The Fix Is In: Why Vices Don’t Erase Pain

 

If there is one thing I am very familiar with, it is pain. For years, I have allowed my pain to suffocate me and turn me into a shell of who I have been called to be, all the while denying that there was anything special to be desired within me. While trying to find ways to cope with my pain, I encountered a number of people whom I relied on to help “heal my wounds” and make me “whole again.” I was searching for acceptance, and self-love in others (Which is a bit oxymoronic, no?) and my vice became relationships.
I hated myself. I hated my life, and I hated the fact that no matter what person I would cling to, or opened my heart to, I always found myself broken again. I began to meet other people who also struggled with pain, and their vices ranged from self-harm, drugs, promiscuity, money, alcohol, material things, you name it. I saw it all. But it wasn’t until I sought help a year ago where I began to see a change in my life. I began to fall in love with who I saw in the mirror, and quickly discovered that this phenomenal being I was staring at was here all along; She was just covered in pain, so I never saw her. Now, I see her all the time and I’m proud to be her.
But you know what changed? My mentality. Pain didn’t live within me ONLY; Pain is a form of energy, and it is easily transferred from person to person, and exist in practically everyone. The difference is how we deal with it. That’s when our vices take over. So let’s understand something here: Hurt people hurt others. Whether it’s intentional or unintentional is irrelevant. When you don’t allow God to properly heal your wounds and make you over, you are prone to make irrational (often impulsive) decisions. When you don’t take the time to actively get your mind, soul, & spirit in order, you run the risk of turning to a vice.
In the midst of “doing it your way” you leave behind a trail of broken hearts, unhealthy relationships, and friendships that can’t be mended with a mere apology. You can mask pain with drugs, sex, alcohol, relationship hopping, etc. as a temporary fix or “escape.” But after your high is over, you’ve climaxed, the hangover sets in, or the relationship ends, guess what?….Your pain still remains. And the wounds are much deeper. Now, you are left wondering “How did I get here? And how do I get out of this?”
It all starts with YOU. You have to make the conscious decision to take control of your life for the better.  Find the strength within yourself to patiently let God make you over. What does that even mean? It’s simple: Be still. Don’t feel as though you have to submit to the cattle call of the world. You don’t have to be at every party. You don’t have to give in to your pain. You can slow down, and sharpen your perspective. If you need to disappear for a minute, disappear. If you need time to get your thoughts in order, and prepare for the next step you want to take in life, you are entitled to that.
Take advantage of the time you have here on this Earth, because it is truly a gift. Don’t make it a curse by allowing your pain to consume you, and make a mockery of your existence. You MATTER. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, who hurt you, who you hurt or what you’ve done, pain does not have to be the driving force behind your life. Freedom begins within. Put an end to your never ending cycle of hurt, and move FORWARD.

The Heartbreak Anthology: Scorned, But…

I have lost my ability to do this anymore. The constant tremors, the excessive crying, the tossing and turning… So many sleepless nights lost to overthinking and insomnia. And to think that all of this unnecessary emotional distress could’ve been avoided had I just been smart, and ignored the cries of my heart. But yet again, I did not. And one must wonder “Why?” Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what made me believe that this time would be any different, other than the fact that the lover in me wanted to give him a chance. I didn’t want to be so hardened that I couldn’t even get to know people. So I took a chance, and realized something: There is no place in the world for this version of me.

I have always been “too much” or “not enough” and after awhile, that shit gets old. If I could drive a blade right through this stupid heart of mine, I would. If I could stop it from feeling anything ever again, I would. But I can’t. So the only thing left to do is disappear and pray that I come back better. Because all this heartbreak has done is steal my ability to trust, to love freely and be happy.

I deserve to be happy just like anyone else. What is the use of tears? I know none of them have shed not one HOT tear for me. So why have I cried so many for them? Why do I care about what they do, what they feel, or if they miss me? If anything, I should feel nothing for them at all… But I do. And that’s the problem: I am concerned about everyone else, but myself.

