The Year of Growth…

As 2018 comes to a close, growth has been the consistent goal on my plate and I accomplished it. Had it been with flying colors, I wouldn’t cherish it as much as I do. Although some goals were reached faster than expected, they provided more time for the ones I struggled with the most.

I must admit, letting go of certain situations gave me the flux. The fact that I’ve allowed things to bother me, which I must say are weightless in my daily life, has me disappointed. But there are thought-provoking positives.

In front of me, the old me holds out her hand. If I need reassurance, I can turn to myself because I am no longer ok with letting myself down. She cheers me on, so I will never fall victim to the opinions of others and remain true to what makes me happy in life.

There are days I feel our fingertips are within inches of becoming one and we can begin to walk hand in hand into the future. The other days, she’s decades behind me and I find myself sliding backward, just to see if she’s still coming along with me on this unknown journey. She is my best friend.

The old me knows me better than anyone else, and as I learn the new me, I question why isn’t the old me upset? Well, she has no reason to be. Knowing her time was limited, she has come through in the clutch when she was needed the most. Wanting more for me has always been her goal, I just had to see it. And now that I do, I understand she was ready for change before I knew it was necessary.

Often, I feel like the new me is extremely sensitive. The ability to allow things to roll off my back has somewhat taken a hiatus. At first, I was bothered by it. Then I remembered, if I’m changing, something I enjoyed about the old me has to change, without my approval. My heightened sensitivity comes from caring about how I affect others but most importantly, how much I care about myself. Previously, I didn’t, and I saw what damage it caused.

Loving myself taught me to love other people. The internal growth I experienced this year has taken me to places mentally, physically and emotionally that honestly, I thought I would never see. Without those things, I suffer. Without healing internally, everything I touch externally is affected. Now that I’m aware of my previous ways, I can have a better judgment of how others carry themselves.

Seeing things for what they are and not jumping to my own conclusions has me appreciative. In 2019, my external flaws will begin their healing journey. Building bonds, strengthening friendships and relationships are a few of the things on my plate. But this time, the visual results will allow me to finally hold my growth in my hand.

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#thebetterwomanblog #growforyourself #healingthroughgrowth

#reslilentlifestyle #goodbyedepression

 

Sudden Inspiration

This morning I woke up inspired, again. A few days ago, I stepped into the shower after a long day and instantly found myself thanking God. What I thought would be a few words of appreciation to my maker turned into a praise session lasting 15 minutes. Never have I experienced the holy ghost, but I believe that was my first taste of being closer to God in the most enlightening way.

Church hasn’t been consistently in my life for some time now. Growing up, my aunt would make me attend every week. As a child, I had no say so, but I would enjoy it simply because of the soft mints she used to give. That was my only true connection to the church that I can remember after all these years. Even at 99, if she can get to church, she goes faithfully. I’ve been a few times in my adulthood, but there’s something that keeps me from fellowshipping with others.

During my praise moment, I realized I needed to speak to God, my way. For years I tried to talk to him alone, and I felt uncomfortable. But this time, it was natural. My words, tears and inability to say more than Thank You took over my mind, body, and spirit. Because of that moment, I am no longer afraid of the journey placed in front of me.

After feeling the strongest spiritual connection I’ve ever felt, I realized I was supposed to have this breakthrough. The thoughts and feeling regarding where I see my life going has me questioning why now? And simply, he was preparing me for the moments to come. Testing my faith was the only way I could receive what I’ve found myself praying for, a way out. Why provide me so many great things if I wasn’t going to take advantage of it? Sure, I asked for a lot, and ironically, I got most of it the way I preferred. Somethings have been hard to come by, things I deemed simple. But they are not.

There is nothing simple in life. You either want it, or you don’t. If you sit and expect it to come because you did one task, you are not deserving of an outcome you’re requesting. Some may have to take more steps than others, but that doesn’t mean the success will be less and shortcuts don’t always work in our favor. Working to achieve what we want has always been a rule of thumb. I have questioned why do I feel like things are so hard so many times, and now I know, I am the reason things were hard.

