Fighting the Slippery Slope

When I woke up this morning, I felt nothing but a blizzard of emotions. My anxiety began rising, my fears latched onto me, and my self-doubt devoured me. I found myself slipping back into dark, destructive thoughts. My comforter enveloped me; I had no intention of leaving my bed. It was warm, safe. As I began to rationalize my unwillingness to get out of bed, there was an abrupt pause within my mind.

“You want to make these changes, yet you’re reverting into bad habits. Are you moving forward or are you content with being stagnant?”

That question sparked a flame within me, yet I remained doubtful. The overwhelming emotions continued; I wanted to sink beneath the covers. I was preparing to accept defeat when the flame suddenly ignited into an inferno. I knew I had to do something quickly before I changed my mind. I threw the comforter off myself and shot upright in bed, making sure I wouldn’t hide from the world.

Inhale in; exhale out.

I repeated the actions until I felt a sense of calm, then I took hold of my cards. With one hand holding the cards, the other rested atop them; I closed my eyes to pray, asking for guidance and clarity. Each draw of the cards sparked different feelings, but I wasn’t sure what to make of the spread as a whole.

 

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Credit: Logan Fisher

Inhale in; exhale out.

My focus remained on the spread as I attempted to decipher it, but I struggled for a moment. Confusion showered me. I couldn’t understand the messages being relayed to me until I realized what I was doing wrong. My need to control the situation was holding me back. As I read the cards, I was trying to figure it out on my own by analyzing each one for their literal meanings. It wasn’t until I released control of the situation that the messages became clear.

(Card #1) Relationships: Whether it’s with my partner, my family, or my friends, I need to take time to nurture those relationships. I also need to nurture my relationship with myself. I have to work on being more positive with my behavior and view myself in an honest light.

(Card #2) Balance: There’s somewhere in my life where I need to achieve balance. I need to focus on what needs more attention and realize what I have been focusing too much on. I have to learn to let go to achieve the abundance that balance can offer in my life.

(Card #3) Psychic Development: I need to continue developing my gifts, connecting to my higher self will provide the answers to my questions. It will additionally develop new wisdom not just for myself, but for others, too. I need to nurture the process and my gifts.

(Base Card; Back of the pile) Holistic Health: I need to release what no longer serves me and focus on the positive changes my mind, body, and spirit are calling me to do. I am the only person who can create healing in my life that I need.

After dissecting the message, I released a heavy breath of relief. Once again, my mind was clear. I felt at ease, knowing I’m on the right path and doing what needs to be done. It’s easy to overlook the significant progress I’ve made over this last year, but I thank God for the reminder and I thank myself for being open to listening.

Thank you for reading.

God Bless xo

From Muddled Thoughts to Certainty

Lately, my focus has been on healing old wounds that I’ve held onto the majority of my life, the fears that continue to smother me, the insecurities that persist on plaguing me and the self-love that I’ve been neglecting. I reached a point where I believed I was making significant progress, I was feeling better than I had in a while. Then everything began hitting me when I was filling out job applications and doing telephone interviews. I was heading down the familiar path to an idle life.

Going through the applications and landing interviews should be something to be grateful for, other people in the world pray to have the opportunities I’ve been receiving, but I want to do more in life than sitting at a desk working a 9 to 5 and settling for a paycheck just to get by.

I need more in my life, my soul needs more.

As I sat on my bed with my muddled thoughts, I began to breathe. Slow deep breaths in, slower breaths out. After repeating my concentrated breaths with closed my eyes, gave thanks and prayed. Once my prayers were completed I pulled out my cards and began to shuffle them, asking aloud what it was I needed to know, what I needed to acknowledge to move forward from this point in life, I asked for clarity, then I drew the cards.

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Credit: Jared Rice

My eyes carefully examined the spread before me. I held each card and analyzed it, making sure to study the design work and the feeling each one gave me. The cards pulled were lying on the bed in front of me, I began to interpret the meaning of the spread with the clarity I was seeking and it almost took my breath away. It turns out I had only scratched the surface on the things I had been focusing on.

To truly heal myself, my inner child, I had to dig deep and find a way to forgive myself, not just others. I had to forgive myself for not taking care of myself, for not trusting or loving myself. For allowing others to put me down and for putting myself down. For giving up on myself and my dreams with such ease. The situations I put myself in due to fear or self-loathing… I forgive myself; everything done has brought me here, at this moment, to these realizations.

