Monday, May 21

19 Days: How My Cable Box Outed My Depression



I started a blog weeks ago called Blogging from a Good Place.... and never completed it for, well reasons. May is Mental Health Awareness month and I am just acknowledging that I spent the first half of this month unaware of my mental health. *sigh*

I have fallen into the social media trap of making things look good. Even my sadness had hope. But that is not always the case. I was concerned about putting my anxiety on display for public consumption because I know there are people out there that would feed off of it. I realize that keeping that under wraps is inaunthentic and goes against who I want to believe I am and who I strive to be.
So, I will say this now. I have been having quite a battle with depression lately.

It was functional. If you weren't my mama or my closest friends you probably would not have known. I even tried to overlook it myself until one day about 2 weeks ago I sat down in my living room, turned on my tv and there it was staring me in my face, indisputable evidence of my depressed condition. My cable box has a power-save mode and when you turn it on, it tells you how long it's been in power-save mode. There it was on digital display, a numeric breakdown of how long I've been in this depression. 460+ hours.... That's 19 days. (full disclosure I was out of town a FEW of those days, but that was almost in the middle of those days, so it still counts... keep reading)

That's 19 days of me coming home, bypassing my living room and getting directly in the bed. That's 19 days of me laying in bed until it was time to be somewhere. That's 19 days of me not cooking dinner while watching DVR or TV or Netflix or listening to Pandora. That's 19 days of me convincing myself I was just exhausted and needed more rest. That's 19 days of a gray cloud in my home that I had convinced myself did not exist. I was still going out with friends and laughing and joking and fulfilling my duties at all of my jobs. But I was going to church on those Sundays and feeling so heavy and uncertain that people took notice. I thank God for those people who, at the time were upsetting me by constantly hugging me and asking if I was okay. Those people were a reminder that I was seen and I did not have to deal with this alone. I know that now, but then, I was annoyed!

I was also supposed to be in a new relationship (that's a story I may or may not ever tell here). But know that the way that relationship was going was a catalyst for this 19 days. Uncertainty, misunderstanding, poor communication and what boils down to emotional manipulation are not a great mix for newfound like.

So there I was on my couch a few weekends ago staring at my depression on digital display. I was thinking to myself, "Oh honey, no. This is not okay!" But it made sense. I was ignoring the signs and downplaying the symptoms and explaining away the cause. But my DVR was like, "Nah, girl, you need to see this."

Sometimes we can overlook depression because it's not manifesting physically. Because we can still wake up every morning and get dressed and put on make up and go out into the world, we think we're fine. Because we are only crying on Sunday and maybe for about 5 minutes on Thursday, we think we're fine. Because we still have an appetite and a desire to go out with our friends, we think we're fine. Because we still want to live life and be hopeful, we think we're fine. However, it's the little things that let you know you aren't as fine as you are convincing yourself you are. And you know you are convincing yourself because otherwise you wouldn't have been able to explain anything away because there would be nothing to explain.

Don't be fooled into thinking that depression (or a depressive episode) looks a certain way.
It's not always:

  • laying in bed crying everyday- I only cried about 4 times over that 19 days and only twice did it occur in bed. 
  • hiding from everyone and wanting to be alone- I was everywhere I was supposed to be and then some!
  • leaving out of your house looking a mess- I was still out in these streets cute as ever... hair done, nails done, everything did! 
Sometimes it's:

  • the constant feelings of fatigue- going from the front door to the bed everyday for 19 days. 
  • persistent anxiety- I woke up almost every morning feeling nauseated, I even threw up a few times.
  • being hard on yourself- I was blaming myself for any and everything that was going wrong personally and professionally.
  • trouble focusing- my mind was much like my current Chrome browser, 20 tabs open at once. But my brain was clicking through them all in random order at random times!
  • irritability- I was more agitated than usual, if you can believe that. I was ready to quit jobs and people. Full disclosure- I unfriended, unfollowed and muted several people during this time for various reasons.
These are just a few of the things I was experiencing and ignoring or suppressing or explaining away until my DVR called me out. I leaned on a few people to lift myself up: my mama, my God, my therapist, my girls, and my primary care physician. I'm still climbing out of the dimness that was threatening to turn into darkness. 

Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Pay attention to what the universe is telling you. Sometimes the message comes from the cable box!

I urge you to get the medication, get the therapy, get the hugs, get the sage, get the prayer, get the help! 

(side note: there was a graphic I found to go with this about Mental Health Awareness but there was a typo on it so I decided not to use it because, I don't play that! lol)

Friday, May 4

Still Tired!

Y'all I wanna cry!
via GIPHY

It's coming today, I can feel it.