Failing to discipline my actions have me working harder than I should be. But I am ready. My mind has readjusted to what life needs to be for my body. My soul is finally taking flight not fight, to guide me to my next destination. My ability to see my faults and changed behavior has me secure in my decision making, and I have to thank God for that. The days I doubted if God loved me are now over. He loves us all differently, and the moment I accepted how he loved me, was the moment he made me comfortable in my new journey.

 

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#beinspired #begrateful #live #resilientlifestyle #depressioncannothaveme

A Conversation with God

Walking down a narrow hallway, the smell of the ocean breeze consumed my thoughts. Why was I here? Who brought me here? Somehow, awaking from my sleep has me in an unfamiliar place, but I was not afraid. The decorations, tall ceilings, no sense of urgency and powerful energy surrounds my every step. How can you be afraid of something so beautiful? Nothing I’ve ever witnessed in life resembled this masterpiece. This was perfect. This was heaven, it had to be.

At the end of the long hallway was a body of water. Just one more step and I would be standing in the middle of the most beautiful hues of blue gracing the face of this earth. From one shade to another, I studied each one until I knew I’d mastered what each color meant to me. Every inch of the water represented me, told a story I was familiar with and ones I hadn’t been aware of. How can you be afraid of something so beautiful?

Glancing around, not one chair in sight. There were no ladders to get into the water, there were no rails which kept the water from overflowing on the sides. The radiant sun shined bright and began to coat my melanin skin with tiny beads of perspiration. For a moment, I studied my skin. Trailing along my arm with my index finger, I encountered a sticky residue. Cautiously, I lifted my finger to my nose, no scent. Connecting my thumb, index and middle finger in a slow circular motion, the sticky residue slowly became moist and the hue of blue I associated with love. In awe, I stared at my hand. How can you be afraid of something so beautiful?

Without notice, a strong gust of wind began to pull me towards the hallway, but there was no longer beauty behind me. Steam pours from the entrance and gaps in the walls, this isn’t the place I came from. There was nothing to grab, no one to call for help. I was about to be pulled away from a place I knew I didn’t want to leave, even if I’d never seen it before. Panic set over me. I cried. Stomped. Kicked. Screamed. Nothing. Nothing. No one was going to save me. Until I see… those beautiful hues of blue, unaltered.

Now a choice must be made. I could keep fighting this forceful, fear inflicting wind or jump into those beautiful hues of blue and deal with what comes after. If my heart and body had a voice, I would listen but they didn’t. This was a choice that had to be made and if one isn’t made quick enough, I’d lose my option to choose. I’d lose my option to say I made a decision. I’d lose my option to have control.

A deep demanding tone echoed through my head, “Choices and outcomes go hand in hand. You must choose.”

Without a second thought, I flung my body into the water. Never taking a deep breath. Never questioning what could happen. This was a choice. I was making the choice. Gasping for air, I realized, I made an irrational decision. I jumped into a body of water unprepared because of what it looked like, because of those beautiful hues of blue. As the water slowly filled my lungs, this was it. This was the end. Slowly, all consciousness began to disappear. This was it. This was my end.

The heaviness in my eyes causes them to close. It was time to accept reality. Just as my last breath escapes my lungs, I hear a voice…

“I’m glad you were afraid of being beautiful. I’m glad you weren’t afraid of being you.”

#learningtoloveme #resilientlifestyle #thoughtsofarestlessmind

Self-care Mondays…My weekly Dose of therapy

 

road-sign-Taking care of myself was a task I looked forward to growing up. Out of all the things I wanted to do when I turned 18, attending to a specific form of self-care wasn’t one of them. Sure, Mom told me how to survive and taught me many valuable lessons, but she couldn’t provide what has been the most important for me. Seeking mental health therapy is ok.

There is absolutely no preparation for how intense therapy treatment can get. Of course, Mom  was raised differently, and treatment may not have been an option for her or she believed it would not be useful. Even the word therapy makes her cringe from time to time.

