Hello Fans! This post is going to be a bit different because I’ll be explaining different ways of how I cope with my anxiety. First let me start off by saying that everything I am going to mention does not always work for me all the time. I also understand that what works for me doesn’t work for everyone.
Please understand that anxiety is not something “people get over” and it’s not “not real.” Telling someone with anxiety those things is the quickest way for someone with anxiety to NEVER talk to you again about their anxiety. I promise you.
I try to breath (and this usually works) to where I can control my breathing and then fall asleep. Except that one time I had an anxiety attack and I was out of work for two days (hand plant on face emoji).
I listen to music and I stretch.
I try to write down what may have triggered my anxiety so I can talk with my therapist about it the next time I see her. This helps as well because we can figure out together how to process my feelings.
I sleep, even though this may not be the best option. I sometimes need a minute to just shut my brain down.
Anxiety for me doesn’t mean I can’t be around people of large crowds, so I wouldn’t say I have social anxiety, but I will say that if I’m around a group of people no matter if it’s family or friends for an extended period I will need to separate myself for a while. I need time to decompress.
I feel like at times I don’t like to repeat myself and this causes me to be anxious because I feel like the person I’m talking to is hearing me and not listening. There is a difference.
At times I don’t want to always talk to someone. I need time to process and figure out what and why I’m feeling how I’m feeling.
I’ve posted some photos from a friend of mine who’s a licensed mental health therapist. His business page is @mental_health_apparel. I picked these particular photos because some not all of these are what I experience with my anxiety, and also hopefully they help you too.
COVID-19 is here and she did not come to play. Please be safe out there. Keep yourself 6 feet away and practice social distancing. This virus is real. Please wash your hands.
I’m a special education teacher and schools are officially closed for the rest of year. It still hasn’t hit me that school went from closing for two weeks to shutting down entirely. I miss my students. I honestly can’t even process this whole situation. It’s absolutely crazy to me. Like, is this the new normal? I understand everyone is trying to process things and go with the flow and just take it a day at a time, but…. (insert mind blown emoji).
Honestly, today was the first day since all of this craziness started happening that I felt overwhelmed and anxious. It probably started last night as I was trying to add onto an assignment for Master’s class and my Professor wasn’t helping. She lacks communication skills, but that’s neither here nor there. Teaching from home is probably harder than being in school. I tried to make sure my parents were set up with any and all work they needed without overwhelming them. Making sure to let them know that if they need me they could reach out. Working from home now is a constant checking of emails, and at times the emails don’t pertain to me.
I felt like waking up this morning I had my day planned out of what I needed and wanted to do, both work and leisure tasks. While I got everything done I just felt like there were other things pertaining to work that added on to my already work related pile. I took a minute and stopped everything. I had to lay down. Then I talked to a friend and my sister, and I had to realize that I could only do so much. I have to learn that I can’t do everything in a day, and what I did do was important enough. I’m not a slacker and I shouldn’t feel like because I can’t get to or haven’t started a particular tasks that I am a failure. Whew! Transparency moment for real.
If there’s one thing I’m trying to fully grasp during this Rona, yes I said Rona it’s that while we are quarantined it’s important to just be. Take this time to be productive. Stress less. Do something that makes you happy, preferably a leisure task. If you choose to go outside then just keep your distance, even if it’s just to get some air. Do something.
I challenge anyone reading this to exercise. Read. Write. Learn a new hobby. I personally have been trying to watch less tv and so far I’ve been successful. I’ve also been telling myself I want to keep writing more (hence this post) and recording more of my poetry videos. If you’re a fan of my blog or my business Instagram you know what I’ve been posting pre COVID-19.
We can’t go stir crazy because things are looking different. I hope everyone stays safe and is slowing down for their health and for their sanity. Be safe out there people.
If there is one thing I’m learning it’s that I need to put my mental health first. This post is for myself and my readers. It’s about being able to push through. Understanding that people aren’t always going to receive the advice you give because they may not be ready too.
