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 💯. 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.

Sunday Message: Controlling Your Triggers

We all have triggers.  Triggers are the things that we see, experience, or are around us that pushes an emotional response.  We all have to find a way to control them, handle them and most importantly address them.

Some people deal with them in healthy ways such as counseling, talking to a trusted associate or friend or acknowledge them.  The unhealthy way of dealing with triggers is hoping they will simply go away, drugs, sex, relationships, etc. I am aware of my triggers because I have had more times of not handling them right that I had no choice but address them.  I was tired of arguing, yelling, ready to fight, and being about drama to deflect what I hadn’t acknowledged.  It was too much to keep things going!  My tipping point came when I got into it with family and it spilled over into social media. I knew at that moment that I had to disengage, take a break, and handle the root of the issue. So instead of worrying who was wrong, I just dug deep into getting my life aligned. Now the issues that came up didn’t  disappear but with the help of my counselor I worked through!  Funny part I was in counseling and she told me that the situation was going to happen.  It was almost verbatim how she described it.  It’s funny now but then I was one split second from bail.

I have since seen a few family members since the whole breakdown and nothing on he inside of me moves. I hold no malice.  However there are other triggers that I still work through quite often.  For me they come out when I handle my children. My kids are good overall but they will every now and again make me tap into something and I find I have to work through some things. Parenthood in my opinion is sharpening me to be a better version of myself.  I owe it to my children to be the parent that they need and not the parent that is in constant fight or flight so that is why I have been in and out of therapy since I had my oldest and she will be 10 this year. I  have no embarrassment at all with saying that in order to control how I walk in this world is to have help. I want to spend my days being whole and not a whole mess.

How do you know that you are being triggered? Listen to yourself.  The things you speak about portray where you are.  If all you speak about is certain people or things that aren’t about building you to be your best, that issue you speak on still has life and you need to really deal with.  When I as having marital issues and not speaking and listening to my husband all I spoke about was negativity of our marriage.  I also would speak negatively about the imagery of other positive marriages. This is where the term hating does apply. I wanted my marriage to be a safe space.  I wanted it to be strong from the inside out and would take issue with others who appeared that way.  I wasn’t strong enough to be real about my part in my marriage. I never acknowledged how my triggers were not my husband’s to deal with.  I wanted him to be understanding and fix me while I acted a fool and hide behind “for better or for worse.”

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We are responsible for our own happiness. We want others to care about our triggers more than we are wiling to deal and handle them.  It’s not enough to be understanding as you watch a partner do nothing.  How about just regular folks watching you wallow in your triggers.  Are your friends supposed to carry your triggers and the bad behavior they often demonstrate?  They can love and be supportive but they are limited in making things okay. I blogged the other day about who my friends were present for my most colorful times with Marques in college. Looking back they should have raised the standard for our behavior in that if we wanted to hang the drama couldn’t come.  Triggers place distance between people.  Triggers is the cause of why hurt people hurt people.  It’s simply still not okay to contain hurting people and having expectations that your relationship, title, or age will grace you.

You need to speak for, handle, and show up for that inner pain and deal with it. You need to trust me it’s in your best interest.  Everyday I wake up even when the day before  might have allowed  a trigger to get the best of me and show up for myself.  It’s important for me to mirror wholeness to myself as well as my children. Also social media and triggers is real. I do not argue  with folks on social media. Debate is a thin line to fighting too.  I will debate you with maybe 2 exchanges and that’s it.  It also depends on the topic. The trolls will never engage me.  Also if its family or friends that I have personal numbers to, it’s a no automatically. First I don’t post too many subjective things and on top of that I think about whether or not its someone who has a front row or at least a few rows into my life for me to get hype and it has zero outcome.  Also don’t let what you think you see on Facebook. I knew of several males who made who dedications to their wives and was cheating the whole time using hashtags like couple goals.  Life is complicated and comparison will leave you  in self defeat! Don’t do it!

One last thing, in life we can’t always retreat but one of the things that can assist in healing is separation.  I was told when I stated I needed to separate from individuals that I was wrong.  I knew what I needed.  I knew I wasn’t going to be okay from years of mess by staying in the midst.  My counselor allowed me to see that the person needed me to stay and work things out because staying gave the other party to believe that things weren’t as bad as it was. I didn’t care if I was looked as wrong.  I no longer wanted to be right. I wanted to be free to live and love.  I needed healing from my triggers.  I needed to separate to walk in real wholeness and know right or wrong I was entitled to how I felt but not entitled to react negatively to it!  Working through triggers is a daily tussle.  However if you are overwhelmed or feel overtaken in your triggers, its time to acknowledge it and get help!