The other cards revealed I needed to use my inner strength and my determination to achieve my purpose in life. It’s to help people. That may be the most cliche response, but it’s what I need to do. I feel it in my gut, in my bones, but most importantly my heart. It was a feeling of certainty that suddenly seized me and relief overwhelmed me. I’m not sure what I will be doing for work and what I am going to do for a “paycheck”, but I’m not worried about it anymore. I want to help people and I need to help people. If I can help others while I’m maneuvering these journey’s in my life, that’s more than what any check can provide me.

I still have a ways to go, but for the first time I feel confident in a time when there is so much uncertainty hovering. I’m on the right path without any doubts. Now, the real healing has begun.

Thank you for reading.

God Bless xo

Battle with Forgiveness

“Healing begins with forgiveness”.

Credit: Diona Leigh

For someone like myself who can hold onto a grudge like life depends on it, forgiving is not easy, which is why I laughed when I pulled the “Forgiveness” card. Through this journey of healing, I hadn’t anticipated this process to be as difficult as it has been. In my mind, I figured it’d be as simple as, “okay, stuff happened. It’s in the past and brought me here to my present day. I forgive it, now I can move on and be done with it”.

All the memories, including ones I’d forgotten (buried), came flooding to the forefront of my thoughts on an endless loop. The more my thoughts continued racing, the angrier I was becoming. It felt like I had a dirty bomb lodged in my chest with the crashing waves of emotions coursing through me. I wasn’t sure when I’d go off. Eventually, I allowed my rage to take control and began acting discourteously toward my boyfriend when all he wanted was to figure out what was wrong to help me. By the time I was semi-ready to discuss things, he had gotten in a mood, too.

“Negativity is contagious”.

For the first time that night, we went to bed without giving one another a kiss. We almost didn’t say goodnight, until I forced myself to say it, then he responded impassively with his back facing me. We went to bed angry, which was something I never wanted for us to do.

As I slept, I had a dream. Within the midst of the chaos, certain things were abundantly clear. I could continue pushing him, and others, away or I can set aside my fears, uncertainties, and pride to allow help into my life. When morning came, I kept to myself as I attempted to garner the courage to explain what was going on. After I made myself a cup of tea to help me relax I asked him if we could have a talk in our room. The moment we sat down and I began to express what was happening, all the feelings and the repetitive thoughts that overwhelmed me, the tears began to flow.

 

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Credit: Quotes Cover

Over an hour of divulging decade long secrets, life-long emotional pain, voicing the difficulties of how hard it is to forgive, not only others but myself as well, I felt broken yet whole at the same time. Getting everything off my chest did help, but it also helped to have him share some of his darker memories and secrets, too. There was no need to be afraid to open up because he understood me more than I realized, he even offered some great advice that I hadn’t received before. “It’s like you’re in a movie theater, but there’s only one seat. It’s just you. And next to you is a projector with all those painful memories, on repeat, and you just keep watching, which makes you upset and takes you to this darker place. It’s called Rumination.” (Down at the bottom I will add a link for tips on how you can stop ruminating).

After his explanation of rumination and how to combat it, it helped me realize that despite what I encountered in my past, what was done to me or what I had done to others, I needed to use those moments as learning opportunities and accept that I cannot change the past. I can address it, learn from it, and let go of what isn’t in my control.

What is in my control is the ability to forgive. It isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you have to sit with those unaddressed emotions to work through them, but holding onto animosity over the past is much harder to manage. I would rather let go of that pain and negativity to truly heal than allow myself to remain a prisoner to things that are out of my control.

 

*Click here for “8 Tips to Help Stop Ruminating”, if you need it.*

 

Reflecting on Gratitude

Sometimes we allow ourselves to become caught up in the day to day of our lives that we take for granted the simplest tasks. Eating, bathing, access to decent medical care… There are people in this world who do not have access to those things. Sitting back and thinking about it, letting it sink deeply into my thoughts just messes with me.

Credit: Faye Cornish

Someone out there in the world, having some sort of unimaginable grief in their life could be praying right now to have a life that is similar to mine. I’m over here shouting phrases like “fuck my life” or “fucking kill me now” over something ridiculous and someone could be experiencing immense suffering.

