“You Don’t Look Sick” – Why You Should Stop Saying This

A few weeks ago, I went to the doctor to discuss an extension on medical leave that I had. I had a conversation with him about what I was experiencing in relation to my depression and anxiety. During the conversation, he made a statement to me that sort of bothered me. He said “you don’t look like the typical person to have anxiety. You look pretty put together to me.”

My response, which was a bit laced with sarcasm and irritation, was, “well, I’ve learned to live with it; and that’s not been the best solution to the problem.”

Now, I understand that this was 1. Not a psychiatrist or psychologist, and he probably didn’t mean it in a way that would have been condescending to me, and 2. He hasn’t been the one seeing me for the past five months, so he’s gauging his interaction of me off one visit; however, it did bother just a bit, because this is a statement heard all the time in a community of people suffering with mental illness, or an illness that doesn’t mean you “look sick” all the time.

I rarely did speak about the anxiety and depression I have gone through for this very reason. Because it was something that was not apparent, or something that was physical in nature, I continued to minimize it; even saying to myself, “well you’re not really sick, you’re just having a bad day.” I allowed myself to do that, all while putting myself through mental and emotional hell for not addressing it properly. Today, that is something I’m not very proud of, and wished I would have addressed these things sooner. I would possibly be in a better place on how to address it. For a long time, I refused to talk about what bothered me; most of the time I could not even develop a “valid” reason for my emotional mood swings or anxiety. Before I could allow anyone else in the help support me, I first had to choose myself and begin to find the healing in myself to accept that what I was going through was real, it was valid and it does require support, encouragement and daily motivation to get past.

I don’t really hold any ill will towards my doctor, but I honestly do wish that people would understand that anxiety and depression are very silent mental illnesses. A lot of people internalize their pain and symptoms. If they are like me, then they continue to move through life daily, doing what they have to do, sacrificing everything they have for others before helping themselves. I’ve always been like this, and only recently did I gain enough courage to admit to myself that I’m not ok sometimes, and that is something I shouldn’t be ashamed of. I’m proud to say that I have spoken up more about my anxiety, I’ve let friends and family know when I’m not having a good day emotionally, and I’ve received respect and understanding of that.

I know there are many people in this world who may suffer; some reading this post, and others who may know someone who suffers in silence. All I ask is that for those who know someone, please support them. Don’t push them too hard, but just be there for them. They need support more than anything because these illnesses are not easy to accept, nor are they easy to talk about.

Also, please, don’t tell someone who may be suffering that they don’t look like what your traditional ill person would appear to be. Just because an illness isn’t blatantly present, doesn’t make it any less real and serious.

Taking it one day at a time. 🖤

🖤🖤

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The Power in a Silent Presence

Sometimes, silence is truly golden. It is a lost art form in some; however, what many don’t realize is sometimes silence is all someone needs to obtain peace.

There are times when words cannot be expressed. Sometimes it’s just not the right time, or the right words do no form.

Sometimes, you just need presence. No judgement, no advice, not even deep-level understanding. Sometimes you just need silent presence.

Silent presence to someone who needs it most still shows that you care. It shows that even if you’re not sure of the right words, you’re willing to be there in case you’re needed.

And being needed could mean lending your shoulder to cry on, your hand to hold, even your ear to listen, your eyes to read something someone couldn’t verbalize. Sometimes, you’re just needed, and it’s just as important as anything else.

Just wanted to send this out to anyone who needs a presence, and to anyone who feels lost in how to help a friend in need; sometimes we just need you to be there. It’s a lot simpler than you think 🙂.

🖤

Dealing with Downs

Most times, I enjoy writing things that people could relate to.  I’m not like other bloggers; I don’t have a “niche” per se, I don’t have a specific thing that I want to talk about all the time on my blog.  But, if you could ball my creative side up and put it into a category, I would call it “Life.”  That’s what I enjoy writing about; sometimes my innermost thoughts, sometimes the things that you are thinking but just won’t say, but most importantly I like to write about the things that I feel the person to my left or right of me is going through also, but are too afraid to bring it to light.  I believe that everyone sometimes has similar problems or trials in life, and we all just need someone to sit down and talk to them about it.