But I slowly realized, I could be like Mom  and decide to handle things on my own or take that leap into the unknown and have a complete stranger dissect my life. For me, denial and fear hold the same weight, heavy as hell. They are two of the most significant burdens I carry through life. But what was there to be afraid of?

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Well, for starters, who wants to hear how fucked up they are? I’m sure no one will raise their hand because no one wants to hear about the flaws they possess, especially an unwanted opinion. No one wants to shine light on the negativity they produce and bring to the table with friends and relationships. People, in general, don’t like to hear what others think of them, valid or not, and therapy doesn’t make that feeling any easier to cope with. Not to mention, the process can make you question why the ones who love you let you live life as if you weren’t causing harm to yourself, them, or others.

Therapy flat out makes you deal with shit and stop placing it on the back burner but most importantly, to stop blaming other people for the results of your actions. For me, dealing with feelings and emotions of guilt because of lashing out is where this stranger was essential to my healing. My friends would want to fight me if I was brutally honest with them, which is all the more reason for me to go. I needed a reliable place I could be honest about myself and know I would always get honesty in return. Let’s be real, we don’t always tell our friends the honest truth they need to hear because we don’t want to lose the relationship. My growth could not begin until I realized I needed to be brutally honest with myself about where my life was headed.

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When I started my therapy journey six years ago, I promised my growth and healing would be for me, no one else. I didn’t explain I was going to therapy to many people and didn’t plan on it. I knew as long as I wanted to change for myself, it would be the only way results would occur and stay forever. I vowed to be honest the first day I went. The most painful things, I was honest about. I couldn’t hide from myself anymore and continue to deny what I’ve been through. I always tell my son to be honest about his feelings, no matter what they are. I had to practice what I preached. My son is a part of my healing journey and he deserves an authentic relationship.

As a parent, no one is perfect. We give so much, but we miss out on explaining a lot as well. Had my mother opted to tell me her struggles, I might have understood more and responded differently in childhood and adulthood. But I respect her decision. As a mother, I choose the opposite for my son. My fear isn’t what this world has in store for him, my concern is him getting in his own way and not staying true to who he is. My other fear is him being trapped by his own brain.

These are fears I have no control over, and I have to accept how they are brought to the table. I will always have my son’s back, but I need him to see the importance of preserving his mental health. I need him to be aware of the ability that his mind can play tricks with his reality. I need him to have an outlet to be free. I could force therapy on him now, but I choose not to. I want him to make a decision by seeing the changes in my life because of treatment and decide if therapy is something he wants.

I want him assertive instead of passive or aggressive. I want him to see the benefits of things instead of the pain. I have a weekly appointment on Monday, at 5pm. It is my time to accept my wrongs from the previous week and find solutions without damaging friendships and my marriage. It is my time where I reflect on my behavior, deal with my pinned up emotions and work on being a better me.

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Therapy provides a platform where I learn to forgive myself before I forgive others. I learn how to put myself first and deal with my feelings before worrying about the next persons. Therapy is where I feed my mind, body, and soul to accept things that I may not be ok with because they are out of my control. Most importantly, it’s where I recognize me, all of me. And know that everyone won’t understand me, but as long as I do, that’s what matters.

I keep a standing appointment every Monday, at 5pm. I start my week off with a clear mind, attitude, and heart. I set small goals to achieve throughout the week. Those small goals have built a foundation to help me stay on track and give me something to focus on which will benefit me in the long run.

Taking control of my mental health has been one of the hardest journeys I’ve ever dealt with, but it’s so worth it. It’s not for everyone, but it’s perfect for me. As I continue to heal, I will embark on this new path known as a “Resilient Lifestyle.”

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#depressionwillnotwin #ifightforme

#resilientlifestyle

 

 

The Strength of Love

Loving your current path in life is not always the easiest thing to do. There are times that love is misjudged for something else, requiring a reassessment of the people, places and things you give your time to. However, loving the wrong things and people teach the most valuable lessons. Losing certain people makes life seem more realistic when it should have been all along.

