Anxiety, Balance, and Relationships

People always says that when you meet the right person you will be able to navigate anything with them.  There is a lot of truth to that statement.  However in life you may not have that someone in your life, you may really be struggling, or the person in your life struggles with understanding you in the way you need them to understand.  This blog will be super personal but not meant to paint the people in my life as horrible individuals.  However it is a reality that I know many lke me experience.

Expectations vs. Reality

Expectations tell you that if your partner loved you they would know how you feel as your anxiety mounts.  Reality says no matter how much empathy they might have, they aren’t going to understand if they don’t go through it themselves.  This is why you in reality need someone who has a high level of empathy while you in return are going to have to do active self-care.

Expectations says that if you have a partner they will have a higher level of understanding to help see you through. Not always true. There are movements when you find that your partner misses the mark. What they see as ungrateful, anger, fear, is masked as anxiety. When you have anxiety often times you have a thousand questions, you don’t deal with unknowns or you may not be able to express yourself correctly. These feelings are complex.

Let me give you an example. In college freshman year I was learning myself. I came in the door strong willed and able to articulate myself extremely well. Over the course of those first years through fault of my own, I was made fun of, talked about, and had to withdraw from many social circles. On top of that I already lacked social skills even though I had great academic skills. I found myself not able to be bubbly and I felt alone. I started to figure out once around certain people what I should or shouldn’t say. As the years went on I became more and more reserved that once I graduated although I was happy to be away from some of the dismissive crowds I had managed to just tolerate; I greatly couldn’t navigate even in my small town outside of my set crew. This is when my anxiety took off.

In college my coping mechanism was to be loud or angry just so it would make more sense that if someone didn’t want to be around me I would already have an outlet. I started being only around my 4 friends for the most part but even with the them I felt I had lost a little respect.

I’m learning how to get back to myself. When I had my kids and moved to Philadelphia which made sense it still mentally stripped me of a lot of independence. I had already moved from my apartment to my parents home. The only reason that wasn’t a total bummer was because they wasn’t there and I was living in the home with my siblings. Being able to secure my own bag, right or wrong pay my bills, and live on my own terms always made me feel stronger. Moving to Philadelphia didn’t make me feel secure on my terms. Everyone told me how great it was to have my needs met by someone else but by then my episodic anxiety had already kicked in. I moved away from what I knew and only expressed it outside of fights with those around me. See how that anger as a coping mechanism was the band aid that didn’t help me in the long run? Once again I was around people who were smiling in my face, talking behind my back, but wanted to have a private relationship while publicly bashing me felt like college all over again.

It’s funny how that type of mess didn’t bother me in high school because I was too focused on my academics. Now my focus was on my kids but without outlets I was feeling alone. I’ve called alone stuck many years because I didn’t understand it. It wasn’t stuck it was feeling alone and honestly let’s call a spade a spade; I was. I didn’t understand my anxiety and by this point I hadn’t been seen by a counselor. I moved away from familiarity, and I couldn’t articulate what I was going through but that didn’t stop the talking. It didn’t stop my anxiety either.

Let’s flash back to now, anxiety is better managed but it doesn’t change how I am perceived. If I’m having a hard time and stay to myself I’m perceived in my mind and by the things or situations as ungrateful. If I express myself, I’m angry. Now this is why having anxiety is hard. That line between real and expectations slide into one other. Have I been told I’m ungrateful-at times yes. I have to be ūüíĮ. I’ve walked in on conversations that my husband has had about me and my anxiety with his friends that made me not want to be around the same friends he spoke ill about me too. Some to this day I speak but mentally side eye. Having anxiety has stripped me of the ability to have peace while I actively take ownership of it. I had to talk to my counselor many times and her advice I took but not all of it. As I work through that why not, I’ll reveal it at a later time.

When I blogged about going to counseling I was told by some how brave it was to speak openly but often times people I wouldn’t have told were told anyway. I grew up in a home that if others were going to speak about something about me; let me tell it in my own words. Again this isn’t to throw anyone under the bus. These are real situations that have happened and I have to work through those scars and how anxiety has robbed me at moments to control who I allow into my inner circle and who doesn’t. People make it seem like it’s not a big deal but if you’re left vulnerable, having someone not want to talk to you because you’re getting on their nerves or not wanting to go out because you feel like people are whispering about you because they know things that you would never tell them is debilitating.