And if anyone has a complaint to offer about the changes that will occur (and they will, because that’s the only way I’m going to be able to survive in this body) that’s just too damn bad. My heart is now out of reach. No, it has not turned to stone. However, my heart is barely hanging on by a thread here, and it’s taken one too many punches, far too many times. Instead of subjecting my heart to anymore unnecessary trauma, I need to make a decision… “Do I stay here and succumb to the pain, or do I shut down and force my spirit to evolve?” There is nothing to gain from these tears. No love will be found here. No change can take place here. There’s only so much you can gain out of tear soaked pillows, and soft cries of your lover’s name that disappear into gentle whimpers throughout the night…

That weak, broken, eager to be loved, vulnerable, open, kind, always forgiving, always allowing everyone to suck up every fiber of my love and being, depressed “little girl” is DEAD. I want no parts of her ever again. The new me is nothing like her. Earth child, yes. Passionate, yes. But weak and empty? No. Searching for a savior in the arms of a man? No. Believing every word that is uttered from the lips of those I encounter? No. Leaving my heart open for the world to consume? NO. *And you can credit heartbreak and God for her death.

I wanted to believe in love. It was who I was. It was all that I was. But that’s just it.. People knew that. People saw that. People took advantage of that. To the point where the vessel carrying all that love within her died. She couldn’t take being sucked up for all she had, and being discarded once her “use” was of none to whom was using her energy for their own personal gain. She was tired.. I was tired. As far as loving another soul in a “relationship” sense?… Nope. Never again. It’s just not for me. I tried to give it another shot, and once again, my heart was taken for granted. I don’t believe relationships are horrible; I just don’t trust my own judgement anymore, so this metamorphosis is one that is not only needed, but absolutely necessary. I am not interested in giving away love that I don’t have in me to give. I rather fulfill my purpose. Do the task I was assigned by God, and then bounce from this Earth. Period.

I do not crave fame. I do not crave riches. I do not crave a family. I do not crave a husband. I do not crave nor desire a lover. But the one thing that I do crave, almost to the point of insanity, is self-discovery. The girl that oozed love unconditionally to the world, while holding up no guard or protection for her heart is in fact dead. She had to die, because she would never allow growth to take place within. She had to die so that true self love and self discovery could take place. She had to die, so that the Woman within her could emerge from the ashes of all that grief, all that sorrow, all that heartbreak, all that self pity and self doubt… And rise, to begin a new chapter in her life. That new chapter begins with healing. In the midst of healing, it is important to not allow bitterness to consume my spirit. Trust me, this is easy as hell to do. It’s so easy to harp on all the horrible things that someone did to you, and allow that resentment to grow. But even after building up all that hate inside, it wouldn’t change anything. I’m sorry, but I need new scenery. So something has to change… But how do I forget you?

Another Late Night ©

Another late night..
Another moment of silence for my thoughts that can’t seem to stay in line
They choose to roam into unknown territory,
Only to become prisoner once more
The captives deemed unfit for the cerebral,
Executed on the spot
3 am on the dot
I am left praying for relief like a lost soul in a cathedral…
A deeply rooted pain that has been suppressed with time
Tell me,
What are boundaries to a wild mind?
What are limitations to a conscience often left behind?..
What of my imagination that walks a very fine line
Between passionate creativity and an actively depressed mind?
-Thai The Poet
© 2016 Thai Nicole Poetry

Home ©

Here I am.

Standing in the middle of a road that leads to nowhere
Praying that somehow,
I will be able to find my way home
But…
Where is home?
They say home is where the heart is
But…
Mine don’t beat all that often.
In fact, it’s been cold for quite some time
And I’ve yet to encounter anything
To make me change my mind
Home?
What home?
Please tell me, where is this?
Because the home I thought I had doesn’t even exist
In fact,
I watched it burn
Burn into an elaborate concoction of nothingness
And when my home erupted in flames,
I didn’t even flinch to stop it…
I was too late.
I knew there was nothing I could do
The flames had grown to such immense proportions,
And I never ONCE fathomed losing you…
You.
My home.
My heart.
My love…
Promised we would never leave each other,
But when push came to shove
You fled from me.
Brick by brick,
We built our love from the ashes of our past
In hopes of creating something new
But in the midst of all this,
Our hopes were decimated to the point of no return
And instead of budding blossoms of favor,
Seeds of discontent and resentment grew…
Home?
What home?
Please tell me, Where. Is. THIS?
The walls of our once humble abode
Came crashing down with every kiss
Every touch
Every sweet embrace
Yearning for an answer
An explanation
An apology
Anything…
But it never came
& it probably never will.
Even though you cross my mind from time to time
I have learned to live without you
And I’m doing just fine.
Home… Is whatever I want it to be. *
– Thai The Poet

5 Things I Learned in 2015

Yes, I know we are already 6 days into the “New Year”, but I realized that there were some very hard lessons I had to learn in 2015 that will serve as a stepping stone for me in 2016.