There’s no doubt that death takes a toll on our mental health, especially when its someone near and dear to us. But what happens after we’ve buried those remarkable individuals? Life goes on, but not in the way we imagined it would. For a short period, we grieve. It may not be excessive tears or a constant state of depression, but our grieving process can include laughter, hugs and social interaction. Once we get over that hump, what happens next?

Some of us fall down into the hole we tried hard not to slip into, while others continue to live a life honoring those who are no longer with us. Regardless, whichever person you are, we all need someone to lean on. And that should tell us just how powerful love is. Love is a feeling, one that seems to be the least temporary in life. We hold on to love for all the right reasons and sometimes all the wrong ones. But why?

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Well, love is the best teacher. One who will teach you every subject you may or may not want to study. Love is that one thing that can change so many times and hold its shape, even if it grows. Love is the reason we interact on a particular level with those we infrequently see because we know, those times are few and far apart. Love allows us to expand our sight past what we know, giving us the ability to manifest into the unknown. But what about losing love? Or falling out of love? Technically, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Choosing to forget why you loved someone could mean love wasn’t supposed to be a part of that equation in your life, but you might have made it one. Falling out of love doesn’t mean you were never in it, let’s just say you spent all of your love tokens, and you can no longer afford that ride.

Regardless, in life, we love for all the reasons we can think of, even if others don’t see the same value. Let’s not wait to prove our love when those we genuinely care about are no longer with us. Let’s start to show those who impact us on a daily basis how much they are valued, because they may need to know that to keep going. If someone you love is in another state, city or country, reach out to them and let them know. A free heart comes with open arms, and you never know, that love may embrace you again, without hesitation.

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#lovehaspower #loveisnecessary #rebuildloveforothers

#reslilentlifestyle

 

Plans and Speedbumps…Stay on the Wagon!

2019 started off… well good until day two got here. I had a significant goal sitting on my plate, and before I knew it, it came crashing down. Furious doesn’t begin to describe how I was feeling. Opening my online store has been going so well, then out of nowhere things just started to fall apart.

I started to question if I placed too much on my plate, I started to blame myself for thinking too far in advance. But I realized, maybe it was God’s way of telling me not right now. I sat in my office, face full of tears as my husband rubbed my shoulders to console me. Breathing into my hands, I left my mind blank. For the first time, I exhaled without thoughts.

Any other time, I would ruminate about what happened, beat myself up for feeling down, and tell myself I’m done with people because they just don’t get it. They don’t understand how important this is to me and the reality is, they might not. They have their own lives to live, and they may not have space in their life right now to help me fulfill my dreams.

Then I had to realize, they do get it. Backing out of a commitment with sufficient notice was considerate, and I have to be grateful my time and money wasn’t wasted. With my photo shoot less than two weeks away, it came crumbling down. Does that mean my site won’t be successful? Not at all. Now, I have to go about my dream in a different way than I planned. Things not going according to my plan was the plan. God was testing my ability to adjust and what can I say, I made him proud.

The old me would have failed instantly. Shedding a few tears means getting my frustration out without hurting someone I love, who didn’t make a mistake in the situation.  Those few tears were the identifier that I have been working on control, and when I needed it the most, my dedication paid off.

If you’re reading this, don’t get discouraged when things don’t go as planned, no matter how much you wanted it. There is a reason the plan failed, it wasn’t strong enough to support your dream. A failed plan is a blessing, it gives something else a chance to ensure your goals succeed.

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#workinprogress #failedplansarenttheend #acceptredirection

#reslilentlifestyle

The Power of Self-Forgiveness

forgiveness1The purpose in life is to be human, not perfect. Being human comes with an honor that we take for granted. At the beginning of my healing journey, learning to forgive myself was one of the most important priorities. Whether we believe it or not, forgiveness holds a mental weight bigger than what we can physically carry. Forgiveness is as light as a feather on the surface, but a two-ton boulder on our shoulders. But there is power in forgiveness, especially self-forgiveness.