I’ve missed cues on friendships because of my own anxiety. However because I was used to certain people and their antics I allowed disrespectful behavior too. How I was able to figure things out was to go to therapy to find out who was who and what people’s words, actions and behavior means to me. A lot of that is to speak truthfully about where I am. So when you see a personal blog and I’m writing it comes from a very real place.

How you perceive how people treat you can very much be clouded by anxiety. However you have to know yourself and trust your instinct. As much as I wanted to carry the anger of my husband’s friends the reality my issue was with him and not them. How I felt they were responding was based on my anxiety. And it was up to me to work through that.

I can’t say that I’ve conquered my anxiety. I have and do manage it better. I struggle with perception because when actions say someone would rather not be around me and I know I’m super dope individual, I know it has to be a few reasons, they really don’t like me or my anxiety has me perceiving the situation one way.

To those who suffer with anxiety that has caused break ups, lost of jobs, or feeling alone know that I understand. All I can offer is understanding as you work through it! Don’t give up on yourself! Don’t think you’re alone. Don’t think you aren’t worthy of finding love that will help you in getting towards your goal of controlling your anxiety. It will get better!!

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Weekly Recap: Friday February 15, 2019

Blog Life

What a busy week it has been.  2019 is showing of and showing out. I have been doing some crazy networking so look for some new collborations up the pike.  This week has been a theatre week.  Last Friday I attended the showing of Box Clever.  You can catch up on it if you missed it.  Wednesday I attended the Bridges of Madison County.  It’s been a great week of activities. In between these 2 events this week there has been a new blog everyday.

Don’t forget my time at Be Free II! We been out and about!!

I also have to shout out to my husband for gifting me the portable lighting that I needed as well as a new tripod.   I will release the information on the podcasts I will be doing a bi weekly features.

Also if you will be in the Lancaster area on February 23rd you can join me and the rest of TCP personalities, bloggers, and podcasters as we give and host people in the community to find community outreach projects.

Fit Life

Spring is around the corner.  With that in mind so will all my Spring races.  Shout out to my friends who have been pushing me in our step competition. I have been over hitting my daily step goal. Getting my breathing and stamina is important. I have been working out 4 days of work out so far this week. I plan to get at least one more day in.

Also I tried some of these amazing healthy snacks from Rhythm Super Foods! I mean if you have to eat your veggies you might as well eat them in a chip right?!

Kid Life

These kids have enjoyed their delays and their one day off this week. I remember these great days growing up. The focus this week is on my youngest who will be 5! She’s super excited to do whatever (in reason) on her special day. She also reminds me that she will no longer be a baby! I always tell her I’m aware. She’s such an amazing child. She’s definitely a firecracker. I love watching her grow and speak up for herself!

Personal Life

This week has been interesting. I’ve been trying to manage myself and my emotions. I definitely feel like I am in control. Also the more my calendar fills up I have been attempting to stay balanced. It’s a lot to manage the kids, the house, the blog, work, workout and drink my water, but I’m getting it done!!

I hope you all who celebrate had a great Valentine’s Day! I tell people all the time if Valentine’s Day is everyday there’s no reason not to be able to add this day in the mix! If you weren’t celebrated as you wanted, celebrate yourself!! Self love is important. It won’t stop you from feeling a void, but it can help ease it. Being whole includes emotional healing as well.

Philadelphia Theatre Company Presents Bridges of Madison County

I had a wonderful time at the opening night of Bridges of Madison County.  This musical was not only engaging, it also hit on some questions in life.  The story involves an Italian woman named Francesca Johnson who married an American solider to flee the war in Italy. The story also surrounds Francesca family as they head off to the state fair without her. Who she encounters while they were gone, sets the many questions of what would you do.