As some of you may or may not know, I did a video entitled “10 Things I Learned in 2014” around this same time last year, and I was beyond humbled and shocked by the response I got back from people all over the world! I was battling so much at that time, so a lot of people had no idea that I was doing that video as a way of healing myself, while letting someone else out there know that they are not alone and it’s okay to make mistakes… As long as you learn from them.

In order for me to truly set this year apart from the others, I had to sit down and reflect on all the crucial ups and downs I experienced throughout the year. Let me be honest, and say that 2015 was my darkest year to DATE. I experienced and bore witness to so much pain, grief, loss, heartbreak, deception, disappointment and rage. But just as 2015 was a year of great trial and tribulation, it was also a year of growth, forgiveness, spiritual renewal and redemption. So without further ado, here are five very important lessons I learned in 2015:

1. Be a man/woman of your word.

Last year, my word was put to the test. A lot. In fact, it was put to the test so often, it became a part of me. If I gave my word to do something, I would force myself to stay true to it because I knew the consequences of not doing so were far too great for me to bear. As much as we would like to think that our word doesn’t matter, or we can “slide” without any repercussions, that is simply not the reality of the situation.

The truth is that our word is our bond, and if we can’t stay true to our word, then we cannot get upset when others don’t value it. For instance, if I always tell people that I’m going to be on time, but when the time comes I am always running late, I cannot get mad when others view me as unprepared, unreliable and never on time. To avoid those perceptions, I learned how to stand by my word. Plain and simple.

2. It’s okay to be selfish (sometimes…)

Shocker? Ehh, maybe. However, 2015 put a lot in perspective for me. Since my blog is all about being “bold” and “transparent“, I will be both at this moment and admit that I allowed myself to worry about the lives of everyone around me, and neglected to tend to my own. (It doesn’t help that I have a propensity to stress myself out). In doing this, I allowed my spiritual, emotional and mental wellness to suffer, which resulted in my health failing. After years of catering to everyone else’s needs, I decided to get selfish and do something for myself for once. I sought professional help (See my article “Depression: A Silent Killer” for my insight on my journey with the help I received), got my spiritual wellness in order and began to watch my life change for the better. Fast forward a year later, and I am happier than I have ever been! I am still a work in progress, but it is progress nonetheless. Like I said earlier, being selfish isn’t always a bad thing, so don’t make it out to be. Consider it a form of “personal development.”

3. Live for TODAY.

Cliche, I know. However, this is the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn to date, and it is a mantra I will have to remember for years to come. A lot of times, we as individuals put far too much stress on things we have zero control over. Coincidentally, the past and the future just so happen to fall into that realm. How often do we find ourselves ruminating on the past, thinking about all the decisions we’ve made, good or bad? How often do we experience anxiety, worry or stress when thinking about our futures and what they possibly hold? My guess would be “quite often.” Now ask yourself this: Do I focus on the present as much as I do the past and/or future? If you answered “No”, then congratulations! You and I are in the same boat!

Now before you get all bent out of shape, understand that I had to learn the hard lesson of “letting go.” I did not know how, and to make matters worse, I didn’t want to. But my past had a strong grip on my MIND, and as a result I was losing it. So I had to realize that the past no longer exists, and the only evidence we have of the past are our memories and the physical manifestations that came with it. Other than that, it holds NO bearings on the present. The future is not yet here, and just as quickly as it comes, it too passes away into our memories. Although both are correlated to our time here in the present, they hold no weight on the present. In other words, live for today.

Spending too much time worrying about the mistakes in your past cripple your present, and spending too much time worrying about what your future holds doesn’t allow you the liberty to APPRECIATE your present, and make it all that it should be: Care free. Once you eliminate the idea of living within the confines of time, you’ll be able to expand your mindset and begin to always make “today” your best day. Moral of the story: Enjoy the present, because in the end, it is all we have.

4. Pain is temporary.

No pain lasts forever. None whatsoever. Yes, it will take time for you to heal, and it may or may not take as long as others, but trust the process and allow yourself to properly grieve. What do I mean by “properly grieving?” Well, it can mean a great deal of things. It can mean crying every day until the tears no longer fall. It can mean not treating serious problems with temporary solutions. It can mean not searching for a “quick fix” or coping mechanism to somehow “mask” your pain. It can mean not acknowledging your pain at all. That is one of the greatest problems in our society: We view grieving and pain as weakness. Going through the motions is not weakness, however acting as though ignoring our pain is somehow “noble” and properly dealing with that pain isn’t, IS a form of weakness; Too weak to deal with our emotions effectively.