I always knew something within me wasn’t allowing me to forgive but it didn’t matter at one point. I moved on from things and people without hesitation. Having no desire to fix the “problem” was the at the top of my priority list. People I cared about were affected by my words and behavior, but because I didn’t care about myself, there was no way I could care about someone else. In a deep depression, you do not see your actions. Seeing the outcome can either make or break that mold depression has created.

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Being a repeat offender of IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) opened my eyes. Sitting in a room full of strangers, everyone was here for a purpose, and I had to understand what mine was. Every day, Monday through Friday, 9 am until 2 pm, for two months, I sat and listened to what happened in their journey which led us to the same room. Some stories made me sad, but the majority of the stories had me questioning why was I here? Sure, I was suicidal but more so because of the excruciating pain. And the one thing we all had in common, we just wanted out of the state which brought us together.

After a few weeks, I realized I was the reason this mental anguish had a firm grip on my life. Walking around being depressed wasn’t my preferred way to live, but I wasn’t moving past what caused me to be depressed. Within a week, I accepted I was trying to find understanding in a situation where there was nothing to understand. The state of my current condition wasn’t because I did anything wrong, I just happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Had I not feared for the safety of myself and my child in an unfamiliar neighborhood while pumping gas, I wouldn’t have been the person in the collision. Had I got gas when I was supposed to, I wouldn’t have been in the neighborhood when it happened, but I didn’t think about it that way until two years later. I blamed myself for not being responsible and prepared. I blamed myself for not being a better parent. None of those things were the reason I got rear-ended, but my mind entered self-blame mode, and that was where my battle began.

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Forgiving yourself is harder than forgiving someone else, but it shouldn’t be. Society has focused on being kind and forgiving to others, but what about ourselves? It should be just as easy to forgive yourself as you do for someone else, but it rarely happens. Yes, we need to treat people in a certain way, but we need to treat ourselves better so its not foreign to implement it with other people. I remember an old friend saying, “I don’t know how to apologize.” And that’s when the light bulb went off for me. I didn’t know how to apologize to myself.

Worrying about an apology from others was no longer my concern, taking better care of myself was the priority. The only person who could tell people how they could treat me would be me and how was I going to do that when I constantly mistreated myself? Our expectation as humans to be treated in a certain manner thrives on our ability to treat ourselves better than anyone else could, but we don’t take that seriously. Because if we did, we wouldn’t stay in bad relationships for long periods of time, we wouldn’t engage in unhealthy habits, and the list goes on and on.

This journey of mine is three years old. I am a toddler again while in my mid-thirties. At first, I was bothered by it. Not because I was worried about what others would think, but because I knew that I had to learn to live life again. Now, I do it on my terms. The control I have over my “new toddler years” has opened my eyes to some great things. My ability to learn to forgive myself no longer leaves me hurt for days, weeks, or months at a time. The choice I have when it comes to how others treat me is solely on me. Fear of living in mental anguish is no longer a concern of mine because I will continue to stay honest with myself and most importantly, forgive myself.

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Self-forgiveness has changed my life. As I grow, I know that I cannot always protect myself in all situations. There will be times that I don’t forgive myself and that is when I will have to rely on other tools I’ve picked up along the way. But I won’t make it a habit. Making a promise to myself to accept the things I cannot change has been the best influencer to living a life of self-forgiveness. I am not perfect, and I don’t wish to be. Now, I can see my role in a situation with someone and leave that person to choose to address their role, not expect them to address it. I will not hold the weight of someone else’s doing on my shoulders anymore, because it is not my weight to hold. I control myself and how I allow things to affect me, but I will always forgive myself if I must make a choice that may not be the best one, at the moment.

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#thereisfreedominforgiveness  #forgiveyourself  #loveyourself

#resilientlifestyle

 

Support… Something everyone needs, the way THEY need it.  