People have to work through their own feelings at their own pace. It can be very triggering, tiresome, and frustrating when you’re giving advice and the person asking just isn’t listening. There’s a difference between hearing and listening. That’s something I still struggle with, people can listen to what they want but it’s just as important to hear and be able to fully understand what’s being said to you. I’m trying to tell you, don’t think it’s the same thing. Wanting to be a good friend and helping others is just what a good friend does- but there comes a time where we have to remember to love ourselves. Take a step back and focus on our own well-being. Sometimes that friend who’s asking for advice just isn’t in the space where they can hear what you’re saying, or they simply can’t because they are experiencing depression, anxiety, etc. Don’t think because they aren’t hearing you it’s because they are being stubborn. Sometimes it’s way more than that.
The advice giving friend is only trying to help, but I can tell you first hand it’s a lot trying to help everyone else and we’re working on trying to be our own advice takers. Read that again. It takes so much more energy to be our own advice givers when we’re trying to help everyone else. It’s extremely draining to be a good friend and help someone when you’ve got your own problems to work through; I would bet my last dollar that the friends who are the advice givers, you’ll never know they’re going through things because they are trying to help their friends. I’m that person. She is me. I am her. I’m learning that I can’t save and help everyone if they don’t want to save and help themselves.
Another thing friend, stop always depending on your friends to be your therapist. That’s what therapist are for. Please go find one. I’ll do you one better and attach a link for you to search for a therapist in your local area. I’m pro therapy and see my therapist at least every two weeks as well as being able to email her. I have experienced a lot in these last 25 days of 2020 and it’s been rough but I’m purposely emerging myself in things that I like to do (all thanks to the advice of my therapist). I’m making sure I don’t sink into depression or have an anxiety attack. Learning how to work through my emotions is hard but I’m trying. Seeing a therapist is a big part of my life. I can’t just talk to family or friends all the time, not that that’s a bad thing but trust me when I tell you it’ll be great having an unbiased professional opinion.
If you don’t receive anything else just understand as good of a friend as you want to be, you’re going to quickly burn out if you don’t take the time to focus on you. Love yourself. Be selfish. Sometime’s it’s necessary. Don’t be so quick to rush to everyone’s side to help them. You keep doing that you won’t be able to help yourself. Your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health is just as important.
In 2019 I feel like the least someone can do is communicate efficiently. Now, I know not everyone knows how to, or can’t always put their words together, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. My biggest pet peeve is when I’m friends with someone and then that friend feels some type of way and doesn’t communicate. I’ve been blocked and ignored a few times. Why is this even a thing? I don’t understand.
I understand people say things that they may not mean in the heat of the moment. I’m one of those people, and I can say I am trying to improve on making sure I express how I feel to try and be as clear as possible without going from zero to sixty in 2.5. I also understand that sometimes depending on how friends are communicating (face to face, or texting) wires can get crossed. Facial expressions are misinterpreted or sometimes people take to heart what someone else says. I am not the best with my facial expressions, it’s a work in progress. Even still, if friendships have been had for months or years then I feel like these two parties should be able to argue, agree to disagree, and keep it pushing. It’s very disheartening when I become the person that’s blocked or I lose a friend because that person can’t tell me they have a problem with me. If we’ve been friends for some time then please speak up. It’s childish to me when people can’t communicate, especially when we’ve had numerous conversations. Throwing away a friendship or choosing to not hear the person out is unfair. I understand people may grow apart, but that’s totally different. I would never block someone and not at least explain how or why I’m feeling how I do. If myself and my friend can’t have a conversation and move on then that’s fine. People grow apart, but I can’t just block someone just because I maybe in my feelings. That’s something I would never do.
I guess it’s just another lesson learned. I can’t even tell you what I took away from this friendship, but thank you for allowing me to start writing again. Seriously. If people have a problem with you and they can’t communicate what it is then I feel like you can’t be the problem. If there’s a situation that needs to be discussed please tell me. I can’t fix or explain my side of the story if you chose to just erase me from your life.
Don’t reach out or try to explain how you felt later on. I don’t want to hear the shit. I don’t have the energy to try and make any relationship work with someone who doesn’t want to tell me before hand that they are bothered.
It’s not me, it’s you. Do better. Please and thank you.