Some losses are greater than others. Some cuts are deeper than others. Some struggles are harder than others. But the beauty in all of it is the belief that one day, it will be alright. The belief that one day, the cut won’t hurt as much, your tears won’t flow as often as they first did and some days will be more bearable than before. Understand that no matter how heavy your pain may be, it will not last. If you couldn’t withstand such pain, you wouldn’t still be here. Yet, here you are. So rejoice in that and continue to hold on to the roller coaster we call “life” because God is bigger than it all. YOU are bigger than it all. So believe that, and press on.

And last, but certainly not least…

5. Be HAPPY!

No, not the forced kind. I’m talking about true happiness. The kind of happy where no matter what is going on in your life, you look forward to tomorrow. The kind of happy where you find fulfillment in at least one thing in your life, and embrace it. The kind of happy you want to share with others, where smiling is contagious and dreams don’t die.

In my adolescence, I was told that I should only strive to be “successful” and happiness would somehow follow. As I got older, I realized that if my “success” didn’t fulfill me, how could it bring me happiness? If anything, happiness would lead to success. But if I am already happy, then that happiness will drive me to do things that will essentially make me happier, thus finding success in the truest forms; Not in the superficial, but in the substantial.

No matter what path you choose in life, always choose the path that leads to happiness. You will find more fulfillment, and you might just live longer. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a young adult who is still learning. You’re still learning too, no matter your age. And guess what? That’s OKAY, because life is all one large lesson where we are forever students in the larger scheme of things. So continue to grow, continue to make mistakes, continue to learn from them and don’t ever be afraid of what tomorrow brings. Just live, and be happy. Be Bold Transparent. Until next time…

Rainfall.

 

My soul rejoices as the rain
crashes against the roof of my home
in rhythmic unification
Exciting my senses,
It’s as if I am being born again
As the tears of the clouds gently trace down my face…
Such beauty to behold in the grey fog,
blanketed across the sky
The rainfall is never ending
And it’s symphony is music to my ears
I watch in awe as this watery wonderland unfolds before me…
And imagine you are here with me
Hand extended,
Will you join me?

-Thai Nicole

 

Revolving Doors by Thai the Poet

Why do fools fall in love?

Why is love is so blinding?

Why do the blind fall in love with the blind,
Somehow believing that the other will help them see?
Why is it that for what seems like the hundredth time in my life,
I have found myself caught in a revolving door?
Where nothing is ever concrete or solid
And you’re always left asking for more?
You’re saying that you love me,
But how could you be so sure?
Certainty is a concept I sacrificed for meaningful conversations during my lonely nights
And no…
It’s not enough for me.
See, I keep thinking that if I love him a little harder,
Then maybe he’ll allow me to stay a little longer
In that hardened cavern of flesh you call a heart.
I keep thinking that if I just fight a little harder for his love,
Then maybe he will fight too
And we will work together to make our love anew
I keep thinking that if I just continue to sacrifice
and sacrifice
and SACRIFICE
That maybe just maybe we will make it out alright.
Keep believing that if I just surrender my all,
Then maybe I won’t have to endure that fall
From Cloud 9
Drowning away my grief and sorrow in the tallest glass of wine I can find
See,
I keep thinking that if I give him the very best of me and so much more,
Then maybe…
Just maybe…
He won’t be so quick to push me out of that revolving door!
WHAT!?
What do I have to do for you to love me?
What can I say to make you stay with me?
What more can I do for you to not disown me when the opportunity arises?
What more can I do to keep her out of your bed?
Why am I only good enough for conversations when you get lonely,
But not good enough for you to make me your one and only?
This is where women get themselves in trouble
And in sticky situations.
Thinking they can maintain a place in a man’s life with cum soaked sheets and empty negotiations.
Tell me, why are you negotiating your worth in the first place?
So you can be first place?!
To whom?!
A man who only regards you as a keepsake?
Baby girl, get real or get wrecked.
You can’t convince a man to give love he never had for you in the first place. 
So cut the tears and theatrics,
Cause the world won’t cease to understand
Ain’t no hero in your sheets,
And your hero ain’t your man.
He’s just a manifestation of a higher representation
Not some mystical god here to dick you down on your way to salvation
Please…
If only love was that easy.
If only mankind cherished their lovers as much as they do their selfish desires.
If only love stories didn’t come with doubts,
heart ache,
raging boners,
sweat induced fantasies,
vows that come with divorce papers, broken promises
and revolving doors
If only.
-Thai the Poet
© 2015 