Inis Nua Theatre presents the American premiere of Box Clever by Monsay Whitney

I had the elite privilege of attending Box Clever for my Friday night fun. This play directed by artistic director, Tom Reing was outstanding.

Let me set the stage for you:

Marnie is living in a women’s shelter in London with her 4-year-old daughter. She is headstrong and says whatever comes to her head. While attempting to protect her daughter she is also dealing with her past boyfriends and the drama that ensues from their lives. This is a 2 women show. Ruby Wolf plays Marnie and Rachel Brodeur plays all of the other roles. This isn’t simply two ladies talking back to each other. Both of these ladies put so much passion into their interactions that they made me believe I was in London with them and entangled in Marnie’s frustration.

Now for those who would want to attend this production let me forewarn you, Marnie doesn’t mince her words. There is some cursing. However when you take a step back if you’re a mother trying to keep space for your daughter nothing Marnie said I didn’t want to stand up and verbally co-sign. This play hit a personal moment for me. Growing up and being in a shelter for a bit I saw what I remember seeing in my own mother. It took me back and it was done so well that it tapped into that part of my past. I didn’t feel ashamed. I did feel slight sadness thinking of the lack of resources available to her. I felt proud of my own mom for doing what she had to do to get us settled. Every emotion of upset, pain, frustration and anger I felt and so will you.

I’ve grown up around the arts and I will tell you Ruby and Rachel are professional and more than exceptional in their acting. By the end if you didn’t laugh, get mad and cry (some moments at the same time) you aren’t human. I would love to see the play again. I encourage all of my readers to attend this show if you’re able.

Box Clever will be showing up until February 24, 2019. Tickets are from 25-35 dollars a piece. All of the performances will take place at the Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake, 302 South Hicks Street in Philadelphia. Thank you to the cast, and all staff who from the door to the theatre floor showed care to all of their guests. Thank you again for the reception afterwards as well.

A little more about Inis Nua Theatre:

  • Inis Nua means New Island
  • They produce provocative contemporary plays from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales
  • Based in Philadelphia, they have been in production for 15 years
  • They have produced 17 American premieres, 13 Philadelphia premieres, and 1 world premiere
  • They won 6 Barrymore including the prestigious June and Steve Wolfson award for Evolving Theatre Company in 2014

To purchase tickets, Box Clever

Monday Motivation: Stay Consistent

Another Monday has come upon us. You may be in your feelings about it deeper than Drake. The best way to combat a Monday is to be prepared for it. If you woke up unprepared for it then it’s time to hit it with consistency.

Consistency can assist you mentally in achieving a successful week. Attempting to get up at the same time, making sure I prep certain aspects of my week helps to better settle my mind and home. Consistency allows you to control certain anxieties that may come along with getting through my Monday,

We attempt to teach kids to be prepared yet we wake up each week unprepared and not ready. We know life will bring whatever curve balls that will come yet we don’t do enough to be ready for the parts that we actually cultivate. If you know your constantly not prepared to have the proper food as an example ready how can we be upset that “we end” up making bad food choices during the day?! We played a huge part in not being ready for our day and for the week.

Let’s start our week with consistency. Wake up on time. Try not to snooze. Meditate and pray! Be consistent in it and not just as a fall back to when life starts giving you a bad hand. Be consistent in your prepping. Make your lunches ahead of time, pack your breakfast, prepare your clothes ahead of time, and get your kids to do the same.

Consistency will cover you on the days when life attempts to make you fall. Consistency will help you guide your Monday blues. It’s hard to start a week you lack in preparation to be successful in. Wake up determined to have a good week where you were ready for it! Also if you woke up and you weren’t prepared, reset! Turn your mindset! What can you do NOW to get it all aligned?! Do that and don’t stress yourself! Have a knock out Monday and an awesome week! You got this!

Sunday Motivation: Cleaning House

Sometimes its interesting to see how many times I personally have to clean my house.  It’s gotten easier with not doing it on my own.  I struggled in the past thinking I alone had to do but with my husband in the house and now able-bodied kids, it isn’t so bad.  Everyone can assist.  However, my personal house which is me, my mind, soul, or even feelings can’t always get assistance, I must be vigilant in cleaning it daily or even moment to moment.