Today I learned a valuable lesson. While I may think I’m giving the best version of myself as a friend, and I’m the “strong friend,” the one who’s always positive and checking up on others and tries her best to listen and advise those she loves the most. It sometimes may not be enough.
I would say if there was a Hollywood Star for people who go above and beyond for their friends I would have one. I’m the friend that deserves an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony), mind you… only a handful of people have that honor. I would be that friend. It’s not to sound cocky, or overly confident. I just know the type of love, time and energy I put into friendships is unmatched. I’m the friend that gives great advice and sometimes uses it herself, but I also feel like no one does the same for me in return. Let my mother tell it, it’s a gift and a curse I have. I’ve come to accept it. I do so much for people but don’t always have those same acts of endearment reciprocated. I’m still learning to accept that- there are people who just don’t give the same type of energy as me. But I feel like something as simple as being a great friend isn’t that difficult. Again, not everyone is or does what I do, not everyone thinks how I think. I get that.
By no means am I trying to make it sound as if I’m perfect. I know and understand people process things differently. That people may not want to talk or express how they feel right away. While I may not have a filter, I just feel like people should be able to communicate. If I’ve ever done something wrong to anyone I would want to clear it up. I never want to make people feel, like how they feel doesn’t matter. I try my hardest to be the voice of reason but I also understand too that just because I don’t fly off at the mouth doesn’t mean others won’t. I’d rather have the chance to explain myself and how you may have taken my response in the present, than in the future, when it’s too late and you don’t want to hear it.
I once heard Kandi from Love & Hip Hop say, “If I’m friends with someone and we get into an argument and that friend ends up mad at me but I don’t know it, then they have a problem with themselves and not me. I can’t fix a problem I didn’t even know existed.” For the life of me, I can’t tell you why that has stuck with me but it holds value. As I mentioned above I am not perfect in any way shape or form, but if it’s one thing I won’t do, is hold in something negative. It’s not good for me, nor is it good for the relationship. It truly saddens me when a relationship ends. I literally wish I could be friends with people forever. That no one ever argued and it was just world peace for everyone (in my Oprah ‘you get a car’ voice). I understand that’s not realistic at all. It’s just hard for me to let go of a relationship that didn’t have any type of beef or bad blood.
Now, people I also believe are put into your life for a reason, season, or a lifetime. I’ve said this numerous times before. I just can’t put into words or explain it any other way besides being heart broken. Today I lost a friend, and I wished things could’ve been different. I cried real tears because I thought our relationship was stronger. I am big on communication and I try my hardest to not over speak, be defensive (I’m working on it), and I think I chose my friends wisely. To the people who I’ve hurt in the past and I didn’t know, I’m sorry. I wish we could’ve fixed our relationship. To any future friends, I hope we can build a strong lasting relationship. Please understand, this person decided not to be bothered with me anymore based off of something I said to them (when the actual situation took place). I wasn’t given the chance to explain my side, and nor was I angry or upset towards them. Hence why I mentioned the Kandi Burruss comment.
I can’t sit and dwell on the “what ifs”, the “whys”, and “what abouts.” We had our run and now it’s over. I wish you nothing but the best but this is the season finale of our show. Good luck to you. I also learned as much as I want to be friends forever, and while I may not always understand “why” things happen, I need to continue to protect my peace and energy. What I give just doesn’t cut it anymore and that’s just something I have to learn to deal with. It’s not that I’m a bad person or I’m ‘doing too much’ my love just isn’t enough so I have to learn to let go, as much as it hurts. It’s necessary.
If you weren’t already in love with Gabrielle Union-Wade now, you’re going to love her more because of her book We’re Going to Need More Wine. She’s witty, funny, personable, and just down right the shit. It’s funny how we read a book, or watch a movie and we think that gives us some unspoken access to a celebrities life, ironically this book does just that. I felt like I was listening to a good girlfriend tell me her life story.
Without spoiling it for those who still haven’t had the chance to read it, I literally don’t have anything bad to say about it; except I wish it was longer! Gabrielle’s personality spews through this entire book, and you feel not only the love but the pain.