        Life brings challenges slowly for some and rapidly for others. There are some people who create their own challenges and choose to blame others for the stress and pain they are going through. As I’ve been on my healing journey, I started to reflect on how I’ve supported others, seen how others have been supported and questioned why I wasn’t good enough to receive support from the people I would do anything and everything for. Then it dawned on me that they gave the support they knew how to give, and I expected too much from them.

          Recently in my hometown, a few of the people I grew up with have either died or been seriously injured due to violence. For weeks now, my hometown has shed tear after tear over some of the most painful situations. One of the people affected by senseless violence was a good friend of mine. The moment I heard of her losing the child she was carrying, I feared the worst. I prayed to God that my gut was wrong, and I got upset with myself for even thinking negatively about the situation. But that feeling never let up. Soon after, she was attacked by the man whose child she was carrying and confirmed my worst fear while telling her story, he was the reason she lost the baby. What hurt the most, she could have died from her injuries. She has a long recovery ahead of her, but the damage has been done.

          I cried for days, every morning in the shower. I mentally beat myself up for not reaching out to her to see if she was ok after hearing she lost her child. But I had to remember, she has an amazing support system outside of me, and when I did reach out, no love would be lost. Regardless, I must heal from my feelings. The support system I was used to having wasn’t there when I needed them after my traumatic situation. And that is what changed my view on what being called family is, and what to expect from people.

          I know I cannot be there for everyone I care about through every trial and tribulation, just as I don’t expect everyone to be there for all of mine. Yet, there are some people that are held to a high expectation in everyone’s life and we as people need to understand what that means. We must start to understand why someone values us the way they do. Getting caught up in life happens, but there are some people that would do just about anything for us and those people are hard to replace. My friend is in pain, and every day since the beginning of October, I wish I could take just an ounce of her pain away. When I only had my mom and a new boyfriend, she and another friend came to my rescue and from that day forward, I feel like I dropped the ball on being to them what they gave to me, someone who could be there, no questions asked. Trying to adjust to becoming a wife, moving and coping with being sick myself, took me away from making sure I could be there for the two people who lifted my chin and said I am here for you. There are other friends who I haven’t mentioned because they never left and that’s not what this is about. This is about knowing that your support system can come from anywhere at any given time and you cannot always depend on the people who you have placed an expectation on.

          The reality is, we must let people tell us what to expect from them based on their actions and by what they offer. When people are in pain, the best thing we can do for someone is trying to understand what’s going on and ask how we can help. Trying to solve someone else’s problems the way we would solve our own doesn’t work. Not everyone can reach out or ask for help, so know what type of person you are trying to help.

          For years, I never ask for help dealing with being molested. When I say years, I mean 20 years. My way of asking for help was asking to go to my best friend’s house because that’s where I felt safe. I knew nothing would happen to me, and nothing did from a physical sense. In my mind, that was enough, but as I got older I understood things differently and vowed to make sure I would be there for people how they needed me to be, not how I wanted to be. The end goal was to always be honest if I couldn’t be there for them the way they need me to be. Had I told my best friend and her mom what happened, I believe things would have turned out differently. I was only a child and didn’t know how to ask for help or honestly express myself.

          As death is a part of life, we will all have to be there to pick each other up, when that time comes. Some just may need an ear to cry into on the phone, others may need a hug but please try to see what someone needs by their actions and by asking. You never know if the “what do you need from me” question will change how someone looks at their current situation. Some people will say it to be nice, others will act without asking. You can be there for one person all the time and the moment you need them, they might not be available. Once they know what’s going on and how you’re affected by it, they will show you how much you can depend on them. You can have tons of people around you, but how many know your hardest battle and look to see you through it? Food for thought.

 

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#supportothers #loveoneanother

#fightforthoseyoulove #fightwiththosewhoneedyou

#resilientlifestyle

 

The Power of Coping Skills

coping with painLife sends us through so many loops, twists, and turns. Yet somehow, we continuously find ourselves searching for ways to cope with one thing after another. I found myself doing things and not knowing why I did them. After putting some thought into it, I wasn’t abusing a substance to cope with my feelings and pain, I was mistreating others and something had to change. Using alcohol to escape my problems wasn’t safe, and I had to find another way to cope with unexpected stress and everyday life.

