Health + Wellness, My Life

21 Reasons to be Happy and Why I’m Not

I’ve been unhappy for quite sometime now, and that’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay all the time. What’s not okay is to continue on this path and not do anything to change your emotional direction. I won’t go into specifics of what I’m not happy about, but let’s discuss why I should be happy.

  1. My son is healthy, thriving and hitting every milestone.
  2. I’m almost at my one year mark of breastfeeding.
  3. My Budget is finally working for me.
  4. Debt is dwindling.
  5. My tax refund is going to help me out a lot.
  6. My meal planner is coming out tomorrow! Wooohooo!
  7. I’m finally coming out with a cookbook sometime in March.
  8. My students are progressing significantly in writing.
  9. I’m not living paycheck to paycheck.
  10. I went to the doctor on January 21, and all of my results came back negative and/or normal. I have an absolute clean bill of health.
  11. I can afford to pay all of my bills.
  12. For once in my life, I have no bills that are late and I have nothing in collections.
  13. My son and I wake up every morning: alive and kicking,
  14. I’m finally going to start therapy.
  15. I’ve been able to let go of a lot of toxic people, and I’ve been able to recognize my own toxicity.
  16. I’ve been consistently practicing yoga.
  17. Drinking a falling of water a day has become increasingly attainable.
  18. My skin is clear and my bowels are regular.
  19. I’ve been cooking more and eating out less.
  20. I still have money in the bank from last check.
  21. There’s food in my pantry and fridge.

The list could go on, but with all of these positive things, I’m still unhappy. I’m excited to be starting therapy soon to be able to better understand this emotional turmoil I’m experiencing.

Have you ever felt unhappy despite everything in your life going perfectly well and it’s all positive? How did you cope with it? Did you ever get to the root of your unhappiness?

Uncategorized

Confessions of a Single Mom #13: I’m Going to Therapy

Saturday was a tough day, a day that made me take the plunge and seek a therapist. On my way to visitation with Khai’s dad, I felt an anxiety attack coming on. I was able to make it through visitation (only lasted 45 minutes), and head home to practice yoga. The one time I really needed Malakhai to sleep so I could at least get 45 minutes in, he did. He slept two hours.

After yoga, I just sat in silence. It was deadly silent. I let my thoughts float away. I drank some ginger tea and ate some grapes, continuing to sit in silence. I felt renewed and my blood pressure started to come down. I felt like me again. It’s that very reason why my mental health needs to be taken care of, as well as my physical health.

I feel like they both go hand in hand. There’s so many ways that mental and physical health support your wellbeing. I’ve gotten back into yoga and I’m sticking with it this time, I have to. Yoga is the only exercise that makes me feel good and can ease whatever feelings I’m feeling that aren’t positive.

I went online through my insurance and found the perfect therapist that can cater to all of my mental health needs. She’s black, my age, has experience, has hours that fit my schedule, and I can afford her.

Have you been to a therapist? Did it help and if so, how? If you haven’t, how do you take care of your mental health?

Health + Wellness

Don’t Let the Smile Fool You

In the above pic, even though I’m smiling in all three, only one I’m actually happy in. That’s the one from 2018. The left two are from my freshman year in college. I was attending Stephen F. Austin State University. I was severely depressed. I was self medicating through alcohol and sex, tons and tons of sex with different men. I’m not ashamed of where I’ve been, because it has made me stronger and the person I am today.

During this time, I was trying to build a bond with my biological father who didn’t want to build a bond. I even went to this university to be closer to him. No such luck. Even though he lived 10 min away, I rarely saw him.

I only had one friend there and my roommates disliked me. I was alone. I begged my mom to let me transfer to the University of Houston over Christmas break, but she made me finish out the year. I don’t think she knew how desperate I was. Had she made me stay another year, I’d likely not be here writing this post.

I gained 60 lbs from indulging in food and alcohol. I didn’t workout and I stayed in my dorm room. I was experiencing life being on my own and not having any structure. It was devastating to say the least. You’d think I’d be glad to have gotten out of my parents house.