Life just trudges along and sometimes it draaaaags you with it. All your worry and second-guessing and uncertainty and exhaustion. You have to just believe that it'll be all good in the end. But your plan isn't always God's plan and God's plan can seem convoluted just when you think you have it figured out.

Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." And I try to remember this as the pit of worry in my stomach seems to grow. They say you can't pray and worry, but they also know how difficult that is or they wouldn't have had to come up with the saying in the first place. I don't have no solutions, y'all! I'm in the thick of it and all I can do is keep going. I can't let it keep me down. I know that others are going through something similar.

Y"all keep going. Call your people. Seek wise counsel. Take a nap. Cry it out. Keep going!

Friday, April 6

Apologizin' is Hard to Do

The great Peter Cetera and David Foster penned a song for the band Chicago called "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" in which he expresses regret and promises to love, but admits it was hard for him to say those words. He even says that he really wants to say "I'm sorry". But he doesn't ever truly apologize.

When you say, "I'm sorry" to my friend's mom, she says, "Don't be sorry, be better." It may seem cold, but it's important to understand that an apology should ALWAYS come with a change in behavior. Otherwise, you're just sorry- in a pitiful state. An apology is an expression of regret.

Choose your words carefully. Saying "I apologize if"... is dismissive and shows you have little to no concern for the person's feelings. Saying "I apologize that"... demonstrates that you are aware that your actions had a negative impact on the person. Anita models a pretty good apology in her song "I Apologize". She says she is wrong, admits to being unkind and promises to do better in the future.

It is never easy to admit your wrongdoing. But it is freeing. It frees up your spirit and allows you to let go of the guilt you feel. That guilt that has you still torturing  the person you harmed by pretending nothing ever happened or that you were not to blame.

I have talked about apologies on an occasion or two because I want to believe that people will eventually understand that that hostility you feel toward certain people dissipates once you specifically acknowledge your wrongdoing and do what is necessary to make the necessary changes in you so that it does not happen again. Allowing your guilt to fester and turn into resentment for the person you harmed is not a healthy coping mechanism. DO THE WORK!

Image from: http://archive.lyza.com/2008/11/10/letterpress-i-apologize-cards/index.html

Friday, March 16

Black Woman Burn Out

I'm tired, y'all... I need a vacation.
from: http://clutchmagonline.com/2016/01/open-thread-do-you-ever-feel-tired-of-being-black/

I've been so busy doing so much for so long... I haven't even posted a new blog.

But I have got to get back to it. So here's my beef today. I am tired of feeling like I have to defend everything anti-Black & everything misogynistic & everything dumb, stupid, ignorant and majorly ridiculous. I am unable to sit idly by and watch foolishness occur aorund me, but then I run the risk of being the angry black woman.

It's exhausting and I'm frankly tired & getting burnt out! BURNT, you hear me?

With that being said, I am keeping my commitment to ME to keep blogging. But also I need a vacation, so that needs to happen sooner rather than later. With every news story about y'all president and every FB post referring to Black women as "females" (when based on context clues you KNOW they meant bitches), I grow more and more weary. But I cannot give up on helping the world be better one response, conversation, blog post at a time. I was told that some of my blog posts are out there but I'll be that because this is the world as I experience it.

Just know that for now, I will be taking it a lil bit easier because I'm tired.

In the meantime, check out my friend Cheryl Giscombe's work on this subject:

Tuesday, February 27

Don't Do This: Pro-Black Insomnia (or Too Woke)



Hey, y'all! Let me start this off by saying I don't cuss people out no more. (Thank God for Jesus!) These days I just hold up a mirror until they get mad at their own reflection. Therefore, if you feel called out by this post... *hands you a mirror*
morrisdaymirror.jpg

Now, with that being said let me say this: Some of y'all are too woke! You are so woke and pro-black that you're anti-black. You want everything black to be perfect and blackity-black through and through. You were mad about Black Panther because a white man made money off of it despite much of it being filmed at Tyler Perry Studios. Why? When do you sleep? When do you take the time to enjoy things? I know some folks don't believe in the white man's Jesus. But whoever you believe in: Buddah, Allah, Horus, Confucius, Jah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster... I am sure that entity wants you to enjoy things, right? I am sure the creator wants you to actually enjoy creation sometimes, right? And not spend all day on the white man's social media platform barking at your own people and being a career-contrarian.