Being that I am a PK I won’t go too deep into a full sermon on you, but you are responsible for yourself.  You have triggers, issues from your past, hang ups, etc but in the end you have to clean house. I am reminded of the simple phrase you are what you eat and how now I am fully aware of how true that is. However the principle of what you take in matters.  This is why I am skeptical of who I am around, who I entertain, what I allow, and for how long.  These things matter as I take in things that do no serve me it is counterproductive to positive growth.

What areas of your life do you need to clean up?  We all have them.  We all have things that we should be constantly aware of, actively trying to make better, etc.  Every area of our life that we don’t make right will reveal itself. I have had to live with the sad truth of myself.  It was brought to me from events, people, and just sometimes reality.  Cleaning your house especially your inward house hurts.  You initially lose or feel pain.  You are mad and not used to attacking or confronting that ugly part of what you might have worked hard to hide. This is why, if you go to counseling which I have and do, it’s not like television where you speak to your counselor and you are happy.  Often times the pain hurt coming out.  I have had to sit in my car or go to a coffee shop before going home to process what took place in counseling before I took that home. Shout out to my husband who would even after that allow me more time after getting home to reorganize my thoughts!

What I do know that is while you clean up your act and the loneliness that you feel while doing it, is temporary.  Eventually you find better things to replace the friends who left. Let me give you a free nugget, some of the friends you actually needed at the time but your bad behavior messed it up.  It’s okay to admit it. We always hear about how your friends who left did so because they were seasonal and that’s true.  Let’s add that often times the season may have ended because of your bad behavior.  It will work out later. You will replace healthy relationships as you become healthier in mind and body.  It’s more to cleaning house than friendships. Sometimes all other relationships will be revealed.  It has to.  Be prepared for it!  Don’t think it will be fine.  The reality is that replacement feels like failure. It may look like failure.  Failure is apart of life.  It will with work and time balance out!  Do not give up and go back to the bad you left.  You ever give your baby a bath and seconds later they get dirty, that’s what its like going back and forth in a failure state of mind largely due to just wanting to keep a set of people, standards, etc from simple wanting to not be uncomfortable in old comforts! Yes re-read that, its correct!  Take the chance on yourself and clean up your act!

Clean your house! Clean the things and people around you. Clean your mindset.  Clean it up!

Today is Self Renewal Day

What do you do to self renew?  There are a million and one ways to renew.  Renewal of any kind means to reset. This is taking deliberate time out for yourself to get your body, mind and head in the game of life. Although it is celebrated as a holiday for today I like to think this goes along with self-care which should be done daily.

For me I try to do self-care and self renewal daily. I like to switch it up it may be with changing the scents of my bath bombs, using my body exfoliation and turning shower time into a home spa. Sometimes it’s shutting the bathroom door and listening to an uplifting song. It may be going to the nail salon and coffee shop.  My self-care rituals can be as a big or as small as I need them. How you preserve your mind is important. Sometimes it may come in the form of no. I have had to cancel plans if I feel overwhelmed. It happens!  I have a lot on my plate. However what I have learned is saying NO without explanation. This is a big one even to elders. You can be respectful even with a NO.

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Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

So renewal is necessary. It really should be a part of your daily process that its normal. So many times I hear things like I don’t have time. Make time. I make me a priority while I jumble a busy schedule. I take time out for me because I know the second I don’t everyone around me is going to catch it. Why have the folks around you suffer and to be honest, why would you have yourself suffer?  If you know you can’t do more, don’t take on more. It sounds more simple than it sounds because you have allowed the notion of more is better. Sometimes less is more. Don’t over exert your energies where it’s not being replenished. You can’t fill someone up from an empty cup.

When I feel like I can’t tap into myself, I ask why?  What is going on inside of me that makes me feel like I can’t take a break. My husband is good at saying, sit down it will be there later. Often times I give him a look but the reality is others can see sometimes what we can. Do not sit and think that by asking for help you are less than who you are.  Help is great. Help allows you more time not to find things to put in its place but to be sooner so you can do something you enjoy. I often now have it so that when the kids go down I like to have my kitchen cleaned and food put away so that remainder of the night I can focus on what I like.  That is my time to get my wine glass should I want or take an extra long shower or even go to bed early. Getting rest is self-renewal too. Naps are a blessing that blesses those around you!

Take time today to renew. You hold the power. Today I will be taking some magazine and wine down time. Its quiet and I can shut the door and enjoy my me time. Renew yourself today!