What would you do if you found yourself in the company of a handsome stranger who woos you? In crossing the line you are left with the questions in your heart and mind of staying with the man you have built a family but not necessarily having the fire in your soul for or the man who with whom you just met who makes you feel alive?  How deep is your loyalty?  I attended this musical with my husband and it made for one great date night and an interesting conversation for the journey home. We talk in our society of men cheating but this woman clearly cheated on her husband and fell hard in love. Could she in the 1960’s just leave?  Could you in an unhappy relationship leave your mate now?  I think about all of the social and economic structure of that time and think about how staying definitely was more of a stable decision. To leave stability and your children is not only now but then unheard of. So of course my husband and I are talking about how life is different for women in a lot of ways with advancement in careers, etc but there are still women who are housewives who feel stuck in their current state. Now I am not condoning cheating in any way. Matter of fact, although stuck Francesca was actually quite wrong to cross the line with the photographer even if I understand it!

Did I mention that it’s a musical? I love musicals. Bridges of Madison County kept my attention and the front seats were probably the best part. I would highly suggest you getting to this show, opting for VIP seats if you can and by the way you can because there are many options to make it affordable.  This musical has romance, its funny, the music is A1, and it has drama and will have you talking well after you have left. If that isn’t the making of a good time?  I am enclosing the link for deals, like reduced tickets 3 hours before show time, ticket discounts if you are a SNAP recipient, group tickets, etc.  Tickets for all budgets and the ability to have one star-studded night.  So affordability for all is important and trust me when I say you are going to want to get out and not miss this masterpiece.

Thank you to the Philadelphia Theatre for a magical night. Thank you to the amazing cast you were above and beyond talented. Each of you have such a great gift. Thank you to Aversa PR for the invite.  Thank you to everyone who were involved in the reception afterwards for the reception. The brisket was divine! I felt like a celebrity with all of the star treatment.

Everyone get out and support Bridges of Madison County.  The show is located at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 215 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19107; 215-985-1400.  The show runs from February 8 to March 3, 2019!

 

Valentine’s Day Message

I would like to say Happy Valentine’ Day to all who celebrate this holiday. Sending you love and peace today and everyday.

white and pink floral freestanding letter decor

Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com

To my husband, I love you! Another year of love to push through this life with! To want to still wake up and pray with you and push you to being your best self as you do the same! To wake up feeling safe in body and mind-I don’t take that for granted. To know you are being honorable in a world of Futures…‚Ķ‚Ķ.thank you!

To my children, mommy absolutely adores you! Y’all turn up to that candy so y’all can turn down at bedtime so mommy and daddy can drink our wine and fall asleep on the couch!

To my friends and family, have a loving day!  Some of my best points in waking up to text messages of encouragement from dope friends who are out here trying to be whole and happy is the best!

To my readers, I send you abundant love!

To my single readers and friends-I know today is hard.¬†You question your when.¬† It hurts and its okay to say it hurts. People will tell you how you should feel and how to process today. I say process it in a healthy way.¬† Process it in your way! I get it. I used to wake up and decorate my apartment and watch all of the girlie romantic comedies, go out on dates or hang with my family or friends. Night was hard especially if you feel or don’t have anyone to hang with.¬† It will pass but it doesn’t change the depth of feeling you feel today! I understand!¬† Sending you an extra genuine dose of support!

Valentine’s Day Snub

This day can be so super dramatic. Between the movies that make it bigger than life. So often, we even I get caught up in this day. What I think is important is to be honest about where you are and your expectations.

When my husband and I dated in college he really outdid himself. Without even having to say anything he really did a good job. Before him I really was blessed to date and whomever I dated just naturally got it right. I love holidays of all kinds. I love the art of celebrating. It breaks up life. It gives you small victories to look forward to. So for me it’s another celebration. It’s not just above saying well as a married couple he should show love so this one day doesn’t matter. I post holidays of all kinds and everyday I get excited to find a way to celebrate one of those holidays so Valentine’s Day is one as well.