I’ll be the first to admit I forget the fact that my situations could be much worse. They were awful at one point yet most of those obstacles were defeated. I don’t have a perfect life, I’ve experienced more than enough pain and trauma and I’m not where I want to be in my life right now, but I should be grateful for the things I have and have access to.

I have my loving, chaotic family, great friends, an amazing boyfriend, a roof over my head, my beautiful Pitty, food to eat, clothes to wear and clean running water. That alone is plenty to be grateful for.

I hope this helps someone out there if they needed to read this as a reminder. I have to post it as a reminder for myself.

We’re not perfect, but acknowledgement–being aware–it’s a powerful thing.

Depression took charge

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Credit: Dmitry Schemelev

There were many aspects of my life that were in need of change in order to better myself and my future. I began to make said changes by eating healthier, going to therapy, exercising, and taking anti-depressants. Barely two months in and my depression charged back into my life with fury and resolve. It was as if it knew I was attempting to do things for the better and it was determined to keep me in the dark, where it thrives.
I stopped going to the gym, bad eating habits came back, I stopped communicating with my online therapist, my medication wasn’t being taken daily… I wanted to do nothing. In the back of my thoughts I would tell myself how unhealthy it was to revert back to my familiar habits, but my depression took charge once again. Things got so bad mentally that it was beginning to terrify me.
This week I hit that place (again) where I need to get this crap situated in my life. I’m in my late twenties and I need to look forward, even when I’m being dragged back in the waters of hopelessness. I have an appointment, face to face, with a therapist today that I met with about a year ago. I liked speaking with her, but she was too far away at the time and has since relocated. Here’s to hoping I can get back to where I was and stay on course because I’m really starting to feel like there’s no real way out of this dance with depression.

Reverting back does not prevail

Yesterday was a rough one for me. I hadn’t slept well the night prior and my mood was beyond foul. My depression had returned with a vengeance. On top of that, work was full of annoying, trivial issues that wouldn’t have gotten to me on a normal day but I was experiencing unnecessary anger. I tried to keep myself focused on positive thoughts to ease the irritation that continued to build.

As the day carried on I was craving a cigarette badly. I couldn’t stand that familiar feeling of hovering gloom; my skin felt like it was crawling. The desperation for relief was real and I was determined to get that cigarette to help calm me down.

I felt the same the rest of the day until I made my way home.

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Credit: Ehimetalor Unuabona

I made a mental note as I drove by the bodega near my house that I could buy a loosey, since I only wanted one cigarette versus a pack. The downside was the price went up from $.50 to $1, per loosey. I was genuinely contemplating it.

Once I made it home and thought it over, I told myself to wait before walking to the bodega. I had cooking and cleaning to do, so with my mind made up, I opted to do those things before heading out. I was determined to get everything done in order to leave. That was the deal I made with myself.

After completing my tasks I immediately jumped into my workouts.

By the time I finished, I made my honey lavender tea and felt a hell of a lot better. It was the best I felt that entire day.

After taking my shower, I settled in and got into bed. It was then that I realized I never went out to get my cigarette. Instead of reverting back to my old habits of smoking to escape, I went along with my new, healthier methods and they prevailed.

I need to remember for future matters that just because I was feeling desperate to ease the frustration doesn’t mean I have to throw myself back into old practices. I am moving forward with healthier approaches that are clearly proving to be helpful. Why subject myself to going backward? That’s pretty thoughtless.

Today I can say I am almost two weeks cigarette free.

Oh, and I didn’t waste a dollar!

 

Gratitude for the past

I have a lot of personal issues I am working through with a therapist due to an abundance of factors in my past. I try to tell myself to leave the negative portions of my

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Credit: Júnior Ferreira

past where it belongs, then thoughts of said moments make me slip into a downward spiral of depression and terrible choices. It wasn’t until recently that I made the decision

to put my foot down and not allow these things to control me. I had to remind myself whether the moments of my past were good or bad, it still led me to where I am in this moment and I should feel some gratitude for that.

Sure, I can feel a certain way about things and get help from my therapist on how to address my feelings in a healthier manner, but I can’t disregard those damaging moments altogether either. Instead of burying the bad, or hiding from it, I can use those moments as learning experiences for how to handle difficult situations in the future.

Why be a victim of the past when the future can be dominated?