So, with that being said, here is mine.  As I’m sure the greater 475+ of you have noticed, I haven’t written much in a period of about 2-3 months.  I haven’t been on my blog, I haven’t promoted anything, and honestly I haven’t even finished the projects that I intent to publish very soon.  Mentally, I haven’t been in the headspace to create anything that I feel people would care about, but I felt like if nothing more, someone could relate to this very post.  Emotionally, I’ve been on a roller coaster.  It’s something that I don’t want to put so much effort into disclosing, but just know that there are times when you can be at your lowest, and in a split second be on a high; eventually, you ride that high all the way back down to a low point, and that could last for a long while.  I feel just like that, like I’ve been riding an emotional wave between high and low for a while now.  Some days I’ll sit down and crank out 10,000 words for my book or have really good content to write for my blog, and another day I may not have the motivation to do anything and that could last for days.

Sometimes, I am at a complete loss on how to move past those down moments.  It’s really not a fun place to be in. I know there may be several people in the world, creatives especially, that may go through these moments of lows when it comes to doing what you’re passionate about. First and foremost, I have to say keep pushing. No low moment lasts forever, and with proper self-care and self-love, you can pull yourself out. Some of the things I enjoy doing are listening to music, meditating, working out or just basically having alone time and thinking about positive things. I re-read affirmations I have written and journal constantly to try and vent my feelings, but also bring myself out of said funk. I urge anyone going through something similar to find what hobbies and activities put you in your happy place, and build off of those.

For me, I am currently in “pull yourself out of it” mode, and with that will come more writing, more content and overall more happiness.

Stay with me, I’ll be just fine. 🖤

Took a Small Break, but I’ll be Back Soon

So, if anyone has been paying attention, the blog has definitely been a little DRY lately :(.  I sort of hit a rut and a rough patch for the last couple of weeks in regards to blogging.  Between work, editing my next book, working on some poetry and life; unfortunately, my blog took a smooth back burner position for a while.

I wouldn’t say this was a bad thing; it gave me time to think about new posts, re-evaluate my blog, and I’m even taking some time to look into how to take my passion and love for blogging and expand it farther than I’ve ever dreamed!  I was doing really good, but sometimes, a small break is good for your creativity.

I just wanted to make a small post and let you all know that I hope I haven’t lost any of you, and that I will be taking some time to prep some more posts and come out with some new content very soon!! 🙂

Do You Have Control?

I was recently involved in a situation, where I allowed my emotions to get the best of my better judgement. By allowing that to happen, I made decisions very haphazardly, without truly taking the time to process how i felt, digest it and find a more reasonable response for them. I find that many people do this everyday; they allow their emotions to take full control of situations, and sometimes that is not the best thing.

Do you ever notice yourself losing control of your human emotion? Whenever something happens that triggers something within you, how do you handle it? Do you feel you have total control of your emotional response?

When you take the time to really think about it, how much control do we have over our emotions? Are your emotions based on human control or are they subconsciously inhabited and arise without the ability to control or mitigate them?

I battled with this questions for some time, but after going through an experience where i has the opportunity to allow my emotions to take the reigns, I realized that as adults we sometimes have to learn the art of controlling those knee-jerk emotions, no matter how serious the situation may be. Controlling your emotions allows you to be mindful of decisions, as they can directly effect your relationship with people. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that in my humble opinion I believe that emotions can be brought on as a reactionary response to certain actions; however, we as adults have the maturity and capability to control and manage our emotional behavior. Otherwise, the world would be in a great deal of trouble.