I felt like she was a family member. Sister Nickie learned to become this beautiful, confident, and powerful woman she is. I love you sis. I wish you and your family nothing but success and blessings. I’m rooting for you. Always.
In the words of sis herself,
“And anything I have accomplished, I did so not in spite of being a black woman, but because I am a black woman.”
Gabrielle is the epitome of Black Girl Magic, it’s not even up for debate.
What inspired this particular post was a Facebook clip I saw a while back with Megan Good and Michael Ealy promoting their movie Intruder, on The Wendy Williams show.
What caught my attention was in that moment I realized Megan Good was a completely different person (at least from what I was currently watching) up until I can remember seeing her in films (Eve’s Bayou & Biker Boyz are just a few characters she’s played where my brain permanently stored her). I can admit, like most of us regular folk, we gossip/dissect/have an opinion about people we barely even know. Or, people we may have met at a concert, some show, whatever it is. Megan Good’s demeanor, vernacular, and just overall appearance was way different from the typical roles I’d seen her in. She’d grown. As any human being should. I had type-caste her as this promiscuous, vulgar, sexy, character.
In my opinion, celebrities are just like us, except they have way more money and are constantly in the spot light. They’re like this elite ass group of people; the never ending revolving door of cool kids in high school. Watching Megan Good talk about her life and the movie with Wendy Williams made me think, do the relationships people get into change who they are? I would say yes. Post her current husband (Devon Franklin) I can’t remember hearing or seeing anything negative and or positive about Megan Good. To see what I considered a total 360 was important. Why you ask? While celebrities may have it ‘easy’ they also are always in the spot light. They can’t do any wrong, ever. I would assume that they want what we all want, to be loved, respected and somehow make an impact on the world. Seeing how she carried herself was important because I saw her in a different light. She wasn’t the ‘same ol Megan’. I had judged and tore apart this women’s life as if I knew her personally. I had to check myself. As much as I may like her or any other celebrity, the way I look at their lives compared to mine is, if they aren’t helping me in anyway, shape or form, I shouldn’t care or be so focused on them. No shade. Clearly our paths in life were different, but it took me watching this video to just realize that much more that celebrities grow and evolve just like we do.
They have the same hurt, problems, and ‘life’ situations just at a faster pace. If there’s nothing you take away from this entire post it’s simple. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, or what you think their story is. Know that every persons path is not meant for you; and to change. Never be the same person you were. If Megan was the same ‘Megan’ I had envisioned her as, she probably never would’ve met her husband. I could tell by watching this video she had grown as a person. That goes for any celebrity! We can’t keep assuming things about people. You know what they say when you assume. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to make an ass out of yourself.
Friends, Family, and Supporters today is a special day! It has been ONE FULL YEAR since I’ve been a PUBLISHED AUTHOR. I cannot thank you, to whomever is reading this, how much I appreciate all the love and support I’ve had thus far. Being published has had it’s ups and down…. mainly ups!
I’d like to start off by saying I have been able to come out of my comfort zone which is a big thing for me, but don’t worry I’m not stopping just yet. This post will highlight all I’ve done this year, and to encourage anyone who has ever thought about publishing a book or whatever it is to follow your dream. I’m always a call, text, DM,or comment away. I will also be highlighting things I did once I became published. Being new to this I had to think about what would make my brand different, what would make people want to buy my book, or any future merchandise I may have.
So, in this year I’ve gone to numerous open mics and poetry readings. I was able to perform at some, or simply just listen to the greatness on stage. I have learned the power of Networking. The one plus to having social media when being a millennial is having contact with those you may not have exchanged numbers with. I have also been part of a Podcast episode. A good friend of mine from high school and her co-host interviewed me to discuss my journey to becoming published, and it was so much fun! (Shout out to “The BlackStreet Podcasts). During this year I have been part of a panel discussion for the FEMININE ENERGY event. Thank you to Natasha and Zee for the opportunity. What better way to empower women than by having two great women to host how to be fierce and how to uplift one another. To feel all the genuine love in a room full of women was magical. I was also a vendor at the #QueenswithHoney event. Another important day where women were empowering and uplifting each other.