My introduction to coping with pain began after being diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). After spending a week inpatient, I was told I needed a high fiber diet if I wanted relief. I knew I wasn’t eating healthy, but when they told me there was no cure, I was lost. No cure? It was 2008 and having to deal with this type of discomfort without a cure was the part I needed assistance in coping with. I knew the diagnosis wasn’t as serious as cancer but it was traumatizing because of its sudden onset. Besides changing my diet, I had to attack IBS from a mental standpoint as well.

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Now, I was forced to live a stress-free lifestyle. And the reality is, there is no such thing. As time went on, I stayed in pain simply because I wasn’t willing to change much of anything. I disregarded every direction the doctor instructed. Feeling better was a priority I wasn’t taking seriously until I had another attack similar to the first one. Stress played a bigger role than food. There is nothing easy about removing what’s causing stress in your life, but I had to find a solution that would allow me to ease my way into this new and necessary lifestyle. Although crocheting worked well enough to ease my stomach pain, I had to find something different for the new chronic pain that is destroying my life.

The intensity level is unmatched and nothing compares to it. Birth cannot compare to stiff joints, muscle aches, numbness, tingling, and head to toe chronic pain every morning when I open my eyes.  Crying is more harmful than it is helpful. It starts a vicious cycle of other problems that chronic pain doesn’t need to know exists. For the last six years, using a journal as my coping tactic has been helpful. I stopped at one point and started again when I came to the conclusion, I wasn’t giving journaling the credit it deserved. I was healing but because it wasn’t the way I wanted to heal, I dismissed the benefit journaling provided. I downloaded a diary app and soon after, realized I needed to write out my feelings. The pressure I applied to the tip of the pen symbolized the pain and resentment I felt. Journaling allows me to be aggressive without harming others. Once my chronic pain flares up, I’m searching for relief. If I had any warning signs, I would pay attention to them but that’s not the case.  However, after the storm, there is light!

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Sharing my story became important. I’ve learned more about the people around me by expressing what was hurting me the most. Pain is something no one wants to experience. I’ve been in constant pain since October 10, 2015. Although I am not in the same pain as before, I still have a lot of healing ahead of me. This new problem requires more than changing a diet. A complete lifestyle change is necessary if I plan on enjoying the rest of my life.

I have always had a passion for literature and reading was a great past time for me, but I can’t pay attention to books as long as I used to. The pain would always ruin a great story and after a while, I stopped reading altogether. Trying to remember what happened in a story after I stopped reading ruined the euphoric feeling I received from books. So, I decided to write my own.

Tapping into my imagination has provided one of the best feelings, but the pain quickly reminds me things are not going to be easy. Being an author was something I thought about but never pursued, until now. Trying to cope with the pain has left me wondering how I will survive? My husband can provide for me, but how could I provide for myself the things I needed to feel somewhat normal again? After being off work for two months, I decided to take a leap of faith. All the work I put into my mental health and physical therapy began to slowly disappear until writing saved it.

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Living with undiagnosed pain is not how I thought life would be for me. Some days, I tell myself things would be different if I knew what was causing the pain. My car accident might have been my blessing in disguise for me to actually pursue a passion that has always lived within me. 

The strength I see in my current journey is one that takes me by surprise. Being depressed for two and a half years makes me wonder why are things coming full circle now? Why did this accident have to happen for me to make all these changes? If I never learned to cope in a positive way, I would have never believed there is light at the end of the tunnel. I believe the accident was a motivational push caused by an unforeseen circumstance. I keep telling myself that God wouldn’t make me uncomfortable if there wasn’t something worthy ahead for me.