I Love You (Poem) by ThaiNicole

I love you.
And I will always love you.
I know we have our differences
But even so
I love you.
And I will always love you.
You have imprinted on my spirit in a way that only Gods can
Didn’t even have to touch me to be felt
Your energy said enough
I don’t know how you did it
Or how our galaxies ever managed to cross paths
But regardless, I’m thankful because
I love you
And I will always love you
No man ever captivated the attention of my soul,
So they never got to experience my Queendom.
But there is something about this brotha before me that makes me want to break down all my walls and barriers
And build up a new Kingdom.
Maybe I’m senile for trusting you with my heart
Cause you just might be the one to tear it all apart
… Or keep it all in tact.
But now you’ve walked away
Promises of a future united now seem so untrue
A mere fantasy.
Where have you gone?
And why did you take your heart with you?
What can I say to make you stay?
Please, tell me what I can do.
Because the reality is that I love you…
But even that wasn’t enough to keep you near.
Crying and pleading for an extension of your heart
It’s as if you couldn’t see my tears.
But your mind is made,
And my heart is broken.
If only I could rewind time,
And hold on to all the precious words you had spoken
Ruminating on the moment my heart became yours
The moment I knew I loved you deeply.
But those precious memories are fighting to stay…
But you have long forgotten them,
And now you are on your way to a place my eyes will never see.
A place where you and I will never be…
I’m only trying to say… That I love you.
And I will always love you.
I can only pray that your heart will never depart from the art that was once US.
Until that day…
I Love You.

Depression: A Silent Killer

Let me start off by saying that this is probably the most emotionally terrifying thing I’ve ever had to do. I’m very much an open book, but there are certain things I’d rather not share with the world. Things I would take to the grave if I could. However… I no longer wish to hide, or suffer in silence knowing that there is someone out there who needs to hear this; Someone who is experiencing the very same pain I am and feels as though they are all alone. Guess what? You’re NOT. You and I are two out of millions of other people who struggle with the exact same thing. However, I and a few others are Bold and Transparent enough to admit it to the world so that people like you and I don’t have to walk around in shame. If I must be the one to share my dark secret in order to liberate others, so be it. Regardless, I can’t walk around with this weight on my shoulders any longer, and you shouldn’t have to either.

Titi Branch, Co-Founder of Miss Jessie's Hair Care, committed suicide at age 45

Titi Branch, Co-Founder of Miss Jessie’s, committed suicide at age 45

… I have been battling depression for almost 16 years. It started when I was 7 years old, and has been present in my life ever since. It’s been a vicious cycle with no true end in sight, and often leaves me feeling absolutely hopeless to say the least. Dealing with this mental obstacle while battling generalized anxiety disorder didn’t make things much better. In fact, it simply put my emotions into overdrive in the most unhealthy way. I became more withdrawn from every day activities. I would purposely isolate myself from my family and friends regularly (At times, I still do), and it wasn’t because they bothered me. It wasn’t because I couldn’t stand them. I simply felt as though they couldn’t stand me. That’s the problem with depression: You don’t want to be a burden to your family, friends or anyone else. You don’t want to appear weak. Broken. Needy. Vulnerable. Seeking pity. I didn’t want to be viewed as “The wounded bird who can’t get over herself.” I knew that’s how many would view me, and I loathed that notion. So I simply kept my condition to myself. I thought I could hold it in forever too, and I probably would have. However, keeping this secret to myself became increasingly hard to do.

Karyn Washington, Founder of For Brown Girls, committed suicide at the age of 22

Karyn Washington, Founder of For Brown Girls, committed suicide at the age of 22

I remember browsing the web one late night, and stumbled across an article that changed my life forever. A young woman by the name of Karyn Washington, who was known as the popular Founder of For Brown Girls, had taken her life at the age of 22. I was 21 at the time, and reading her story haunted me. I was battling the strongest period of depression I think I had ever dealt with in life, and seeing her story made me feel hopeless. I couldn’t help but read the comments left under the article, with so many people praising Karyn for her kind spirit and passion. What was disturbing was how many people believed her death was a “conspiracy” because “Black people don’t commit suicide.” The ignorance turned my stomach. But it was in that moment that I decided that I couldn’t be silent about my depression. It took some time, but now at age 22, I’m going to shed light on a topic that Karyn Washington didn’t get the chance to.