You have all these problems with all things black, but never any solutions other than support black business and uplift the black man. Nobody wants to buy your terrible mixtape, Lil Alleycat! Nobody wants to read your "urban lit" book with the errant apostrophe in the title, Dark Diva! And nobody wants to buy hotep wear from a man that constantly refers to women as females, Ronshonkalon the Gawd (we all know it's just a replacement for the b-word anyway, sir). What else you got? What else are you doing out in these pro-black streets to promote positivity? Between the time you get off work in the white man's office to go home to your apartment owned by a white property management company that you pay from a white-owned bank and lay down on your Ikea bed to watch the Jewish man's network tv (because you are too woke to ever sleep), what are you doing to really help uplift the community?

Folks swear they are oh so very woke. Their pro-black insomnia has them on the highest of alerts! Nothing is ever good enough. Constantly comparing anything black to something that is predominantly other. Never fully appreciating black excellence because, in their mind, it should always be better and it's not as good as this other thing. You sleepy, ain't you? Ungrateful, negative, exhausted and ornery from their unnecessary hyper-vigilance.

To those people I say: Get you some joy! But most importantly, take a nap!

Tuesday, February 20

Wakanda Forever!- A Black Panther List

First of all let me say now, this is NOT a think piece.... There are ENOUGH of those going around & frankly I'm over it. EVERYTHING is problematic if you use a comb with fine enough teeth. I'm not here for none of that though. I saw Black Panther 3 times- Thursday, Saturday and Monday! Each time I saw something different. This is my SHORT list of things I got from Black Panther.
  1. I am a warrior! Every single black woman from Wakanda was made of tough stuff. Strong, intelligent, loyal, and baaaaaaaaaaaad than a mother!
  2. Colonization adversely impacted my view of Africa. I have recently been planning a trip to Africa and thinking about how all those years of Feed the Children commercials and tales of corrupt leaders made me not want to step foot on the continent for fear of being haunted by the tragedy of it all.  Thanks to a better view outside of the premiere of this movie... see below!
  3. I WILL go to Africa! See above. I have done my ancestry test and I'm ready to go visit my people.
  4. Eric Stephens wasn't all the way right, but he also wasn't all the way wrong. I said this was not a thinkpiece so Imma skip all the toxic masculinity and problematic, misdirected anger and just say that his core idea wasn't off base. 
  5. It is perfectly okay to choose NOT to be a the king's queen. And you do not have to change who you are. A man that loves and respects you will do so whether you choose to spend your life with him or not. Read that again.
  6. If I were a Jabari woman, I would not come out of the mountains EVER! This might seem to contradict what I just said, but up there... that was logic. This is pure lust down here. I am a well-rounded woman of a certain age that knows what she like! I mean.... did you SEE them!??! 
  7. Throwing your wig is a perfect distraction for an escape. Wigs get HOT! People need an escape plan. Throw the wig and run away. PROBLEMS SOLVED!
  8. I AM A WARRIOR! No, really. Buzzfeed said so, LOOK: "You got: Okoye...You are a force to be reckoned with. Your sense of loyalty is incredibly strong, which is why people love to have you around. You may not have tons of friends, but those select few you are friends with you are FIERCELY loyal to. You're a natural-born leader and people often look to you for guidance." DASS ME!
  9. I WILL gorilla grunt at people that I want to stop talking! First of all, stop saying they were barking. They were GORILLAS! I will now grunt at men when they get to mansplaining or talking that toxic masculinity bull!
  10. TRUST A BLACK WOMAN! If you didn't get that message, then maybe you need to watch the movie 3 times like I did. 
WAKANDA FOREVER!
I have NO idea who designed this, but here is the link to the shirt: 

Friday, February 9

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being Resonable

This is only partially political... but it will be brief.

I have said before I am pro-mind-your-business. In this current climate, people just want to be left alone. In particular, the people that are not harming anyone. But EVERY DAY, this administration seems to pick on another group minding their business and it's weighing on me.

I am a live and let live type of person. If what someone is doing isn't harming others, then do your thing. Those people include: the LGBTQAI community, women, and most of the immigrant community from Latinx countries. Those that actively oppose them and march or legislate against them, I cannot abide. Therefore, when you appear under one of my posts asking me to be reasonable about a group of people that become less and less reasonable in their actions every single day, I will say something.

Today, I respectfully asked someone not to defend those people on my page. They took a snarky approach to their response, a tone that this administration often takes with those being reasonable. To which, I informed them I was attempting to preserve our relationship. Why is the preservation my job?

I am tired of waking up each morning and feeling targeted by the highest office in the land. Each day there is a new message that I as a black woman am both garbage AND guardian; trash AND trendsetter; nothing and everything and I'm tired of it. I am tired of making a statement that is true for me and having someone debate me on my own experience. I am tired of being informed and silent while others are obtuse and loud. I am tired of being stifled and swagger-jacked.

I am tired and I just want people to be reasonable. If you can't be reasonable then, please be quiet because I've got some heavy lifting to do.