The accident has changed my outlook on a lot of things. Most importantly, I’m coping with the physical and mental changes a lot better now that I have something that provides me endless comfort. My will to cope with this new life has increased in a positive direction due to my diligence in wanting more for myself. I have to continue to be forgiving of myself when things happen and I don’t cope the way I know I should. Heading down the path as an author, I try to remind myself to have patience with the process. I believe I have what it takes to make the best seller’s list, I just have to work on it and do things my way. Stay tuned, my dreams are coming true! After I thought I wouldn’t have a future…


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#resilientlifestyle  #copingisnecessary

#newlifeinthemaking

#thebetterwomanishere 

Taming Anxiety – The Road to being Worry Free

blk wom 2The tightness in my chest on a daily basis leaves me weeding through my symptoms like a child rapidly searching through a bag of Halloween candy with their eyes closed. So many symptoms attacking me at once makes it hard to accept what’s happening. Self-diagnosis can be tricky, yet I find myself accurately labeling anxiety symptoms frequently. Everyone experiences anxiety in one way or another, however, there are people like myself, who seek relief from anxiety and its crippling effects.  I ask myself endless questions, trying to pinpoint what caused the physical changes in my body and trigger how I’m feeling. After six years, I realized it was my train of thought.

Situations out of my control are a consistent trigger for anxiety and its counterparts, but I cant stop myself from thinking about them. I worry so much that my body responds to short thoughts the same way it would to a traumatic event. I rarely paid attention to my breathing, until I noticed it was the first symptom I experience when an attack is about to occur. Next, a sharp pain shoots from the center of my chest and goes around my heart. Not only does my heart rate increase but I start to feel light-headed and dizzy. The worse part, it happens anywhere and everywhere.

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Anxiety doesn’t care where I am when it strikes. After years of seeing different kinds of therapists, I acknowledged I wasn’t putting forth as much effort as I should have been to gain control over the distress anxiety is causing. Medication has been a big help and I’m partially glad. I didn’t like the way it made me feel most of the time and it began to become a scapegoat I overused. It allowed me to blame something else for why I wasn’t healing and not myself. I am the reason my anxiety is high, especially when it is unnecessary.

Prior to my accident, I lived fearlessly. My lifestyle was high-speed and on the go constantly for a number of years. I wasn’t bothered by too much of anything back then. Now, I cry and plead to have that life back, but that life is gone. Anxiety gets my attention for the larger part of my days and I hate it. Besides triggering things I’m aware of, anxiety tends to call in reinforcements when it feels I’m mistreating it by using coping skills. And that often leads me to deal with panic attacks and bipolar mood swings.

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Currently, anxiety and mood swings surface so fast that it deters me from socializing. If I can manage my anxiety for the day, I don’t mind attempting to socialize. On the days when socialization is hard, anxiety quickly reminds me, it’s going to keep me company. Some people take my anti-social days the wrong way. Trying to explain what’s going on increases the level of anxiety I’m currently experiencing and forces me to cope in ways that are harmful to me in the long run. Unfortunately, people don’t understand when anxiety isn’t allowing me to be the person they used to know. This part of the battle, I have not fully accepted. Finding people who support you is hard, but it’s twice as difficult when people cannot understand how the inability to always control anxiety, depression, and mood swings sits on the conscious of those who would give anything to live life without it.

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Right now, I am learning that I have to give people a chance to understand my situation and I have to do better at understanding it myself. Anxiety has made me a stranger to my own body, yet it is up to me to work at minimizing how much it controls me. Learning to describe how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking accurately to others is the daily goal I set for myself. In-depth details allow me to shine transparency on my journey and accept that anxiety is a piece that I must learn to cope with.

I continue to find ways to cope with anxiety such as blogging, writing short stories and completing the first draft of my very first novel. I encourage others to attempt to deal with the anxiety-provoking trials within their life. Getting a head start on understanding, acknowledging, and acceptance pertaining to anxiety may save some of those precious things that are being negatively influenced.  

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#anxietyisstrong #iamstronger #depressionisreal

#iFightforme #resilientlifestyle