In my case, I knew those that surrounded me wouldn’t understand what I was dealing with mentally and emotionally, and opening up about my condition out of the blue would’ve been a detriment to myself if anything. Not to mention shameful. Being a young African American woman with a Christian background, there were just certain things I knew I couldn’t discuss with those around me. Depression and suicide was definitely one of them. Often times in our community, we view mental illness, depression, and suicide at large as taboo. It’s just not something that “Black people do”… This type of thinking is what keeps so many of us tight lipped about the pain that we experience every single day. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why so many Black men and women don’t seek professional help or treatment in the first place. We don’t want to be ridiculed and judged. So we suffer in silence, and by the time anyone realizes that something may be wrong, it’s too late. We’ve ended the battle, and claimed our own lives. And it’s a damn shame.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been told

 Black women don’t have time to be depressed. We don’t commit suicide. There’s too much at stake. You have to be strong and shake it off. Get over it” OR “You’re depressed because you aren’t trusting God enough. You don’t believe He exists. If you did, you wouldn’t be sad. There’s a spirit/demon that has taken over you. You have to read your Bible more. You have to pray more, cause you’re clearly not. Just give it to God….

I most certainly made every effort I could to do so. Hell, I’d do anything to not be depressed! Anything to not be the black sheep of society. It was as if I was rocking a scarlet letter “D” on my chest for “Depressed and Dumb.” If I could just “shake off” this depression… If I could just snap out of it and be happy; If I could just not deal with depression in the first place, TRUST ME. I would. Except for one thing: That’s not how depression works. On the contrary, it’s quite the opposite.

Lee Thompson Young, known for his role as

Lee Thompson Young, known for his role as “The Famous Jett Jackson” committed suicide at age 29 after a long struggle with depression.

Imagine being so down, you almost feel entirely disconnected from everyone and everything around you. Got it? Good. Now, imagine feeling that way every single day because of a traumatic experience, or for no apparent reason at all. Hopeless as all hell. Now, imagine trying to do everything in your power to be happy. Exercising, writing, going to church, meditating, working more hours, visiting your loved ones more often, laughing at things you don’t even find remotely funny, watching movies you love, anything to distract yourself! Imagine doing all those things, but there’s a catch: You can’t even find the strength to get out of bed. Not because you’re tired. Not because you’re lazy. Not because you need more sleep, but because you don’t have the energy to do so. There is nothing driving you to wake up. In fact, there’s a part of you deep down inside that wishes you didn’t wake up at all. You’re at a complete loss. You cry to God and beg Him to give you relief from the heaviness of it all. To rid you of the depression. You seek His voice, you wait for a response… But it never comes. At times, you don’t even think He hears you or even wants to hear you. And if the Almighty doesn’t hear you and doesn’t care for your problems… Who will? You’re better off fading to the black. One less burden to those around you, and the world at large. You’re desperate for peace, and after awhile, you just want the madness to stop. And… If that means the end of your life, so be it… THAT, my friends, is Depression. And that is why it is unlike any mere moment of grief and sadness. It is an on going battle in your mind that controls your thoughts, and affects the way you interact with the world around you. It isn’t a cry for pity; It’s a cry for help. A cry for peace.

Simone Battle, member of Pop group GRL, hung herself in the closet of her apartment at age 25.

Simone Battle, member of Pop group GRL, hung herself in the closet of her apartment at age 25.

I didn’t decide to seek help for my condition until earlier this year when I had finally decided that I had had enough. I was tired of trying to “treat myself” and failing miserably every time. I was tired of reaching out to others who didn’t understand what I was battling, and didn’t want to. I was tired of crying uncontrollably during the day, and as I went to sleep. I was tired of not being able to eat because my nerves were too bad. I was tired of thinking about ending my life, and most importantly… I was tired of trying to end it. So I did the one thing that so many people tried to discourage me from doing: I sought professional help. Yep. I don’t feel slightly bad about it either. In fact, I would do it again and again and again. That is how much therapy has helped me. Will therapy work for everyone who battles depression? Maybe not. There are multiple ways to treat depression, but it all starts with you. YOU have to make the decision to claim your life as your own, and not be a slave to your condition any longer. You have to decide that you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Most importantly, you have to find the will to LIVE. To take hold of depression, instead of depression taking hold of you. I know this is far easier said than done. But it can be done.

All those nights when I felt as though God couldn’t hear me, I was wrong. He did. I asked Him to cure me of depression. He didn’t snap His fingers and say “POOF! Be gone depression!” Instead, He gave me the strength and the courage I needed to deal with my depression head on. To get help. To recover. To help others like myself. Like you. Granted, I still battle depression and anxiety disorder, but I am now in a place where I am gaining control over my mental health instead of the other way around. It gets tough at times. REAL tough. But I know I am not alone, and you don’t have to be either.