There are so many things that happen in a day. I go through a number of experiences, both good and bad; and if I do not keep a handle on my emotions, things can go haywire. Imagine if you allowed your emotions and feelings to control every decision you made or every reaction to a specific action; how much of your life may you begin to regret based on those decisions you made while you were “in your feelings”? How many times would you have to go back and correct or apologize for your actions or words, during a moment when emotions took over as opposed to a calming, more simpler approach to an issue?

When we allow ourselves the opportunity to be in full control of our emotions, we open up the opportunity to make sound and mindful decisions in regards to our everyday life circumstances. Don’t allow negative of out of control emotions bring you outside of your character; we must always handle situations with control and a positive attitude in order to be great in life.

Dear Love,

This is your month to shine.

You deserve to be present in all things you do this month. You deserve to feel good and be admired this month.

Everyone equates this month with love and happiness, so soak that in; embrace it. Put yourself first, then spread how you feel to others. Throw yourself into your passion, give it 110% of your efforts. Push yourself to higher limits this month, give yourself to someone who needs your support. Heal hearts and brighten souls.

This month, don’t allow anyone to tell you what you do and don’t deserve and what is best for you. Live your life YOUR way, and whoever doesn’t agree can make the decision to be apart of your life or not. Stand tall in your feelings and hold value to them. Do not allow anyone to tell you that how you feel, what you do or how you do it is not the “right” way.

You’ve already started the month off with the same drive and determination as last month, so do not lose that intensity. Do not lose the spark to make things happen and see good things happen to good people. Make February an intentional month of love and prosperity, and stay hopeful that no matter what you’re going through, love will get you through anything.

I’m Rooting for Everybody Black, Too.

Issa Rae inadvertently made her own catch phrase at the 2017 Emmy’s when she let the world know she was “rooting for everybody Black.”  Her confidence and seriousness in her answer was nothing more than amazing, and made me love her that much more.  The first time I heard it, I stood up and said “Yes sis, I’m rooting for everybody Black, too.”
This statement hit the inerwebs a few months ago; however, is still very relevant to Black culture today, because far too often, the African American community does not root for each other as we all should.  I will admit when I first heard the quote, I laughed because I knew right then that Issa was my spirit animal.  Secondly, I knew that I agreed with her wholeheartedly because far too often, white people will not and cannot sometimes root for us.
I thought about some of the things I see on the Internet, where we are quick to criticize others within our own culture or community for something they have done.  We are not willing to be our own cheerleaders, and in turn, others will not cheer for our accomplishments either.
When we receive recognition, we need to give as much recognition as possible.  We all have our own goals and accomplishments, and we crush our own accolades and are out here becoming successful entrepreneurs and business-minded citizens; however, are we truly rooting for each other like we say we are?  Are we in each other’s cheering section, making sure we have that support in our corner like we should?  Do we need to be more proactive about seeing more stories of success, instead of immature and disrespectful behavior?  I believe we do.  I believe that for every good story I read about involving a person of color, there are three more out there trying to discredit them; and all of those stories are trying to break their way through the Internet.
Now, I don’t want to get misunderstood in believing that I am in full support of any and every situation that involves a person of color, strictly because of their skin tone; I am not.  I believe one things that non-POC’s fail to understand when someone says something like this, is that just because we feel this way, want to support someone of color or stand behind something we are passionate about in our community; it does not mean that we are supporting ignorant behavior as well.  Just because I may “root for everybody Black” does not mean I condone foolish behavior.  If I see something in the news or on a blog that is just downright disrespectful, inaccurate or doesn’t align with my beliefs, then I will NOT support it.  I know when and when not to root for POC’s, and every situation does not call for that.  If someone is not on that level, then they simply won’t get my support and need to get themselves together if they want the Black community to cape for them.
I feel that in order for us to become more united and more successful as a culture, we have to continue to root for every Black person of every person of color doing something positive or beneficial for this world.  There are way too many opportunities where we fail to support one another, for whatever reason we may find, and it has to start from within.  If we don’t begin to support ourselves, we can never expect anyone else to root for us either.