If it’s one thing I’ve learned in this year, not only being published but just as a woman is that there’s a shift happening. It could just be the women I’ve encountered, but it feels great. To know that there are women out there who don’t succumb to the stereotypes and truly support others and want to see everyone win. A comedian (@lalamilan) I follow on Instagram once said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Women are so caught up on only feeding themselves but if they stopped and realized that what set of skills one woman has, another woman could obtain, we could all EAT.” Someone’s going to miss that gem, but it’s okay.
In this year I have grown as a writer. To be honest, I haven’t written anything in months, how ironic huh? Life, stress, just adult-ing takes over sometimes. It feels good to know that I have the support from friends, followers, family, etc. that when I do post something, somebody is always watching. At least I’d like to think so. I’ve also realized that just because I wear many hats doesn’t mean that I need to have them on all at once…whew! That was a gem right there! *pats self on back* I’ve learned that when I do pick up a pen, or click the keys on my keyboard that something amazing is going to come from it, and I have a fire ignited that takes a while to dim. I can say that writing, and being published is a great accomplishment, and I do plan on publishing more books.
If there is one thing I want to change about being published, it’s utilizing my social media more. Doing more live videos, talking about my journey (and not just to those who ask me directly). I’m sure I follow plenty of people who aren’t quite sure what to do. So I do plan on utilizing my resources more. I also need and want to start memorizing my poems more. Figuring out how to market myself better. If there is one thing I can suggest for anyone who has a hustle, or considers themselves an entrepreneur, whatever it is… make your IG a business page. Having a business page has plenty of tweaks and cool features a regular IG doesn’t.
I also designed two sets of business cards; why two you ask? The first set was because I didn’t have any for the longest time, so I felt totally unofficial lol and they were a basic design. Although I loved them, I quickly ordered a new set and these are so much better. So, business cards are a plus if you don’t already have them. I created a website, which hasn’t had that much traffic but on there you can purchase my books as well as some bracelets I had designed for a spoken word event I went to a while back.
To end, Thank you again to anyone who has purchased, shared, commented, or written a review on any of my platforms! I hope the followers I do have continue to grow and increase. I want to #spreadlovewithwriting and show the world that being able to express how you feel through writing is sometimes the best medicine.
Below are some pictures from some of the events I mentioned and others are things I’ve done this year. Feel free to if you’re not already, follow my handles! I’ll leave those down below too.
Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim literally gave me all the feels. I first caught interest in reading this book on her Instagram @wellreadblackgirl. Here she posts anything and everything related to literature and incorporates all of the #blackgirlmagic. So I literally don’t even know what to say to continue because this book was just that amazing.
I loved learning about how each author fell in love with reading, and what experiences they took away from what reading taught them in their early stages of life into womanhood. Each authors story was different and you were able to feel and understand why reading changed their lives and how in a way, it was an outlet. @Gabby3shabby aka Gabyy Sidibe, ya’ll know her for her character as Precious in Push and Becky Williams from Empire. Her story, whew chile! It stuck out to me the most because she talked about growing up she wasn’t the favorite child and reading was an escape for her essentially. All she wanted to do was stick to herself and mind her own business. Her father was religious and her mother seemed to just do what her husband asked, so Gabby grew up not understanding/liking how when it came to her fathers religious beliefs she had to be the stay at home wife, and her brother could do as he pleased. So, because she went against the grain her relationship with her family just wasn’t the typical.
Gabby says, “It took a while for me to unlearn the bad lessons my parents taught me about my existence by accident, as well as the bad lessons the media has been teaching me on purpose (that’s another story entirely), but I’m glad I have learned. I’m even grateful for the bad lessons I was taught in the first place. As it turns out, I’m pretty stubborn, so teaching me that my life would be bad fueled my ambition to have the best life possible. And I do. Ahmed is still both my parents’ favorite child, and that’s fine. I’m the one who grew up to be rich, so they can all suck it.” That last part! (emoji clapping hands). I just felt exhilarated for you Gabby because it was like you were saying, ‘hey I may not have had the ideal childhood and what you all expected me but the gag is, I made it and I’m here. And hello… it doesn’t help that you’re rich! Go girl, you give me so much inspiration!