Don Cornelius, former host of the hit show Soul Train, took his own life at the age of 75.

Don Cornelius, former host of the hit show Soul Train, took his own life at the age of 75.

The Bottom Line
I know we all face challenges in life, but to ignore the pain and suffering of others because of a lack of understanding and open mindedness is absurd and cold hearted. We can’t run away from things we don’t understand, or turn our backs on the ones that need our support the most. Acknowledging that I have a mental health issue doesn’t make me a  “weak Black woman.” I am NOT a robot. I have feelings and flaws just like everybody else, and being Black doesn’t make me exempt from experiencing them. There are far too many Black men and women taking their lives, and we truly aren’t doing enough to combat that. If anything, there needs to be a dialogue regarding mental health, anxiety disorders and suicide prevention in our communities. We need to do the research, and ask the questions that need to be asked in order to gain an understanding. We each have to do our part, and love on those that we are fortunate enough to have in our lives. Be kind to everyone you encounter. Exchange a warm smile with strangers. You never know how much your kindness can impact the heart and soul of someone else. Once we take that step forward as a community, I believe true healing can begin to take place.

“This condition may have stolen moments of joy
And caused many I loved to disown me…
But I am a creation of purpose,
Not my disorder.
Depression, you do not own me.”
-Thailr

May this piece find you in an open state of mind. Do not give up. You are way stronger than you think. You are worth it. You’re so valuable, it’s unbelievable how much purpose you have in this life. You will get through this. If you ever need someone to talk to, I am here. I am more than delighted to uplift you the best way I can. But in the mean time, be blessed. Be safe. Be Bold and Transparent.

Peace Unto You. ~

Dear Cheaters: Stay Faithful or Stay Single

WARNING: This post has the potential to upset a lot of people. If your feelings are easily hurt, or you find yourself convicted on the regular, this post may not be your cup of tea. But for those who wish to read more, continue scrolling.

..If you made it this far into my post, I’m going to assume you read the warning and have decided to proceed. Splendid. Now let’s dive right into it!

Dear Cheaters:
Your sneakiness turns my stomach. I can not for the life of me understand your ways, and couldn’t begin to wrap my head around your logic even if my life depended on it. I can’t stand the ways of a cheater for a myriad of reasons, one of which being that it takes far more effort to cheat than it does to be faithful. All the time and energy spent into juggling multiple women/men, lying, hiding, ducking and dodging people could be spent loving one individual. And as someone who has been cheated on a few times before, trust me, the pain cuts deeper than any blade on this Earth.

In all seriousness, what is the point of being in a relationship if you still wish to sleep around with others? Many cheaters confuse their “freedom” with their “loyalty”, when that’s far from the truth. Being loyal doesn’t make you a slave; Lying and cheating makes you a slave to paranoia. The desire to be free and mingle as you wish should never overpower the love so many cheaters claim to have for their spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend. Which leads me to my next point: If your lust is stronger than your love for your significant other, maybe they’re not as “significant” as you’d like to believe. Did that statement upset you? Good. It should, and hopefully it made you think about the one whose heart you are deceiving. If you love them the way you think you do, ask yourself: Do they deserve this? Would they ever do something like this to me? Do I want to be with them? Do I truly love them? Can I picture life without them? Make sure when you ask yourself these questions that you are being completely honest with yourself. And please, do not begin to make excuses for your affair(s) to diminish your guilt. NO! Have the decency to consider the heart and feelings of your lover (No, I’m not referring to your “side piece”). Don’t be selfish. If you know you are incapable of being loyal and loving your significant other the way they deserve to be loved, cherished and adored… Well, I think you and I already know the answer to that. But… Some things are worth fighting for.

IMG_8027

Some souls are so dynamic, they captivate our attention from they moment they say “Hello.” Some connections are so enchanting, you wonder how you could’ve ever lived a life before them. Many of you that are cheating have that connection, and you don’t ever want to let it go. In fact, to let someone that special go would send your world into a frenzy. But somewhere along the road, you took a detour. Work became hectic. Kids came into the picture. Your intimacy withered away. And one day, you crossed paths with somebody else. Somebody that gave you that feeling you hadn’t felt in so long. Or maybe, you just wanted attention. Whatever your reasoning, you drifted. And before you knew it… You started lying about where you were. Where you were going. Who you just got off the phone with. Working “overtime” or having to work late. Those “Good morning” texts didn’t come as often. You stopped calling your significant other in the middle of the day just to hear their voice. You stopped surprising them at work for lunch. You started “falling asleep” more often, and ignoring their texts. You simply became “too busy.” Not because you were too busy with life. You were simply too busy giving your love  away to someone else, and your significant other- the one you claim you love so much- became far less… Significant.