The following year I transferred to UH and things turned around. I had more structure, I was working out, lost the 60lbs I’d gained and I was with my friends from high school. I started therapy (and ended shortly after), I published my first book, was still having sex but not as much and not with nearly as many men.

Now, in 2019, I’m a completely different person. Have you ever suffered from depression? What caused it and how did you get through it, or are you still going through it?

Health + Wellness

Journaling Sessions

Since having Malakhai, it’s been quite hard to journal. I’m a lengthy journaler (I know that’s not a word) and it’s hard to not journal for 1-2 hours. Journaling is my form of therapy that works so well for me. It allows me to dump things out and ask myself questions and as o ask these questions, I tend to be able to answer them through other journaling sessions or ones that I’ve already had.

I had a journaling session one night that turned into 6 pages over an hour (thanks Malakhai for sleeping long enough for mommy to go to journal therapy) and when I was done, I felt relieve, like a weight had been lifted and whatever hold was on me, let go. If you don’t journal, I highly recommend it.

I feel like WOC don’t deal with their mental health as they should but it seems like more and more millennial WOC are seeking professional help. One of my fave podcasts is Therapy for Black Girls (which I think I’ve mentioned before). I tried therapy and it didn’t work but then again, the therapist could not relate to me and I could not relate to her nor was I comfortable.

I think now that Malakhai and I are ina routine, I can now guesstimate when a good time to journal will be. Typically I like to journal in the morning, but now I work around his naps. As long as I get an hour a day, I’m good.

Do you journal? How often and is it therapeutic?

All Black Everything, Health + Wellness

Black Mental Health

I was talking to a friend a couple days ago about something that he was going through and we got on the subject of Black people seeking professional help. What also brought this to my mind is the recent incidents with Kanye West. Now I am not saying that he does or doesn’t have mental issues, because I am not in his inner circle or close to him, but it made me wonder why is it that when Black people profess that they are going through something or that they need help, it is seen as being taboo or they are shunned for it?

Now I have written a post about this topic before, but I wanted to bring it back up. I feel it’s a serious, relevant topic especially given the increased police brutality our community has faced over the past few years. We are still dealing with the aftermath of slavery, which our  great-great grandparents, and so forth, have endured and have passed down these mental illnesses through generations.

Going to a psychiatrist is seen as a white thing and that only white people can have mental illnesses. My thing is with white privilege and white supremacy, there is nothing for them to have issues about. For hundreds of years they have oppressed, raped, mutilated, murdered, etc., a great many people of color. If anything, there should be more people of color seeking professional help. 

In our community, we always get the “I’ll pray for you” or “Stay strong” or “You are man/woman and you have to be strong for you family.” Excuse my language, but that’s bullshit. Praying for me and telling me to stay strong is not going to help me get through what I’m going through. Sometimes we need someone to just listen or be able to just cry to. Often times not being able to have those options, causes us to bottle things up and we lash out in very dangerous ways.

I’ve been to therapy and it was a very traumatic experience for me and I hadn’t gone back. This was about 7 years ago, which is how long I’ve been single. I’ve been thinking of going back and this time to a Black therapist. I went through a lot with my last relationship and I still haven’t recovered from it. When people go through terrible breakups, they carry that baggage and all that hurt with them throughout their relationships that follow.

There are many other things that affect our mental health such as rape, murder, racism, being passed over for a job, unequal pay and our diet. I think that our diet is one of the main factors when it comes to mental health in the Black community, we have been brainwashed and mentally conditioned to believe that the way that we eat is okay because our families have eaten that way for generations. Well truth be told, our grandparents, and those before them, did not have other options or the resources to educate themselves on why this food was killing them or making them ill. That goes back again to slavery. We have not healed from any of that.

As a community we have to seek the help that we need and stop thinking that it’s not okay to be going through something that you can’t handle on your own.