Remember to Breathe

Let’s get real for a moment.

I don’t believe that mental health is something that is discussed to the fullest degree. There are so many misconceptions and assumptions about depression, how to deal with it, who should and shouldn’t be faced with depression, etc.; the fact of the matter is, anyone can be riddled with depression, and the greater portion of the world suffers in complete silence.

I recently made the decision to speak with my doctor about my anxiety and depression. It was a very difficult thing to come to grips with, because I felt like I shouldn’t have been depressed. If you looked at my life, you would not see a reason for me to experience bouts of depression. I am employed, I have a home, a child and a spouse. I live a fairly average life and try hard to live positively. With someone with such a positive presentation, why would I wake up some mornings and not want to get out of bed? Why would I have moments where I break down in tears dealing with sadness? Why would I feel completely unmotivated and unmoved to do things I thoroughly enjoy? Yes; I’ve experienced all these things at one point or at the same time in my life. I don’t have a rhyme or reason for it, I just know that the feelings exist. Just the fact that I had no answer to these questions led me to seek out help about why and how I was feeling. I felt so many different emotions; ones that were surrounded by insecurity and uncertainty.

I initially didn’t want to share what I would call my most vulnerable moments to date, but I sincerely feel that there is someone in the world who is just as shy and apprehensive about admitting that there is something going on with their mental health. Someone who, like me, continues to put on a happy face for the world, when behind that mask I am fighting tears. I feel it is time to show the real me, and find peace in a community of people who also share the similarities as me.

So, here is the moment where i typically say, “well, it’s out now, so how the hell do I fix it?”

There are several things I do to attempt to effectively deal with depression, but I also know that works for me when I process my high and low moments will not always work for anyone else. I realized that the simplest advice i could offer someone, is to take time to focus on your breathing. I’ve noticed that if i take a moment and focus merely on my breathe, I find peace in knowing that as long as I’m able to breathe, I’m able to get through this low moment.

Anyone suffering with any type of mental health issue, I strongly urge that you find whatever you need to get through the day, that is healthy and positive. I know at times it is hard to find the positive throughout the day, but remember every breath you take is a step in the right direction. Find your level of peace, and live the best life you can.



The Beginning of a Powerful Movement in Black History

Black History Month is now among us, and as we use this month to commemorate powerful leaders and trailblazers amongst the African American race, I believe this should also be a time to pay tribute to those who unfortunately lost their lives to unjustified crimes, and the power and strength of a community to grow a movement that rose from those tragedies.

The month of February also signifies Trayvon Martin’s birth, and even sadly, his death. He would have celebrated his 24th birthday today; however, unfortunately, his life was snatched away from him only shortly after his 17th birthday. The tragedy of Trayvon’s death also marks the beginning of one of the most powerful movements for Black Americans. Black Lives Matter became a powerful and earth-shattering force, because of such utter disregard for such an innocent Black life taken from this world so soon, simply because his appearance was perceived to be a “threat” and “suspicious”.

On February 26, the world was rocked by the news that Trayvon, an unarmed 17-year old child, was shot and killed because one man single man called the police on him for being what he assumed to be suspicious. Even after George Zimmerman was told NOT to follow him, he disobeyed and felt that he had to be responsible for an unnecessary “consequence” for Trayvon. He was doing absolutely nothing wrong, and what is painful is to know that no one on this earth expects to be so innocently living life, just for it to be taken away from you in a second.

In an even more outrageous occurrence, Zimmerman was acquitted of charges of second degree murder, based on what the jury felt was self-defense. It was because of this ruling, Black Lives Matter was created by three amazing women; Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors. This organization was formed to take on a fight against institutionalized racism and police brutality against black people.

Sadly, since Trayvon’s death, there have been other tragic events to occur in the Black community, all riddled with the same questions, mainly beginning with “why?”

Why are people who are doing absolutely nothing to lose “threat or fear” being killed, and officers using that lie to justify their actions? Why is it that families of these victims constantly let down by a justice system that does not see blatant crimes being committed?

Unfortunately, Trayvon’s untimely passing was truly an unnecessary and jarring tragedy; however, it has created such a response from communities that have now shed a gleaming light on injustice everywhere, and brought the African American community together to take a stand against what would become a widespread and unfortunate epidemic on the Black community.

Even nearly 7 years later, the circumstances surrounding Trayvon’s murder and other murders since are still haunting and even give some pause to doing things that felt like normal innocent behavior in the past. Walking down your neighborhood street becomes a hesitant decision, wearing a hoodie may cause sideways glances, seeing a police officer behind you makes you wonder if they will notice the color of your skin as a reason to pull you over. It’s like living your life walking on eggshells; not knowing whether your presence alone is causing someone “fear for their life.” This is our reality, and on most days some of our biggest and most pressing fears; to be misjudged, falsely accused, and paying an unnecessary price for the color of our skin.

In this month, it is important to reflect on history; and in order to do that, we cannot forget the movement that was sparked and ignited due to this unfortunate situation.

Happy Birthday, Trayvon. We will continue to strive for the justice you deserved.


Just a Few Gems I Keep Close.

There is no shame in needing.

Sometimes, you have to cry for no reason to find peace.

Sometimes, life is hard. Life hurts. And it can suck. But it gets better with time.

Time truly does heal all things; let time consume your pain.

You have to dig deep for happiness; it’s ok to admit that you’re not always in a great mood.

Don’t entertain foolishness and don’t let negative energy in your space.

You. Are. Lit. Don’t forget that shit.

Queens never stop fighting.

Take 5 deep breaths and handle that shit.

Live in peace.

Be aggressive in your ambition.