I know every relationship has its downfalls, and sometimes we lose our way in the midst of all the things we got going on. The butterflies that used to fill our stomachs when we’d think of each other seem to have disappeared. That special spark in their eyes now seems so dull… And when we sit and reminisce on how we used to be, we may find ourselves asking “What happened to us? Where did we lose our way? Where did the magic go, and how can we get the magic back?” By the time some of us start asking these questions, it is too late. One or both of you have drifted into the arms of another woman/man, and when your spouse or significant other discovers your infidelity, the blow can be so damaging to one’s heart, they may not recover. Oh, and the trust you had? Consider it non existent. And don’t blame the love of your life for your shortcomings and deception. No one forced you to cheat; YOU chose that life. So own up to your wrong without pointing fingers. You know, show some genuine remorse.

IMG_8025

Please, for the sake of lovers everywhere, FIGHT for your love. FIGHT for your happiness. FIGHT to be FAITHFUL. Because the worst thing you could ever do is damage the heart of someone who loves you beyond comprehension, for a mere moment of physical satisfaction. Don’t kid yourself into thinking the occasional “stepping out” is perfectly fine because it’s not, and if you believe that it is okay, you need to be single. Period. Committed relationships are not for you. PSA: There is NOTHING wrong with being single! At all. Some people simply don’t want to waste their time, so they stay single. Some people like the thrill of being with someone new more often than not, so they simply do not commit. I don’t knock their choices either. At least they possess enough sense to know their boundaries, and not test them by involving the hearts of others. Cheaters, you should do the same. This should go without saying, but don’t cheat your children either, because trust me, they can sense when something isn’t right between “mommy and daddy.” Please be cautious about all the hearts involved in your deceit. It stretches beyond you, and the damage is incomprehensible. You may have a chance to make it right. But don’t lie to pacify; Only promise to change if you know you are willing to do it. If not, don’t kid yourself.

SOLUTIONS

wedding-couple-kiss-

For most cases of infidelity, there is simply no turning back. The person whom you cheated on wants nothing to do with you, and doesn’t want to see you ever again. (Honestly, can you blame them?… No) BUT…To those of you seeking a way to make things right with the love of your life, I say this: EARN THEIR TRUST BACK. NEVER demand the trust of your lover because you apologized. You don’t deserve a medal for apologizing. Heck, you needed to do it regardless. And refrain from making statements like “You need to get over it.” This comes off harsh and unapologetic, and will get you nowhere. Forgiving does not mean forgetting. Do what you need to do to earn their trust back. Be understanding and sensitive to the needs and concerns of your lover. Work hard to get that trust back. Remember, you are starting anew. So switch it up! Second, don’t be discouraged if your lover is not receptive to your strides at first. They are still hurt from your deception, and it will take some time to get accustomed to. Third, start doing those sweet little things you used to do for them. Take them out on dates, go on walks together, have your private talks at night with each other. Make the time! Fourth, try exchanging compliments more often! Tell them how beautiful/handsome they are, and how blessed you are to have them in your life. Thank them for the things they do around the house, looking after the kids, providing for the family, etc. You’ll be shocked to see how much of a difference these simple adjustments can make. Fifth, maintain your INTIMACY. Again, this may definitely take awhile for your lover to come around to considering the circumstances, but once you gain their trust back, make it a point to cherish that intimacy. Intimacy doesn’t necessarily have to be physical either; It just has to caress the soul. The heart.  It can change the dynamics of your relationship. Sixth, PRAY together. Not everyone is a spiritual person, and I get that. However, being able to have that divine connection and private time on a spiritual level with one another can strengthen your bond! Lastly, and most importantly, be CONSISTENT. Don’t slack off and get comfortable. NO! Love takes effort, commitment, and loyalty. Show a genuine desire to please your lover. Reassure them, give them peace of mind and put their soul at ease. By doing a combination of these things,  you not only have the potential to repair your union, but the power to completely transform your relationship for the long haul.

I hope you enjoyed this post! God speed, and may you and the love of your life find your passion in another once more. And for the Love of God, PLEASE… Do NOT deceive your lover EVER again. Stay FAITHFUL, or Be Single.

Peace Unto You.