.

As the night moved on, my mood continued to be a mixture of meh and irritability. This feeling of not feeling like myself was not want I wanted or expected. Excusing myself I went to my king of comfort. The next morning I decided to replay last nights events. What created the change in my mood? What was said or not said that would have caused me to feel the way I did? Honestly, at first I couldn’t think of anything, even consulting with my besties on the shift in my mood swings asking them what could prompt such a change? After much consideration I had to think of what has changed in my lifestyle the past 2 months. Then it dawned on me not only had my GG received her heavenly  wings, but I was no longer on the Mirena. I knew I was depressed about my beloved GG, but  could the break up with the Mirena  have affected my mood? That’s when I discovered what is known as the Mirena Crash. For those that aren’t aware the Mirena is a 5 year IUD. Now the Mirena and I were great when we were together which was for 10 years. She was like the reliable best friend, always there when I needed her and protecting me of course. However, when our friendship had run its course well my body had to adjust. My body depended on her to supply the artificial hormone that my body would naturally make. So once she was removed from my life my body well is going through withdrawls. Once removed symptoms are mood swings among others such as breast tenderness, fatigue, and several other frequent side affects. I hadn’t had the Mirena in 2 months and if this was going to create mood swings this erratic I won’t be able to function. At this moment I know what needs to be done.

I knew that in order to balance my mood swings and get my body adjusted to not being with the Mirena a change would need to happen with my diet. My entire life I have been able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted and it not affect me. However, now that I’m older and wanting to get my body producing hormones naturally I decided to stay away from red meat, less caffeine, and sugar products. It’s been only a few weeks, but I’m starting to feel better. I  know that the Mirena and I were besties for years and I will miss her, but I am looking forward to a new life without her. So today, I will start my journey of eating right, removing toxins from my life, and produce these natural hormones that God gave me!

In the words of Lil Duval “Live your best life”!!! Have a great day!

30 days… page 161 of 365

Here it is another hot ,windy Saturday in my beloved state of Texas. As I sit outside in the shade sipping on my favorite white wine pinot grigio,I hear the insects speak to each other as the train goes by. Now here I am sitting in my comfy patio chair and all of a sudden this big ass bug comes towards me. Like, I have no idea what it was, but I literally saw my life flash before my eyes as this creature that God created was fast approaching me. I jump up, scream,but I am careful not to knock over my wine. Nope that wasn’t going to happen. My kids heard me screech in fear and came running outside asking was I ok. I told them I was and they quickly grabbed their water guns to ward off the flying creature. Clearly, they want mommy to be safe and I love them for wanting to protect me. Even my neighbors came outside to see what all the ruckus was about. I mean how often do you see a grown ass woman screaming for her life running away from a flying insect? I’m sure someone had their phone out and now I’m on someone’s facebook live. At any rate ,I needed that laugh. I needed that amusement in my life simply because it’s been 30 days since I really laughed out loud and it be genuine.

My life began to change on Mother’s Day. As painful as it is to express myself in words I have to, need to, and hopefully this will help someone reading this. This particular Mother’s Day started out well and there were no hiccups that morning. Everything was coming along fine. My kids were cooperating, I was on time for a change, dinner was cooked, and I was feeling great. However, it wasn’t until later on that afternoon, when my life shifted from drive to neutral. My family and I went to visit my GG my 95-year-old grandmother who is and will always be my bestie. I would always see her if not every other day every weekend to spend time with her, talk to her, and take photos together. When I arrived to visit this Mother’s Day I knew something wasn’t right. My GG wasn’t talking and she had her head down as if she were sleep. Sitting there, in her wheel chair she didn’t move much nor did she respond to me. I tried to feed her like I have on other occasions , but she didn’t want it. Usually, I could get her to smile and look at the camera, but not this time. In the pit of my stomach I began to feel queasy and I instantly became sad because I knew it wouldn’t be long before she would get her wings. As we sat there together, I couldn’t help but think about how we would laugh and share memories together. Memories that I will always cherish. Unbeknownst to me it would be exactly 24 days later and she would be granted her wings and set free and for the next 30 days I would meet someone who would try to put shackles on me and keep me in bondage. Keeping me from freedom.

See, shortly after seeing my GG in this state I met a character who was like a drug. The power I allowed to take over me was something like no other. This thing this person made it ok for me to sleep all day. I mean I was under a spell finding myself falling asleep in my clothes hours later. This person/thing made it ok for me to drink the fermented and distilled nectar making me feel relaxed. This person/thing made it ok for me to smile in the presence of others, all the while saddened inside.This person/thing made it ok for me to devour food in gluttony. This person/thing was known as Depression. For 30 days I met and dated Depression allowing this creature to take over me. I can’t recall a moment in my 41 years of dating Depression. Even while going through the stages of my divorce I didn’t have a relationship with Depression. I know I have had a relationship with Sadness, but not Depression.

See when dating Depression, you don’t have control because Depression controls you. Depression controls your every existence such as sleep, eating habits, drinking habits, and how you communicate with people. I was dating Depression because I was sad was grieving because of my GG. I allowed Depression to exhaust me taking away all of my energy and creativity. I had no desire to write which writing for me has been my outlet yet Depression said,”No ,you don’t need that you need me”.

My GG has been looking down on me for about 2 weeks now and it still hurts. I mean this pain is like no other. For me it is hard because this is the first time I’ve lost someone close to me. However, I had to break up with Depression. Depression and I weren’t a good match because Depression wanted to rob me of my energy and love of life. Depression was starting to eat away at my mental state. I had no motivation and no energy. How could I raise my kids and be in this state ? I refused to let Depression take my life. I know now it is ok for me to cry and grieve. I know now that it is ok for me to be saddened because my GG isn’t here physically, however what is not ok is for my life to cease. Depression was trying to rob me of my existence and I can’t and won’t allow that to happen. I refuse to wither away like a flower that hasn’t been watered.

Depression is a disease in my opinion. A disease that can control your life in every way imaginable. One can be depressed and still go on with their everyday activities and no-one even know the pain that is going on inside of them. When asked by friend’s or family, ” How are you”? The response is ,”I’m doing great”. Never, ” I feel like shit”. However, my public service announcement is simply talk to someone. Talk to a friend, family member, coworker, or even write your feelings and thoughts on paper. I choose the later. Whatever you do, don’t conceal them inside because that makes the pain worse. To internalized pain, emotions, and feelings is not the best way to deal with this character. Lastly, prayer is and will always be a great solution to help when dating Depression.

So go out today laugh, love, and be happy. Talk to someone or start a journal writing down your feelings and thoughts. One thing I’ve learned so far with grieving is that I have to and must continue to love myself and live my life so that my GG will be proud because she would not want me to date Depression.

Have a great Saturday stay cool and be happy! And by the way F*** Depression ! I choose to live!