I used to not be so vocal in my love for the day because everyone would make these claims of how commercial they were. As a preachers kid holidays depending on which ones you celebrated were deemed wrong. As I came into my own, I realized how happy celebrations made me feel. So I don’t allow others’ feelings to fall on me. I won’t allow people to say that a commercial holiday doesn’t matter. I’ve heard it all from what if your husband wasn’t able to make the day special?! How is that possible when he and I can make heart shaped cookies and watch a movie feel special?! End of day I enjoy his presence and I enjoy celebrating these types of holidays with him. It’s a perk of having him in my life.

So there’s never a Valentine’s Day snub for me. Although I understand that some don’t feel the same as I do or as blessed as me in regards of having someone to share the day, I don’t want to snub my feelings to appease others. I can have empathy without dissing my own love of the day!

I respect everyone no matter where they are. There were many years that I spent with family, by myself or just with my girlfriends. Some years in my singleness I felt fine and other times I was heartbroken. Admit where you are. Own it! But be okay if you like me love these love holidays!!!!!

Monday Inspiration: Be Free Stories II

I had the opportunity to attend yesterday the Be Free Event yesterday! Although I could never nor would I ever attempt to retell their stories I can tell you how inspired I left!

Brian Terada started Be Free as he began the journey to come out to his family and friends. Being able to create a safe place jump started this mission of hope, love and acceptance. It has opened the doors for others to “free” themselves in many ways. Opening up others to tell their stories of freedom in their way.

I had the elite privilege to stumble upon Be Free by way of Saxbys. I’ve found such a warm welcoming from Saxbys a few months ago and since then anytime I get the opportunity to relax and enjoy their amazing coffee shop I do. Saxbys has always allowed me a conducive working space to blog and enjoy my me time. I would encourage you to give them a try you won’t be disappointed!

I saw the link for Be Free first in Saxbys Instagram story and scrolled past. I believe in timing and was drawn to relook at the story again. I saw and read the information and decided to RSVP! I still didn’t have an idea of what to expect! I purposely didn’t log onto Be Free’s website because I wanted to walk in and get my own sense of experience. Let me tell you because I believe in timing and divine calling, everything tried to deter me. However surpassing my own anxiety that attempted to rise as each hurdle came along, I knew I had to be there!

Once inside I was greeted by warm smiles and my anxiety was also calmed by Saxbys cold brew! Ryan Lewis my Soul Cycle instructor, gave me the look of relief and I knew whatever hurdles I had gone through to get there was worth it. Y’all remember the last time I blogged about Ryan. As I sat and listened to the stories of strangers I had never met, one reoccurring theme hit me. No matter what they had been through what made them “free” was their ability to not quit even when quitting was all they had. Each person including me was not at that moment by chance. We all needed to hear each other’s story. Stories of amazing strength from life. Stories of pressing through pain and heartache, everyone wants to be free to live, to love, to be whole!

I encouraged Brian not to stop the Be Free Stories. This safe space is necessary. This may be the only therapy, the only space of love, the only space of encouragement that someone receives. There are so many who need Be Free’s movement! If you could be in a space of complete freedom, love and knew you wouldn’t be judged, would you go to that space?! If the answer is yes, Be Free is that space!

I am grateful for the moment to be present in watching, listening, and participating in other people’s breakthrough and triumphant. Shout out to Lululemon for sponsoring this amazing event along with Saxbys.

To get more information on how you can participate, donate, and support to Be Free, Be Free Stories

Ask Toi: How much is too much for a first Valentine’s Day?

I would say rule of thumb spend what’s in your budget.¬† Do not over spend for any holiday.¬† Also since it’s your first one I would focus on something that you heard your partner talk about, likes, etc. So if you heard they like to run, maybe a gift card to their favorite running gear store. I can’t say what I would spend, I know my average for a first time Valentine’s day would be 75-100.¬† It’s a lot more money involved when spending for a man in my opinion.¬† So that is where I would keep it. I¬†have been known to spend on my husband when we were in college dating. But again, clothes like a sweater of high quality cost more back in the day and that was before I was doing online shopping etc. Do not feel obligated to purchase anything that you will regret. I always asked myself while shopping for a new love interest, if we broke up on February 15th how would I feel about the purchases?¬† If you answer is clear your spending amounts will be clear too.