This book I think will show future generations of women of all ages to embrace who they are. We as black woman are so powerful, and we can do so much! If only we did things like this, instead of what only society shows of how the black women is always “black and angry.” I digress…because baby! I can give ya’ll a full rant about what I think society thinks us black women can’t do. Did you catch that?
I wish to all who is reading this post please get this book. If it made you feel like I did you won’t be disappointed! Plus, there’s a (poop emoji) ton of other books that each person discussed in their particular chapter. If you’re a nerd like me, you’ll be reading so much more! This book is inspirational, uplifting, empowering, and with an abundance of #blackgirlmagic Queen-dopeness you’ll feel like YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, and YOU CAN!
Here it is yall… my next review for my #firstthoughtsfiction segement. I know it’s been a minute.
So, I’ve never been the type to read a book before watching the movie… and the book Room by Emma Donoghue wasn’t the exception to the rule. I enjoyed the book, as well as the movie (it’s on Netflix) but I was skeptical in even wanting to complete the book nor watch the movie just because it was such a slow start for the story to pick up while reading. I must admit, when I started the book life happened (brown skin girl emoji shrug), so that could be a small part as to why it took me a minute to start.
Emma Donoghue is a best selling author with multiple books; Room being one of the books that put her on the best selling charts. This book is raw, intense, whimsical, and heavy just to give a few details. Don’t be expecting it to be all sunshine and rainbows, you’ll definitely need to take a break sometimes.
What made this book so different was, it was told in the perspective of the little boy, Jack. Room was about a mother “Ma” who lived with her son Jack in an 11 x 11 room. She was kidnapped and raped and held captive for years until she was able with the help of her son to escape. The first half of this book is all about Ma and Jack in room. He perceives everything as “fake” except themselves. Although this book was deep and unbearable at times, there were times where Donoghue showed Jack’s intelligence but also his young-mindedness; you’ll have to read the book to truly understand what I mean.
The second half of the book was about Jack and Ma’s escape and what their lives were like after being free. For me, the second half was easier to swallow, but you could tell that even being ‘home’ for Jack was different. For the mother she struggled and suffered from being able to express herself. She was resilient and did everything she could with the circumstances she was given to protect herself and her son; but being in a ‘normal’ environment took a toll on her (depicted only in the movie).
In Room for Jack he seemed comfortable, at ease and safe. He didn’t quiet understand that outside of room there was a whole world he knew nothing about. I loved how Donoghue portrayed Jack’s emotions with learning all of this new information. It was a lot for him as a five-year-old boy to go from having only knowing the room to the world. In the movie, I think Jack was depicted as he was in the novel. You could see and feel while reading how he had to handle his old and new life.
What I wish was consistent in the book more so than the movie, was you were able to see more about Jack and Ma after they were freed. It showed their everyday life, how Jack adapted too his life outside of room, and more importantly his moms role. She struggled once they were free and wasn’t able to tend to her son, even though she was able too go above and beyond as best she could in the book. Donoghue’s attention to detail was given more life in the movie from Ma’s perspective. I always hear “the movie was better than the book”, but in my opinion that is never the case. I’m a true book lover at heart. Reading a book gives way more detail for me than watching the movie.
When reading this book, please have an open mind. Although I didn’t (lol) and it took me a few times to get the ball rolling, over all it was enjoyable. It was difficult at times to remember that the perspective of the book was told in Jack’s voice. That’s something I had to get use too, but that’s something that kept me intrigued the more I continued to read as well.
If I could leave you with this, imagine being the characters in Room, at least five year old Jack. You have the whole world to live, breath, and make an impression. Leave your mark on the world in someway shape or form. As I type this, I think that’s something the book taught me. Being confined in one space and thinking that’s all there is, you’ll never succeed. Take this book in a sense as a learning lesson. Don’t be confined to thinking you need to stay in one area in your life. Grow, change, and adapt to the circumstances you’re given, even sometimes if they are bad. Things will get better, and you’ll have plenty of time, and space to make a difference and start over. Everyday.